Updates to the Tulip Quilt free pattern

Tulip Quilt by Allspice Abounds - one row of tulips

It’s been about 3 months since I posted my Tulip Quilt free pattern, and it’s about time for a few updates!  Here’s what’s new:

  • Updated photos featuring more natural light.  I’ve been meaning to do this ever since I moved into a sunnier house.
  • A few minor updates to the text of the pattern, most notably updating the embroidery instructions to include French knots for the bird eyes, which I had forgotten to include the first time around.

You can download your updated, free copy of the pattern on the dedicated Tulip Quilt page or on Craftsy.

Tulip Quilt by Allspice Abounds - bird detail

To my great surprise, this pattern has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times!  I cannot tell you how utterly shocked and delighted I am by this.  I have no idea what’s typical for a free quilting pattern, and it’s not like I’m making any money at all from these downloads, but I’m quite happy with its progress.  Thank you!

Even more exciting, two finished quilts inspired by the pattern have been posted to the pattern’s Craftsy page.  Seeing each one pop up over the last few weeks has absolutely made my day.  I love how each quilter put her own creative spin on the pattern and created a truly unique piece.

Tulip Quilt by Allspice Abounds - cover image

If you’ve made a quilt using or inspired by the pattern, you can add your photos to the Flickr group, upload your project to Craftsy, or send me a link or email.  I’d absolutely love to see what you’ve made.  🙂

Tulip Quilt pattern (it’s free!)

Tulip Quilt by Allspice Abounds

Just when you thought you’d seen the last quilting-related post on this blog, here comes another one.  🙂  I’ve written up a PDF pattern for my Tulip Quilt, and it’s totally free!  Download and enjoy!

Download the FREE Tulip Quilt pattern

The pattern will reside on the dedicated Tulip Quilt page of this blog, and I’ve added a link in the menu bar of the blog header.  Check out the page for more details about the pattern.  I’ll keep track of any updates and errata on that page.

Now, you may be asking yourself a few questions, such as:

Is blog going to turn into a quilting blog?

Nope!  While I enjoyed making this quilt and putting the patten together, my true love is garment sewing, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Are you planning to release any more patterns?

Nope!  I already had the pattern for this quilt worked out from 11 years ago (!!), so writing it up wasn’t that much extra work.  I don’t see myself making any more quilts anytime soon (or ever!), so don’t hold your breath for any more quilting patterns.  As for garment patterns, yeah right!  That is WAY more work, and honestly I have no interest in ever developing one.

Why aren’t you charging anything for this pattern?

There are many reasons why this pattern is free (check out the Tulip Quilt page for details), but mostly it’s because I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in combining my passion for sewing with any sort of business.  Sewing is my hobby, pure and simple.  I had a ton of fun putting this pattern together, and I don’t need or want to be paid for enjoying my hobby in my free time.

Any other questions?  Ask away!

Share your Tulip Quilts

If you use this pattern to make a quilt or anything else, I’d absolutely love to see it.  You can post photos in the Tulip Quilt Flickr group so we can all admire your work.  🙂

I hope you enjoy this pattern, and happy sewing!

Tulip Quilt – finished!

Tulip Quilt - finished

Today I am absolutely thrilled to share my finished Tulip Quilt, a project 11 years in the making.  This quilt is certainly not a masterpiece in design or craftsmanship, but I am so happy with the finished project nonetheless.  This quilt has been with me for most of my adult life and has witnessed so many ups and downs over the years, from grad school to a real job and, rather ironically, right back to grad school!  It represents perseverance through crafting and through life, and I’m proud to see it finally completed.

I started the quilt in 2004, immediately after I finished my first quilt.  I cut out all the pieces for the tulip blocks and started piecing them by hand (before I had a sewing machine), and then the quilt sat untouched for 8 years, surviving several moves and apartment clean-outs.  I guess I was sentimentally attached to it!  In 2012 when I bought my machine, this was the first project I started working on, and I finished piecing the quilt top and assembled the “quilt sandwich.”  After another hiatus, I resumed in the fall of 2014 when I purchased a walking foot, essentially required equipment for machine quilting, and finally the quilt is complete in 2015.

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The tranquility of hand quilting

Tulip Quilt - hand quilting tools

Surprisingly, my motivation to finish my Tulip Quilt is still going strong!  I’ve been working on it almost exclusively for the past few weeks, and I’m getting more and more excited about finishing this project as I get closer to the end.  The quilt has been growing on me the more I work on it, and although this project certainly doesn’t represent my finest craftsmanship, I’m really starting to love it.  🙂

After struggling with machine quilting a few weeks ago, I decided to tackle the rest of the quilting by hand.  I know, I’m crazy!  But I took a few shortcuts to save both time and my sanity.  I made two sizes of heart templates out of cardboard from an empty tissue box, used wash-away fabric markers to trace the hearts onto the fabric, and used hand quilting thread and an embroidery needle to roughly quilt around the outlines.  Why hearts?  Well, they’re a little cheesy, but I feel like a handmade quilt is by definition made with love, so I thought a few subtle hearts would be fitting.

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The insanity of machine quilting

Tulip quilt - folded on table

Are you a quilter, or a Quilter?

quilter (noun): A person who casually makes quilts.  Might also enjoy sewing garments, knitting, and other creative pursuits.  Enjoys the company of other human beings, a furry companion or two, and generally leading a normal and well-balanced life.

Quilter (noun): A person who considers quilting to be serious business.  Tolerates, and perhaps even relishes in, the absolute insanity of machine quilting.  Has the massive upper body strength required to wrestle a quilt into the all-too-tiny opening in the free arm of the machine.  Most importantly, has the mental fortitude to restrain oneself from jumping out the window during a long session of quilting at the machine.

Friends, I am saddened to inform you that I am decidedly NOT a Quilter.

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Weekend WIPs: Renfrew, Moss mini, and a 10-year-old quilt

Quilt in progress

It’s been forever since I finished something!  Sometimes that’s just how it goes, though.  Life and all that.  🙂  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy sewing and serging and – gasp! – even quilting!  Here’s what’s been going down in my tiny sewing studio:

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“Quilts and Color” at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Quilts and Color at the Boston MFAImage from the MFA Boston

I had the pleasure of visiting the new “Quilts and Color” exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts yesterday, and WOW was it amazing.  If you find yourself in the Boston area or within a reasonable driving distance, I would very highly recommend stopping by the museum to feast your eyes on this absolutely gorgeous, bold, and inspiring collection.  To say that I was blown away is an understatement.

I didn’t take any photos because they wouldn’t have done the quilts any justice whatsoever, and I didn’t want to spoil the exhibit for any of you who plan to visit.  However, I was so overwhelmed by the collection that I felt compelled to write a letter to the museum.  I think this accurately sums up my feelings about it:

To the Curator, collectors, and all those who contributed to the “Quilts and Color” exhibition:

I have visited the MFA many times since moving to Boston, but this is the first time I have felt compelled to write.

The new “Quilts and Color” exhibition was an absolute joy to experience. What a beautiful and unique collection! The quilts are truly masterpieces of hand stitching and color composition, and I spent a full two hours admiring the craftsmanship with my jaw hanging open in awe. It was a delight to stick my nose into every single quilt in the exhibit (as far as the guards would let me!) to inspect the stitching, and also to stand back and take in the entire piece as a whole. I left feeling exuberant and inspired.

My heartfelt thanks go to all those involved for a bold, unapologetic, and thoughtfully curated exhibit, and also for recognizing the work of these women as worthy of hanging on the MFA walls. You have brought so much joy to your visitors, as evidenced by the constant stream of “Wow!”, “Unbelievable!”, and “Breathtaking!” that I heard (and uttered!) during my visit.

With respect and gratitude,

Carolyn
Cambridge, MA

Trust me, this exhibit is a must-see.  : )

In other news, I am way behind on blogging but have been enjoying taking a little break from it.  I think I wore myself out with all those muslins!  Hopefully I’ll be back soon with updates on what I’ve been working on.  Hope you’re all doing well.  : )

 

A treasured quilt, made 100% by hand

Mariner's Compass to Hawaii quilt - finished

Inspired by the gorgeous quilts that I’ve seen popping up in the sewing blogosphere lately, I decided to dust off my first and only completed quilt and document it for posterity.  This quilt is one of my most cherished possessions, next to some very meaningful gifts from my best friend and, of course, my sewing machine.  It holds such a special place in my heart that it rarely ever sees the light of day!  I’m intensely afraid of damaging it, and I give it the white glove treatment on the rare occasions that it comes out of storage.

Today I’ll share with you the story of this quilt and of the person that I was when I made it.  I hope you enjoy reading about this part of my life and my crafty journey.  : )

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