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Hope Valley Top Complete

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I finished my Hope Valley quilt top last night! I’m very happy with it, although I can’t say I’m sorry to be done piecing it. : )

This one started out as a sketch. I didn’t have any particular fabric in mind at the time—I was just sketching. But I knew I wanted small-scale prints with very little white. Hope Valley jumped to mind immediately.

Next, I made a mock-up in Adobe Illustrator. I don’t do mock-ups for all my quilts, but I knew this design would take some hard-core planning in order to pull it off, so no flying by the seat of my pants on this one! I like to use Illustrator for my mock-ups because you can import scans of your fabric and save them as pattern swatches in the color palette. Then you can easily fill any shape with that pattern—it will automatically repeat the pattern to fill any shape/size. It makes mocking up with prints easy, quick, and accurate.

Even with the mock-up, I kept making adjustments to the design as I pieced it. Most notably, I dumped the yellow/green inner squares. And that was after I sewed all the HSTs! (But before I squared them up, at least. And I’m sure those HSTs will make an appearance in something else.) There are a few other smaller differences between the mock-up and the finished top. I also went back and forth about the borders and sashing before finally settling on what you see here.

And I am so happy with how all of those seams came together! Finally my seams are starting to match up! As I finished piecing this last night, I thought back to when I started quilting and would get so frustrated because things just wouldn’t line up. It’s so nice to realize that all my failed attempts and all my practice are finally paying off. There are certainly places where this top could have come together better, but it is head-and-shoulders above where I was last year at this time. Now I just need to work on that quilting!

So of course, I’m planning to quilt this one myself—probably diagonal lines through all those little squares. Hopefully I can get to that after Thanksgiving.

Oh, I’m also adding this to Quilt Story‘s Fabric Tuesday. And don’t forget WIP Wednesday tomorrow—please join us with your WIPs!

42 replies
  1. Elizabeth D.
    Elizabeth D. says:

    I adore this! So gorgeous, beautiful fabrics, beautiful design. A tutorial would be pretty awesome, or a pattern…or a quilt-along in the new year? Just a thought 😉

  2. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    This is so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing the process of how you made this gorgeous quilt! So impressive! I can't wait to see the finished product!

  3. Leila
    Leila says:

    Love, Love, Love it! The fabric is perfect and the pattern is beautiful. I agree with Felicity, people would totally buy the pattern.

    I really like how the block goes off into the border. THAT is good piecing – by the time I get to my borders I just slap something solid on because it makes my head spin to figure out how to piece that long strip so everything matches up – and it doesn't match even when I figure it out. 🙂

    Great job!

  4. Quiltstory
    Quiltstory says:

    Ah you are killing, me!! Love this, such a great design and the perfect fabric. I've dabbled a bit in Illistrator and would love to use it like you have, but I'm quite intimidated! 🙁 Thanks for linking up, we'll see you next week!

  5. Kristie
    Kristie says:

    Love this, Lee, and thanks for tipping me off to Adobe Illustrator…though it may take me ages to figure that out! Love the design of your blog, so fresh! I am now your 100th follower 🙂

  6. Blue.Ridge.Girl
    Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    What a fabulous design, it shows off the beautiful fabrics and the fantastic layout! Hope you will put together a tutorial or a quilt-a-long. I am going to look into Adobe Illustrator…thanks for the tip!

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