Wednesday, January 27, 2016

gypsy wife quilt - cath mosely's all solids version

our next installment in the completed gypsy wife quilt series features a truly unique presentation of this pattern, which i think goes to show just how versatile it can be. today i'm fortunate enough to have cath mosely on board to share her rather famous all-solids gypsy wife, which was featured at quiltcon 2015 in austin, tx. her combination of bright colors for the blocks and alternating black-and-white strips is simply stunning. cath's surprising choices for a normally scrappy quilt demonstates that while it is a fabulous quilt when all scrappy, it can also take some structure nicely.

what attracted you to the gypsy wife quilt or why did you make one?

I loved this pattern from the first time I saw it. It's made of traditional blocks but in a layout I'd never seen before and I just loved its unique look. 

endless thread burying

how long did it take you to complete?

 I made the Gypsy Wife quilt over about 6 weeks. Making it in 6 weeks was quite a push, definitely faster than usual. I decided I wanted to enter it in Quiltcon with only about 6 weeks until entries closed so I had a deadline! It was accepted which was really cool because there wasn't  many quilts accepted that weren't original designs.

how did you go about making fabric selections?

I wanted my version to be unique so I thought I would try the complete opposite to Jen's fabric choices - solids - and right from the beginning I thought the strips in the background were begging to be made into stripes! I still wanted a wide variety of fabrics so I bought a layer cake of rainbow solids which yielded the majority of pieced blocks (I cut VERY economically!) and then made up the rest with a few solids I had in my stash. The more fabrics the better in this quilt! I looked at a few options for those background stripes but in the end the bold black and white was the winner!

what was your favorite block to make or favorite part of the project?

My favourite part of the project was the first time I sewed together some blocks and stripes. I stood back and thought with relief "yes, the combination works!!"  :)

please explain your quilting choices

I wanted very simple quilting as the quilt's pieced design speaks for itself. I quilted vertical lines 1" apart right across the quilt, following the background strips, then quilted 1" lines horizontally in the blocks only.

what would you change or do differently if you could?

There's two things I would do differently, but these are small things and might not bother anyone else!:
- When piecing the larger blocks I should've just checked what they would end up next to in the final quilt layout. I had to remake or switch the placement of a couple of blocks because I'd used the same fabric right next to each other without realising.
- In the pattern there's two 1/2" strips right next each other on the right half of the quilt. I just put in one 1" strip instead. I wish I had stuck with the pattern's two 1/2" strips now though because then my stripes would've finished with the same colour on both sides giving a more balanced look. If I hadn't created stripes this wouldn't have mattered at all of course!

what advice or tips would you offer for others making this quilt?

If the balance is important to you, see that first one in the last question! If you have the space, it's great to be able to put your blocks onto a design wall/floor and add each block to it's approximate place as you make them.  

cath also kindly sent me a video link so we can see her talk about her quilt at quiltcon last year. view here.

by day, cath works for a company that makes orthopaedic implants. "not much creativity in my day job!" she says. at other times, she quilts. you can view more of cath's creative work on her instagram account @cathmosely.


  1. wow this is spectacular--thank you for sharing--what a versatile pattern..hugs, Julierose

  2. I love this in solids. Who would have thought? What a great idea!

  3. So are there two skinnier long strips in the middle of the quilt? I never would have noticed the white on one end and the black on the other, but I might have noticed a different width strip in the middle. Hmmm. Something to think about! Thanks for sharing! I found this really helpful! Also I'm going to try to get organized with what block is next to what so I can plan the fabrics.

  4. Such a stunning quilt - absolutely love this in solids!! And it also allows the block placement to be seen more clearly for those of us about to start laying out our GW blocks.

  5. Oh wow! I love this version. It is gorgeous and stunning!

  6. Fascinating to see the modern twist the fabric choices make to this fabulous pattern!
    Absolutely stunning : )

  7. A stunner of a quilt, so different from the usual Gypsy Wife quilts, I love her use of just black and white strips.

  8. Wonderful quilt! The setting on your design wall caught my attention, I loved the white space! I've decided to attempt this quilt with solids and all white background strips. I especially like your quilting, it's a much better idea than an all-over pattern. Thank you!


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