Off to the fabric store to figure out what colors. I wanted it girly - but not too girly - with lots of colors. I found this fabric - 'diddly dot' by Michael Miller in orchid. It's got bright colors, girl colors, and I liked the green in it.
The hard part was now finding fabric that matched the dots. Armed with my 'Kona cotton color card', I sat in the driveway and tried to find matches. Then I hit up the local quilt shops that had 'Moda Bella solids' to see what they had. I decided on:
Cactus (Kona Solid)
Key Lime (yet a different brand of quilt fabric that I can't remember)
with Coal (Kona) for sashing.
I was a little worried about the Key Lime - but my idea was to have the colors in the 'diddly dot' fabric plus a lighter version (like the pink in the fabric). (Note: when your gut tells you it's not right, don't keep on going. But I generally don't listen to that voice until later.)
I drew up the pattern with Google Sketch-up. My first time using it and it was a bit of a learning curve. I'll definitely use it again.
I cut 5 inch squares and paired them up with white Kona cotton and sewed around the edges to create half square triangles
Those turned into 5" pinwheels.
I used a 2" square of white and sewed it diagonally across each corner. I loved the way they turned out, but this step was a lot of work. Sew, open seams, fold back fabric out of the way, trim _just_ the right layers, and iron. But they turned out great.
I saw a paper pieced alphabet pattern on Pinterest by 'from blank pages ...' and decided this quilt was a great excuse to buy it. I enlarged the pattern so that the letters were about 4" tall. The piecing was a bit fiddly, but it wasn't bad. It helps that I adore how they turned out.
I laid it out one Thursday night with 1" sashing - after playing 'sodoku' to determine that every row and column only had all 8 colors - and took pictures. I loved it. But looking down from the balcony, I realized that they 'Key Lime' fabric blended way too much into the background.
I wanted to take this quilt - finished - with me when I was visiting my sister in June and I was running out of time. I had exactly 1 week and it still needed to be put together and quilted. But I really didn't like the 'key lime' color in this quilt. I decided to sleep on it.
I didn't like it any better in the morning. The 'Cactus' color is a left over from C's quilt, so I dug through the fabric left overs to see if there was another color that would work. I found 'Lime' (Kona cotton) and laid it out. I had to get over the fact that I wasn't using the colors from the back of the quilt plus a lighter shade (I'm an engineer, I like patterns.) But it worked. I liked the contrast and it still worked great with the 'Cactus'. It worked really well. Friday night I made 9 more blocks and laid them out. It made a huge difference.
I pieced the top together over a long Saturday of sewing. I'm always amazed at how long it takes to sew the top together once blocks are done. I suppose that sashing doesn't speed up the process. :)
I made the quilt sandwich Sunday and started quilting Monday night. (The day job occasionally gets in the way!). I quilted the sashing in one night and then had to figure out what to do with the pinwheel flowers. I tried several ideas before I decided on sewing 1/8" inside around them. Two nights and the pinwheels were done. Thursday was binding and it went into the wash by 10:30pm. I pulled it of the dryer the next morning and stuffed it in the top of my suitcase and dashed to the airport.
It's the only niece/nephew quilt that isn't hand quilted ... and I'm okay with that. I think it turned out pretty darn great.
Plus my sister was surprised that I had it finished! G. looks pretty darn cute on her quilt. I hope she enjoys it.
Finished size: 45 x 45
Pattern inspired by 'Dilly Dally' by Thimble Blossom
Colors: Peony, Peacock, Aqua (Moda Bella Solids); Petal, Amethyst, Thistle, Lime, Cactus, White, and Coal (Kona Cotton Solid). Backing: Diddly Dots by Michael Miller.
Quilted with a light grey thread and 2 layers of cotton Pellon batting.