Marquee quilt from The Modern Quilt Workshop

Marquee Quilt

Giving myself a deadline to have this at the quilter was all I needed. Once I started the process of putting this quilt top together, I knew I’d get into it and just keep going. It is really coming together well. This is the Marquee pattern from the book The Modern Quilt Workshop. I’ve had it in my mind that I would make this quilt since that book first arrive on my doorstep, years ago. I love improvisational piecing of any kind (which I also call just making it up as I go along).

Marquee Quilt

This quilt will be used on Ian’s bed, and I plan to use a heavier cotton batting inside so that the it can be used in the colder months of the year. I will still use the Goodnight Moon quilt on his bed too (its on there now), but now he’ll have two. My next decision will be what backing color and fabric(s) to use. Do I go totally solid? Bright solid? Do I piece? I will have about a week to decide that before I hand it off. I think I will go with the same quilting pattern that I did on Emma’s.

I was at the fabric store the other day and I overheard a woman choosing fabrics and conversing with her husband and a store clerk over the conversational prints she was choosing for a quilt she was making. I assumed it was going to be for a grandchild, and she wanted to include lots of things the child likes…cats…bright colors…etc. She commented that “this was going to be a wild quilt” because of all the different patterns she chose. It got me thinking…I have never really looked at any quilt and thought that the fabrics within it didn’t go together. Something about sewing pieces together, then adding the layer of quilting stitches that really make my eyes accept all the pattern and color play as a whole piece. I was thinking about this as I was putting this top together because initially, it was such a challenge to find patterns that, in my eyes, felt right. Even as I was piecing I had some reservations about a few of them. But really, when my eye takes it in as a whole piece, everything seems to work.

I can’t wait to get it quilted!


I am starting my job on Monday (tomorrow). I’m very excited to embark on this new job, its been 11 years since I was last in the apparel industry. Its part time, and I will be able to pick the kids up from school each day, which is really important to me. But it really changes up the structure of our days, and there will be some juggling. I know the key to making all this run smoothly is getting as organized as possible, which I have been working on (hence my absence last week). Its all good, really good. I will let you know how it goes.

This little space is still my refuge, though.

  • Susan

    September 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Ian’s quilt is fabulous!
    Good luck with starting your new job tomorrow, Blair. You really seem like someone who will make it all work just fine.

  • Shannon

    September 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see finished photos of it.
    Good luck with the job! I’m sure you will do great.

  • Mama Urchin

    September 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    It’s really great and the perfect pattern for a boy who is obsessed with blocks!

  • blair/wisecraft

    September 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Jen! You know, you’re right, I hadn’t thought of the block part, but
    its true. He feels as happy with symmetry as I do.

  • jennifer

    September 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    i think that’s a fun quilt for a growing boy.
    i love the goodnight moon quilt more!

  • mommycoddle

    September 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    oh, blair. I love it! i can’t wait to see what you choose for the backing. i can totally see you doing something bold, like an orange.
    and good luck tomorrow! so exciting and wonderful. xo.

  • Rid

    September 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Gorgeous!!!! Good luck ( Buena suerte)

  • martha

    September 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I am so in awe.
    he must love it already.
    and have a wonderful first day tomorrow! I know it will go well:)

  • blair/wisecraft

    September 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks M! I trust you had a fun weekend ; )

  • Jessica

    September 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    *gasp!* I love this quilt. It’s gorgeous. Good luck with your new job, I know it can be a little bit of a scary time!

  • Frances

    September 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Good luck with the new job.

  • Ashley Schott

    September 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Congrats on the new job! This is such a gorgeous and unique quilt!!

  • dorie

    September 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    your quilt looks awesome! And about fabrics “going”, I think that’s why we need stashes. It’s way more fun to play with stuff you have than to feel store pressure to get just the right thing.

  • Jessica

    September 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I was just thinking the other day about how I stress too much about choosing fabrics that will “go” since I can’t think of a time when I thought about a quilt that the fabrics didn’t match. I like your idea that the quilting process somehow synthesizes everything. Also agree with Dorie’s idea that stash allows us to play with different options in a relaxed setting…also the perfect excuse to buy more fabric!
    Beautiful quilt top–can’t wait to see it quilted! Congrats on the new job!

  • Erin | house on hill road

    September 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    it is fantastic, blair! really fantastic!
    i like that it is similar to the single girl you made for emma with all the little bits of pattern and great expanses of solid.
    i’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. i am sure it will go great!

  • bj

    September 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    very cool. I also noticed the common vision also expressed in Emma’s quilt. The two make an interesting yin/yang pair.

  • blair/wisecraft

    September 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I thought about that, and that I will be able to stand in our upstairs
    hallway and see both on the beds at the same time. I think I must like a lot
    of empty space in between lots of patterns.

  • amisha

    September 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    this is so great, blair. so great! and that is such an interesting point about looking at it from afar and it working together, all these prints (reading this after commenting over on flickr 🙂 ) i wish i could just get over myself already and put things together with some level of abandon. those big solid squares are so unifying, too– i really like the combination.
    have a wonderful first day tomorrow!

  • blair/wisecraft

    September 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you Amisha. It will be an interesting day, for sure. And, I think we
    do a lot more of this piecing with abandon than we realize. I love that when
    we do it, our own individual styles still somehow come through. xo

  • beki

    September 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    It’s absolutely gorgeous, Blair!
    Good luck tomorrow 🙂

  • Molly

    September 28, 2009 at 5:42 am

    what a great quilt. i love your patchwork. i think i’d ask your boy which color he’d prefer for the backing and go with that.

  • Joy

    September 28, 2009 at 5:56 am

    love it!

  • Tracy

    September 28, 2009 at 7:23 am

    this is so great. I love the way it’s working out!

  • Rossie

    September 28, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Awesome job!
    This lovely Anna Maria Horner fabric is way on sale ($4/yard) and could make an awesome back for a boy quilt:–i-FS-AH-21-ROYAL
    Whatever you choose will be great!

  • Heather

    September 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Oh I love that quilt top. Really neat pattern

  • Stephanie

    September 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Congrats on the job! I’m searching right now… 🙂
    I have a couple quilts from my great-grandmother that she pieced together from odd bits of worn clothing and things. I completely agree with you that when you see the quilt, it all looks good. Some of the most random pieces (some with cartoon character looking things on them) found there way onto my quilts, but they all look great.

  • Megan Young

    September 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Quilt looks fantastic. Just wanted to pop in and say congrats and good luck for the new job – hope it goes great for you. Sounds like an excellent, albeit hugely busy, balance between career + Mom.

  • Megan Young

    September 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Quilt looks fantastic. Just wanted to pop in and say congrats and good luck for the new job – hope it goes great for you. Sounds like an excellent, albeit hugely busy, balance between career + Mom.

  • Megan Young

    September 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Quilt looks fantastic. Just wanted to pop in and say congrats and good luck for the new job – hope it goes great for you. Sounds like an excellent, albeit hugely busy, balance between career + Mom.

  • adina

    September 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    i love it! i’ve been also thinking about thicker batting for the same reasons and not sure what’s out there. i’m curious to know what you will end up using. will you share?

  • blair/wisecraft

    September 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    For Emma’s quilt I used Warm & Natural, the heaviest one they make. Its
    great, although if you are planning to use it for a lot of warmth, using a
    flannel fabric as a backing helps a lot with that too. I will discuss the
    batting with the quilt shop and write about what I find out.

  • Toni

    September 29, 2009 at 12:22 am

    wishing you all the best blair with your new job!
    ian’s quilt is awesome, as are ALL your quilting projects!

  • robyn

    September 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I absolutely love the quilt! And all the fabrics really do work together.
    And I hope your first week of work goes smoothly. I, too, will be starting a part-time gig next week and, though I get to drop kids off and pick them up from school, my days will be a bit different and what I am able to accomplish will have to be squeezed into different times. But I think it will be good.

  • BetttyCrockerA**

    September 30, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Congrats on going back to work…I’m not ready for that day to come just yet. Too much sewing to do.
    What will you be doing for work?

  • Chara Michele

    October 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Such a great quilt top! Oh & I love the quilting pattern on Emma’s quilt, that will look amazing on this one too! 🙂

  • Craftingfunforkids.typepad

    October 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful quilt. I’ll have to dig through your archives to discover where you came up with all this energy to make such big projects. Amazing.
    Good luck with the job and the juggling.

  • Blue Canary

    October 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, that looks phenomenal!

  • Barrie petersen

    November 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I am 1/2 way thru piecing strips thanks to your shots of this quilt.
    Do you have a shot of it complete??
    Just not sure what type of quilting will not be too busy, any suggestions??
    Thanks so much, love the blog and all your creative spirit.

  • blair/wisecraft

    November 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you Barrie. Would you believe I am actually sewing on the binding for this quilt? Which will take me a couple of days, then I will photograph it for you. For the quilting I did on it, I did my favorite go-to loop-d-loop stitch, the same one I did on Emma’s quilt here- in a gray thread.

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