Bright Lights Big City quilt

I'm not yet sure I've found my "voice" as a quilter, but I've definitely found a signature colour palette! :) These are two very separate thoughts that I'm going to try to explain here but this quilt has helped me to define my style a bit further. 

During QuiltCon 2020 I was privileged to sit and watch Victoria Findlay Wolfe's keynote lecture, and see her featured exhibit of quilts at the show. I was thoroughly drawn to her use of "traditional" quilting blocks/motifs blended with negative space, custom printed fabrics and exaggerated shapes. I was very much inspired. During the covid lockdown, looking for quilting inspiration I came upon her Double Wedding Rings book which featured some of the quilts I had seen at QuiltCon. I purchased the book as well as the Florid Bloom acrylic templates and paper piecing templates with no plan in mind, except the goal to create that pattern. But once I got the templates I was intimidated. So I spent the next 2 years (literally) curating a collection of fabrics in a very specific palette: orange, pink and purple. 

I finally felt brave enough in the fall of 2022 to start tackling this quilt. I had signed up for the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild's fall retreat and was determined to get as much of this quilt done as I could. I packed up the ridiculous amount of fabric I had been hoarding for this project and my supplies, and once I got to the retreat I didn't work on anything else the entire weekend. 

At the end of the weekend I had completed 3 of the 9 sections of the quilt. Over the next few months I slowly sewed blocks together and by the end of March I had completed the quilt top. 

Bright Lights Big City quilt by Jenn McMillan

A goal for this quilt layout was to not use the same combination of fabrics together more than once in the pieced curves. And while it was not accepted to QuiltCon 2024, I did submit it to the Scrappy Challenge, as there are well over 50 different fabrics included in the quilt top. 

Bright Lights Big City quilt by Jenn McMillan

Bright Lights Big City quilt by Jenn McMillan

I backed the quilt in a bold orange shot cotton and had Krista longarm it with a light peach Konfetti thread by Wonderfil. Due to the curved corners the binding needed to be cut on the bias, so I grabbed this striped Tula print and alternated the direction of the angles when connecting the strips of binding. The colours were a perfect match, and I thought it helped to bring a nice finished detail to all of the angled piecing. 

Bright Lights Big City quilt by Jenn McMillan

After finishing this quilt, I definitely felt more confident with my abilities to balance colour and create a harmonious finished product from a crazy amount of options. 

I did submit this quilt to QuiltCon 2024 to the Scrappy Challenge but was not accepted. I have also submitted it to QuiltCanada 2024 so we'll see if it will hang this year!

As you can imagine, after spending 2 years collecting fabrics for this quilt, and only using a small portion of each chunk of fabric (I bought 1 yard cuts for most) I've got lots left over! I've already started on a few more quilts and other scrappy makes using these fabrics, as well as off cuts from trimming these elongated triangles. I have a few needle books almost done that I've made for gifts, and a massive bag of scraps to use up, so I'm sure I'll be making lots of small quilty things for the next 50 years! LOL 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published