My Single Girl Quilt

Single Girl Quilt
I put the final handstitches on the binding of the Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl quilt yesterday afternoon. I do not remember feeling quite this satisfied with a project in a while. This project started quite a while back in craft time, and as most quilts, it happened in stages…fits…bursts of energy really. Those curves took a lot of focus and concentration. Some days we’re up for that, others…not so much. So, it sat, folded, until the next day of “okay, let’s do this” motivation came.
I started this quilt with the idea of using only what I had in my stash. I have so much fabric, and always justified buying a little of this or that with the idea that I’ll use it for patchwork patterns. There hasn’t been a ton of patchwork coming out of here lately, so I thought this would be a great project to use every pattern I liked from my stash and just start cutting and piecing without much thought to placement of color or pattern. In my humble opinion, there is really no other way to piece 35 different patterns together, it could make a sewer crazy to try and find the perfect balance. I went slow on the curves (I’ve gotten several emails asking for tips on those curves and really, they are nothing to be afraid of, if you take it slowly. They take a little more thought that straight-line sewing, but really, anyone could have success at this.) The squares came together, and before too long I had a quilt top.
Single Girl Quilt
Single Girl Quilt
The pattern offers a template for a gorgeous hand-quilting pattern, which I thought seriously about tackling, especially after I saw this stunning example! But I know how much time I have these days, and didn’t want it to sit idle anymore, so I handed it over to the folks at my favorite local quilt shop,with instructions to make an open, loop-d-loop all-over pattern (many of Denyse’s quilts in this book are quilted this way). I used Quilter’s Dream Cotton batting (fast becoming my favorite batting), and bought a full sized cotton sheet for the back to save money (the pattern called for 5+ yards of 45″ fabric for the backing, which can be expensive, this sheet was purchased on sale for $12.00 and was more than enough. I handed all of these components… top, batting, sheet for back, over to the shop, then picked it up about 4 weeks later.
Single Girl Quilt
Single Girl Quilt
What I got back needed to be trimmed down and squared up, then have the binding applied. I used the method of making and applying binding straight out of the DS Quilts book (by the way, this is still my favorite craft/sewing/quilting book, e v e r). I calculated I would need 9 strips (2 1/4″ wide) of the teal quilting cotton I purchased, and I cut them straight, not on the bias as some instructions call for (this method uses a lot less fabric and you really do not need that extra stretch unless you are binding curves). Once they are cut, I sliced off the edges at a 45 degree angle, sewed the edges into one long strip, ironed all seams flat, then folded the entire strip in half (wrong sides together). I pinned the raw edge of the binding flush with the raw edge of the quilt on the right side of the quilt, stitched all the way around using 1/4″ seam allowance, the pressed the binding back over the seam, and wrapped it around to the back, the handstitched it on. The only thing more satisfying than handstitching binding onto a quilt is knowing you’re going to throw the whole thing into the wash and have it come out perfectly rumply and clean.
Single Girl Quilt
I am really really happy with it. With every quilt I make, my skills improve. I push myself in some small way and learn more each time. This one will go on Emma’s bed, and she has promised me she will not cover it with stuffies (we’ll see if she holds true to that). I thought about putting some sappy label on it, maybe “my hug for you Emma, whenever you need one” or something like that, but I didn’t. I still might. Its been a hell of a week for our family. We had a big health scare with my sister-in-law Jenny and have been very preoccupied. I’m happy to say she’s doing well, but she is still in the hospital and we’re not sure when she’ll be able to go home. We can use all your good thoughts and prayers.
It was a good week to finish a quilt.

  • Sarah Jackson

    March 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

    It’s just beautiful, Blair. I’ve wanted to do this quilt for a while, and now I want to even more. I really love it.

  • Betsy

    March 22, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Oh, how I love, love, love this quilt. I made sort of a mini-version this past week, with just one block, to practice those curves before diving in with a whole quilt. I think maybe it will be my summer project. I really like all the blues and greens you used; it really looks fabulous.
    Your sister-in-law and your family are in my prayers!

  • Maribeth

    March 22, 2009 at 11:44 am

    How absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing your journey with the quilt. And, all the best to your family and a quick recovery to your sister-in-law.

  • Rita

    March 22, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Wow, your single girl quilt is just gorgeous! I would love to make something so wonderful for my bed someday if only I was as talented as you! This is absolutely beautiful!

  • Karen Bosch

    March 22, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Amazing quilt. Love the colors and design. Lovely

  • lisa s

    March 22, 2009 at 11:50 am

    i’m speechless! it’s beautiful!

  • Nancy

    March 22, 2009 at 11:55 am

    This pattern is on my desk staring at me. I’ve only done one quilt (Bend The Rules) and am a bit nervous. I thought maybe I would work on it this summer. We will see.
    Yours is gorgeous. I am wondering what size strips you used for making the binding of course when you get a chance.
    My thoughts are with your family.

  • The 6 O'Clock Stitch

    March 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Oh, it’s beautiful. You must have unending patience!

  • amyehodge

    March 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    This is really great. I’ve had this on my list to do for a while now, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. But you are reconfirming my love for this pattern!

  • peanut

    March 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    That is a beautiful quilt. Everytime I see you working on it I think I should get that pattern (just got the book and am in love with it already). I’ll be sending plenty of good thoughts your (and Jenny’s) way.

  • neece

    March 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! We call that rumply washed effect the “sweet little pucker” love it Blair.

  • erin

    March 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    it is gorgeous. so so gorgeous.
    well done, friend.

  • susaninfrance

    March 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    it is so so beautiful, just wonderful, and just your style.

  • Courtney

    March 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    It turned out beautifully and is so perfect for her age.

  • N.

    March 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    This is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing!

  • sara

    March 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    You know I have a quilt top sitting around collecting dust because I’m tired of straight line quilting/stitching in ditch. A year or two could pass before I get a chance to do free motion quilting. I’ve wondered about handing it over to someone else to worry about but worry about the cost. I may have to reconsider unless I want a stack of dusty quilt-tops.
    Best wishes to your sister-in-law and family.

  • laura

    March 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm


  • regina

    March 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    It is simply amazing. I am truly in awe!! Quilting is the one thing I have been wanting to try, but still haven’t yet. You’ve inspired yet again.

  • amy h

    March 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve been trying to decide on a quilt for my Charlotte, and this pattern is leading the race I think. I just need to figure out her favorite colors. She doesn’t seem to have as many color preferences as her older sister. I love your blues and greens though — those are always my favorites. Nice work!
    And many healing thoughts to Jenny!

  • katie

    March 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I just love it! Your color choices are gorgeous!

  • Sarah

    March 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Everything about this is fantasic – pattern, colors, quilting, everything! Love it.

  • Angela

    March 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Love the colors so much, and I’ve heard so much buzz about this “Single Girl” quilt! Each one I”ve seen has been unique and wonderful.
    And I couldn’t agree with you more about the satisfaction of stitching the binding on and eagerly awaiting that post-dryer transformation! (I, too finished a quilt this week and had those exact same thoughts during both phases of completion)

  • Rachael

    March 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    It’s gorgeous! Congrats on finishing– what will you do next?

  • Rebekah

    March 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I have been following your progress on this and am so excited to see the final product! This pattern is on my wishlist too and I can’t wait to make one of my own.


    March 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Gorgeous and congratulations! I remember waking up at 5 am (when I was in graduate school) to finish a wedding ring quilt for my parents 25th wedding anniversary. When I presented it I burst out in tears because I alone knew the effort I put into it!

  • amanda

    March 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    it’s truly beautiful!

  • Pebbledash

    March 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Oh that quilt is beautiful…well done! Best wishes to Jenny for a speedy recovery. x

  • alli

    March 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    LOVE it and i spy a feed sack pattern in there, i’m always partial to those vintage fabrics that have been reused for decades. beautiful work!

  • daria

    March 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    it’s so so lovely, & it has great rumpliness! it kind of makes me want to do a quilt with a pattern, hm. I’m so sorry to hear that Jenny is having trouble, best wishes to all of you. see you this week? xo.

  • mo

    March 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I absolutely love it. The colors- everything. I made quilts for my kids for the holiday and I told them they were like big fabric hugs. A lot of love goes into all that sewing. I hope things look up for you asap-and I will keep your sil in my thoughts.

  • Kristin

    March 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    WOW! I admire you tackling this challenge. I wish I had the patience for it!

  • Kendall Micayla

    March 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    How Beautiful! I absolutely love everything about it… the colors, prints, designs, and stitching! I just learned how to quilt, so this really helps me and gives me new ideas.
    I like the idea of the label… I guess that I am a person that likes sappy stuff 🙂 and it sounds cute!

  • carol

    March 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I LOVE this. What a treasure.

  • jen b

    March 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    the quilt is beautiful blair. glad to her that jen is doing better. scary stuff like that is no fun.

  • dayben

    March 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    it’s absolutely gorgeous. i just love the colors.

  • sunny

    March 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    What a beautiful quilt! And your blog is truly lovely. Will be keeping Jenny in my prayers.

  • melissa Crowe

    March 22, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Your quilt is absolutely beautiful, and your quilt talk always makes me feel like maybe, one day, I’ll give it a shot, too.
    My thoughts are with your sister-in-law–I hope she can return home soon.

  • Roslyn

    March 22, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Love those sparky, zingy colours. So fresh. Thanks for sharing it. And I, too, love Denyse Schmidt’s quilting book. I keep going back to it for inspiration.

  • Fiona

    March 23, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Blair, it’s just beautiful. Perfect. Love the colours, and adore the binding you chose. Love, love, love. 🙂

  • caroline

    March 23, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Wow Blair. That is really, really fantastic. I adore every one of those fabrics.

  • kelly

    March 23, 2009 at 4:47 am

    This is so lovely! I could so identify with those days you have engergy and those you don’t, you’ve captured it so well. -kb

  • amisha

    March 23, 2009 at 4:55 am

    this is so incredibly beautiful and inspiring blair. i finished the binding on e’s holiday (!!) quilt this week and it felt amazing to tie off that last bit of thread… he was using it even in its semi-binded state but now it feels complete… and yes, like a hug for him when i am far away.
    thinking of you and your family this week!

  • beki

    March 23, 2009 at 6:06 am

    oh blair, it’s wonderful!!

  • Kelly O.

    March 23, 2009 at 6:56 am

    this is soooo beautiful! you inspire me to get out of my comfort zone!

  • hannah

    March 23, 2009 at 7:27 am

    blair. this is something your daughter will treasure her whole life. seriously. whole life long. it is beautiful! i hope jenny is doing well and is on the mend soon.

  • Junie Moon

    March 23, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Your quilt is absolutely beautiful. I appreciate your notes about your process and the choices you made, helps me a lot.
    I shall keep your sister-in-law Jenny in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lynn in Tucson

    March 23, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Sounds like a good week for a newly-completed quilt, indeed!
    Be well.

  • Toni

    March 23, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Blair, that quilt is seriously gorgeous! I’m so impressed! You are my quilting rock-star.
    ps. We are slowly getting through the boomerang episodes–they’re so fun, thank you! I’ll be in touch soon, xo.

  • Pink Sky

    March 23, 2009 at 8:45 am

    The quilt is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the final product. I hope your sister-in-law recovers quickly.

  • Tracy

    March 23, 2009 at 9:01 am

    It is crazy gorgeous. I want to make one of these so badly.

  • Renna

    March 23, 2009 at 9:08 am

    The quilt is positively gorgeous! Considering the life of quilts, and that they often get passed down as family heirlooms, I’d add that tag if I were you. Just imagine Emma’s granddaughter some day wrapping herself in that quilt, thinking to herself as she reads the tag, “I’m being warmed by something created by the hands of my great-grandmother”.
    I just said a prayer for your sis-in-law and family.

  • Ryan

    March 23, 2009 at 10:05 am

    What a BEAUTIFUL quilt! I am totally envious of your skills. Really lovely.

  • Kate

    March 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Wow. This came out absolutely beautifully. Such a great job…I love the colors and the quilting. Gorgeous!

  • Andrea

    March 23, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I love it! It came out so beautifully and I’m glad you are willing to share the outcome with us 🙂

  • Amber

    March 23, 2009 at 11:39 am

    The quilt is absolutely stunning! It’s giving me motivation to work on one myself. Praying for wisdom for the doctors and a speedy recovery for your sister-in-law…

  • katie pedersen

    March 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Beautiful. Since I have the attention span of a gnat, I was only able to finish one ring. Maybe one a year and I’ll have a baby quilt.
    I love the colors. I have some nice gray sheets that I wanted to use for backing on a quilt. Nice to know it works fine.

  • ani

    March 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    love this so much. just beautiful. one of these years i need to learn to quilt!
    hope your sister-in-law is on the mend…

  • stephanie

    March 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    wow, what fun spring colors!

  • Emily

    March 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    What a cozy-looking, gorgeous quilt. It’s very inspiring! – I’ll be keeping Jenny, and your family’s spirits, in my prayers.

  • ~Vicki

    March 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Your quilt is truly fantastic! I’m sure it will be long treasured by Emma. Even more so in years to come–better sign it! Or date it at least.
    I made a traditional double-wedding ring quilt about 25 years ago, and felt a tremendous sense of accomplilshment having gotten through it. Hundreds of precisely cut tiny pieces, and curves–so new to me back then. When it all came together (over a period of 2 years) I just sat and stared at it! I’ve always wanted to make another, but haven’t had the time. I’m glad I made that one though, it’s my masterpiece!
    Sorry to hear about your SIL–will keep a good thought for her. Take care dear lady!

  • frog

    March 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    The quilt and your description are beautiful – even if the quilt ends up being covered in stuffies.
    Best wishes for your sister-in-law and family.

  • sarah

    March 24, 2009 at 4:33 am

    i love the rumple!
    this is a beauty of a keepsake. nice work!

  • larissa

    March 24, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I would like to marry this quilt. If it will have me. It’s like we were meant for each other. What a beautiful job.

  • scissor variations

    March 24, 2009 at 8:46 am

    This is really beautiful Blair. I love the colors + all of the different patterns seem “perfect” for your quilt.

  • Karen

    March 24, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Oh, it’s gorgeous! I love the colors and the simplicity of the design. What a labor of love but such a lovely heirloom. Hope all is well with your sister-in-law.

  • emily

    March 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I’ve been lurking around on your blog for awhile now, but this quilt is more than enough to solicit a gushy, awestruck comment. I am absolutely in LOVE with your color choices, the shapes, and everything about this quilt. Amazing job! Thank you for sharing.

  • Liz J

    March 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

    The quilt looks wonderful! I really like the choice of quilting pattern. An inscription to your Emma is befitting the love you put into making it. I wish the best to your family during this difficult time and hope your sister-in-law feels much better soon.

  • kelli

    March 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Oh, for the love of all things beautiful and artistic — I am SO glad you didn’t give up. That quilt is a GEM!

  • Sara

    March 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    beautiful, amazing quilt. Best wishes and good thoughts for Jenny are being sent your way.

  • julia

    March 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    i love that quilt, emma is so lucky to have such a talented and wonderful mom like you- i’d love to have a warm hug like that anyday.
    sending good warm thoughts for your sister in law.

  • Ransacked Goods

    March 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    A big old WOW here. It’s so lovely and you should really give yourself a pat on the back for finishing it. Job well done. I’d love to have the patience to make one of these some day.

  • Bernadette

    March 25, 2009 at 4:08 am

    So beautiful. I’m really in awe of this one. I’ve admired all your quilts and have the same ambition for my family all to sleep under home made quilts – so far only two made – but I’m getting there. Anyway, this new quilt is wonderful and I’m sure your daughter will treasure it always.

  • Rid

    March 25, 2009 at 7:46 am


  • Sarah

    March 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

    So lovely. A bunch of people have been making the single girl lately, all with such different colour combinations. It’s amazing.
    And here’s hoping your sister-in-law is get’s well soon 🙂

  • Kristin

    March 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    This quilt is so amazingly gorgeous! I think I might have do something very similar for our bed, though I’ve never done curves before and have no idea how I would pull it off! Simply gorgeous!

  • Andrea

    March 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Just love this quilt. I leave the photo up on my screen as so that I get to look at it again and again when I return to the computer. I’ve been daydreaming today about what colors I would use to make one for our bed. I’m thinking green, blue and kakhi. THat is once I get the nerve to sew with all those curves!

  • Regina

    March 26, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Your quilt is so beautiful!! I love the fabric colors.

  • Cindy

    March 26, 2009 at 8:31 am

    This is incredible. I absolutely love it.

  • Jen

    March 27, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Oh Blair….words can not even express how much lovely this is. I never even thought about bringing a larger quilt to a quilt shop to attach the layers. I think I may do that next time. Because it looks awesome all put together!

  • justine

    March 30, 2009 at 1:31 am

    I’m off to get my half finished one out of it’s box and get back to working on it.
    How good is the new Neko?…
    Justine x

  • Melissa

    April 3, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Gorgeous! I love your colors!

  • amandajean

    April 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    it’s just gorgeous! nice finish, blair.

  • Rachel

    April 15, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Wow. That is truly, really, definitely awesome work. It’s just one of those things I look at and say “how did somebody make that?” It looks so perfect. It blends well too. Great choices all along. Congrats. What a special skill to have. Not to mention patience.

  • Modern Crush

    April 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    This helped me soooo much. Thank you thank you!!

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