The 14 Year Quilt Plan

McCall's QuiltingHave you ever fallen in love with a quilt? I’m sure you have, but has that love affair with that quilt lasted for 14 years? Or has it been one of those flash in the pan type things, gone as soon as you’d seen something you liked better?

I’ve been hoarding the March 1994 issue of McCall’s Quilting since I bought it way back when, before we moved to Germany. On the cover was this absolutely beautiful quilt called “I Didn’t Promise You a Rose Garden,” designed by Donna Lake. I loved the quilt instantly. It had florals, baskets, and border prints that were fussy cut to make kaleidoscopic effects. All of my favorite things even now.

I wasn’t the “dedicated quilter” back then that I am now, and this was my “someday” quilt: someday I’d have the skills and the time to make this stunning piece for myself. I could see it on my bed, and I still can actually, just as it was designed for the magazine, no changes necessary. When my skills caught up with my desire, then it became “someday, I’d find just the right fabrics to make this quilt.” I’ve been hunting for the last ten years or so because “just right” is difficult to find for a quilt like this.

I’d need a floral of course, but one with just the right colors on a dark background. I’m not the matchy-matchy kind of gal, needing to make my quilts in exactly the fabrics that are shown in the magazine, far from it. But I tried designing this around a floral with a light background, and I just didn’t like it. It was going to look as if it had holes in the centers of the stars, and that just wasn’t going to make it in my book. I would also need just the perfect paisley-type print for the kaleidoscopic stars, another border print with just the right size stripes for the edges of the basket blocks and the baskets themselves.

I’ve had the paisley-ish print for a while, actually a border print itself from Jinny Beyer’s fabrics. I’d rather it wasn’t a border print, but it’s the best thing that’s come along so far. I found a floral that might do at the Heidelberg Arts & Crafts last week, and I went back yesterday to buy more, hoping that “someday” I can put it all together and make it work. I still need to find another border print in a slightly different but coordinating colorway for the baskets, so the hunt continues. Will I ever get to make this quilt? Maybe when I’m ninety-nine. Since I’ve loved it for so long, chances are I’ll still love it then. 🙂

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