I remember it very vividly. It was 4 years ago. I had just started getting into quilting and I suddenly saw Thimbleblossoms making this amazing Purl Soho advent calendar kit. I really, REALLY wanted to make it, but I didn’t want to spend the crazy money for this kit without being better at sewing. Fast forward to today. I have worked on my hand sewing skills enough in the last 4 years to finally feel confident to spend the money on this amazing kit.
I LOVED making these ornaments. I found the process to be very relaxing. I had never done any bead work before, but I can guarantee this will not be my last time bedazzling something by hand. I did find some of the instructions to be a little hard to follow and I wished that the author had told me where to start sewing on all of the ornament shapes to be able to stuff it more easily…. However, every time I finished an ornament, I got giddy. I could not believe that I made it! The birds! The candy canes! The trees! All of them! This has been safely tucked away until Christmas time, but I can tell you I am certain this will become a family favorite heirloom that my kids fight over when I’m dead. 🙂
I made this quilt originally about a year ago and enjoyed hand quilting it. I went for some free form baptist clams using perle cotton and it has the softest texture because of that.
This quilt has a really special back story that I thought I’d share here on my blog. We are blessed to have a quilt made by my husband’s great-grandmother, Ellen Susanna. She was born in 1867, got married in 1900, had 7 children, and then lost her husband in 1916, when her youngest (my husband’s grandmother) was just 3. She worked very hard to provide for her family. One thing she did was make clothing for others. She used the extra leftover fabric to make this quilt.
I love that it is mismatched, has velvet, wool, suiting, you name it and it’s in this quilt, but it is a show of resourcefulness of generations past and I love it for that. As a tribute to this beautiful quilt, I wanted to remake it in a modern way. My quilt is asymmetrical like hers. It uses a chunky sashing and stones like hers. It finishes with half and quarter blocks around the edges like hers. In every way I could, I made it like hers.
This pattern uses a mega charm pack of 5″ charms from Robert Kauffman, which helps a lot to make assembly easier. You only need 9 low volume fat quarters (or raid your scrap bin!) as well as 1 3/4 yards of low volume for the sashing and 1 fat quarter (or quarter yard) for the stones.
I could not be happier with how this quilt turned out. It is a real tribute to generations past, not just my husband’s great-grandmother. This pattern is now available in my Etsy shop and in celebration, my entire etsy shop is 20% off currently.
I am beyond excited to finally release the pattern for my Dutchman’s Dilemma quilt. This has been a long time coming. My husband and I have worked really hard to take something that could have been REALLY confusing and made it consumable. One of the things I heard over and over from my pattern testers was how easy it was to follow, which was music to my ears. There are lots of diagrams for cutting, for piecing, for assembly, basically anything for which we could make a diagram. This quilt has an interesting background story and I think it’s fun to read about these from other designers so I thought I’d share mine here.
This is my original Dutchman’s Dilemma quilt. I doodled the idea out on a piece of graph paper when Moda announced their Bella Solids Challenge in 2017. I wasn’t sure how to make the construction a reality, but I bought the fabric and started trying to make it work. I had SO much fun making this quilt. It was unlike any quilt I had ever made before. It came together in a really different and fun way. I ended up being one of the finalists for the challenge, but I did not win. When this quilt came home from its trip to Dallas for judging, I had my husband put it in the basement in the box. I couldn’t look at it. I called it the quilt of shame. It took me several months to get over my sadness and to start working on different versions for my pattern. This quilt is now one of my most prized quilts, not because it was a finalist in the competition, but because I learned so much about myself through the process. It is on display at the very top of my quilt ladder today and will stay there.
When I remade this quilt for my pattern, I knew I wanted to make one with a darker background and one with a white background. Both look so strikingly different and work so well. I’ve said it several times on instagram, but this quilt pattern is so so so versatile. Any fabric works. The dark background is Robert Kauffman Neon Neppy in charcoal paired with some prints from Alison Glass Sunprints 2018. The white background quilt is Moda Bella 97 white paired with V and Co. Simply Colorful.
You can find this pattern for immediate PDF download in my etsy shop. I have included the fabric requirements below as well as on the Etsy listing for easy access.