Friday, January 22, 2016

qypsy wife quilt - sarah schraw's modern farmhouse vintage version

the gypsy wife quilt along 2016 is getting into full gear. you can see the fabric pulls being made by various participants by searching the hashtag #GWqal2016FabricPull on instagram. i think next week we will have a link party here for blog friends to share theirs, too.

do you know what fabrics you'd like to use yet? in order to give fence-sitters some ideas and inspiration, and to get us all excited about our eventual finishes, i'm going to run a fun series of posts over the next few weeks until we officially begin in february. this series will feature some completed gyspy wife quilts in various styles, as well as some Q&A with the makers about their quilts and the process. i think you'll be pleased with the participants i've convinced to share with us. i know i am!

to kick off my veteran gypsy wife quilter series, today i'm introducing sarah schraw of sarah quilts. (instagram @sarahschraw) i've been a big fan of sarah's work for a while now. her combinations just sing to me; her fabric selections are impeccable. i adore her gypsy wife quilt, which i think of as having a vintage-farmhouse-meets-modern-fabrics look.

here are sarah's thoughts on her gypsy wife journey:

I really enjoy the variety and fun of samplers, and I love the way Jen Kingwell designed this particular sampler. Those vertical stripes are such a great way to bring a sampler style design together. 

I made my first block 101 weeks ago according to IG. I'm still working on the hand quilting so I guess I can't say I'm done yet. I'm about 1/3 done but now I'm hand quilting My Small World as well so I'm a little distracted.

I believe my initial concept was flowers, dots, and stripes. And as many colors as possible. I had just finished my neon sampler, and that was much funkier (lots of Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler and of course NEON), so I was in the mood for something softer and prettier (Bonnie & Camille, DS, etc). I do that a lot - finish a project that contains certain designers and then start something with a completely different part of my stash.

My favorite part of the process was the larger, more complicated blocks. I love the variety and sense of accomplishment you get from just one block. With some of those blocks, making them once was definitely enough!

One thing I would consider doing differently would be to take the quilt section by section rather than just going in order of the pattern booklet. It was really hard to get color distribution right because I didn't pay a lot of attention to which blocks were near each other. Plus it was really overwhelming and arduous to face all those skinny strips at once.

I'm hand quilting because I enjoy it and frankly I am never truly pleased with the result of my machine quilting. You have so much more control when hand quilting. And of course I love the way it looks.

I thread basted the quilt first - following the Sarah Fielke hand quilting tutorial on YouTube (here). I tried a tacking gun on My Small World as recommended by Jen Kingwell's hand quilting tutorial on Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube channel but I felt like that was actually harder.

Good luck! Please let me know if you have any other questions along the way. 

if you are a new quilter, sarah's blog has a whole series on making your first quilt. or check our her wonderful barn door quilt along. (i still have my fabrics set aside for that one! it's on my list.)

make your own gypsy wife quilt with us this year! join the gypsy wife quilt along 2016.

we're on instagram at #GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016

ps - sarah never posted this finish on her somewhat waining blog (she had a baby!), so i'm linking it up to friday finishes at crazy mom quilts for her!


  1. Hi Hydeeann, great to see the QAL is gathering steam. Thanks for taking it on. Enjoying pulling my own stash, but a bit puzzled as to what to use for sashing this time. I want a softer version of the quilt, but my stash says "loud"!
    Maybe your tour of finished quilts will give me the answer.

  2. Wow! I have been working on a sampler for a while, but hadn't thought how I might bring all the blocks together ... Your use of stripes is so intriguing! You've given me something to think about!

  3. I have been wanting to make this since I bought the issue of Quilt Mania it is in...just came across this blog where the gal will send you paper piecing templates for the pattern if you send her a pic of you with your magazine or pattern. I am definitely going to take her up on it and thought some of you might want to also! Genius!

  4. I really do like this pattern and it may well be within my abilities!
    Its on my wish list and maybe, just maybe I will start later this year.
    So am watching with awe yours : )
    I much prefer hand quilting too but then my machine quilting is dreadful!

  5. Great to know all this! I want to alternate the colors of my skinny strips between three colors. Hopefully I can figure that out. The directions for the whole thing seem a bit complicated. Glad there's this group to help me through it!

  6. I'd never get a quilt done if I hand quilted. Love the quilt and the colors.


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