How big is big enough?

I recently learned that my aunt, my mom’s sister, is having some major surgery next week. Nothing life threatening, just majorly life improving… But she’s going to have a 2-3 month recovery, and that doesn’t sound fun. She’s far from me, in Pittsburgh, so there’s not much I can do to help out.

But I CAN send a quilt to snuggle under during this prolonged recovery, right?

I realized that I would have just barely enough time to crank one out before the big day- and I had the perfect fabric in mind.

Do you remember last year, when the one and only Amy Butler came by my favorite local crafty store?

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I won that fabulous charm pack of Cameo– and it’s been waiting for the right project ever since. I love it- but the colors aren’t 100% me (the coral, specifically), and I never know what to do with precuts.

BUT! The colors are just right for my Aunt… And I realized I could make something quick but lovely with HSTs. So my mom, who agreed to “sponsor” the coordinating solid, backing, and batting for this project, and I headed out shopping. We ran through a number of greens that weren’t quite right before settling on grey. It compliments all the may colors in the Cameo squares, and also looks sophisticated.

I got down to HST business right away.

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I was truly living dangerously on Saturday night- wine AND rotary cutting!

I ended up with 60 5″ HSTs.

Time to play with the million and 1 possible layouts…

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But both, while they looked great, were waaaaaay too small.

So I tried adding in solid grey squares.

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But I didn’t find the layouts nearly as visually pleasing with the extra grey- and, I admit, I was totally afraid of trying to quilt in those blank solid areas!

So, next idea: make more HSTs with coordinating solids.


This solution was better but not perfect. More visually pleasing to me than the grey squares, but, the Cameo pieces looked better all by themselves, I think.

What do you think?


(PS that’s a moot question, because …)


I put the top together already. It measures 36×45. Still not as big as I wanted- but I didn’t want to add even more solid blocks. So now I have 3 choices- and I’m asking for your input.

1) Leave it alone. It looks lovely as is, and the weather will be warm to hot while she’s recuperating, so it’s more for cheering up than warmth.

2) Add a border of solid grey to some or all of the sides.

2) Add a border of one of the cameo prints- I have a yard of this one:


(I was planning to use it for binding but I could sacrifice to make the top bigger…)

4) Something I haven’t thought of yet.

And, in case you are wondering, the backing is going to be a sage green minkee. Super cuddly and comforting… My hope is to have this totally done by Sunday and in the mail on Monday, so it will arrive just in time.

Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas with me!

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.



Filed under Brushes with Greatness, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

36 responses to “How big is big enough?

  1. I really like the added solids, and I vote for leaving it as it is–a lap quilt that says you were thinking of her, or maybe a wall hanging.

    • Her home is stunningly decorated- I don’t know if it could be a wallhanging there 😦 (Because her walls are full, not because I’m devaluing my own work…) My gut is really leaning toward leaving it as is.


      On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 9:27 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  2. Living on the wild side with wine and a rotary cutter! The pattern turned out great! The colors should provide lots of cheer! Don’t think I’d add a border, but the pattern will make a great binding

    • Thank you for visiting! I felt so risque with the wine in my sewing room. I’ve had many accidents with my iron, but so far, have avoided rotary cutter problems…

      Thank you for visiting!


      On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 9:29 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  3. How about a border with grey and print flying geese using the yardage? It’s fab by the way, I like the solids in there

  4. I think it looks fantastic! I love that last print for the binding!

    • thank you for visiting πŸ™‚ The best part of that last print is that I scored a yard of it for $3.90 on clearance! Makes it that much sweeter…


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 6:43 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  5. Love your layout! I vote for leaving it as a lap quilt too! Great job!

    ~ Jess ~

  6. I love the design! I vote for solid border on the sides. I do love the print for the border too!

    • Sometimes it’s almost worse to have TOO many choices- if I’d just run out of fabric, my mind would be made up by now πŸ˜‰


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 7:05 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  7. Love what you have. I’d audition it for a gray border, but not centered in the gray, by laying it on a sheet and moving it around to see where it works best. My hunch is putting the big block near the bottom right hand corner of the quilt, but who knows. Love the print you have for the binding.

    • That is what I was thinking- grey on the top and left sides only, maybe… if I do it at all!


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 7:22 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  8. I’ve been watching as this quilt has been growing on Instagram and it is stunning. I think you should do a thin turquoise border then a thicker dark grey border and keep that beautiful print for the border.

  9. Love the layout you settled on. I would audition the gray border and use the print as binding – it might really make the whole thing pop!

  10. I think it looks great! I agree gray border and print binding! Beautiful

    • Thank you for visiting, Helen πŸ™‚ At this point I’m leaning toward leaving it alone, or adding grey on 2 sides only… We shall see!


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  11. I hate to disagree with you, but I like the solids! (It looked lovely without them too, but I do like them!) It looks super fab. You could audition a border (or a thin inner border and a thicker outer border?) but in all honesty, you could totally leave it as is, and it would be a thoughtful gift. That print will be super fun as a binding, too.

    • Everyone seems to like the solids. I was worried they broke they lines up too much, but I’m glad to hear that they don’t appear to!

      What about, on top and left sides only, thin inner border of print and thick outer of grey?


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  12. cindy oneal

    I like cathy’s idea of setting it off center in a grey border. compliments and balances the off center already set. and makes it bigger faster so you can still finish on time Cindy

    • hi, cindy, and thank you for visiting! If I do go for border(s) it/they will definitely be off center. Either only on 2 sides, or, I was just thinking, thicker on 2 sides and thinner on the other 2… Hmmm…


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  13. The design looks great. I would probably leave it as it is, however I do like the suggestion with the thinner and thicker border. These are the times you wish you’d have EQ7 or more courage. In the end its the thought that counts and your aunt will love it, because it was made with love.

    • Courage, EQ7, and also, more time! Because I want to have it done ASAP, and I work full time, and this week one kid has 3 baseball games, and we are going to the symphony as well! Yikes. i need to make up my mind, fast!

      Thank you for visiting!


      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  14. Ok, I know I am late to the party, so I don’t know if you have made up your mind yet. But here is my two cents. I would do flying geese across the bottom and up the right side of the quilt using the floral Cameo with gray background and then do a pieced binding with whatever Cameo you have left and gray. Good Luck on getting it done, your aunt is a lucky girl to get such a gift.

  15. And even later to the party… I’d use the floral cameo for a border and then use the grey for binding, but I’m contrary πŸ˜€

  16. I love the layout on this one and the fabrics are just beautiful. I’ve been telling myself I should leave off the borders on quilts but don’t manage to do it very often. This is one that would be fine without, I think.

    • Lately I’ve been shying away from borders- but they are a great way to make something just a wee bit bigger! Overall, I’ve found that I like the impact of a design that goes from edge to edge…


      On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 7:11 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  17. I would put borders on it, but I like borders. πŸ™‚ I like the two border idea with a thin border of some color and then the grey. As another thought, would you have enough to do one more ring of triangles all with with grey and the yardage to extend the quilt and then still be able to bind with it?

    • not quite enough to pull that off- what I really needed all along was a 2nd charm pack… Oh, well 😦 thank you for coming by! -Sam

      On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  18. I really like the added solids, Sam. And the idea of adding more grey in borders to the left and top. Love the off set design you ended up going with. And that binding is going to really pop!

    • If the binding fabric ever arrives 😦 Shipping info says “expected delivery 5/27”- I’m starting to panic!


      On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


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