Can you believe that I waited until August 2019 to make a Meadowland quilt?? I had been in love with the design since seeing it on Instagram in May 2018 when Meghan of Then Came June posted the photos of her first Meadowland quilt. In the meantime, I had seen countless versions of the pattern show up in the #meadowlandquilt feed, and had even longarmed a few!
I finally gave in and decided to make a Meadowland quilt after I bought the Petal Steel bundle of fabric from Stacked Fabric Company and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. When I bought it I had a vague notion that I would turn it into a baby quilt, so I bought 1.5 yards of backing fabric (those adorable kitties are from the Meow and Forever line by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake Designs). But then someone on IG suggested I make a Meadowland quilt with it, and I realized I could use the 1.5 yards as background fabric instead of backing. An idea was hatched!
Time to modify the pattern…
Do you know how much I love to re-size quilt blocks? At this point it feels like a hobby of mine; I purchase a quilt pattern and then change it so that the blocks will fit my “ideal” 12″ block. I just LOVE making quilts that are 60″ x 72″. I’ve made so many of them by now that I’m actually starting to think that there might be something wrong with me… Maybe I need to expand my quilt size horizons?? ?
In any case, I once again decided to make myself a throw-size quilt. I bought an appropriate amount of backing fabric and vaguely thought about making it sometime in the fall. You know: later. In the future sometime. Months from then. But definitely not that weekend.
A change of plans
THEN I got a call from my long arm service tech. After the debacle of quilting my linen flying geese quilt, I decided that my machine could use a tune-up, so I called my “local” tech. I was very surprised when he called me and said that he could stop by next weekend. As in: ten days from then. He said it would be useful for me to have a “normal” quilt loaded on the frame so that we could adjust settings and see how it affected the quilting.
Huh. I did NOT have a “normal” quilt top just laying around in my closet, so I was at a bit of a loss of what to do. There were some client quilts in the queue, but there was no way I was going to subject their quilts to some “let’s experiment and see what happens” quilting!
I decided I had better make myself a quilt top STAT! I only had ten days before the tech showed up, and had several commitments scheduled in the meantime. If I was going to get this done, I needed to start cutting fabric when I got home from work that night.
Looking around my sewing room that night, the only pattern I had enough fabric for was the Meadowland quilt. Technically, I didn’t even have enough fabric, but I augmented my bundle with a few fat quarters from my stash (mostly black) and then I had enough. Thank goodness I had ordered the backing fabric earlier that day!
Plan of attack
I figured that if I cut everything out that night (Wednesday), it would allow me to work on the flying geese units on Thursday and Friday nights, and then maybe I could get the whole thing assembled by the end of the weekend. Maybe. Hopefully.
Oh, the irony!
Remember how I (super intelligently) decided to re-size all the blocks?? That meant that instead of making 16 blocks that were sized at 16″, I was going to be making 30 blocks that were sized at 12″. No big deal – just twice the work! Soooo smart! ?
In resizing the blocks I had effectively doubled my workload. That’s twice as much cutting. Twice as many flying geese blocks. Twice as many seams to sew. And twice the amount of time it would take. Ughghgghg! If ever there was a time to doubt my approach to ALWAYS making 12″ blocks, this was it. But I decided to stick with my original plan and forge ahead.
I had posted on Instagram about my goal to finish this quilt top over the weekend, and the amount of support I got was wonderful! Unfortunately, most people were telling me that the Meadowland was a SUPER FAST quilt, and that I would get it done in NO TIME. So ironic. I had to explain over and over again that I had resized the blocks and was in effect making the equivalent of two Meadowlands. *Maybe* next time I’ll just follow a quilt pattern and see how it goes?? Doubtful, but maybe.
By Friday night I was knee-deep in flying geese units. I always always forget how long they take. But I’m also always pleased with the way they turn out. Pointy points make my heart sing!
One more modification… in order to save some fabric (and seams!) I decided to make my background fabric into large squares. I first saw this approach by Evie @evquilts who was using a super bold, directional print for her background. The uninterrupted pattern looked great and I decided to use that technique with my quilt.
The result of this modification is that I didn’t assemble my quilt by blocks, but rather by rows. And it also meant that I had to fully decide on my colour placement before I sewed any seams. Normally, you would make a bunch of blocks and then move them around until you were happy. But I wasn’t able to do that with this approach – if I wasn’t happy with how two “blocks” looked next to each other, I had to move allll their bits around. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but I’m happy to say this one worked out for me.
Quilt top in a weekend: do not recommend
Did I manage to pull this quilt top together in less than a week? Sure did! Would I recommend it? Not really! ? It’s true that the deadline helped me buckle down and get it done, but I wouldn’t say that I particularly enjoyed the weekend. I would have preferred to have more time to garden, or go for a walk, or just to sit down and not sew for a while. Oh well, it’s over now and I can feel proud that I managed this feat of endurance!
Service call success!
The quilt was loaded and ready for the service tech arrived the following weekend. Phew!
The events of the service call could constitute a whole other blog post, so I’ll spare you the details here. BUT, I was surprised to learn that out of all the adjustments the tech made, it didn’t (visibly) change the quality of the stitching on the quilt. As in: it looked pretty good before he made the adjustments, and it still looked good once he was done. I suppose in hindsight I *could* have put a client quilt on there, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. I feel like I made the right choice with the information I had. And I would do it again!
In case you were wondering, the name of the pantograph (digital quilting pattern) I used is Alfalfa. I sized it down considerably, just to see how I would like it. And I was surprised how much I liked it. I think it looks great!
Glue basting for the win!
When it came time to bind, I had to choose between two different gray fabrics. I asked for feedback on Instagram, and man did people have opinions! In the end I chose the darker gray (it’s Kaleidoscope from Alison Glass in Charcoal), and am very happy I did. There’s something about a dark binding that makes the quilt pop. ?
I used my typical glue basting technique which (in short) consists of:
- Sewing the binding to the front of the quilt
- Wrapping the binding around to the back of the quilt
- Gluing the binding to the back of the quilt
- Attaching the folded edge of the binding by sewing in the ditch on the front of the quilt
If you’re interested in learning more about my process, you can check out the tutorial that I posted in my IG highlights section. Never mind that my voice sounds like a chipmunk in one of the videos – just watch it with the sound off (unless you’re into that sort of thing)!
Want it to come live at your house?
We already have a LOT of quilts in our house, and since this project doesn’t really suit the look / feel of our home I’ve listed it for sale in my Etsy shop. My hope is that it will make some cat / quilt lover very happy, and will enjoy many years of being snuggled. ?
As always, I’d like to thank you for stopping by and for hanging in to the end! I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time out of your day to come and read my stories about quilts! ❤
If you have any questions about my process, please feel free to comment below. I’d love to chat with you!