Friday, November 2, 2012

the Emerald City

::Green:: jelly roll scraps 

What is this magic that transforms piles of formless fabric

Emerald City for grandpa

into something useful, beautiful and oh-so-giftable?  Today I feel, again, how lucky I am to have come by these ways thanks to the good-natured sharing of so many.  Although I barely know the grandpa for whom this quilt is destined, I feel confident that it says "thank-you" in a way that crosses most any divide.  Because, you see, I was told he likes green.  And that seemed enough.

Emerald City, this autumn

This ::green:: is finished and bound, in punchy Kona lime.  And (thanks to Jenelle) dubbed Emerald City, which I think perfectly fits its lush, boxy ways.  I quilted with a random grid of straight lines.  Nothing fancy, but I couldn't bare anything but straight lines for such an orderly, proper quilt design.

Oh, speaking of quilt design, this block style seems to have been popularized in recent years by the Jelly Filled pattern published by Thimble Blossom March 2010.  Other readers recognized the block by different names, my favorite of which was elongated courthouse steps.  Possibly a long name, but very precise.

I didn't use a pattern.  For starters, I decided to use my Kona jelly roll solid scraps, which are 2.5" wide.  I opted for blocks finishing at 10" x 13", to suit my feel for proportions.  The inner rectangle is cut 5.5" x 2.5" and the rest builds from there.  Here are the cutting directions for 1 block:

Fabric A:  (1) 2.5" x 5.5", (2) 2.5" x 9.5" and (2) 2.5" x 10.5"
Fabric B:  (2) 2.5" x 5.5" and (2) 2.5" x 6.5"

Emerald City quilt

Each block is composed of one print and one solid.  I used 35 blocks in a 5 x 7 layout with my quilt top finishing at about 65" x 70", a lovely size for a throw.   It was my goal with each block to use value to provide heaps of contrast between the courthouse step rounds.  I knew I'd succeeded when a little friend asked why this quilt is covered in zeros!

value connections

I love arranging and rearranging blocks for the final assembly when working in a scattered value pattern like this.  It's challenging and so satisfying to find just the right place for all the darks and lights so that they eye is drawn here and there looking for connections.

simple and green

On the back, more green with some large dark cuts of Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.

Chicopee Ladder dot

Fun to have the chance to use that black Chicopee Ladder Dot as a large cut where the dots can really show off!

Sweet Gum of mine

At home our forests are quite at the precipice of fall.  I'm waiting in eager anticipation for the morning when this, my favorite sweet gum tree, will glow a vibrant yellow.  Waiting.  Listening.  Enjoying these gentle days.

Goodbye green!  It's been lovely.


  1. are so talented! What an awesome quilt!

  2. Love it! Green's my favorite color, so this quilt would be very happy at my house! :D

  3. It's beautiful... and I'm sure it'll be well received!

  4. I really like that! What a great way to use up a bucket of leftovers!

  5. The colours are so spring. Love the combo of prints and plains. It's such a happy quilt.

    Jacky xox

  6. What a wonderful challenge - he likes 'green'. And you were off to the races! The quilt turned out very pleasing to the eye, even with so much green, which shows your ability to move the blocks around until they were placed just right for value. Great setting for your photos.

  7. this is so cool and gorgeous! great job!

    <3 Bethany @

  8. Oh my gosh ,that is just gorgeous.My fave colour just happens to be green,it's a colour that not many people go for,I don't know why just look how beautiful it is.
    A wonderful creation,he's going to love it.
    Laura xx

  9. I like how the Emerald City came out. It's such a great use of Jelly Roll fabric and a wonderful example of value.

  10. Such lovely cool fresh greens, a bit like a spring day! Lovely :)

  11. Love it!! And thanks for sharing your cutting dimensions, I could use this for a chairty quilt.

  12. I love green and your quilt shows why! It is gorgeous.

  13. So pretty love all the greens together. Green isn't usually a color I lean towards, but your quilt looks amazing.

  14. Nice job. I've never made a jelly roll quilt, I think I should!!

  15. Such a gorgeous finish. It's always amazing to see what fabric can be turned into!

  16. L,ove this Rachel. Sometimes, it's the simplistic designs that have the most impact:)

  17. Amazing! I do really love all the shades of green in this together. The name seems to fit well too. :)

  18. Absolutely charming green quilt!


  19. I have always been amused to be here....simply an awesome post..


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