Botanica Quilt

To those who are visiting our blog for the first time, welcome!!! I'm Julia! I'm a mom to 2 girls and 2 boys, married, and love living close to the Atlantic Ocean. My sister-in-law and I are the makers of Briar Hill Designs. We're having a blast working together! We share all about our quilting and art on Instagram at @briarhilldesigns, on Facebook and here on our Blog. 

So, here she is! My quilt for the What Shade Are You Blog Hop! I'm quite in love with Cotton Supreme Solids, and since I couldn't say "I'll take 'em all!" I delightedly settled on this palette of beauties!

Here's the list of Cotton Supreme Solids I used:
- Glow in the Dark
- Bowood Green
- Martini Olive
- Pea in a Pod
- Peridot
- Hydrangea
- Opera Mauve
- Marvelous
- Cloud 9
- Periwinkle
- Lancaster Sky
- Hyacinth
- Amethyst
- Feelin' Blue
- Jacaranda
- Purple Haze
- Verbena
- Jean Jacket
- Celeste
- Tourmaline
- Banana Cream
- Harlequin
- Citrus
- Citron
- Custard
- Linen White
- Lemon Chiffon
For the background I chose Swan. It's the perfect not-quite-white, and I'm ordering a bolt of it next week, I like it that much.

Sewing has always been a great interest of mine, though my love for quilting came quite a bit later. I sewed decor for my dollhouse as a kid, then clothing for myself and friends as a teen. I studied all-things-sewing at University including pattern making, tailoring, and reproducing period clothing. I then moved on to making wedding gowns, theatre costuming, and alterations until we had children. Sewing then changed to sundresses and stuffed animals. I even opted to make my kids duvet covers instead of quilts! I'm embarrassed and a little mad at myself that it took me so long to give quilting a go! My first taste of quilt making, and I was hooked! I followed a pattern for my first two quilts, and every one since then has been my design.

Design inspiration can come from many different venues. For this one, I set up some criteria, and came up with the design for this block from there:

·I wanted to design a quilt that could show off the soft and gentle side of working with solids.
·It needed to be a block that could be successful for many levels of quilter, while also teaching skills.
·I designed this pattern in the dreariest, slushiest, bone chilling cold of grey Nova Scotian winters (now you really want to visit, right?!) so I also made a requirement that this design needed to help me think happy thoughts of warmer weather. So this was nicknamed "The Happy Quilt" until I chose to name her Botanica.

I designed the blocks in EQ7, then made tweaks to the curves to fit the Circle Cut Ruler by EZ Quilting. Curved piecing, and what I call true-up templates help the blocks come together with ease.

Making Botanica with these warm purples, soft yellows and spring blues was made especially enjoyable because I could also choose mini palettes for individual blooms. Seriously, the 49 blocks in this quilt were not enough to play out all the dreamy colour grouping potential!
Blocks are 12" and set in a half-drop layout. They're also rotated so the leaves point every which way, which adds to the organic look of the quilt.

Backing is Cotton + Steel's Checkers in Sky. Their gingham is a favourite of mine! This is the third time I've used one of the gingham weaves as a backing. I've used ½", 1" and their 2½" checkers and they all look great.  As a bonus, it's a little wider than most quilting cottons at 50" so I could piece the back of this 84" quilt in two pieces instead of three.
I thought long and hard about how to have it quilted. In the end I chose a favourite loopy edge-to-edge, that Violet Quilts and I built together.
Batting is Hobbs Heirloom Premium Wool, and the scrappy binding was made with a selection of pastel tinted solids in the bundle.
I'm so pleased with how it turned out in these gorgeous colours! For a chance to win your own botanical bundle of fabrics, follow @briarhilldesigns, and @rjrfabrics, and tag a friend on the giveaway post! While you're here, and if you are on your home computer, you can subscribe from the home page of the blog. We'd love to share our creative adventures with you as well as send some freebies your way every once in awhile!  See you around!