Happy international women's day! I've got something special for you today-- a review of Melanie Traylor of Southern Charm Quilt's new pattern release, the Good Girl Quilt.
I'll get this out of the way right now-- this is not a sponsored post in any way. I am not being paid to write about this pattern. Melanie Traylor, of Southern Charm Quilts, asked me to test her latest quilt pattern.
To learn more about Melanie, checkout episode 153 of the Modern Sewciety podcast. Occassionally, I like to make a quilt using another textile designer's pattern. The process is a creative reset for me. This is the first installment in a series of pattern reviews that I will be doing.
Interested in having your upcoming pattern tested by The Wild Sweet Pea? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TL;DR: Yes, try this pattern! Available for purchase now, for only $10 on Southern Charm Quilt's website.
If you're looking for a way to use up the jelly rolls (bundles of 2.5'' x width of fabric strips, usually coordinating prints all from one fabric line), then this pattern is for you. Bonus if you have some large-scale prints that you'd like to showcase-- Since the main blocks are fairly big, they are a great way to show off any of your favorite coordinating blenders or large scale prints or ones with a wide repeat, like the examples below from Rifle Paper Co x Cotton and Steel's Menagerie Collection. If I made this quilt again, this is what I would use-- with some low-volume sashing in coordinating tones.
Personally, I think this pattern is also great for low-volume prints and solids. I had a ton of gray and peachy pink fabrics on hand in a mixture of prints, batiks, and solids, so I decided on gray for the background fabrics and pink for the sashing. I made the "Large Throw" size, which is 58''x74''. The pattern comes in three sizes- Lap, Large Throw, and Twin, although you could probably add rows and columns to make larger sizes with minimal math involved.
Since I was already using two of my favorite colors in this fun quilt, I figured, why not, let's add the third: a shade of minty, dusty teal, kind of a robin's egg blue. I used a thrifted sheet for the backing, and a striped Moda fabric for the binding, but I'll talk more about those later.
Woah, this quilt came together quickly. As you know, I have a toddler, and I bring her to the quilting studio with me every day. That being considered, if you don't have a small demanding kiddo, you may be able to whip together this quilt even quicker than I did. I work in generally 4-6 hour increments, and with my kid, this quilt took 4 total "shifts" from start to finish. So, I'd estimate, with my slow mom pace, this quilt took me 16-20ish hours from the very beginning of selecting fabrics all the way to sewing on binding at the end.
Day 1: Fabric Selection, Cutting, and sewing together 1st half of the blocks
Day 2: sewing together 2nd half of the blocks, assembling sashing, auditioning layout on my design wall, and sewing top together.
Day 3: Basting & Quilting
Day 4: Quilting, making binding, and adding binding to quilt. Burying threads and taking photos.
The blocks come together much like log cabin blocks, with a modern twist for a super adorable crisp vibe when the quilt is completed.
To speed things up after assembling the blocks, I used the web-piecing method recently made popular by Suzy Williams of Suzy Quilts to piece the top together. You can find her tutorial here-- I really recommend this method for any quilt that is based on rows and columns. It's a game changer.
Easy, right? You could easily pull together this in a weekend. I think it's the perfect quilt to make a maximum statement with minimal time put into the quilt. That way, you could focus on fabric selections and quilting that makes a statement.
If you're new to the quilting world or looking for new ideas for how to complete the finishing process on a quilt once you have the top done, this pattern comes complete with hyperlinks on tutorials on how to baste, quilt, and bind. Handy!
Like I mentioned previously, I used a second-hand (but still in its original packaging! way cool!) jersey knit flat sheet for the backing of the quilt from my local Visiting Nurses thriftstore. It was a good quality quilt backing for only $4. For the batting, I use Pellon 80/20 Cotton/Polyester blend needle-punched no scrim batting. I buy it by the 90" x 10' roll, and that evens out to about $1.50 per yard. If you couldn't tell, I love a good bargain.
For the quilting thread, I used Mettler polyester thread in a gray shade on the front, and a muted mint in the bobbin (I'll update this post later with the exact thread numbers if anyone is interested). I use Mettler for quilting whenever possible, I find that it works best with my Juki TL-2010q. Mettler never breaks, in my experience. Once you find a thread you love, stick with it!
I took a day in between piecing the top of the quilt together and doing the topstitching so I could decide what quilting pattern would complement the fabric choices the best. My first idea was to do these free-motion clamshells by Emily Dennis of QuiltyLove, but ultimately chickened out. Free motion quilting is still not my jam-- I have a lot to learn in that arena. So, I decided to go with a more whimsical version of my signature wavy channel quilting, about 2'' apart.
I'm glad I went with the "easier" route here because it actually complemented the whimsical prints very well! Additionally, I feel that the organic, asymetrical waves balance out the rigidity of the blocks in this pattern. This quilt has a bunch of right angles, so I recommend that whatever topstitching style you use, do not mimic the right angles. I wouldn't recommend stitch-in-the-ditch method for this quilt, I think quilts look best when the topstitching is a work of art on its own, that is different in style than the blocks. However, take that advice with a grain of salt-- It's just one quilter's preference.
The binding is a moda fabric, cut on the bias.
Overall-- I was stoked to try out this pattern. It was quick, it was easy, and Melanie gives great directions. The Good Girl quilt pattern is a wonderful pattern for beginners and advanced sewists alike.
If you're looking for another quilt in a weekend project, consider my debut pattern, The Millennial Quilt. This pattern is a play on the classic Le Moyne Star, with an accent panel of triangles. The Millennial Quilt is a stellar introduction to half-square triangles, and is available as a digital download or paper copy for $10.
If DIY isn't your thing, you can purchase my version of the Good Girl Quilt, or purchase a custom version from Melanie here.
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