The day after we got back from Belize, I officially finished this Diamonds Galore quilt — a Christmas gift for my mom. When she was here in January, she looked through several of my quilting books and gave me some feedback on her likes and dislikes, and after much internal debate I finally chose this block from a book full of fat-quarter based block designs. Six months later, the quilt is finally complete and Mom was able to take it home with her last week after her summer visit to Houston!
This quilt was so much more of an ordeal for me than I expected. First of all, I had a ridiculously difficult time figuring out my fabric needs. I originally calculated my needs for 12 blocks and ordered accordingly. After the fabric arrived, I mistakenly cut the red in such a way that I couldn’t recover. So I ordered more red. After I’d made several blocks, I realized that the quilt would probably be a lot better with 20 blocks (5 rows of 4) than 12 (4 rows of 3) so I hastily did some more math and ordered more of the dark blue, red, and cream. And then I realized my math was wrong and had to order a bit more of the green as well. Ugh! So it took FOUR different fabric orders to make it all come together in the end.
My other big hang-up as I started making blocks was accuracy — which really caught me by surprised. The pattern in the book involved templates, but I reworked things so that I could construct the block using half square triangles (which were then cut in half again) and paper-pieced sections. I expected this to give me great accuracy but things didn’t turn out that way at all. The center of the block is the blue square with yellow corners and those were fine. But the red/cream/green/light blue side units gave me so many headaches! I’m still not sure exactly why I had so many issues but for now I’m blaming it on the red/cream parts that I made by cutting half square triangle units in half — which meant I was sewing along the bias, which must be where the distortion came in.
The accuracy issues drove my perfectionist side crazy and led to some serious procrastination on making more blocks. Eventually I realized I could either start all over — or I could accept that the bobbles, though many, were all small. So I took a deep breath and pushed on and in the end, I found myself wondering what all my fuss was about. Sure, there are a lot of points that don’t line up perfectly, but they’re pretty close and overall I really LOVE this quilt. The repeating intricate block is different than anything I’ve made before and the way each block blends into the next to create secondary diamonds is so, so cool. I’ve also never put borders on a quilt, but decided to go for it since my mom’s taste runs more traditional (but with modern, bright colors) and I love the framing effect too.
The finished quilt measures ~56″ x 68″ and has several different fabrics. The blue daisy print is from Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis, the dark blue is from Nursery Rhymes by Erica Hite, and the light blue is Crosshatch by Carolyn Friedlander. The red print is from Fresh Dew by Paula & Waffle, the cream is Painter’s Canvas by Laura Gunn, the green is from Flower Shop by Alexia Abegg and the yellow is from Pond by Elizabeth Hartman. The border and binding are the only solids in the whole quilt and are Kona cotton in Lipstick and Astral.