friday finish - butterscotch tart!

Guess what? It's D-O-N-E! The Butterscotch Tart quilt is finished! It's time for some fireworks!

I hope that you'll allow me to gush about my own quilt. I love everything about this! The goal was to do a patriotic quilt, but without any patriotic fabrics. There are no stars or fireworks here, but there are plenty of dots, flowers, cherries and strawberries. And then I dared myself to add light blue and pink. 

I feel a little bittersweet now that this is completed. I was in a big rush to complete it (yeah, I missed my July 4 goal), and yet, I felt a bit of sadness when I sewed that last border strip. Sadness as in, oh no, it's done and I won't get to sew any more of these cute blocks!

The quilt pattern is Butterscotch Tart by Fig Tree and Co and measures 66" square. I used a happy fabric mix from Pam Kitty Morning and Lori Holt. Special thanks to my Instagram buddies who cheered me on throughout the whole process. You can follow me there at @greydogwoodstudio to see daily updates of my projects. 

And, just for fun, I put the quilt onto my bed. It blends in perfectly with my collection of new and vintage Ralph Lauren bedding. The red and white faux drunkard's path was the second quilt that I ever made, and it's hand quilted with Baptist fans and dated November 98 - November 99. I'll never tire of red, white and blue quilts!

I'm linking up today with Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts. Hop over there to see what other quilters have finished this week. And happy weekend, everybody!

let freedom ring

Some things endure, like my love of American flags and house quilts. They're timeless, authentic classics. And while my taste in fabric has changed over the years, I still love basic, vintage designs. As I work on the Homestead house blocks and the Butterscotch Tart blocks, they're really just a fresh update of my early quilts.

These were two of the earliest quilts that I made in 1999. The pattern is from the book Little Quilts All Through The House by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt and Sylvia Johnson. I customized my quilts even back then by adding the outer ticking print border. I tea dyed them like the authors suggested. Yeah, that washed out fast. And so did the dye... the red bled and turned the cream stripes into pink. I'm happy that today's fabrics have much more stable dyes, because I never prewash my fabrics.

These two flags were on a wall in my kitchen until last fall. I think that I was just too lazy to remove them. But they also served as a remembrance of 9/11. Many of us in the city wore red, white and blue ribbons right after the event, and I pinned them onto my flags. My little flag quilts truly became a symbol of freedom. 

I'm so glad that I signed my quilts even back then. Today I like to create labels, but back then I just wrote directly onto the backings.  Check out the date that these were completed!

Happy Fourth of July!

a fresh start

My patriotic quilt month continues! Remember last week's Milky Way stars? I loved them, but I just wasn't having fun sewing them. And quilting needs to be fun, right?! My third block finished lumpy and bumpy and I knew that it was time to hoist the white flag and surrender.

But I'm not ready to give up on my patriotic quilt dream just yet. And so began the time consuming search for a new pattern. Of course, nearly every pattern that I own is scrappy, so I had to imagine what they'd look like in three colors. I pulled patterns out of my notebooks. I bookmarked photos of vintage quilts. I bought more pattern downloads. I searched Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram for new ideas. I am an expert at making myself myself crazy! And then I remembered that I had a pretty pattern from Fig Tree Quilts called Butterscotch Tart. It's from several years ago, with on-point blocks in pale caramel, taupe, ivory and pink. Aha! Couldn't this classic carpenter's wheel block look like a firework if I did it in red, white and blue?!

It looks firework-y to me. I like this block even better than the previous blocks! It was fairly easy to sew, although I might change the direction of some seams on my next block so that they'll nest better. It's 10" and is designed to be set with sashings and pinwheels. 

And even though I've been quiet for a few days don't think that I haven't been sewing. I was back in the strawberry fabric patch. I have just a few more strawberries to sew and then I can begin the big assembly!