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Ray of Sunshinehand quilting detail 2

This quilt was a while in the making. The right yellow had to be found, and then the right pattern had to be drafted. Once pieced, it sat for several weeks while I hemmed and hawed about how to quilt it. It’s the first quilt I’ve made just for me and I’m glad I took my time with it.

 Blowing quiltsunshine quilt back

The top and back are entirely made up of linen/cotton blends: The prints are from the Sunshine Cotton Linen line by Dena Fishbein and the white is Robert Kaufman Essex Linen. I used Aurifil 50 weight to do the piecing (my first Aurifil project!) and was happy with how smoothly the piecing went.

I hand quilted this project using a double petal-shaped design of my own musing. Jan at Heath Hen provided much needed encouragement and steered me towards some excellent hand quilting needles by Roxanne. (Thanks, Jan!) I made a few discoveries along the way, too: 1) Thimbles and I don’t like each other, despite the fact that I find them so appealing to look at. I had some luck with sticky dot leather pads but ultimately the best thing for me was to just develop a callous on my finger tip. 2) Hoops are useful. I tried working with and without a hoop; I prefer the hoop. 3) Hand quilting thread pulls nicely through quilt layers but comes in a limited range of colors. The perfect pale yellow only came in embroidery thread, so that’s what I used. It still came out just fine.

hand quilting detail

The binding took exactly one episode of Endeavour to finish. I love doing bindings. It’s the home stretch, and there’s something peaceful about hand-finishing the back.

So there it is, my Ray of Sunshine quilt. It makes me smile every time I look at it.