Finish: Madrona Road 30

Yay! My Madrona Road quilt is finished! I kept thinking “I’m almost done, I’ll just finish it up.” All the way until I was done at 3a last night/this morning. I’m just a wee bit tired now!


I made this quilt for the Madrona Road Challenge, and finishing it was my January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. When I first got the fabric, I was really stumped with what to do with them. I love the line, although I tend towards the pink/orange colorway, but I don’t generally work with a single fabric line.

I love the Memoir fabric the most (surprising, I know) and after reading the story (which is reassembled on Violet Craft’s website) I really wanted to do something with the idea of the written word giving life to ideas and dreams and how you can “see” the things that are described. So I sketched out a few ideas.

sketches1Β sketches2


I really liked the last sketch I made, so I decided to run with it. I decided to use paper-piecing because I wasn’t sure how to deal with doing an applique of that size, so I drafted up a pattern in Illustrator. I first drew the curves, then sectioned it off by drawing a circle under each curved area where the circle edge was the same size as the curve. Then I drew lines from the center of the circle to section up that part of the arc. This kept the sections looking like they radiated around the curves, adding to the flow of the curves.



At the last minute, I remembered that I needed to mirror the pattern since paper-piecing flips the pattern!


Once the pattern was done, I saved it as a pdf, and went to Kinko’s. I had them print it out at 3′ x 4′ since that was the finished size of the quilt I wanted.


I found out that Kinkos ink will transfer when heated, so in the future, I wouldn’t leave the arcs colored in. I ended up ironing on top of a towel so that it would take the transfered ink instead of my ironing board, but the pieces would still stick to the towel afterwards and have to be peeled off.

Next up came cutting. I cut each section and then cut out each arc. The parts around the arc I used as a template for cutting that piece, making sure to leave 1/4″ around each side.


Using templates this big was more difficult than I would have expected. I would often have the arc resting on my head while I held everything up to the light! For the curves, I used the pinless method, and I would have gotten better accuracy if I had used pins. However, it was a lot less painful to just go for it! Since I had the paper pieces, it was relatively easy to at least keep the background text print all going the same direction. I tried to get the seams to line up, but it wasn’t happening as precisely as I would have liked, so I had to let that go a bit.


You can see in the top right section that I forgot that top line was at an angle, so I lined it up incorrectly. I went back and replaced that piece.

It took a couple hours for each piece to get done.


But finally I had the top done!


I ended up choosing Kona Natural for the back. I wanted just a plain solid, and I had bought a bunch of Natural for another project and ended up not using it. So the choice was made for practical reasons, but I like the contrast it has to the white whites in this line.

Finally came the quilting. I really deliberated on this one. I wanted to keep the motion of the quilt, and really accentuate the curves. I considered doing some sort of swirly free-motion in the background areas, but ended up going with an echo quilting. I entirely quilted one of the areas, but realized that it was just too busy and the motion was actually lost a bit. So I pulled it out and just left 7 echoes around each wave. I used Aurifil 40 wt in a light blue for the quilting and really loved the look of it. I might even try some of their heavier weight threads in the future!


Because I just used a solid for the back, it really shows off the quilting. Love those swoopy lines! πŸ˜€


For the binding, I chose to do an “infinity edge” where the text just kept going off the sides. To do that, I needed the words to be different orientations on the binding on different sides. The orientation needed to change on the corners, but I didn’t want major seams in my corners, so I remembered my original plan of using black for the binding, and decided to do corner stones. I assembled the binding as I went, so I could line it up on the fly, which turns out to be pretty simple. I just marked on the quilt 3″ from each corner, so I knew where to line up my seams. It’s fairly similar to how you finish the binding, except only one side of the binding is stuck to the quilt so it’s easier to manipulate. I really love how the binding turned out!


Phew! Sorry that got so lengthy, but it was a really involved process to make this quilt. I am overall, fairly pleased with the end product. It definitely challenged me on both a design and technical level!


Final stats:

Design: Paper-pieced design by me
Dimensions: 3′ tall x 4′ wide
Fabrics: Madrona Road by Violet Craft, Kona solids, Cotton Couture solids, Moda Bella solids.
Number of pieces initially cut incorrectly for the background: 5

I’m doing a photo shoot of quilts this weekend, so this quilt might end up with a few more glamour shots before I’m done!


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30 thoughts on “Finish: Madrona Road

    • anne Post author

      Awww, thank you!! It was fun to dive head first outside of my comfort zone. lol And I’m excited I met my January goal for LYoF!

    • anne Post author

      At one point, my b/f walked into the kitchen where I was working, balancing the piece of paper on my head and holding one end up to the light, and he was like “…I’m not even going to ask.” and walked back out. lol The paper would curl, too because it came off a roll instead of a flat sheet, so that made it even harder to work with, but curved nicely over my head! lol

  • Kim

    WOAH! Anne the infinity edge thing is brilliant! I love it. And the quilting looks amazing on the back. Really cool quilt woman. Go take a well deserved nap! So much ingenuity needs to be replenished by sleep πŸ™‚

  • Erin

    This is simply gorgeous. Your process is so cool! I love to see from drawing to completion. I’ve never seen illustrator used before. And your quilting looks fantabulous (especially from the back). And your disappearing corner!! Wow!! Just in awe over here.
    It’s a beautiful project.
    E xx

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much Erin! πŸ˜€ I don’t normally take so many photos of the process, but a friend of mine told me I should when I started explaining the steps I was planning to take. lol I should have known at that point that maybe I was going a bit over my head!

  • Marla

    Thanks for sharing your process. I have never seen binding done with cornernstones. It is a neat effect. I expect it may get lost in a larger quilt but works really well with a mini.

    • anne Post author

      It probably depends on the color and size of the cornerstones, but agree, not sure how it’d work on a larger quilt. πŸ™‚ I am considering writing a tutorial for it, as it’s not nearly as tricky as it looks. πŸ™‚

  • brandy

    it turned out beautiful!. love the quilting and the binding looks great. i love the corners and was wondering how you got them to line up. i’m really not that good at binding (doesn’t help that i don’t like to do it) making the binding as you go does sound like a challenge.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Brandy. πŸ˜€ I was considering writing a tutorial for it, as it’s not nearly as difficult as it looks. πŸ™‚ I actually really enjoy binding, it’s the quilting I don’t like! I keep trying to find someone near me that would trade quilting for binding. lol

  • Ali M

    I love how you put that together, and that’s very useful information about Kinko’s, if I ever create my own large paper piecing design that sounds like the way to go.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! I got the idea from another guild member who printed out a really large marine star paper piecing pattern. πŸ™‚ It costs about $10 for them to print it out if you do B&W. He said for color it would have cost closer to $100! :O So uhh go with black and white. lol

    • anne Post author

      I think the infinity binding was your idea, so of course it’s genius! πŸ˜€
      Hahahaha I wouldn’t exactly recommend paper piecing at that size, that’s for sure…

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much! πŸ˜€ I didn’t think people would enjoy reading the whole process that much. I apparently will need to do more of these in the future. πŸ™‚

  • Alli

    Good golly, you put a ton of work into this! And it was totally worth it because it’s amazing! I love that the text lines up (with paper piecing — gah!), and the way you chose to quilt it is divine. You did a wonderful job! πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Awwww, thank you! πŸ˜€ Trust me, there was a fair deal of grumbly words spoken over this quilt which is part of the reason it was so nice it was done. πŸ˜‰ I really appreciate all your nice comments!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ It was a fun challenge to get it to work! I am hoping to write up a tutorial about it as soon as I have a project that could use some binding. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Awww, thank you! Don’t feel sheepish! πŸ™‚ Paper-piecing can be really intimidating! However, when you get in there and do it, you’ll find that it might be a little fussy but it can be a lot of fun, too!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much!! There are so many amazing entries, it’s really incredible to see all the different ways the fabric can be used. πŸ™‚