"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

February 12, 2016

Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels {A Finish}

I made my last quilt of 2015 for a very special young woman and incorporated her name right into to title of the quilt, "Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels." It was even delivered on New Year's Eve right before she left to move into her college dorm. I wanted to send her off with a hug from home made especially for her.  

"Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels" ready to quilt
I was visiting with Gabby one day about her decoration plans for her dorm room and when she said her favorite colors were purple and coral and she loved butterflies I knew I had the perfect fabric and pattern in my stash just waiting to be a quilt for her. I had picked up a Jelly Roll and some coordinating yardage (the outer border) of the fabric over 4 years ago on a shop hop in Missouri with my mom. It's Watercolor Garden by Benartex.

One of my goals when making a quilt for a specific person is to make it something they will love and enjoy. So I asked her mom to help me out a bit. Once I had all the pinwheels made I posted three pictures on my Little Pink Rose Quilting Facebook page and another Quilting page asking for opinions on which was the most pleasing/which they liked the best. 

Option 1 - Diagonal color blocking
Option 2 - Color Blocking in Rows
Option 3 - Random layout
There wasn't really an overwhelming consensus among the quilters on a favorite layout, which didn't really matter since what I really wanted was Gabby's opinion. But, I did get a good suggestion for a better layout was to go with the diagonal layout but rearrange the colors using the Rainbow (ROYGBIV).

Final Layout {LOVE!!}
Oh what a difference the rainbow made.  This made me so very happy!! 
But I still hadn't heard back from Gabby's mom about what Gabby liked. I added this option to my layout choices on my page and held my breath.

Turns out that her younger sister got involved in secretly finding out what she liked. I love that it became a family effort to surprise her! 

Butterflies and loops Free Motion Quilting
A month earlier my hubby and I decided to order an Artistic Quilter Sit Down 18" Longarm for me. I had just gotten back my Husqvarna Sapphire back from the repair shop. They said I had broken it because of the way I was Free Motion Quilting. After an almost $400 repair bill and on the recommendation of the repair tech, my hubby agreed it was time to get me an industrial strength machine that could handle the kind of quilting I was doing.

My Christmas/Anniversary/Valentine's Day/Birthday/Mother's Day gift from my hubby for at least the next year.
 Happy dance this sweet baby showed up just in time for me to quilt Gabby's quilt

 I only had 3 days to do all the quilting, binding, label, wash and photograph the quilt before I had to have it ready to deliver on New Year's Eve. The timing of this machine arriving couldn't have been better! If I had, had to use the Husqvarna with a 10" throat there's much more wrestling of the quilt involved. It's a strenuous battle that wears me out and limits how long I can quilt in one setting. With all of the wrestling and rearranging required to quilt on a regular sewing machine causes it to take longer. Having 8" more space to work in I was able to quilt much more quickly. What would have normally taken me over a week to complete I was able to do in just a day and a half. If there had been any doubt on whether I'd like this new machine it was gone. 

Feathers in the border - Marked only the center spine of the feathers as a reference point to anchor the feathers as I stitched.
Feather border seen from the back. Backing fabric Fairy Frost in Snow by Michael Miller

I do have a few quilts out in the world that I've failed to label. But my goal is to label every quilt I make or quilt. Along with a personal message I've recently started including on the label care instructions for the recipient, so they never have to question what it was I had told them about caring for the quilt.

I LOVE giving quilts and seeing how happy the person receiving it is because they feel so special when they receive a quilt made especially for them!!

Mom showing Gabby the butterflies in the quilting.
Reading the message on the label
I think she likes it!!
My only regret in the whole thing was that in my rush to finish and wrap the quilt I completely forgot to take any pictures of the finished quilt. But, Gabby and her parents were awesome and took some pictures of it for me after they arrived and set up her dorm room.

Ready to snuggle under the warmth of a handmade quilt on cold winter nights.
"Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels"

Quilt Details & Stats:

Quilt Name: "Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels"
 Finished size: 85"x91"
Quilt Pattern: Jelly Roll Spin by Moda
Fabric: Watercolor Garden by Benartex, inner violet border from stash,
binding and smallest inner border Simply Pleasures by Debbie Beaves,
Backing Fairy Frost in Snow by Michael Miller
Batting: Heirloom Perimum 80% Cotton 20% Poly
Thread: 50wt. Aurifil White #2024

Quilting: Free Motion Quilted using my Artistic Quilter SD18 Longarm.
Thank you for stopping by and catching up with my on my quilting journey!

God Bless and Happy Quilting!


  1. So much thoughtfulness. A beautiful gift, such a pretty quilt.

  2. Such a beautiful quilt for Gabby.
    I think your label is wonderful and of course the quilting is just exquisite!


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