There is one photo in Laura Preston’s book that caught my attention right away when I flipped through the pages for the first time under the Christmas tree in December 2019. It is a photo of the New Mexico quilt on a double bed in a trailer.
Everything in this photo I simply love: the light colors of the interior matching the quilt, the modern, but also kind of retro-looking design. At this moment I knew that I wanted to make this quilt.
And I have to admit that I actually tried to divert my husband’s wish of having the Minnesota quilt to this one… but I was not successful! 😉
And what would every quilter do in such a situation? Correct, you make both quilts. So, after working on something else in March 2020, I made the New Mexico quilt my April 2020 quilt project.
Working on the New Mexico Quilt
When I decided on this quilt, I did not consider that it would be another quilt made up of Half Square Triangles.
Don’t get me wrong!
There is nothing wrong with Half Square Triangles, but there were a lot of them and I had just finished three quilts based on them in the last months.
At this stage, I was a bit tired of them. Not necessarily of making them, but of squaring them up. I really do not like this step of the process, but I also know that it is super important to square them up properly if you want your points to match. And this quilt needed 88 of them!
Actually, 88 is not even such a bad number. There are quilts that require much more Half Square Triangles than 88. And here the color combination was super simple. Each of the four solids needed to be combined with the light beige only.
It took me about 10 days to convince myself that I needed to square my Half Square Triangles up. During these 10 days of procrastinating, I already planned for my May quilt project and started preparations for it. Finally, I decided to watch a nice German crime show online and use the time to square up 88 Half Square Triangles in one go. 🙂
Finishing my Quilt Top
There is not so much to say about finishing the quilt top. You just follow the layout in the book and sew the rows together. While doing this you should pay attention to your 1/4 inch seams and to the points matching nicely together.
Especially for a quilt design that is based on triangles and chevrons matching points are crucial. You see almost instantly when looking at the overall quilt when something does not match perfectly. I always feel that these patterns are not very forgiving in this regard.
So naturally I spend a lot of time measuring. In this case, my new measuring tape even matched the quilt. 😉
Sometimes I also do not sew all the rows together and then assemble the rows, but I work from the center always two rows at a time. This way I can ensure that the blocks are matching nicely while assembling the quilt top.
Quilting the New Mexico Quilt
As for the quilting I based it on Laura Preston’s book again. It actually uses the same pattern as for the Minnesota quilt: straight lines in an arrow shape towards the center of the quilt. But the thread I chose was again a thread that stood out more than the muted tone she uses in the book.
For the binding, however, I mixed things up a bit. I wanted all the bright solids of the quilt to be represented in the binding. In the book the binding is black and I found this too boring. Also, the binding does not really stand out towards the backing in this case, which is also black. This is why I decided to use stripes of light blue, orange and red instead which actually had a nice effect. this way the binding stands out towards the front and the back of the quilt.
One aspect that I had actually not thought through was the size of the quilt. It is a queen-size quilt. As I was inspired by the photo in the book, the idea was to make it for our bed. But our bed is a king-size bed. So the size did not really match. Thus my mother-in-law became the quilt’s new owner. 🙂
So, in April 2020 I had already made two quilts from Laura Preston’s book and there were a few more quilt projects from this book I wanted to make. Not necessarily quilts, but there are lovely cushion designs that I would like to try out. And the nice thing about cushions is that you can work with the leftovers from your quilts.
Are you also a fan of making matching quilted cushions with the leftovers from your quilt projects? Or what do you do with leftover fabrics?