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Ta-da!

January 31, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finished. Done. Wrapped up. Completed. And I couldn’t be happier with the result:

Pause and gaze at it with me, will you?

This is by far the most time consuming and intricate quilt I have ever attempted. It is also the one that brings the most satisfied smile to my face. I love that I made it for Eleanor- starting before I knew that she would be a ‘she’- and that it will stay at our house for many years to come.

I will admit that there were times when I thought I might never finish it. I bought the fabric in January of 2008 and put the binding on it exactly two years later. The summer she was born, I remember thinking, “OK. Goal #1- learn how to be a mom. Goal #2- finish that quilt!” Then time slipped away and school started up again. I only had about thirty percent of the blocks made. Then we learned Eleanor was going to be a big sister. And I panicked. How could I make a quilt for the new baby without having hers finished?! What kind of mother was I?! So, I picked a super easy pattern for the new quilt (sorry, Graham) and Eleanor’s quilt got lapped (sorry, Eleanor). My husband will tell you that he never once made fun of me for that, but I beg to differ.

Graham arrived and I found a bit of gusto somewhere to get the quilt finished. I divided up the remaining  foundation papers into manageable groups of eight. I made myself do one set every day and, slowly but surely, the blocks were finally finished. Thank goodness for sleepy newborns and napping toddlers. If there is one bit of advice I’d pass along to someone attempting this quilt it would be that- do it in chunks. If you look at the sheer number of blocks to make it will be overwhelming. At least it was for me!

And the quilting! Can you check out the quilting? I never once thought about quilting this myself on my machine. It needed more than I could give it. Luckily, I know the world’s best quilter! I asked for orange thread and thankfully Angela thought it would look good, too. She surpassed all of the high expectations I had for this quilt. Check out the mixture of squiggly and straight lines and Xs. The night I picked the quilt up from Angela I called my mom, my husband and two friends on the way home to tell them about it. I was even talking so excitedly that I was driving down my street and realized I hadn’t stopped to pick up the takeout we were planning!

I am almost always happy with how a quilt finishes. Sometimes I think, “I could have used a different print here or there” or “Maybe I should have used a different binding.” This one, though, has me feeling thrilled, proud and every other happy adjective in between.

For anyone interested:

Previous posts about the Jewel Squares quilt- paper foundation piecing, slow progress, finished blocks & layout, piecing the top, finished top

Finished quilt size is 40″ x 42″ (yeah, for all that work I wish it was bigger, too)

53 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 1:09 am

    This quilt is just georgious! Wonderful!

    Next time, bigger squares :-)

  2. February 1, 2010 2:33 am

    It looks well worht the effort. What gorgeous quilt!!! Well done.

  3. February 1, 2010 3:39 am

    You made a family treasure! It’s amazing. You should be so proud. I’m sure your daughter is, or will be, too!

  4. February 1, 2010 5:57 am

    Beautiful is your Quilt, I like it!
    Bear regard,

    Beertje Zonn

  5. February 1, 2010 8:29 am

    Amazing, the colors are so saturated and fun!

  6. February 1, 2010 8:37 am

    oh my!! this is one beautiful quilt!!!!

  7. February 1, 2010 8:41 am

    I love the quilt and as I was reading along…I saw the final measurement. Wowie! That’s a LOT of intricate little piecing! It’s fabulous..and I’m sure your daughter will agree..it was worth the wait. :)

  8. February 1, 2010 9:25 am

    B-YOU-TA-FULL! I love the red binding, definitely sets off the fabric in the quilt. Awesome job!

  9. February 1, 2010 9:46 am

    This is so gorgeous! I love the colors you chose and the quilting and the layout and just, well, the whole thing! I very seldom see a quilt that I would want to copy exactly, and this is one!

  10. February 1, 2010 10:57 am

    Great finish. The texture in the quilting is fantastic too.

  11. February 1, 2010 11:32 am

    This is beautiful! Remarkable! You really did a great job and I’m sure your daughter will love it for many years to come.

  12. February 1, 2010 11:41 am

    Oh wow, it is so bright and colorful. I just love it, you did a beautiful job choosing the colors. I think two years isn’t that bad, you stuck to it and finished. Great job!

  13. February 1, 2010 1:45 pm

    Fabulous! Really really fabulous. Super colors.

  14. February 1, 2010 2:19 pm

    Love the quilt!

  15. February 1, 2010 2:31 pm

    This quilt honestly made my day. You and your family are going to gaze on that beauty for years and your kids can think “my mama made that!!”… I am not even kidding. .I have chills! What an amb itious project for a new mama to take on! I commend you!!

  16. Madeleine permalink
    February 1, 2010 7:29 pm

    It’s awesome! Congratulations!!!

  17. February 1, 2010 8:37 pm

    truly a work of art. that is a beautiful, gorgeous baby quilt.

  18. February 2, 2010 5:06 am

    It’s brilliant, in more ways than one! I covet that quilt!

  19. February 2, 2010 7:36 am

    Wow! What an accomplishment to finish such an intricate quilt. This is so beautiful.

  20. February 2, 2010 11:57 am

    This quilt is absolutely stunning! One of my favorite quilts in blog land in a long time. Beautiful job!

  21. February 2, 2010 12:56 pm

    Wow – absolutely beautiful – love the story behind it too…the quilting is just amazing – I have been wanting to make a quilt like this for a while and yours is just amazing!

  22. February 2, 2010 1:05 pm

    That’s a most wonderful quilt!! And the story makes it even better. Awesome finish!

  23. February 2, 2010 1:29 pm

    Wow, just found your blog and this quilt is sooooooooo wonderful! i love the colors, the quilting, everything. Oh, treasure it forever!

  24. February 2, 2010 3:30 pm

    Lovely!

  25. February 2, 2010 3:38 pm

    This quilt is stunning!

  26. February 2, 2010 5:13 pm

    Congratulations! It came out beautifully!

  27. February 2, 2010 5:51 pm

    Spectacular! I’ve had my eye on that quilt ever since the book came out, but never had the ________ (fill in the blank: time, guts, fabric, energy, patience) to try it! It’s gorgeous! Eleanor is a very lucky girl!

  28. February 2, 2010 6:32 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quilt! I love color, and this is so beautiful in all it’s color, nice touch on the orange thread. I’m adding this design to my list of quilts I’d like to make. Very stunning!!!

  29. February 2, 2010 6:53 pm

    WOW…I totally love it:)

  30. Sew Katie Did permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:29 am

    Hard to say what is my favorite about it, but the stitching makes it all pop for me.

  31. February 3, 2010 10:09 am

    Wow, it’s awesome!

  32. February 4, 2010 6:54 am

    Love it. The colors are great!!!

  33. Karen permalink
    February 4, 2010 6:46 pm

    I think I found your blog when you were just beginning that quilt. I gasped out loud when I saw the finished product. Absolutely gorgeous! You deserve to be proud!

  34. February 5, 2010 1:47 pm

    Love this quilt! Good things come to those who wait eh?! Your story made me chuckle, I have 3 kids and someone always seems to be needing another quilt (or thats my excuse!).

  35. February 8, 2010 6:40 pm

    This quilt is fantastic! Gorgeous, awesome, beautiful. I love the colors and the layout and everything about it! And the back is charming! There aren’t enough exclamation points for it!

  36. Sarah permalink
    February 10, 2010 11:57 am

    I love, LOVE, LOVE this quilt. I cannot imagine all the hard work that went in it. I also love the choice for the back and the quiting. GREAT JOB!!

  37. February 12, 2010 12:50 pm

    Truly remarkable! Stupendous! LOVE IT!!!! What a fabulous job you did. The colours are striking and the quilting – perfect. I’d be smiling every time I looked at it too. Lucky girlie to have such a mummy that doesn’t keep it for herself : )
    (maybe she’ll forget it when she eventually goes away to university!!)

  38. February 26, 2010 5:12 pm

    GORGEOUS! Love the colors!!!

  39. March 7, 2010 3:31 pm

    W-O-W!!!!

  40. March 10, 2010 2:52 am

    Fantastic quilt!!! I enjoyed reading your posts when you shared about the whole process. This is a quilt I have admired since the book was published, and looked at every time in browse through the book. Lately I have considered making the quilt. I understand it will be a long term project! Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous quilt. Your daughter is lucky to be wrapped in this much love!

    ; )

  41. March 21, 2010 9:37 pm

    Stunning! Love the colors.

  42. March 27, 2010 5:11 pm

    I love it!!! I saw the pics you posted on flickr before it was quilted and was totally in awe of the colors, blocks sizes and design. You did a wonderful job! What a gorgeous family heirloom you’ve made!

  43. April 21, 2010 10:11 am

    see this quilt makes me want to make one but it does look super time consuming. coolest thing ever! beautiful!!!

  44. April 21, 2010 10:13 am

    Exquisite. I love the saturated colors, and the orange on the back with the blocks. Fabulous!

  45. April 21, 2010 10:35 am

    This is beyond stunning! You definitely should not feel bad about it taking so long… my sister and I just finished a “baby” quilt for her daughter, who is now FOUR! (at least now she’s old enough to appreciate it) And it was nowhere near this complicated!

  46. Patti m permalink
    April 21, 2010 12:26 pm

    Wow, I definitely was studying all the intricately laid out blocks and the varied quilting! I love it all!
    Beautiful job!

  47. April 22, 2010 6:42 am

    that quilt is BEAUTIFUL! i love the bright and bold colors and the beautiful quilting!
    (my daughter’s name is mary margaret eleanor…you and i have good taste.) :-)

  48. April 22, 2010 2:24 pm

    I’m learning to sew and your work is really inspiring. This one is the most amazing quilt I’ve ever seen.
    Congratulations,
    Andréa.

  49. Elsie permalink
    December 14, 2010 11:54 pm

    love this! do you have the pattern? can i buy it/get it for free?

  50. Tori permalink
    January 15, 2011 11:46 am

    Any way I could buy the pattern for this?

    • Shea permalink*
      January 16, 2011 1:02 am

      Hi, Tori. The pattern is called Jewel Squares and is in the book Glorious Patchwork, by Kaffe Fassett. The pattern is on the cover of the book, so it should be easy to recognize! Hope that helps!

  51. February 13, 2011 9:04 pm

    “Done” is always good. Cute idea to pop a preview on the back. all lovely, thanks for sharing. Its a Kaffe pattern too, first quilting book I bought because the colour drew me and cant colour make you feel great?

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