Quilters Lead Pieceful Lives.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ivy's Fleur de Lis

What could be more symbolic of New Orleans than the Fleur De Lis?!  So this quilt makes the perfect "Welcome to NOLA" gift for Ken and Melanie's newest daughter Ivy (who joins Avery and Eliza).
And, she came into the world on 11/12/13, which makes her even more special (if that's possible!).

I found a downloadable pattern for a paper-pieced fleur de lis at eQuiltPatterns.com. The original pattern calls for one 18" paper pieced fleur (108 pieces!), bordered by small squares, plus a solid-piece inner border and an outer border also made of small squares. So I modified it into a kid-sized quilt (38"x38") by using 4 fleurs and adding an additional striped border (with mitered corners) outside of the small squares. This striped fabric was also used as the backing of the quilt. Notice that there are four different colored small squares and that these same 4 colors are used in the fleurs.

Since Emily is back in New Orleans, I called on my local color expert, my wife Wendy, to help pick out just the right colors for a precious little girl.  We were able to find a complete colorway at Hawthorne Threads, so all of the colors work seamlessly (ha! a little quilter humor) together. This group included just the right scale of small-flower fabric to use in the solid-piece border.

For the quilting, I considered doing echo quilting around the fleurs, but there were so many lines / seams from the paper piecing that I thought it might lessen the effect and make it look too busy. So my old standby, stipling, seemed like the best bet (this approach actually helps to soften and hide the paper pieced seams). Of course, this makes the unquilted fleurs puff up which gives them added dimensionality. Then I ditched around both sides of the inner and outer small squares borders. The final touch was using the small-flower fab as the binding.

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