Moore Quilts: Blue Ocean Bells


A dear friend of mine is getting married on April 4th.

When she got engaged, I told her I would be making her a quilt and asked what colors she and her husband-to-be like. Her response: blues and grays.

Blue gray modern quilt medium shot

Well, K – one modern quilt filled with hues of blues, greens and gray!

Blue gray modern quilt full shot wide

The pattern is from Modern Basics II: 14 Easy Patchwork Quilt Patterns by Amy Ellis. The gray fabric is Ash from the Kona solids collection. The blue and green fabrics are all Cotton + Steel – mostly basics. (If this quilt seems familiar – that’s because I have featured it before in my now infamous Quiltonomics article)

Blue gray modern quilt close piecing detail

The pattern was simple to cut and follow, although I modified it to add more blocks. My finished size is 54 X 54 inches.

My piecing accuracy on this project is my best yet to date! Glue basting made a huge difference, and I could hardly believe how great the top looked.

Blue and Gray quilt hanging

However, my quilting was another story…

Right before I finished the top, my walking foot for the Brother SE400 died a sudden death while working on my Aeroplane Bag. This was before I ended up buying a new sewing machine, and had initially planned to wait until after the Sewing Expo in Atlanta March 12-14.

My original plan was to use a very narrow serpentine stitch and quilt narrow horizontal lines for an organic, wavy look. It was going to be awesome, well, at least until the walking foot debacle.

So I did something that I do *not* recommend – I started quilting with a regular foot.

WORST. IDEA. EVER.

Blue and Gray modern quilt folded front backAfter basting the quilt with safety pins, I started quilting one line in each block horizontally. Then I quilted a line through the horizontal center of each block. While doing this, the quilt was bunched up so I couldn’t see the bigger picture.

When I laid it out on the floor I was horrified. There was so much shifting, the rectangular blocks were extremely out of whack. My excellent piecing was ruined. I was panicked. There was no way I could keep quilting lines that close together.

There was only one thing left to do. Pick out nine entire rows of stitching with a seam ripper. Needless to say, it was a *very* frustrating experience having to do that. It took about three hours. In hindsight, I should have laid out the quilt much sooner to save myself lots of heartache.

Blue gray modern quilt close piecing detail 2

Picking out those nine rows fixed most of the shifting issues, but it’s still slightly apparent when you look at the entire quilt. So much for my beautiful piecing…

Blue and Gray modern quilt folded

Public Service Announcement: if you are new to quilting, do *NOT* proceed without a walking foot.

For myself, a lesson learned for sure. Ironically, I ended up buying a new sewing machine about a week after I completed this quilt.  Maybe I’ll get to try some creative quilting on the next one? I’m really trying to move on, because I know every quilter has regrets or things they would have done differently with every project.

Blue gray modern quilt close corner

Despite all of the issues, I am sure that my friend K will love her new quilt and hopefully will spend many days snuggled up with it on the couch.

In honor of the upcoming wedding and the ocean color palette – I am officially naming this quilt “Blue Ocean Bells.”

See you next time!

– Jennifer





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