Pattern Drop

Firefly Quilt Top in Solids

Pattern Drop Firefly Quilt

All 15 fireflies taking flight!

After finishing up my epic scrap quilt last week I needed a break. Not from sewing, mind you. Only a break from little pieces and all those scraps. Like a sorbet course in a very fancy meal I thus turned to my palate cleanser - precision piecing.

Thanks to my handy dandy list of Quilts Under Construction it was easy to pick and locate a project to play with. And when I took out the blocks I had already made I realized I only needed 3 more to finish my top. A few Morning Make sessions and the blocks were all done. A quiet Sunday and the top was assembled!

There is a reason I only made 15 fireflies and left a block blank, I will share that later. If, and when, I get this quilted.

Pattern Drop Firefly Quilt
Pattern Drop Firefly Quilt

Each firefly is unique. I played around with my small stash of solids, going with colour combinations that felt right. There was no regard for colour theory or even a colour story, to be perfectly honest. I would pick three fabrics for the body, sometimes a gradient, sometimes not. Then I would pick a dark for the head and back and a light for the wings. The only really conscious decision was trying not to repeat combinations or colours in each part. For example, in the photo above the two top fireflies have a pale pink and a pale peach for their wings, they aren’t the same colour.

Do you want to hear something else? I’ve never actually seen a firefly before. They aren’t native to around here and I’ve never been somewhere else during firefly season.

That didn’t stop me from trying to have a little glow in each precious bug. The highlight around their bodies is actually Metallic Essex by Robert Kaufman. It almost blends into the regular Essex background, almost. Just enough of a sparkle to me. And I liked the idea of the metallic being woven in as I find most metallic prints fade quite a bit with regular washing.

Cheryl Arkison Firefly quilt

A few things to note:

- The combination of solids and the Essex linens mean there are A LOT of loose threads on the back of the quilt. It will require a thorough going over but I will do this right before I baste it so no more appear in the night.

- It is extraordinarily hard to get a full shot of this quilt when you are taking selfies in the back alley. But hey, at least the lilacs smelled nice.

For those of you wondering, the pattern itself is by Pen and Paper Patterns. It is one of the most detailed patterns I’ve read, I don’t think she forgot a thing! As I am not generally a pattern follower I truly appreciate it when it is so clear, no questions for my improv brain! You can buy it from Pattern Drop, Lindsey Neill designed it exclusively for them. (I was a Pattern Drop designer myself last year.) Here I thought I would make one or two blocks to help promote the pattern and now I have a whole top!

Firefly Quilt With a Fluttering Start (Via Pattern Drop)

Firefly Quilt A Long

Even though improv is my mother tongue, sometimes I crave a little precision piecing. It gets my brain working in a slightly different way. Yay for firing the neurons! (Does this mean I won't get dementia in later life?)

I made a single Firefly block to help my friend Katie launch a Quilt Along through her company, Pattern Drop. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour in the afternoon, digging through the scrap bin of solids. But hmm, that was a really nice way to spend the afternoon. Of course I started another block. Then I ran out of the backing fabric (before the block was finished).

Firefly Quilt Block

Darn it, I wanted to finish that block and make more! And usually I would just dig through the stash and keep going but I really, really liked the look with the Essex Linen (in the sparkle variety and regular) and didn't want to change that. That meant convincing myself to order some because no local stores had the regular Essex in Indigo like I needed. Then waiting for the order. And now I just need the time!

The original pattern calls for 16 Firefly blocks. Lindsey Neill from Pen and Paper Patterns did a great job of drafting this block. There are some piecing options plus a bee version (I think mine lands somewhere in between bee and firefly). The pattern reads for the whole quilt, with options. I won't lie, read that way it scared me with the cutting instructions. That's because I never cut all at once. I can cut one block at a time and feel good. Less efficient, but suits my time allowed and available brain space. Plus, I have a think a bit more so more neurons fired!

Scrap Fabrics Essex Linen Metallics

Pattern Drop and My Sewing Machine Quilt

Sewing Machine Quilt with pattern Drop

Today is the day my pattern drops on Pattern Drop

Like that? It's as if Katie planned it that way. I'm sure she did. She is a lot of fun like that. (Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt is behind Pattern Drop.)

Pattern Drop is a monthly subscription service where you get one new pattern and loads of inspiration delivered to your inbox. There is no way you could buy all these patterns for the cost of a subscription. And it is so easy for you! 12 amazing designers with 12 unique, bold patterns. Each pattern is tested, too, so no errors to worry about. I am pretty excited to see what else comes as the previous months produced some delicious quilts.

2018 Pattern Drop Designers 2

The Sewing Machine Quilt pattern is a perfect escape for us quilters, or the quilters in your life. I, myself, made this and it pulled me out of a huge creative slump. With options for precision piecing and improv blocks there is something for every quilter in this pattern. Not to mention two block sizes (small above, large below) and a wide number of layout options.

I'm thrilled to be working with Katie this month and share my Sewing Machine Quilt with a wider audience. Just look at what she has done in advance of this month!

Sewing Machine Quilt Pattern Drop
Sewing Machine Quilt Cover
Sewing Machine Quilt Home Decor

To sign up for Pattern Drop visit the site and choose either a monthly or annual subscription (which, of course, gives you a better rate). You can get colouring pages, access to tutorials and forums, and meet a community of quilters working on similar projects. Each new pattern drops on the first Wednesday of the month.

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For those of you joining me via Pattern Drop, Welcome! I am so glad to have you here. Grab a cup of tea and look around. 

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