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A "Note"-Worthy Quilt Full of Firsts

I recently made a quilt that provided several "firsts" for me. On a trip to Dubuque last October, we stopped at a great quilt shop in the New Bo (New Bohemia) district in Cedar Rapids called Delve MIY. It is filled with art fabric from Frond Designs -- so different from the fabrics with which I usually sew. The colors are incredibly brilliant and when I saw a collection of fabrics with a music theme, I just knew that I had to buy it. That was the first "first" as I rarely buy fabric without a quilt pattern in mind.

The bundle of fabric that I purchased included four fat quarters of red, blue, green and purple fabric, 1/2 yard of fabric with musical terms, one yard of panel fabric with musical symbols, and one yard of panel fabric with musical equipment such as microphones, guitars, and piano keyboards. I decided that I would use the bundle to make a quilt to hang in our family room and I wanted it to be 60" x 60".

I found a pattern on the Delve MIY website that I liked, but would need to add some to it to get the desired size. So I got out the graph paper and began to sketch out a pattern -- not really a "first", but something that I don't often do. Naturally, when I finished the sketch I discovered that I didn't have enough fabric. Well, you know what that means -- a trip to the fabric store!! Unfortunately, because of the brilliant colors in the collection, there were no fabrics that blended. So the fabric and pattern sketches were put on the shelf until we could make another trip to Cedar Rapids.

Luckily, such a trip happened in March as we planned to spend the weekend in Dubuque to see our youngest daughter. Armed with my list of needed material, we stopped at Delve MIY and they were able to supply SOME of the fabric that I needed but not all. Uh oh! Time for Plan B. Fortunately, the nice clerk at the shop came to my rescue and called another shop in South Amana that stocked Frond Designs fabric. They had what I needed to complete my quilt! So we stopped at Fern Hill in South Amana on our way home from Dubuque. It is a fabulous shop filled with antiques as well as fabric.

Upon returning home, I washed and ironed all of the fabric and began to cut out the pieces. This provided another "first" as most of the pieces were large -- the biggest being 36 ½” x 6 ½”.Other pieces needed to be fussy cut -- cut so that a specific design was in the center of the block. Next I divided the pattern into sections and began sewing. As I was stitching I discovered that some of the pieces that I had fussy cut were smaller than I actually needed. As a result, I needed to add something to

fill in the space. I opted to add some checkerboard designs using fabric left over from the fat quarters -- yet another "first".

With the top completed, it was time to make the quilting design decisions. I went back and forth several times between stitching an all-over design or something custom. I finally decided on an all-over design as I wanted the focus to be on the fabrics rather than the quilting. And when the quilt was completed, I was very happy with that choice.

Now I have another quilt with which to decorate my house -- one that looks nothing like any quilt that I have made before. And one that combines both of my passions -- quilting and music!! How fun is that!!

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