As I sit here with my [You Are Here – Alaska] cuppa and big ol’ yeasty glazed donut, I am able to say with certainty that denim completes the morning. I always feel my best when wearing a perfect fitting pair of jeans or my awesome jean jacket I’ve had since high school that has all my aviation wings and my Grandpa’s WWII pin tacked on it. So why wouldn’t a quilt made of (what I consider to be) the coziest, most wonderful denim blends be any less perfect? Survey says…it’s amazing, and once again Art Gallery Fabrics prevails in my quilty endeavors. And I’m so thankful that our West Virginia nights are dipping into the upper 40s to give me a chance to cuddle up under my new quilty child.
I may have a teeny bit of a history for using bright, full-spectrum color in my projects, which this quilt most definitely has. But what I’m not known for (I don’t think) is a simpler approach to quilt design. Something about this project spoke to me on a more traditional level. I needed to show off the AGF Denim Studio fabric textures and bright colors from the AGF Elements by utilizing an age-old layout for the overall aesthetic for which I was aiming. (And even more…I needed to get this beast done fast!)
About a year ago or so, I was scrolling through various quilty hashtags and saw a checkerboard quilt with dominant white squares and all these cute little bright printed squares. I think, and can’t say for sure, it was something Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts made. It was super cute, and that’s what I envisioned for this project. I did, however, want to rotate my squares 45-degrees so that the squares were on point. Originally I had intended to make a 102″ x 102″ quilt, but like always, time disappeared as our Denim Tour 2.0 deadline week quickly approached. So I whizzed through as many little squares as I possibly could and ended up finishing at 84″ x 84″. And it’s perfect if you ask me!
Every other square (white) is the new AGF Outland Yarn Dye in Vanilla Mist. The yarn dyes are delicious! Absolutely so soft and cozy and light! Besides the white color, there are also the following: Endless Paradise (tealy blue), Deep Ocean (blue-black), Cherry Crimson (soft red), and Rose Feather (swoon-worthy ballet pink). This family within the Denim Studio are all 4oz/sqm and 100% cotton. I’ll admit, they were a tad bit finicky to press as crisp as I would have liked (as I was able to do with the other fabric contents), but that’s because the fabric is truly an airy and lofty weave. They still stitched up perfectly and yielded a perfect finish. I’m really tempted to buy a few yards of one to make a flowy twirly skirt or summer dress. But that also means I need to decide on a color, and that part is HARD!
I used every one of the eight Solid Smooth Denim colors within this quilt. I’d equate these solids as a chambray type content since there is a white weft and colored warp. I’m really, really a fan of these! They are 4.5oz/sqm, which is more on par with the weight of typical quilting cotton that you use. The fabric itself is 80% cotton/20% poly. They press well, stitch flawlessly, and drape beautifully. I used quite a bit of them in my Observer quilt too — the entire background is Afternoon Sail with some geese using Indigo Shadow, Cool Foliage, Frosted Sage, and Adobe Clay.
Ok, back to my denim checkerboard quilt!
Blending the denims with an assortment of Elements fabrics was a MUST. The thirty-six prints below are all used in the quilt. I sometimes wonder if everyone is aware of the AGF Elements section. There are seven types of printed blenders as well as the solids, and every single AGF designer collection can blend in a handful of these pretties to really add an extra pop. I stuck with the Nature, Floral and Oval Elements for this quilt. The only one below that doesn’t really resemble its color in real life compared to the graphic is Floral Element in Scarlet (fifth row, second column). It’s still gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely a teeny bit darker red in person.
There was zero thought process to color placement in this quilt. Ok, well maybe not zero…but there was very little. I made sure that the mini blocks I made within the quilt didn’t have any repeating prints, but other than that I went “grab bag” style with color distribution. It’s kind of like a big carnival tent quilt in a happy way. (Notice I did *not* say clown outfit. I abhor clowns. Terrified of clowns. Like, worse than spiders or snakes.)
Once my quilt top was pieced, it took a ride on my Handi Quilter Avante. As I mentioned, I wanted to stick to a more traditional feel for this quilt, so I knew my Sketchbook FMQ was out on this one. I scanned through the library of computerized designs and settled on this one below. It’s called something-or-other bubble…so I’m just gonna call it Bubble Bites based on how it looks to me. Each bubble diameter is about the same scale as the quilt squares, yet offset enough from the squares to not have a regulated/formulated finished appearance. I really like the balance that the curved quilting gives to the loud colors and angles of the fabric print and placement.
I went with yet another flanged binding for the finishing touch. The main binding is Solid Smooth in Infused Hydrangea with a flange detail using the denim print Fading Darts (also 4.5oz/sqm and 100% cotton). The backing is the most beautiful floral denim, Artic Avens. See that teal color in that print? It just gives me all the heart eyes! And I just love how the flanged print ties into the dark denim color from the backing fabric.
I promise to get a subsequent post sharing how I make a flange binding too…but right now mega housework and client quilting beckons me. I’ve really enjoyed this quilt-making process. I always enjoy each project’s journey, but this one was a fun step back from having to think out all the details. In the end, I wound up with a cheerful, wonderfully cozy, and perfect-to-me quilt for my bed!
Be sure to follow the entire week’s Denim Studio 2.0 blog tour line up! There are some gorgeous things coming from the others…from home dec to apparel to mini quilts and weavy fun! Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me for a few! You can follow me on Instagram @sariditty for more pics!
Monday- Christopher http://www.thetattooedquilter.com
Tuesday – Nicole www.lillyella.com
Wednesday – Sarah — That’s me!
Thursday – Jenn http://gingerpeachstudio.com/
Friday – Mathew https://misterdomestic.net/
You can also follow along on Instagram with the hashtags #AGFdenimtour2point0 and #thedenimstudiobyAGF.