My current favorite quilt tends to be whichever one I’ve just finished. That being said, this Acacia Radio quilt is totally my current favorite quilt!
Several years ago I bought a jelly roll of Tula Pink’s Acacia collection. I had no idea how popular she was as a fabric designer at the time, but I liked the colors and patterns and had originally planned to use it for a floor pillow. That never happened, and the jelly roll sat in my stash. When I realized that older Tula Pink collections are highly sought-after, I considered selling the roll on Instagram…but I still really loved all the colors and patterns, so I hung on to it while waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
And then in October, my niece Amelia was born! As I was searching through my books and fabric stash for inspiration, this lonely jelly roll once again made an appearance and suddenly, I knew it was meant to be. I searched around for jelly roll-friendly quilt patterns and found Radio Way by Jaybird Quilts. It seemed like the perfect way to show off all these colors and patterns.
Piecing the top was more of a challenge than I expected, since the jelly roll strips turned out to be a tad shy of the standard 2.5″ width. Super frustrating! I had to be very careful with my seam allowance — I usually trend towards a true 1/4″ or slightly more but in this case I had to be really careful about maintaining the scant 1/4″. I also ended up trimming the blocks to 10.25″ instead of 10.5″ to make them come together a bit better. In the end, it all worked out!
I quilted this one with two straight lines across each side and then echoed that square shape in each quadrant. I quilted 4″ apart but in retrospect, I wish I had used 2″ spacing. It’s too late since I’ve already mailed it, but I’ll keep this in mind for next time. I definitely have a tendency to quilt too sparsely — I chalk this up to the fact that quilting isn’t my favorite part and by the time I get to that step, I’m ready to have a finished product. In most cases this is fine, but every once in a while I end up concluding that more quilting would’ve been an improvement. Live and learn, right? In the grand scheme of things, this is minor and certainly won’t affect how my niece feels about her quilt!
I ordered another Tula Pink print — one of the Freefall widebacks — for the backing and binding. Pieced backings definitely have their place and I’ve seen some amazing ones, but I’ve recently developed a preference for 108″ wide fabric because of how easy it is use. It seems like the selection of widebacks is growing, which is great! Still, the selected is of course far more limited than standard width quilting cotton. I’ve come close to ordering this particular backing several times before but always decided that the huge polka dots and birds didn’t fit my top. I was happy to find that since I was already using Tula prints for the top, this backing was perfect!
This is the second non-mini quilt I’ve made since moving to our new house and I haven’t figured out the best place to take pictures! I tried hanging it over the fence next to our garage but that’s kind of ugly, so I ended up just laying it out on the ground in the backyard. This worked ok when the grass was still green but now it’s yellowing — and covered in fallen leaves from our maple tree. Clearly my photo-taking spot needs further development.
p.s. Other quilts I’ve made.