I believe every quilt has a story. And, this quilt’s story began four years ago during the American football championship known as the Super Bowl. But, I didn’t know it at the time.
My Own Super Bowl Win
Amazingly, I won a gift certificate to Cottoneer Fabrics during a giveaway specifically hosted during that particular 2019 Super Bowl. With that gift certificate, I purchased a curated fabric bundle that would become this quilt. But, I didn’t know that at the time either.
It wasn’t until a year later that I was auditioning fabrics for another quilt, when I decided against using this black floral called “Overachiever” from Anna Maria Horner’s “Floral Retrospective” line for that quilt. But, in the midst of throwing fat quarters around, I tossed that floral fat quarter right on top of my fabric bundle from Cottoneer. The heavens seemed to open, and the quilt stars aligned.
Initially, I knew I wanted to feature the floral print with each fabric from the bundle because it literally featured every single color. As I considered which pattern to use, I knew I wanted it to be a floral type block with a center large enough to properly exhibit the scale of the print.
In a flash of inspiration, I pulled out Jodi Godfrey’s book, The Seedling Quilts, and flipped to the pattern called “Feverfew.” It was just the sort of block I had in mind! The only issue? I imagined a proper throw sized quilt, and the original pattern featured a mini quilt. Undaunted, I did some math and realized that I could make a decent sized throw comprised of nine blocks from each of nine fabrics for a total of 81 blocks, plus a border.
So, I set to work. I printed paper pieces, cut fabric, basted pieces, and organized blocks. Initially, I made a good bit of progress. I basted nearly all of the pieces needed for the blocks, and managed to stitch a few together. But, 2020. So, somewhere along the line, I ran out of steam, and the poor quilt sat neglected for a few months.
Stitching through the Super Bowl
However, when the 2021 Super Bowl rolled around, for some reason, inspiration struck to finish this quilt! (I think the fact that the little honeycombs reminded me of tiny footballs may have helped. Around that time I made a mug rug which paid homage to that little connection.)
So, as we stayed up all night watching that 2021 Super Bowl, I steadily stitched away at the remaining blocks for the quilt. A few weeks later I had completed the top! It was one of the most enjoyable quilts I’ve stitched yet.
However, as I considered which backing made sense and longed for some proper cotton batting, the quilt top was again put away until both could be procured. Happily, a few months later, they made the overseas trip along with a friend. But, it wasn’t until I realized that the 2022 Super Bowl marked the fourth anniversary of this quilt that I knew it needed to be finished.
The Final Quarter
So, just after the new year I set to work again. I marked quilt lines, pattern matched the backing, and basted the whole quilt. In the end, I decided to machine quilt diagonal lines through and between each diagonal row of flowers, and I’m really pleased with the result.
As it happens, before this quilt, I didn’t actually own a single machine quilted quilt! I’ve always hand quilted the ones I’ve kept, preferring the slow stitching without time constraints. Normally, I reserve machine quilting for gifted quilts that have a deadline. So, it’s a nice change, not to mention the perfect subtle nod to the overall color placement.
And, since the black “Floral Retrospective” print was the initial unifying factor that pulled this quilt together, it only made sense to use it as the backing and binding, as well. I have only pattern matched a backing once before, but I am beyond thrilled that this one worked out so well! Once I quilted it, I even had a hard time finding the seams. (Insert fist bump.)
As another fun little hack, I made the backing large enough that I could use it as the binding by folding it around to the front of the quilt after quilting. It was a little bit trickier when it came time to trim it, but it ended up saving me lots of time and fabric.
And, of course, I wouldn’t consider this quilt finished without a quilt label. (Find my tutorial for how to stamp a quilt label of your own here.)
So, four years later, this quilt is finally finished. And, I love it. I have a feeling this will be a favorite around here for a while.