March 21: Beacon Pattern Release with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
March 22: Baby Size Version of Beacon with Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts (me!)
March 23: Lap Size Version of Beacon with Judy of Quilt Paradigm
March 24: Queen Size Version of Beacon with Renee of Quilts of a Feather
Beacon offers quilters three different size options (baby, lap, and queen) and I opted to make the baby size version of Beacon because I have a dear friend who recently gave birth to her first baby. She's an eclectic, fun person, and I didn't want to make her something traditional or that screamed "baby!" When I saw this pattern, I knew it would be perfect.
In the pattern, Yvonne takes time to explain her process behind the quilt and its name and suggests that the quilter really spend time thinking about the quilt and its recipient. She provides a worksheet, and I really enjoyed considering what this quilt meant to me and what it could mean for my friend and her son. That was a new experience for me, one that I will use on future projects.
For my fabric, I started by choosing this Kaffe Fassett shot cotton (Viridian). I opted for a white shot cotton because I knew it would stand out against the vivid green (Kaffe Fassett again, this time in Ice). I utilized a large scale floral print that I've had in stash for ages for my beacon fabric. The green in it matched the green of my shot cotton, and I loved the bright touch that the red and pink flowers added to the mix. I had planned to bind the quilt in the green, then changed my mind and opted for the white instead. For the back, I used a gorgeous print from Anna Maria Horner's Fibs and Fables line.
I spent a long time considering the quilting plan. I wasn't sure how I best wanted to highlight the fun angles and bold contrast of the front. I decided on a spiky meander, partly because I love the way it looks, but also because it gives the quilt an amazing drape and feel. Since this is for a baby, I wanted it to be plenty snuggly.
Yvonne has ranked Beacon as an intermediate level project. The simplicity of the design might be deceiving, but lining up those angles to perfection took some careful work. But if that sounds intimidating, never fear! Yvonne provides lots of tips and ideas for how to make seams line up successfully, so don't let that stop you. I will say that if I could go back and do it again, I would use starch, which I use rarely.
I'm a huge fan of Yvonne's work, and there's a reason: her patterns are well written with loads of diagrams, pictures, and instruction. I found everything in this pattern to be extremely clear and easy to follow. Best of all, I had a lot of fun putting this quilt together! The piecing engaged me in a way that few other projects have, and I enjoyed exploring that.
Beacon is available now for a special price of $7 through April 3rd in both Quilting Jetgirl's Craftsy and Etsy stores.