Thursday, May 23, 2013

Watermelon Wedge Quilt


Here's a fun summer quilt I finished last month. I'm on a roll with finishing my seasonal quilts before or at least in the right season! Yeah! This is a quilt I have been wanting to make forever. Well, not this quilt specifically, but some kind of watermelon quilt. I don't know why but I think watermelon quilts are so fun...I love the greens and pinks or reds together. So five or six years ago I decided I was going to make a watermelon quilt. I even bought the Timeless Treasures watermelon seed and rind fabrics...you know the ones I am talking about. Then I tried to decide on a pattern...but I wasn't in love with any of the ones I found...so I decided to just make up my own. This also proved difficult. Every spring I would pull out a notebook and try to draw up something I liked...but to no avail. Guess I am just too picky! Well one night last spring I couldn't sleep so I was Google searching quilts and still trying to come up with a good idea for a watermelon quilt. I started looking at black and white quilts and saw a great abstract one (that of course I can't find now)...so I started toying with the idea of making the watermelon quilt more abstract. I started messing around in Inkscape at about 4 am and by morning I had come up with this design. 


I bought a bunch of fabric and started working on this quilt last summer. I got about 1/3 of the way done but then got frustrated with it and put it away because for some reason it wasn't turning out quite right. I really wanted to finish it for this summer, and actually had planned to try to finish it for the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival (success!). Anyway, toward the end of February my older sister sent me an email announcing that the HMQS quilt show was 7 weeks away and she said I should enter something. She's been trying to get me to enter something for the last few years. I was about 30 weeks pregnant at the time and in need of a really good distraction so I didn't go crazy...so I told her that if I could finish my watermelon quilt, I would enter it. Nothing like a deadline to motivate a quilt finish! Good thing too...this quilt got so frustrating at times, I never would have kept working on it without that deadline!


This quilt is 70 x 70" finished. All the pink, white and dark green fabrics are pieced. The black "seeds" and the light green accents around the edges are appliqued. So to construct this, I first printed my illustration out in Inkscape and figured out the scale (i.e. 1/4 inch on the picture equaled 1.75 inches on the quilt). Then I had to measure every single piece separately, multiply the measurements by 1.75, cut the pieces out and sew. I have done this on other quilts (this one) and it worked out OK. Well on this one, the angles were killing me. I later discovered that the reason it wasn't working out in the beginning is that I had messed up a couple of the first measurements and it was off from then on. So frustrating! And once I sewed the final 2 pieces together to make it a square, the edges were fine but the center was way too big...so I had to take in several of the wedges in the center and fudge everywhere to make it work. There was lots of unpicking...I think I said, "Are you KIDDING me?" about a hundred times...or at least every time I realized that it still wasn't fixed. Eventually I got it to the point where it laid flat enough that I could applique the center circle on. The rest got worked out once it was quilted.


I intend for this to be a picnic blanket, so I wanted the quilting to be simple and something I could finish quickly--I started quilting it with about 4 days until my deadline. I decided to make a grid, but change the size in the different colors of the quilt. The biggest squares are 2 inches (in the pink), the black and green are 1 inch, the white is 1/2 inch and the light green are 1/4 inch. I marked just the 2 inch grid in water soluble ink and used a ruler as I went for the rest. I really like the way it turned out!


Here's the back...my friend Lissa gave me the idea of making stripes on the back. I decided to make them wavy so it looked more like a watermelon rind. The lighter colored stripes were cut out freehand with a rotary cutter. Then I just pinned them on and used a zigzag stitch to tack them down. I think the green is kind of perfect...since this is going to be a picnic blanket, the grass stains will blend right in! 


I entered this quilt in the quilt show as I promised my sister I would. Luckily they extended the deadline for entries an extra week, or I wouldn't have made it. Normally finishing a quilt like this would have been no problemo, but by the time I finished it I was about 38 weeks pregnant...so definitely moving slower, and swelling (so I couldn't stand at the quilting machine for very long)--and not feeling very well some days...it made it a little rough there at the end, but it was a great distraction--made that last couple months of pregnancy fly by! And I'm just glad it's finally done. So it had to have a label on the back for the show. I had a little too much fun with this label. Too bad we are moving soon so the address on it will be wrong...guess I'll have to make another one! 


Yay for fun quilts!

AmysCreativeSide.com

66 comments:

  1. LAH-HOV it!!! *genius*

    i also like the wavy lines on the backer!!!

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  2. You do some of the most awesome stuff!!

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  3. Wow. Love it! The back is perfect.
    Amandak@whatthebobbin

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  4. Amazing quilting! I love all the different sized squares, it's a brilliant abstract quilt, good luck in the festival :o)

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  5. Jaw-dropingly cool. Which category is it in? I need to vote for it!

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  6. This is one amazing quilt. I love your story of how it came to be. The way you have quilted it is just perfect, as is your backing.

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  7. OMG! This may well be my most favorite quilt ever. I wish I could think of these things. You just got all the quilting brains, I guess!

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  8. I love this quilt! I love the colors, and your quilting is amazing.

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  9. Love the quilting! When you change patterns...do you tie off, back stitch, or travel along a seam?

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  10. That is an incredibly fun quilt!!

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  11. So fun! I love the way you utilized the different sizes of grid quilting in different sections-- very cool! And the back is awesome as well. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  12. Oh that SO reminds me of when I was pregnant, because I was absolutely craving watermelon!! And leave it to you to make the back just as cute as the front!

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  13. fabulous quilt! I love the quilting

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  14. This is fabulous! Great idea and great execution!

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  15. This is awesome! Lovely too!

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  16. I love it! It says watermelon clearly without looking exactly like a watermelon. The quilying is amazing. The back is perfect.

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  17. What a fun quilt. Great colors. Your quilting is really fun, love the change in scale.

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  18. Great new design, love the colors you chose and the quilting.

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  19. What a great quilt, great story, too! It's so happy! The colors and quilting are perfect. (Would love to see this as a pattern.)

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  20. Great idea + Hard work = Yummy quilt! I am voting for you!

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  21. This is a great quilt, what fun, and lovely bright colors.

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  22. I just love this quilt! Love the pattern, it is really a great idea, and original! You could make apattern and sell it, I would buy it at once!!!

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  23. I love this quilt!!
    Can we have a QAL please!!!!

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  24. Your quilt is stunning. I keep coming back to look at it. Are you going to make a pattern? Can you tell me more about Inkscape. I'd really like to try to make a quilt like yours. It is breathtaking!!!

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  25. This quilt is genius. Everything about it. I love it. I want one for myself.

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  26. Your quilt is fantastic! I love it!

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  27. OH MY GOSH!!! This is so fabulous, bright, happy, AND original!!! Needs to be in a book!!!!

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  28. Ok, there really aren't enough accolades for this quilt. I love it! It showcases the awesomeness of watermelon with non of the cheesiness of a theme quilt. Great work!

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  29. I really love your quilt--the back is the perfect finish, too. Beautiful job! The quilting is great, and I love the story behind how it came together. Great quilt!!

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  30. OMG is this one SWEET and screams summer!

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  31. Truly wonderful design, it's got "Summer" written all over it! Wouldn't be surprised to see this one in print in the near future.

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  32. Yes, i forgot to leave a comment the other day when I saw this quilt for the first time. I just want to take a bite. Period :))) It is gorgeous!

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  33. This is brilliant it makes me crave sunny summer days!

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  34. This quilt makes me smile so much! I'd definitely buy a pattern if you make it into one. :-)

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  35. I would love to see this as a pattern. I would make one for myself for sure.

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  36. Your quilt is stunning - it got my vote for sure!!!

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  37. AMAZING!!! I saw this at the HMQS and it was my FAVORITE QUILT!!! I didn't get to see the back and it is totally perfect :) Awesome Job :)

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  38. The quilting turned out amazing! Glad you went with the different sized straight lines. Very fitting.

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  39. I love it! So unique and fun! Love your quilting, too. All those different sized grids are really cool :)

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  40. Wow, this quilt is amazing! Love the modern take on "watermelon". It says it without hitting you over the head with it. It does look like a bugger-boo to piece! Your quilting is fun too - I love all the different sized grids. And the back is the perfect finish to it! This quilt is really fun! Are you really going to use it for a picnic quilt?! :)

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  41. This is gorgeous in every way! I can't decide if the quilting or the backing is my favorite part, but it is a wonderful picnic blanket!

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  42. Beautiful quilt. I love how modern it looks. Thank you for taking the time to write down your design process. I always learn something new! I hope you won a prize for this quilt.

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  43. Wonderful! Your quilt is fabulous! SOOO original!
    Congratulations on being throw quilt winner!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

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  44. This is really great! Congrats on being the winner in the BQF. It's just stunning!

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  45. Congratulations! I love your amazing quilt!

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  46. So summery! I would love to see a picture of it in use at a picnic! Bravo!

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  47. This quilt is the BEST!! I'd hate to see it on the ground... What a great design - have you written up a pattern? Congratulations on a fantastic quilt.

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  48. You are amazing and this is just fabulous! Congratualtions on a very special quilt! Greetings from Germany

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  49. Cynthia, this quilt is SO awesome! WIth all the fits it gave you, it's must be the quilt you love to hate. It really must be a favorite. I just love it!!!

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  50. AMAZINGGGGGG!!!!!:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) Amie

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  51. can I ask how you make your labels?
    I am assuming you print them off of your computer?
    can you please tell me how?

    I have been wanting to label my dresses I make and just not sure how to go about it .. would like to do it similar to this.
    lisa faith

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  52. this is AWESOME! i absolutely love it. the colors are perfect. the wiggly back too is such creative detail. nice work and thanks for the inspiration!

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  53. I don't know where you live but somewhere is a printing place that does blueprints! I did this with my last quilt. I drew it up and took the file to a local place. They make two copies for me for about $10 and the prints were huge (4 feet by 5 feet). Made life so easy for cutting pieces.

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  54. Spectacular! Worth everything you put into it, and the back is simply genius. Congrats on finishing and on getting it done in time to enter it!

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  55. Lovely, especially the quilting.... Really a work of art! Thanks for sharing your wonderful quilting and sewing talents...

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  56. Wow! This is so creative, and just in time for summer. My readers at FaveQuilts would love this.

    Kathryn

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  57. love this quilt. would love to see a tutorial. any chance of that happening? quilting this at 38 weeks is the sign of a true quilter. lol. you did a great job.

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  58. So fun! Your quilts are amazing!

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  59. This quilt is amazing!! I can't imagine how frustrated I'd be working on this in my final month of pregnancy and finding the center puffing - but it's WELL worth the work. :D KUDOS!!

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  60. This quilt is spectacular I love the everything about it, the quilting is amazing and the back just perfect.
    X Baukje

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  61. Very creative, LOVE it, great ideas!

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  62. Cynthia - would you make a watermelon quilt to sell? For a watermelon association? This is so beautiful!
    63marti@live.com

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  63. I absolutely adore this quilt. Kudos to you and your creative artistry.

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