Thursday, January 26, 2017

Colorado Skies Finished

Hi all -

This week I was able to knock off another UFO. This one had been sitting around for a couple of years, getting worked on for a while and then being put aside for something more important. It's called Colorado Skies because it reminds me of the incredible deep blue skies you see in the Colorado mountains on sunny days:

This quilt was made from Jacqueline de Jonge's Happiness pattern. I started it several years ago with a group of quilters on The Quilt Show. I was originally calling it Let the Sun Shine and last posted about it here. But I think Colorado Skies is a more appropriate name for it.

When I picked this back up, I had a lot of the quilting already done and just had to figure out more motifs and continue on. So I started with the outer border. The central quilting has curly boundary shapes with feathers on one side and straight lines on the other, so I wanted to continue that into the border. I like the look of quilted swags with piano keys, so I decided to go with that. I started by making evenly spaced marks along each border edge using an expanding sewing gauge. Then I took some circle templates and marked each of the swags. I quilted the swags free-hand, then used Lisa Calle's ProLine 8 ruler to quilt the straight lines:

It always amazes me just how cool the texture created by the quilting looks!

I thought about putting feathers in the inside of the swags, but I just love how that area puffs up so I decided to leave it.

The last area I needed to design a motif for was the corner squares in the flying geese border. I drew out a couple of motifs on paper. I first tried curved cross-hatching because I love that, but it was not going to work at all with this quilt. So then I tried a couple of motifs more in line with the other quilting:

I think either of these would have worked, but I liked the one on the left better. The one on the right was too matchy-matchy with the nearby border quilting and I liked the feathers in the one on the left better. To mark the quilt, I drew straight lines across both diagonals and found some curved templates for the curves:

The straight lines would be used for lining up the feathers and the straight line quilting. I first quilted the curves:

I know this is weird, but I love seeing how each step tames the puff in the quilt and creates the incredible texture. The next step was the feathers:

For those, I stitched along the curve to the center and quilted the center plume, quilted the plumes along one side, then stitched along the curve back to the center and quilted the plumes along the other side. Look at that puff in the middle! To flatten that out, I added the straight lines:

Isn't that cool? And now it's the yellow triangles that have the puff -- which is what I want since those are the focus of that part of the quilt. Here's the back of the corner so you can see the quilting better:

Then it was just a matter of adding the binding, hanging sleeve and label and it was finished! Here are a few pictures of the quilting:

And a picture of the back so you can see the quilting better:

Now to hang it up in the bedroom and figure out what to work on next!



  1. I love blue and yellow together and your quilting design and work is gorgeous!
    Karen Fitzpatrick

  2. Pragtig!!!! Mooi patroon, lieflike kwilt-werk!♥♥♥

  3. Nancy, Your Colorado Skies quilt is stunning! Oh, how I envy those who do such beautiful free motion quilting. I finally finished mine last year, but my quilting was far more simple. I hope the Quilt Show offers a series of lessons such as that again.

    1. Thanks, Janice! I'd like to see another of these, too. I'd also like to have the show-and-tell area back so I could look back at your quilt. I'm sure it's beautiful!!

  4. Wow! The quilt is beautiful, but your quilting...! It's beyond stunning.

  5. Amazing work, Nancy. I'm always so impressed by your quilting!

  6. Amazing work, Nancy. I'm always so impressed by your quilting!

  7. It's STUNNING Nancy! Your quilting is jaw dropping.

  8. It's wonderful Nancy!!!


  9. Great choice of motifs and lines for your quilting. Your choices accent the piecing perfectly! Stunning!!!!!