My Favorite Quilt: Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt

on June 20 | in Featured Creativity, Sewing Inspiration | by | with 1 Comment

Jessica Skultety from Quilty Habit curated our My Favorite Quilt series! Visit for a new quilt every day, and join the fun with your own link.


Katie Blakesley from Swim, Bike, Quilt is a modern quilt blogger and a co-author (with Faith Jones and Lee Heinrich) of Vintage Quilt Revival, released last December. She teaches classes and speaks with quilt guilds on a regular basis as well! Katie says, “Life has been on the exciting side for us this spring, and my blog has been pretty quiet because of a difficult pregnancy. In addition, we are in the process of moving from Alexandria, VA to Portland, OR at the end of this month. I hope to start sewing and blogging a bit more this fall. I love fabric, I love color, and I love the quilting and sewing community.” Her last statement definitely shows through on her blog; she has made many, many unique quilts (one of my favorites is this one) and hosts 100 Quilts for Kids, an annual charity drive.

Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
I think choosing a favorite quilt is a little bit like choosing a favorite child… Impossible! I should probably choose one of my almost-favorite quilts from my book, Vintage Quilt Revival, but I think the “I’m Not Little” quilt is my favorite.

I started it in the fall of 2012 and finished it the summer of 2013. More on that below. The quilt (obviously) is based on the cover quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics by Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg. Sadly, I didn’t read the directions or look at the pattern; I just sort of went for it. That seems to sum up my quilting style pretty well.

I used a large variety of fabrics from my stash in my favorite colors– coral, navy, gray, teal– and threw in some low volume and random fabrics for good measure. I used lots of the fabrics quilters tend to hoard– Mendocino and Far Far Away II by Heather Ross, Neptune by Tula Pink, as well as new favorites by Lotta Jansdotter, Violet Craft, Laura Gunn, Anna Maria Horner, etc.

Have you shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
This quilt usually lives on my daughter’s bed. I do steal it and take it with me to trunk shows, but that’s it.

What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
I am notorious for starting quilts and then letting them languish. My favorite part of the quilt-making process is to gather fabric and choose a pattern. There is, ahem, a lot that comes after that initial process, and sometimes I get bogged down in the actual making of the quilt. I started this one at Sewing Summit in 2012; sewing strips together is the perfect mindless social sewing.

A while later, my then three year old decided that it was TIME to finish the quilt. She helped lay out the strips, and sat on my lap while we sewed it. It’s sentimental, but I loved making this with her. Her insistence helped me finish it much quicker than I otherwise would have. We finished it last summer, and it’s been on her bed (mostly) ever since.

What do you like best about the quilt?
I love the colors. I used bits and pieces of so many of my favorite fabrics. I love that it is “I-spy” without obviously being I-spy. I love that it is backed in voile– the perfect summer weight quilt.

How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
I tried to just have fun making it. Sometimes, as quilters, we get bogged down on perfection or if other people are going to like it. I listened to my instincts (and hers) and found joy in the process.

If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I would read the pattern. And probably change the quilting; it is a funky flower design, and I think I could have picked something better suited to the design. I do, however, love the voile binding.

Where is the quilt now?
The quilt is on my four year old’s bed. It’s been in a bin in the garage for a few months (brought to a trunk show and then forgotten about because she had a heavy, flannel quilt on her bed for the crazy cold winter we experienced). I got it out recently and she couldn’t stop talking about how happy she was that her favorite quilt was back!

Would you like to add anything?
Thanks for including me in this series! I love seeing all of the favorite quilts.

Tell Us About Your Favorite Quilt

What about you? What’s your favorite quilt? Answer our questions on your blog and then link up on any of the daily posts. (You can even use the “My Favorite Quilt” button if you want!: http://www.sewmamasew.com/june2014/myfavoritequilt150.jpg) We’re giving away three $25 gift certificates to Fabricworm, randomly drawn from all entries in June.


Rules:

  • You can link up anytime throughout the month (6/1 – 6/30).
  • Your post must be a new, original post about a favorite quilt that you have made.
  • You can answer all or some of the questions below.
  • Click on links to read and comment on other posts! Quilty love should be shared.

Questions:

  • Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
  • Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
  • What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
  • What do you like best about the quilt?
  • How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
  • If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
  • Where is the quilt now?

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This series is sponsored by Fabricworm, your source for modern, designer and Japanese import fabrics, perfect for crafts, quilts and home decorators.

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One Response to My Favorite Quilt: Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt

  1. Laurie says:

    Wow- i love this quilt and would love to make my own version – choosing the fabrics would be difficult.

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