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On Point – The Evolution of a Quilt

Posted on: May 1st, 2015 by Lorna McMahon

When I spent a few days with my mother, following her knee replacement surgery this past September, I brought along a pad of graph paper, a pencil and an eraser.  This block design is one of the things that came about during that time.

What started out as a little sketch…
Turned into a design with many possibilities…

With dark grey centers and silver sashing
With silver centers and white sashing
With two tone centers and white sashing
With two tone centers and beige background

I made two versions of this WoW-E! quilt, as shown below, which were shared here and here.

WoW-E! quilt in Kona Cotton Solids with dark grey centers and silver sashing
WoW-E! quilt in Northcott Colorworks Solids with black centers and white sashing

Then I made a third version as a custom order.  Made in a larger size and including a mini doll quilt, I shared about it in this post here.
Custom order WoW-E! quilt in larger size using 30 whole blocks

But it was always this photo of the original WoW-E! that fueled my desire to remake this quilt – one more time – using those blocks in an On Point setting.  Incidentally, this photo was a popular Pinterest pin.  The WoW-E! pattern was made available for sale in my now closed Craftsy pattern store.  Unfortunately, that Pinterest pin linked to my Craftsy store.  My Craftsy pattern store was later replaced by my VAT compliant PayHip pattern store here. The pattern is available from my Etsy Shop here.

Now, like most of you, making the same quilt more than once is not something I would normally choose to do.  And having made a quilt with those blocks three times already?  But there was still that desire to see those blocks set on point.  A desire to see this mock up become a real live quilt.

On Point quilt by Sew Fresh Quilts finishes at 57″ x 71″

So I approached Fat Quarter Shop and proposed that this quilt could be offered as a quilt kit.  And they accepted the offer, kindly sending me enough fabric to make the quilt.  And then some!  On April 8th I set about cutting into these Kona Cotton Solid fat quarters and yardage to make the 32 whole blocks needed for this layout.  As well as the 14 half blocks and 4 corner blocks.  This was a first for me.  My first quilt with the blocks being set on point.

A pretty pile of half finished whole blocks

Here those blocks are completed.  And laid out on my modest design wall to be arranged and rearranged until I was satisfied with their placement.  Incidentally,  this photo shows another option for making this quilt – one without including the silver sashing and cornerstones.

The final layout of the blocks – without the sashing strips

Here is where all that work and all those hours have culminated in a finished quilt top.  I was getting excited.  And a bit nervous at this point.  Next up will come the quilting.  And the binding.

The completed top with the sashing strips and cornerstones added

For this quilt I managed to do a matched backing, making it appear as though it was a whole cloth for the backing.  I adore the look of those large fuchsia flowers and leaves against the turquoise background.   This is Astraea in Tart from the Elizabeth collection by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics.  I am very happy with the matched seam on the backing.  That backing is such a bright contrast to those muted tones on the front.  And I think it looks great!

The backing and batting were laid out on my kitchen table and the top was smoothed out and pinned.  First the upper half of the quilt.  And then the lower half, as the quilt was too large to baste the entire quilt in one go, unless I wanted to do so on the kitchen floor.  And of course I didn’t want to do that.

Then Aunt Elna came out to play.   Because I loved the look of the serpentine stitch, as was used on the original quilt, it was used again for this On Point quilt.  For some reason I had so much trouble with breaking threads.  I changed the needle and thread repeatedly.  And buried quite a few thread tails. This photo was shared on instagram here.  As I was nearing the finish line!

And then came time for the binding.  With all those precious points along the edges, I knew that my traditional method of machine binding, would likely result in the covering of those points.  You can read more about my thoughts on machine binding methods here.  This time I sewed the binding to the front of my quilt and then stitched in the ditch along the front to catch the binding as it was folded around to the back.  I only tried this method once before.  I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out.  But not 100% satisfied.

I normally cut my binding at 2.25″ and attach my binding to the back of the quilt and then topstitch from the front, leaving a visible stitch line parallel to the binding on the back of the quilt.  Being as their were so many points at the edge of this quilt, I went with a 2.5″ binding width and trimmed my quilt leaving an extra 1/8″ of batting and backing along the edges.  I decided to attach the binding to the front and then ditch stitched along the binding from the front to catch the fold over on the back.  This would eliminate the problem of the points being covered by the binding as it was folded to the front and would also result in the final stitch line being in the ditch along the binding, barely visible.

So the front looks great.  But the back?  Not so much.  Turns out I should have stuck with the standard 2.25″ binding strips I usually use.  And the label, disappointingly, ended up right where there was a binding joint.  But I am proud of the fact that I tried something different.  And learned from it.

The On Point quilt was the 39th use of my 100 labels ordered from
You can design your own labels, too!  Click here!

In spite of the fact that it was incredibly windy, when I completed the quilt on Tuesday, I immediately took her outside for a photo shoot.  Both on the old hay wagon.

And on the iconic well house door.

I tried again the next day.  Still windy.  But I do love this incredible shot of the quilt as it is being blown staight out like a billowing sail on a ship.  Makes me smile!

Gives you a good view of how it would look stretched out on a bed.  Hahaha!
I am offering pdf copies of the On Point pattern in my Etsy Shop here..

Linking up to Finish it up Friday with
Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts
Keep On Quilting On!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

46 Responses

  1. Clumsy Chord says:

    Looks gorgeous! I love the combination of colours you put together for the quilt top – they really work well together. I really like that Tula Pink print you used for the backing – I even bought myself 8 yards of it (4 each of the other two colours, since I couldn't find this one at any of my usual Canadian shops to eventually use as quilt backings. It's just so striking.

  2. Jasmine says:

    Wow! I just love that you were inspired by your photograph. Interesting how the on point blocks look straight in that location until you look at the corner. What a beautiful quilt.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My gosh, this is a super-exquisite, beautiful quilt. You did an outstanding job Lorna. I just love it!

  4. greeneggs says:

    ThIs is such a great design, and I love it on point! I notice you stick with solids. Do you think it would work in prints, or,would it all get too busy?

  5. Another stunning quilt Lorna. I love the fact that you are so willing to try new things when it is a sort of commissioned quilt. Brave but what a beautiful outcome. Given how many gorgeous quilts you produce let alone all the 'testing' hours that must go into your new designs and then this very active blog I just don't know how you fit it all in with everyday family living. Your family must be very well trained or you have a magic wand or I guess you just manage to fit loads in.

  6. Danice G says:

    Beautiful. I love the quilt, esp. the on-point version. The color combinations are gorgeous 🙂

  7. Actually, I had asked Fat Quarter Shop if we could make this using Moda's Fresh Cut collection and did share a mock up of this design using that line. It looked great! But I think they chose to do it in solids again because, for the purpose of making it a quilt kit, solids are cheaper and you can only get a line of prints for so long. However, I would still love to see this quilt made from prints!

  8. KathyinMN says:

    Wow-its spectacular on point.

  9. No matter the direction of this pattern, I love it. Will the FQS kit be only for the on-point pattern or will they have it for the standard one too? And will it be with solids? This project is definitely in my future!

  10. Vicki in MN says:

    It is just as stunning On Point as the other settings!

  11. Karen H says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how different a block looks set on point rather than straight set. All three versions of your quilt are gorgeous but I have to say that the on point setting is my fav!

  12. Ioleen says:

    Another success!!!! Beautiful quilt.

  13. wow!!! congrats on getting your quilt design in a fat quarter shop kit — I think I love it best on point and I love the solids.

  14. Needled Mom says:

    I believe that this is a quilt that could be made over and over again without ever tiring of it. It is really gorgeous and you did a beautiful job on each version.

  15. All the versions of your quilts are beautiful Lorna but I think I like the on-point the best!! This is going to be a neat kit from Fat Quarter Shop!

  16. Patricia says:

    Love the quilt, all versions. Will check out the Fat Quarter Shop kit.

  17. legato1958 says:

    This is a gorgeous quilt pattern, and so stunning with the blocks on point! Thanks for sharing the process of how this beautiful quilt has come to be!Susie

  18. Jayne says:

    Love reading the 'history' of this quilt! On point is a great variation and each and everyone are gorgeous!

  19. SarahZ says:

    Yippee!!! Awesome post! A SUPER quilt that really should be made over and over…it is so fresh and crisp! I love it on point too! So very exciting, all of it 🙂

  20. SarahZ says:

    haha! Did I just say \”Sew Fresh…\” in a sentence ? 😉

  21. Congratulations, Lorna! Having the FQS sell it as a kit is very exciting! The quilt itself is lovely, and it will be so much fun to see their professional and staged photographs of your creation. 🙂

  22. Carla says:

    Hey Lorna! Congratulations! Another wonderful finish. Im sorry about your thread troubles. Figures doesn;t it? Just when you want something perfect………..I admire your confidence : )

  23. Thank you so much for your sweet compliments on that quilt. I am so glad you like it as much as I do!Yes, the quilt kit will be only for the On Point version, but the standard one can easily be made from the same kit. The kit will include the same Kona Cotton Solids that I used in my quilt.Hope you are having a wonderful Friday and thanks so much for your visit!

  24. Lara B. says:

    Wow Wee that is the greatest news Lorna! I have been praying that your wonderful talents would be recognized in a very big way! Very thrilled for you! And yes, I am ordering the kit for sure!

  25. Lara B. says:

    PS – Can't wait to see how FQS sets up their photos too!

  26. Lovely, lovely, lovely quilt – ALL versions of it. And thank you for taking the time to write so much text with your blog post. I enjoy reading the details on how someone generates a work of art (or salvages an initially good idea gone awry.) A picture may be worth a thousand words but I get a lot out of including the words, too.

  27. I love this beautiful quilt! And I love it with the solids.

  28. Patty says:

    A beautiful quilt! I am so excited to see it become a kit. How wonderful!

  29. They're all lovely iterations of that original block but somehow when you turn it on point it seems to give it a little extra something – it's definitely my favourite and perhaps yours too if you felt the pull to make it again just one more time!

  30. Great post, Lorna. I enjoyed reviewing the back story, and seeing the process of the new quilt being made. Your windy photo really does give an idea of how the quilt would look on a bed!!! Another beauty.

  31. Vera says:

    Well done Lorna! Looks great and you are such an inspiration since you are hard working and creative blogger and now designer! Way to go!

  32. Julie Cefalu says:

    Thanks for showing us your process, Lorna. I know what you mean about making the same quilt twice or even three times. You have definitely given each one a life of its own. Congratulations on getting FQS to kit it along with the pattern. I think I've already bought the pattern from you. Maybe I can make it with print or scrappy fabric as you had intended. Well done!

  33. SewPsyched! says:

    Yay Yay YAY!!! I am so thrilled for you!! Way to go, girl! And I adore all of the versions of this quilt!XX!

  34. That is just fantastic! Congratulations. It is such a beautiful quilt and definitely going on my list. Thank you 🙂

  35. The on point version is super adorbs. What a honor to have FQS sponsor your projects. I hope to see lots of Wow-E quilts popping up 🙂

  36. Helen L says:

    I LOVE your quilt!! So many wonderful variations, but your last one definitely is the best. I loved reading the post too, to see how the final quilt came to be. That pattern is in my future.:-) Just thinking if I want it in the solids or in a print. Thanks for the great inspiration!! Hugs, H in Healdsuburt

  37. Robyn says:

    Last week I was browsing around FatQuarterShop and found this kit, before it was available. I fell in love immediately, and asked them to notify me when it was in stock. I got the alert last night and ordered it right away! I can't wait to make it! And since I am sitting here obsessing about it still, I decided to google and see if I could find out more about the quilt, which lead me here. With a name like \”On Point\” I am actually surprised I managed to find it amidst all the other on-point quilts out there!Great job on the design!! I am so excited about this one. I had promised myself I wouldn't buy any new quilt projects until I got all of my current/UFO stuff done… but I just couldn't resist this one!

  38. katesnanna says:

    Wow!! Those first blocks look perfect. Love all the sharp points. Thank you for sharing.

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  45. Akshat says:

    It's just as stunning On Point as the other settings.