I am just crazy mad in love with this quilt (photo from book, Home to Roost). I have had in my mind for a year or more to make this quilt, but I didn't know how to find the pattern. My inspiration was a miniature quilt called Pinwheel Gardens I saw on Pinterest by Lisa Bonjean of Primitive Gatherings (in photo below). I saw this ages ago and fell hard for it. But a miniature? Not for me, with all those pinwheels.
Just look at that. Isn't Lisa's quilt awesome? Sometimes, that is how it is. You see a quilt and say to yourself, "I love that. I must have it". Now, I was pretty determined to have this quilt, but am not terribly clever about figuring out measurements to make a larger version. Ugh, do the math? And I was not about to make this quilt with half inch square half square triangles or whatever. So, it was just an idea in my mind for a long time. I blog posted on this quilt, and saved the image on my Pinterest Bucket List. Eventually, I suppose I would have figured out how to make a larger version.
Now, it turns out, I had the pattern for the quilt shown in the top photo all along. "Duh" moment. I am a "bear of very little brain" as my husband likes to tell me. The pattern I had on my book shelf was the same basic block design as Lisa's, but a much simpler border. And not a miniature.
The pattern for this quilt, called Rhubarb Whirl, was in a book I bought a few years back. The book is by Renee Nannerman, and was purchased because I wanted to make a completely different quilt in the book. I bought the fabric to make the other quilt, never made it, dispersed the fabrics into my stash and forgot about the book. Sigh. I forget how it all came to my attention, but it was very fortuitous.
Here is the book. You can buy it and have the pattern for Rhubarb Whirl too. And a total of 5 other cool patterns as well, including the one I meant to make in the first place, but never did.
So here is the deal with the book. As I said, six great quilt designs, but the cutting directions are awful. Obviously the book was designed to feature Renee Nannerman's specific fabrics, so the directions tell you to buy one quarter yard of fabric #183774, three eighths of a yard of fabric #183772 etc. Thirty three fabrics were listed like that and you have no clue if it is a light or a dark or whatever, unless you refer to a color chart on a different page. Arghh. This wouldn't be so bad if the pattern pamplet was free (or very inexpensive) to promote a fabric line, but the book cost $24.95! And of course at this point, three or four years later, you couldn't find that specific line of fabric anymore anyway.
I want instructions that tell me to use X number of dark fat quarters, X number of light fat quarters, plus X of a yard for my inner border etc. Or even, keeping it vague "Use a total of X yards assorted fat quarters".
A much bigger issue is that the fabric amounts called for in the book seem excessive. The pattern calls for well over 8.25 yards of fabric for a 56" x 72" quilt top. I found that I got two blocks from a coordinated fat eighth light and dark pairing, plus a bit extra for a pinwheel block for the border. So, for the 48 blocks called for in the top, that makes 24 pairings of a light and a dark, using two fat eighths for each block combo. Six yards total for the quilt center, plus some extra dark rectangular scraps for the border. That is a pretty darn big difference from the over 8 yards the pattern calls for. Right?
I believe in generous cutting instructions in case of error, or leftovers for a future project, but that is ridiculous.
All week I have hesitated posting this little rant, because I don't typically like to be negative or critical. I imagine that the fabric manufactorer (Andover) insisted on the strange cutting directions and overly generous fabric amounts and not the designer herself, Renee Nannerman. I have heard of that before. Often even if a designer objects they are over ruled by the book publisher. If I were lucky enough to be asked to design a fabric line or author a book, I doubt I would be all that vocal in my protests with the Powers That Be either. This isn't a criticsm of Renee (love her fabric designs, love her quilts).
The bottom line is I am making a quilt I will love and have wanted for a long time, and am enjoying the sewing process. But if you have the book and want to make Rhubarb Whirl, be warned there are some fabric requirements and cutting directions you might want to revise to suit yourself.