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A Dazzling Design from Start to Finish

My friend and colleague from Irving Middle School, Nancy Coniglio, commissioned me to make a quilt for her den. She did not have a lot of specifics in minds for the quilt except that it had to be purple and should measure 26” by 32”. To say that Nancy likes purple is a huge understatement. Her den is actually painted a really pretty color of pale purple and is decorated with several other purple pieces as well. The day she asked me to make this quilt, my mind began swimming with ideas.

I searched Pinterest for some ideas – I get a lot of inspiration from quilts posted on Pinterest – and was drawn to

quilts that used the log cabin block. So one evening as we were sitting on the patio enjoying the nice weather and watching Royals baseball, I began to sketch on some graph paper. I first laid out the middle section of the quilt with a triangular log cabin pattern. Since that was a square, I needed to add something to the top and bottom to make it rectangular. The log cabin blocks used ½” strips, so I decided to make 3 rows of 1” blocks. I chose that idea because I also had a quilting design in mind for that space. I then added the borders – two 1” borders and one 3” border. The outside and inside borders would have the same fabric – something flowery – while the middle 1” border would be a solid color. I then added some appliqued flowers with stems and leaves to complete the design of the quilt.

After getting Nancy’s OK on my design ideas, we headed to the fabric store. I wanted Nancy to go along so that I was sure to have fabrics that she liked. We began by looking at several pieces with purple flowers and finally decided on fabric that had little purple flowers in several shades with blue centers and green leaves. I wanted to draw out the blue in the flower centers so encouraged Nancy to choose a blue fabric that I could use for the flowers in the appliqued border. Although I knew how much she liked purple, I was afraid that the quilt was going to be REALLY purple. We also chose a coordinating purple solid to use in the middle border. We purchased a couple of purple fat quarters to use for the log cabin blocks, but I already had several whites and purples in my stash at home so did not need to purchase more.

Construction began on the quilt and I was pleased with the results. It went together just as I had envisioned. When I reached the point of adding the appliques, I changed my mind and used two shades of purple fabric for the flowers instead of the blue fabric. I decided to follow the design of the flowered border fabric

and use the blue for the centers of the purple appliqued flowers. It was a great decision and followed Nancy’s desire for more purple rather than less.

Next it was time to make decisions on the quilting design. Again I turned to Pinterest and found some log cabin quilts that used feathers in part of the pattern. I thought about doing feathers in the middle section of the block, too, but decided to use a design that I learned in a class by Sue Heinz. Her design is called Tsunami and is found in her book, Fill Harmonics. I had used that design in a Triple Irish Chain quilt that I had completed and loved the results. I used a continuous curve design in the 1” block sections at the top and bottom of the log cabin blocks. The inner flowered border was completed with ribbon candy while the purple middle border was not quilted. I stitched an echo design around the appliques and filled in the remainder of the border with a feather design. Although I had intended for that to be the final product, I decided to add some additional detail in the flowers and was really glad that I did. The appliques just needed a bit of extra quilting.

It was fun to finally deliver the quilt to Nancy and she was very excited about the end result. It will be a great addition to her purple den and, hopefully, something that she will enjoy for years to come. Thanks, Nancy, for asking me to do this project for you!

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