When I first started quilting I made quilts for two reasons. I made quilts for my bed and I made quilts for babies. That’s it. Nothing else. No throws, no picnic quilts, no wall hangings.
A few years ago I started a new quilt for my bed. It had been six or seven years since my bed had a new quilt. The current one was out dated and worn. I chose a pattern, grabbed some fabrics from my stash and began.
At this phase of my life I had small kids, and worked from home as a long arm quilter. My extra time to quilt for fun or for myself was extremely limited. Slowly I chipped away at the quilt. Progress was slow but finished the quilt top after about one year.
Then it sat, and sat, and sat, and sat as quilts do that belong to long arm quilters. Finally after a couple more years, I loaded it on my quilt machine and let everything else wait while I finished it up.
I loved the quilting on the quilt and had the very best time quilting it, but there was a big problem. I didn’t like the quilt. Mostly, I didn’t feel like the fabrics in the quilt worked in my bedroom. I wasn’t at all how I would decorate the room I share with my husband.
Then I did something I had not done in almost twenty years of marriage. I bought a bedspread. Actually I bought a duvet and a cover on Amazon for under $50. I needed it to buy myself some time until I really figured out what to do on my bed. I knew for sure I wasn’t going to take three years making a quilt for my bed this time around.
After the fiasco of hating the quilt that took forever to make I came to a couple of conclusions. The first is that my personal taste in decorating was simple. I needed a quilt that was a lot less busy than many of the quilts I make. It needed fewer colors and a simple pattern. I also decided that I needed to be able to start and finish the quilt in a very short amount of time. I put these ideas in the back of my mind and saved them for later.
Fast forward a couple of months. I visited the Salt Lake City temple. To say the building is amazing is a gigantic understatement. It was built by early Mormon pioneer settlers who spent 40 years constructing it. Yes, it has had some updates but most of the building is original. There are gorgeous details all throughout the building but inspiration struck me in the restroom of all places.
The simple tile floor spoke to my soul. It needs to be a quilt I thought. Those tiny little tiles in a nine patch shape with tons of white space would make the sweetest quilt.
Inspiration comes to people in different ways. For me it comes in small chunks. I carried around this tiny nine patch design in my head for a while. Also bouncing around in my head was the need for a simple quilt for my bed. One day they bounced into each other and I had a magical ah-ha moment.
Choosing the fabrics was easy. We had recently painted two walls in our room a terra cotta color and covered the other with white ship lap. I wanted to use Essex Linen for the background because of the beautiful texture. I chose the shade indigo to tie in our old dresser which we had painted navy blue with the left over paint from our basement. I used Kona Terracotta for the accent color to match our walls. I’ve always been a white lover, so my last color would be Kona Snow.
I quickly drafted up the pattern. Remembering many quilts my mom and I made in my youth with a strip piecing book, I decided to use that method for my nine patch blocks to save even more time.
In one day while my kids were at school I had completed an entire quilt top. Unfortunately I had miscalculated the finished size and would need to add some blocks, but I didn’t mind that at all. I was completely delighted with the design.
Because the piecing on the quilt was minimal I was excited about adding some fun quilting. The quilting is now my favorite part! I also made a scrappy baby quilt version with totally different but equally amazing quilting.
Remember how I told you I ended up needing more blocks? I had to use almost every last scrap to do so. I had very little left for binding. I debated on ordering more Essex, but decided to just use every last bit of fabric I had and somewhat strategically added strips of Kona Terracotta to the binding. For an extra handmade touch I used a tutorial for chunky hand stitched binding by Lo and Behold Stitchery. I put my hand stitching on the front instead of the back because I love how the stitches soften the quilt.
The back is made from a black and white flower print that I found on sale at JoAnn. Yay! And the best part is that the fabric was 120″ wide and I did not have to put a seam in it. I actually love the way the backing is an unexpected floral on the simple quilt.
The end result is a quilt that I absolutely love on my bed. My husband loves it too which is a big bonus! I am so happy to be able to share the pattern with you so your bed can have a handmade quilt on it too!
The pattern includes sizes for king, queen, and twin sizes as well as a baby size. I made a baby version using tiny pieces from my stash for the nine patches. I love the added color the scraps brought to the quilt.
For the baby version I used an adorable unicorn flannel from Riley Blake on the back. I added a piece of the floral from my bed version to make it big enough. Then I bound it with more scraps and finished it of with big stitch binding again!
I hope you love making this quilt as much as I did. Don’t forget to share your quilt on Instagram with the hashtag #goldenslumbersquilt.