Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sleepy Fox - A Finished Quilt

This quilt started as a pursuit for a baby quilt for a coworker. She has a woodland themed nursery in gray and teal. This is her first child. When I was seeking out information about what she would like, the first animal mentioned in the description was a fox. I'm not even sure I heard any other animal that was named. A fox is what I wanted to make.

So off I went to find the perfect woodland fox quilt inspiration. I did not want cutesy or realistic. I wanted sweet. And then I found this blog post by 3rd Story Workshop. Not only was I in love with the quilt but also drawn to the designer. I did not want to be inspired by her quilt, I wanted to make a replica of it. And fortunately, she generously shares her fabric choices and her techniques.

I typically like to use as much stash as possible for any project but this time was different. I went shopping and matched as closely as I could the quilt she made. The fox is paper pieced and was easy to construct. Fox colors are among my favorite so anytime rusts and oranges are in the mix, I am extra delighted.

The birch trees on the original quilt were improv pieced. There is even a tutorial for how to construct them. I was intimidated by these trees. I love some good improv but generally any improv I have tried before was abstract. This improv was actually supposed to look like birch trees. I studied the tutorial and studied her quilt. These trees were constructed at around one a day, and each day I had to tell myself to keep moving forward. A tree alone looks very strange but together in a forest, maybe it would work out. This is the pep talk I gave myself each day during this process. 

It wasn't until the background was added that I started to see that it really might work out. The black strip was to show where the horizon line should be. Because the trees were gently curved and leaning one way or another, each background piece was scissor cut and carefully stitched in so the trees could maintain their natural stance in the quilt.

Finally, the top was completed. At this point, I was cautiously optimistic.

The next step was to hand stitch some eyes on the fox and then to layer the quilt. If this had been my own design, the is where I would have choked. How should this be quilted? The trees, the sky, the ground, the fox... so many elements to quilt. Thankfully, 3rd Story Workshop went with an all over design using wood grain quilting. Please, yes, and thank you for that.

This is a quilting design I had not tried before, but as the quilt was evolving, I was studying. There are quilts on Pinterest, and tutorials galore. The most helpful one for me was Angela Walter's Three Common Mistakes When Quilting the Woodgrain Design. I bet I watched that video five or six times, which is good because I made all three mistakes at some point on this quilt and was able to quickly correct them. 

I was even able to find the same backing fabric as the original quilt. It is so perfect.

The only aspect of the quilt that I did not copy was the binding. Andrea of 3rd Story Workshop used white binding just on the corner where the fox is sleeping. I liked the design element, but I knew the recipient of this quilt would not appreciate the extra effort so I kept it simple and bound the quilt with the same blue that is the sky. You might also say I was being a bit lazy with that step. I was ready to see the finished quilt.

What I love most about this project is that it pushed me to try new things. This one helped me grow as a quilter and conquer some of that irrational fear that creeps into my quilting world from time to time.

This quilt took 19 hours to complete. It was started on February 1 and completed on February 17. It is 39 x 46 inches. Sleepy Fox will be gifted at a baby shower on March 5.

Linking to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. Debora, I really love how this turned out. You would never know any of this was outside your comfort zone. It is so sweet.

    1. Thank you. The challenges that came with making it make me love it all the more. It is sweet from many perspectives.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! It was fun trying some new techniques with this quilt.

  3. This turned out beautifully. I love everything about it.

    1. Thank you! I like it a little more every day. I can't wait to give it away.

  4. What a great quilt! Love the cute little fox in the woods.

  5. LOVE that chunky birch bark and you did a great job on that horizon line!!

  6. This is such a wonderful quilt GREAT JOB!!

  7. You did a fabulous job!! Very pretty!! well done!!


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