Downton Abbey Challenge – A Second Attempt

I started watching Downton Abbey due to the fabric line that came out by Andover Fabrics.  I don’t remember where I found out about the fabric, it was either one of the blogs I read or one of the quilt shops.  I was signed up to do the Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt Along but I never really finished the quilt top – I had a hard time finding the fabrics at my local quilt store as only one of them had ordered the full line.  I guess shops who only order a part of the line didn’t get shipped during the first round.

I was pretty excited to find out that my favorite quilt store, Fabric-Etc, was doing their own Downton Abbey Challenge when they got the fabric in.

I managed to finished the center block of the Mystery Quilt, although it wasn’t much of a mystery due to having bought the fabric after the last part of the pattern was published.  I didn’t really see myself finishing the quilt top by the 27th deadline.


For my entry I chose to make a bag.  The challenge was to use a fat quarter of the Downton Abbey signature fabric, it could be anything as long as it is recognizable.    I decided to fussy cut the crowns and Abbey out of the fabric as well as the lettering, I wanted to try and separate the recognizable parts of the fabric and rearrange them.  I also used my new Omnigrid On-Point ruler.   I used it to make the quilting on the pockets.



The feature I really wanted was to incorporate was tooled leather.  I recruited my husband and we collaborated on the design.  Hopefully his work is ok, nothing in the rules said it can’t be a team project!



I really hope to win, but if I do that means I won’t see my bag for a month!

Starlight Reflection – 2013

Starlight Reflection was born from two quilt classes I had taken from Diane at Fabric-Etc using the Rapid Fire rulers – Lamoyne Star and Hunter’s Star.  In February of 2013 I took a class on the Hunter’s Star and followed up with the Lamoyne Star class the next month and had made some blocks that are still in my scrap bin waiting for a project.  When I took the classes I didn’t really have a set project in mind.

Starlight Reflection - Finished Quilt
Starlight Reflection – Finished Quilt

I had taken my first quilt class over the summer of 2012 and when I finally finished the quilt it went to Nana, my husband’s grandmother, for Christmas in 2012.  At the time I had chosen this very abstract fabric for the focus of the quilt.  Being a new quilter and having the plans to gift my quilt from the beginning I bought enough for two (or three) quilts!  My thinking was I could give one away and recreate a second one for myself (which I never got around to doing).  Nana loved the quilt, of course, and one of these days I need to go over and capture a photo.

Starlight Reflection, December 2013
Starlight Reflection, December 2013

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend’s mother always joins us for holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) and in 2012 I had hoped to also make a quilt for her, but never got around to it.  My thinking was how she was always colder then the rest of us.  If I made her a lap quilt she could use it while we all gathered and then we won’t have to use the fireplace while opening all the windows!  So when I came home with the fabric choices for the Hunter’s Star class and discovered it matched the focus fabric I had used for Nana’s quilt I knew I had a sister-quilt in the making!

Now I’m not big on piecing boarders, I’ll do it when needed but if I can get the center quilt top to be smaller than the width of the fabric being used I’ll go ahead and create a corner block for the borders.  I had done this with Nana’s quilt, using one of the quilt block patterns I concocted in what I named “My First Quilt”(the first quilt I made to completion – quilted and bound.  You can read about it here).  I chose do to the same thing with this quilt.  I made new Lamoyne Stars using one of the light green batiks used in the center pattern as well as a Michael Miller Fairy Frost I had in my stash.

Close up of the two different blocks
Close up of the two different blocks

One of the things I learned from making this quilt is directional fabrics can make a difference with the Hunter’s Star ruler, but is less noticeable with the process for the Lamoyne Star Ruler (Unless you want ALL the directionality to be the same in the entire block.

Quilt label
Quilt label

I had intended on hand quilting the label, like I had done for Butterfly Garden.  I had struggled with coming up with a name for the quilt.  I ended up going with Starlight Reflection, it came to me when heading to bed one night, but Christmas was too close and I had other homemade gifts needing finishing.  I’m not a big fan of my chicken scratch handwriting.

Starlight Reflection was given to Mary for Christmas, 2013.  This next Christmas I hope to make something for my mother-in-law.

Butterfly Garden – Bonnie’s Team 2013

Butterfly Garden was my second Bonnie’s Team quilt.  I had two goals with this one: try to create a quilt inspired by this post and practice some free motion quilting.  Actually, I had one other goal and that was to turn this quilt in early, but that didn’t quite happen.

Butterfly Garden - Bonnie's Team 2013
Butterfly Garden – Bonnie’s Team 2013


Bonnie’s Team holds a special place in my heart (see previous post here) for many reasons; the first is I love that the quilt store I learned to quilt from is donating fabric and batting and the second is the untimely passing away of my Aunt from cancer the first time I participated in the Bonnie’s Team.  I think it is important to give back and I hope that my quilts give some warmth and comfort to those going through a tough time in their lives.

Butterfly Garden - Laying out blocks
Butterfly Garden – Laying out blocks

I created my blocks using 3.5” unfinished squares and nine patches using a variety of fun fabrics.  I can’t remember every fabric in the quilt, but there were a bunch from Riley Blake’s Hello Sunshine, a teal from Katie Spain Cuzico line, Celebration from Bunny Hill designs, and some from the same line as the backing fabric I picked that I can’t think of the name right now.  I used a white tone-on-tone for the background that had little star bursts from my stash.  I had originally bought the white for making snowmen appliqué but I ended up finding something that looked more like snowflakes (which is still untouched in my stash… someday…).

Butterfly Garden - Finished Block
Butterfly Garden – Finished Block

One of the challenges I had was making the quilt into a rectangle.  I got lucky that my squares ended up just over 12.5” finished, so I had to figure out how to fill in the sides.  I used some of the left over strips from the nine patches and took a seam ripper to them.  Why cut when I have all these ends available?  I went for a four-patch scrappy boarder.

On Display at Fabric-Etc
On Display at Fabric-Etc


I was really happy how this quilt turned out.  I hand quilted the label, a first for me, using this tutorial.  Looks so much better then my chicken scratch handwriting!  I was able to finish the binding at my quilt guild meeting so I got to share it during the show and tell.  I was trying to hand it over to one of the members who worked at Fabric-etc but she left before I could take a photo of the finished piece.  I ended up leaving it (accidentally!) in the care of another store and my teacher, Diane, was kind enough to swing by and pick it up and deliver it for me.

I didn’t realize until I was putting together this post that the way I chose the color places looks like XOXOs for hugs and kisses 🙂


Oh, and the name?  There’s butterflies quilted into the boarders as well as the colored 3” squares.  If you look at the full quilt picture there is one lone dragon fly hidden amongst the leaves where I got tired of quilting the butterflies.  I wonder if the new owner ever found it.

“Monday Morning” Star Count

I’ve been a quiet stalker of Jessica’s blog Life Under Quilts for some time and have been participating in her 60° EPP Traveling quilt along but not really posting.  I started this quilt as a project last May when I went to North Carolina to attend the Anita Goodesign event where they filmed Art of Digitizing (one of these days I do need to watch the free DVD set I got for attending…) and I need a project to keep me occupied during the lay overs.  My main fabric line that I wanted to use was FreeSpirit’s In My Room.  I’ve never done EPP before.

When I first started this I had the intention of all the star centers being yellow, because I already had Sunshine Fairy Frost in my closet.   I thru in two of V and Co.’s Simply Color.

EPP Traveling Quilt

As I started to lay out the blocks I felt the quilt was too yellow so I started making blue and green fairy frost stars.  I first started by making a  bunch of hexi-stars, but I found that I was having problems with my “scrappy” fabrics around the stars were aligning that the same fabric was right next to or adjacent to eachother so I switched to just adding each diamond to the main quilt.

Single EPP Star
Single EPP Star

Yesterday I linked up to Jessica’s Blog for the first time via Flickr.  Today I thought I’d post up a little about the quilt.  My “Monday Morning” star count on this Tuesday is (still) 51!