Romance in the Magnolias - a Finished Quilt!

One of my goals for 2018 was to balance my UFOs with some new projects. Because while it's nice to finish the myriad of things I have stacked up in the sewing room, sometimes it's nice just to pull out a bunch of fabrics and start something entirely different.

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So I started the year with a quick catchup for the Magnolia Mystery quilt, which I loved last summer but couldn't commit to because of the move.

Cheryl offers two options - a true mystery or an un-mystery, as long as you keep the spoilers to yourself. I don't like to work on a project if I don't know I'll love the end result, plus I have trouble with things like "Fabric A will be near Fabric B, and Fabric C will be a focal fabric, but there's an awful lot of Fabric D" - so I chose the un-mystery.

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And the moment the spoilers hit my email, I knew I wanted to make it. And I knew that I wanted a background fabric with a lot of interest. So finally, using a Christmas gift card from my mom, I ordered the yellow.

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Everything else came from my stash. And since I started well after all the clues were released, I was able to study the pattern and 'make it my own.' I used the block size for the queen quilt, but only made four blocks. This meant I only needed four setting triangles - a better use of my fabric - and my block pieces would be bigger, so I could safely choose one of my favorite fabrics and know that it wouldn't be chopped so small.

(That would be the light pink - Rock'n'Romance by Pat Bravo. And I'm not really a flower person, but those do kind of look like magnolias in it. Teal - Modern Lace by Amanda Murphy / coral - Painter's Canvas / yellow - Minny Muu)

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It also meant that I only had one full secondary block design in the center of the quilt, which I think looks amazing. But I'm a little biased because I think the whole thing looks amazing. I utterly, completely, adore it.

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I debated custom quilting in all that negative space - especially because I'm entering it in my local guild's quilt show and I'd love to show off my longarm skills...and get some business. But, well, my custom longarm skills (and confidence) are lacking.

So I ended up using this heart-echo design, which is a new one, so I'm still expanding my skills. And I learned that I can't quilt hearts like this right side up. Thank goodness it's not a directional quilt, because I could just flip it over when it was finished and declare the hearts right side up!

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The backing is my unicorn fabric. This is from a line by Sandy Gervais released in 2009 - full of high heels, daisies, and sherbet colors. I discovered it in 2011 and bought all the precuts I could find, but yardage was already almost non-existent.

Until I moved to a little rural town in Oklahoma. And discovered that the little local quilt store wasn't online. And she has BOLTS of this stuff.

Which is kind of depressing, when you think about it - she doesn't really stock much bright colors because stuff like this hasn't moved off her shelves since 2009. But for me, it's the best thing about moving here. (Besides my longarm, of course.) I'm going to be able to finish my precuts properly because I now have access to all the coordinating fabrics! 

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