“Chandelier” at the Ark Encounter

Last weekend, Hubby and I accompanied a busload of folks from several Ft. Bragg chapels to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. We were impressed with the sheer size of the structure, built according to the dimensions God gave Noah (Genesis 6). It was eye-opening to read the listed scientific names of all the animals, extant and extinct, and to realize that they all could have fit on an ark of this size!

The interior of the ark was crafted from beautiful timber, and cages housed models of dinosaurs. We watched several films and read many plaques as we walked through the largest timber-frame structure in the world. Our imaginations were stirred as we considered how Noah’s family must have felt to hear rain drumming on the roof for 40 days and nights. How tired they must have been to care for all those smelly and demanding animals day in and day out for a year!

For the long bus trip I packed a lap quilt made from leftover blocks from my “Chandelier” quilt. After hand stitching the binding on the way to Williamstown, I used it as a pillow or lap warmer on the way home.

The Ark Encounter is an adventure we will long remember!

Kay’s “Chandelier” Quilt

My friend, Kay, signed up for the “Chandelier” quilt class I taught at Sew There! in Angier last month. The quilt was designed by Vanessa Goertzen and published in her book, Charm School, 18 Quilts from 5″ Pre-cut Squares. The quilt is very popular owing to its visual appeal and easy construction. You will find many “Chandelier” pictures on Pinterest and other online sources. For example, here is a picture of my “Chandelier.”

Kay decided to make a quilt for her expected grandson in colors and fabrics approved by her daughter. It is amazing how color and value placement change the appearance of a design. After making the blocks, Kay arranged and sewed them together, randomly intermingling mint green blocks with those of  low volume print. But we didn’t like the effect; our eyes kept jumping around, trying to make sense of the design. So Kay un-sewed the blocks and arranged like fabrics in vertical columns. The quilt looks more organized and cohesive this way because all the fabrics are of similar (light) value.

Kay passed her quilt top to me for quilting, and I quilted an allover design of freehand spirals with gray thread. The circular spirals add movement and a softening texture that contrasts nicely with the angular patchwork pieces.

Kay is all set to snuggle her new grandson, and he will have a warm treasure from his loving Grandma!


“Chandelier” Quilt Finished!

If you need a quick and easy project, may I recommend “Chandelier?” It may be quick and easy, but it packs a lot of visual punch. The light, medium and dark fabrics form scintillating vertical chains reminding me of a chandelier’s hanging crystals shimmering in the light.

I was inspired to make this quilt by the numerous images of it on Pinterest. A little research led me to Vanessa Goertzen’s book, Charm School-18 Quilts from 5″ Squares: a Beginner’s Guide. Her quilt measures 60″ x 60″ and calls for two identical packages of 5″ charm squares (42 per pack). I purchased, instead, a layer cake of 10″ squares and had plenty of fabric to make a 72″ square quilt.

The fabric motifs are so pretty:  feathers, bird nests with eggs, blooming branches, and butterflies. “Nature Study” was designed by Nancy Mink for Wilmington Prints. Click here to see swatches of this lovely fabric line.

For quilting, I chose the “Spring Beauty” pantograph design printed and distributed by Willow Leaf Studio. The panto includes both butterflies and five-petaled flowers with leaves. When my daughter, Trinity, asked what color thread I planned to use, I said, “light green or light blue.” But as I basted the quilt top on the batting and backing, I almost chickened out because the blue was so noticeable on the ecru background. But then I reasoned that the pantograph design would be unnoticeable if I used ecru or tan thread. So I held my breath and used the light blue thread. And I am so glad I did! The design shows up very nicely, adding another dimension of interest.

I bound the quilt with solid navy, but I think an ecru binding would lend a contemporary air.

I am scheduled to teach “Chandelier” at my local quilt shop, Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC. The dates are Saturdays, Nov. 9 and 23 from 12:30 to 3:30. If you live locally, I’d love to have you join our class. Phone Bonnie to register:  919-331-2499.