Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Spectacular

It's surely no secret around here that I LOVE KATE SPAIN and creating things with her awesome fabrics. One of my favorite quilts that I've ever made is my Jewel Box quilt from the charms I got in a swap that included every line except her holiday lines. 

Well last year I thought how wonderful it would be to make a quilt using only her Christmas / Winter lines. I'm not usually a fan of devoting a quilt to something I will only use once a year but this seemed different and special. Christmas had always been a special time to my mother and she took great pride in doing the house up nice each year so I committed myself to making maybe a throw size in her honor. 
Image result for cardinal in snow saying
I did a little research and it turned out there were 6 lines from previous years and another coming out mid 2016 and I really loved them all -- they have a certain vintage/timeless feel to them, like my mother's ornament collection. 
Crayon Box Quilt Studio
(image from Crayon Box Quilts -- who did a round of holiday charm swap round that I passed on when Jingle came out)

Lovers of Fabric know that OOP and HTF equate to being long shots at times and I was seeking a charm pack of each line (make things a little harder for my self, right.) I came across an awesome hashtag #GetYourQuiltyWishesGranted about this same time so I threw this wish out into the cyber world and also started to look online to see if this was going to be a possibility. 

I was really excited and surprised when charm packs of 4 lines were offered to me right away. I started to tell myself -- this might actually happen, so I focused on the other 2 heavily. 
Image result for kate spain christmas charmImage result for kate spain christmas charm
One I was able to find online (not cheap), I asked the shop owner about the other missing line and my intentions for the project, and she lowered the cost a little for me and directed me to another person that might have what I was looking for (how great, right). While I'm waiting to hear back about the other, I got a message on IG and the missing pack was gifted. 

Knowing the new line was going to be released after market I started asking around to people that I knew would be going, and a friend's shop was doing an after market sample sale and I was able to pick up the new line before most people really knew about it. 
Image result for kate spain christmas charm
So with all the packs in hand it was time to choose a background color since I already knew the pattern I wanted to modify and use. 
When my dear friend Melanie decided to close her retail store and this provided a great opportunity to get an abundance of dark grey grunge that blended all the the beautiful variations of reds, greens, blues, grays, whites and creams that all these different lines brought together -- not exactly the color you think of in a Christmas quilt. 
Moda grunge fabric UK stockists
Then it was time to make what seemed like a thousand half square triangles -- but really it was 422 (211 different fabrics) and I got most of these sewn at a series of sew ins with the help from my friends all taking part in the assembly line process. 

I sorted them into groups of 8 for the stars. 
and with a strong dose of courage pushed forward on assembly. This was October and I wanted to see if I could make it at least to the quilt top phase by December. 

I tried a new to me method of sewing the blocks together called the scrambled net patchwork. I had seen this done before by 2 quilters (one focused on design/ layout and the other was working on a scrappy quilt) and once I got the hang of it I was amazed, because knowing me at least one of those triangles would have been wrong along the way. If you look at the tutorial I linked to I did mine a little differently -- I only focused on one column at a time instead of every other but it's a great method. I even repeated it once I had all the blocks completed to make the top. 
These blocks are large and I knew the idea of a throw was out the window. I also knew that I didn't want to break my back with rearranging them on the floor to determine layout -- so I cheated and I made block representation cards and did a basic layout with these before spreading the blocks on the floor. This might be handy for my fellow quilters with furry helpers. 
I did have to do a little swapping out for fabric placement but this probably saved me -- hours! No seriously, when you factor in time for blind rearrangement and cat moving and recovery time from all that bending over -- hours, maybe even days. (Kahn is kind of a jerk when it comes to quilt layout time).
This lovely girl is a much better helper than the other one because she waits patiently off to the side and then patrols the edge before coming onto the quilt -- She's such a love. 
The quilt pattern is by my awesome online friend Michelle that she designed for Moda called Castles on the Horizon, Michelle is someone that I feel I will meet in real life some day and she happens to be as big of a Kate Spain fan as I am, she was the charm swap host for the other KS quilt I made. I decided this quilt would be called Castles at Christmas in honor of her.
Once assembled I added a simple border and incorporated the solid charms that I initially was going to have to leave out -- my change from her design but it emphasizes the diamonds and reminds me of the holly bunches that my mother put on the corner of the mantle. 

The backing had been purchased on the way to Stash Bash last year after I surprised my awesome friend Mallory and  we stopped at the shop closest to the retreat to just hang out some more before the big weekend -- where she helped me find the hidden bolt of this great fabric from the Jingle line. 
Image result for kate spain birds and berries
I patched in the extra star block into the backing 
and sent it off for some spa treatment in Florida -- right after Thanksgiving. As I have said before Kira is awesome and I feel confident in letting her do her own thing when it comes to my quilts and she sure didn't disappoint on this one -- stunning work, she quilted poinsettias and swirls. 
I set forth binding it right away with the hopes that I would still make my holiday deadline and as of 4pm on 12/27 I had a completed queen sized quilt -- The Kate Spain Christmas Spectacular -- Castles at Christmas
This one is so very special because of all the components that many of my friends added to it along it's journey and it will now be a part of my holiday traditions for many years to come. 
Image result for disney castle at christmas
Wouldn't it be great to get a photo with the Disney castle. 

This is my 2nd finish for this quarter. 


  1. well Katie, this is some finish and a great story to go along with it. I love how all the different fabric components came together to make one rather big throw. The end result is really great with the grunge fabric.

  2. I'm finally getting a chance to read this post and all I can say is Thank You!!!! For being a Kate Spain fabric addict like me, for loving my pattern so much that you collected special fabric and created your own version and for sharing my pattern with your readers. Plus honoring me with the quilt's name...I couldn't be more touched. I really love the way it turned out. It is truly spectacular. One day we will meet in person but until then.....big hugs my friend.

  3. Wow it is a stunning quilt and I love it's story! Congratulations on the finish and thank you for participating in the 2016FAL, on behalf of all the hosts!