Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt

Well, it’s been a lot longer than I meant to be! But I’ve got a finish to share:

Pink and Orange Quilt

I’ve finished my pink and coral and orange and black quilt made using fabrics from Fabric Spark‘s January blogger bundle, which was put together by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches. Back in January when I first got the fabrics, I talked a bit about how I found it sort of mystifying collection of colours.


I expect it was a bit mystifying to me because I’m not generally a very big fan of pink and I don’t really like pink and orange as a combination and I don’t generally like florals and even though I think a splash of black is a good addition to almost any colour palette I sort of found it hard, mentally, to slot this much black in with such sweet colours and prints. But I decided to do something with it straight away and decided on a pattern from McCall’s America Loves Scrap Quilts Winter 2014/2015 magazine, Dutch Breeze by Susan Guzman. I didn’t follow the pattern except to see what width to cut my strips; it was designed for scraps to create a larger quilt and I didn’t want to use more than my original 12 fat quarters, so my fabric strips weren’t going to match up with the pattern in any way (other than width).


Twelve Fat Quarters turned out 36 blocks (with very, very little fabric waste) and then I had to figure out how to make it all a little bigger and also not square. I didn’t want a square quilt or a baby quilt, but I didn’t want to add too much fabric either, so I figured out that if I used a centre block with 5×6 blocks, then I could put my remaining 6 blocks around the edges to squeeze another 16″ in width/length out. And I could do it using only 1 yard extra fabric.

Pink and Orange Quilt

It took a little creative piecing of the borders, but I did it! Originally I was going to put five blocks up in the top corner and just one in the bottom left (well, this picture is sideways, because I hung it sideways on the fence, but if you turned it clockwise to stand it on end, then this explanation would make sense…), but I would have had to piece the border fabric in chunks and this way let me use 4 panels cut to 8.5″ x 40.5″ – no extra seams necessary! (Other than adding on the blocks, of course…)

I had wanted to use one of the 12 original prints as the border fabric, but I wasn’t able to get enough from Fabric Spark of any of the prints I was leaning towards, so I wound up choosing this Honeycomb in Marmalade from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet as Honey line. This was probably the better choice in the long run, since it’s uses the colours from the bundle, but also didn’t blend in with any of the blocks that might have butted up against it around the edges. And it had a lot of white, which I thought might help tone down some of the PINK ORANGE FLORAL-ness of it. I’m not sure that it worked in that way, but I can live with that anyway.

Pink and Orange Quilt

I constructed the back using yardage of one of the prints from the front, split up with pieced together scraps left over from making the blocks. I’m not sure why, but somehow I convinced myself that the scraps strips were going to be enough seperation that it wouldn’t matter if I lined up the back when I pieced it. Hahaha no. It looks terrible! But I’m reminding myself that it’s on the back of the quilt and most of the time it’s going to be hidden. What does it matter really, in the grand scheme of it all if the back side is a bit ugly?

Pink and Orange Quilt

I tried to think of this project as a practise piece for free motion quilting, since that’s something I’m always wanting to get better at but rarely willing to really practise. I wouldn’t say I did a great job – there’s lot of little jigs and jogs and I’m not very good at regulating my speed and stitch length or the scale of my quilting.

Pink and Orange Quilt

But I tried to have fun with it. I like spirals, but it took me a while to figure out how to deal with the weird awkward bits where one spiral didn’t fill in to the next space. I’ve still got a long way to go in perfecting them, but I like how it looks finished and I’m just not going to worry too much about the bits that didn’t turn out “perfectly” (because done is better than perfect).

Pink and Orange Quilt

I bound this quilt using a black and white dot from my stash (and a little scrap of honey comb in the corner).

I still haven’t washed it, so it might shrink up a little bit yet, but I think it’s going to look good finished (even if I am a bit iffy about pink and orange still!) And I’m just glad to have it done – it wasn’t a project that should have lasted 3 months, but I guess I’m pretty good sat distracting myself!

Some quilt stats
Name: Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt
Pattern: Dutch Breeze by Susan Guzman
Size: About 56.5″ x 64.5″
Fabric: A fat quarter bundle chosen by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches, including fabrics from Cotton + Steel, Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics, and… others. The border is Bonnie Christine’s Honeycomb in Marmalade from her Sweet as Honey line.
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Wool
Thread: White Aurifil (piecing and quilting)
Backing: Amy Butler’s Pressed Flowers in Carmine from her Cameo line.
Binding: A black and white dot.

This was my March goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, so I’ll be linking up there and with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted this week by Janet at Simply Pieced.


10 thoughts on “Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt”

  1. well, good job! I like the choices you made in the design, and it looks like a great quilt to use,

    1. Thanks! It really is wonderful in use.. makes a great couch quilt! I didn’t talk about it in my post (because I hadn’t washed it at that point), but the Quilters Dream Wool batting is AMAZING washed… the texture and the drape is just phenomenal.

  2. I really love how you did the border! It really is the perfect print to pul in the colours but to make it different too.

    The colours are kind of weird together but I think they also work too. I think it’s the limey citrus greeny colour that kind of makes it all work?!

    I don’t think the back looks bad at all! I actually think it gives some movement to it with the circles not being lined up.

    Your seams look so nice and neat on the back of your blocks. I was making something yesterday and they were all kind of blah and fray-ey so i’m really starting to appreciate neat seams lol!

    1. Thanks! I think the black fabrics kind of kept it all from being too…. twee, maybe, with the pink and orange florals, and that lime sort of gives it a bit of spark and some movement, maybe. They’re still not fabric choices I would have made, but I’m largely happy with the finished product, anyway.

      I use a lot of Best Press when I sew, which makes ALL the difference in the back of my blocks! (Also, I often trim off those little frayed bits if they start to annoy me. I can be a bit obsessive about little details like that.)

  3. I actually like all those fabrics together. You picked the perfect pattern to show them off. The honeycomb fabric works well for the background, and I don’t think the back is ugly at all. Love the little kick of honeycomb in the corner of the binding, too. Very nice!

    1. Thanks Sandy! Even thought there are lots of things with this project that aren’t quite “me” I still love seeing it done and I really love using it! It’s making an excellent couch quilt.

  4. I am danged impressed!! Great job on it! I need to learn to think outside the box more, I would have just been stuck with a small square quilt LOL! And I cannot get over how perfect the backs of your blocks are! I kept staring at the photo LOL!

    1. Thanks Katy! I’m pretty impressed with myself about it (I always am when I finish things, because wow! I made a thing!) even with it’s little flaws and weird (for me) colour scheme. It’s going to make a nice couch quilt 😀

      I use a lot of best press when I sew, which really, really helps with the nice looking block backs! It doesn’t last too long once you start shifting them around or sewing them into rows or whatever. I can be a bit obsessive about details like that though – I will trim off those little frayed bits from the sides sometimes 😀

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