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Liberty Love

Snow Oyster Quilt

Snow oyster quilt

I finally finished this quilt that I started in July at the Denyse Schmidt workshop I took in Portland at the PNCA. I am beyond thrilled with how it came out, mostly because it was a creatively inspiring exercise for me. Every step, from the colors I used to the quilting design and everything in between, had me pushing myself a little out of my comfort zone in the best possible way. And now, I have this quilt. And I love it.

Snow oyster 3

Snow oyster 4

The quilt is based on the Shoeman's Puzzle from Denyse's book Modern Quilts, Traditonal Inspiration. In the workshop, we began by making four blocks using the templates. From there, rulers were put to the side and all the cuts were done freehand. As my number of blocks grew, I decided to vary the scale of the middle triangle and added a slight curve to the smallest one. I sewed a good number of blocks over the two days of the workshop and was very happy with the way it was coming together, so I came home and finished over the next few months. It is small - 44" x 59" after washing. The blocks were originally 8" finished, so it was 48" x 64" before I laundered it.

The solids are Kona Snow and Kona Oyster. Blair (who took the workshop with me) consulted her Kona color card and gave me some options of other off-whites that would work with Snow. I'm not sure that I would have chosen Oyster - the difference between the two colors is very slight and I think I gravitate towards more contrast. But, the Oyster was a wonderful choice because it IS a subtle difference in comparison to the Snow. (Thank you, Blair.) The other two prints I used in the quilt are both from my stash. I think they are from the Joelle Hoverson's Cake Rock Beach collection. Maybe? Regardless, they were put into the mix when the improvisational cutting left me with blocks that were too small and because their backgrounds are very, very close in color to the Snow and Oyster. After using them each once, I intentionally sprinkled them a tiny bit throughout the quilt top. I love the depth they add, as well as the element of surprise.

Snow oyster 5

The back was constructed with my leftover solids. A swath of Oyster divided from the Snow by a simple strip pieced from the two prints. The quilting is an interlocking figure-8-ish design that evolved as I started quilting. I did not mark any lines on the quilt, but instead used the center seam line as a base and then worked above and below it until the quilting was complete. I think this quilting has an allover quality that this quilt needed without being too fussy, but still interesting enough. For the batting, I went with Quilters Dream Cotton. This is quickly becoming my favorite batting to use as it is low loft and very light, but crinkles nicely when washed.

Snow oyster 2

The binding is a dark grass green from my stash. I'm guessing it is a Free Spirit solid. And although my original intent was to bind it with something a little more neutral or something a little flashier, I do like how this blends with the small green lines in one of the prints. Plus, I like green so it's always a good choice in my book.

When I look at this, I see something that is very different from other quilts I have made in the past. I can see how this quilt has pushed me to let go and to grow creatively. It is a good visual reminder of what can happen with improvisation and experimentation. And because I took my time, picking it up and putting it down over the course of seven months, it ended up being much different than I had envisioned it would be when I started it in July. It ended up better.

Lesson learned? Let go, play, take my time.



wow, Erin, I love this.


i love this piece, but mostly, your story. xo


I love this quilt, and I love the story behind it-- the creative growth, the letting go, the taking time. It is just wonderful, and so inspiring.


Love! It seems season-less and soothing. And mmmm... texture.

Jill E.

Beautiful Erin!

heather smith jones

It's really great Erin! I like those subtle color changes on the quilt that make you look closely. And I feel similarly about paintings that I work on over a long period of time. They may end up differently than when I began, but I learn what concepts are important to the work.


I love the subtlety of this. I also love that the pattern morphed into improvisation. I would have been afraid to start because I don't want to work with templates (and I guess that was the point of the class) but it's turned out really lovely in the end.


Your quilt is beautiful - very calm...


Beautiful interpretation of that pattern - the palatte is lovely, and the way you worked in the other fabrics is so subtle! Love it.


I *LOVE* it. sophisticated and simple and totally complex and stunning.


so, so pretty - love the minimal contrast of the quilt with the strong grounding of the binding. way to stretch yourself and get a awesome finished product!


Love these subtle pinwheels!
Totally looks like they're spinning.

lisa s

gorgeous erin. phew.


It's beautiful. I love colour but I also love subtlety. This is an exquisite execution. Well done you. Inspirational.


Erin it's gorgeous!


I'll admit it, didn't read...but love the quilt!

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Erin! I absolutely love this! All the right choices, all the right accents. I think I've said it before, but it was my favorite of that weekend.

Sally Anderson

Gorgeous quilt! I love the subtle differences in color and the mild contrast (even though, like you, I'm usually into more contrast). The quilting is beautiful, too. Great quilt!


This is really pretty! I think we forget about the "power of neutrals" amid all the color. A very subtle, calming quilt. Great job!

Scarlet of Family Focus Blog

That's beautiful and I love the contrasting color for the edging.

mary frances | this is marzipan

I really love this, especially the little "off" rectangles.


really? i'm this late?
good lord!

a gorgeous. subtle. totally peaceful quilt.

wow! you really do amaze me.


beth this one.

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oh. my. goodness. erin. this is amazing!!!

Darlene Rutledge

Beautiful job. Not a quilt that appealed to me at first glance when I saw it in Denyse's book, but I love your colour choices. So subtle and simply lovely! You've inspired me Erin.


a truly lovely quilt! i love the very subtle color changes!

melissa f.

oh, it's just wonderful. the quilting turned out so nicely-- you are getting so good at that. i need lessons.


that is a truly lovely quilt. So glad to see the whole thing after you showed a little bit of it a while back.

krista - Poppyprint

I love it and could easily envision a peaceful nap on the couch under this soothing quilt!




Such a soothing quiet charming quilt. I too would have had trouble choosing the two colours to pair up in this quilt but it ends up simply stunning. Thank you for sharing the quilt and your story.

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