Garnets and Gold Quilt Top

I briefly mentioned a while ago that I was working on the Garnets and Gold quilt. Then I kept thinking I was SO CLOSE to finishing and so didn’t post in-progress photos. But now I finally am finished, at least with the top!

Garnets and Gold Quilt

This quilt is from Little Bits Quilting Bee by Kathreen Rickertson.  Like the rest of the craft community I was so sad to learn of Kathreen’s death earlier this year. I never met her, but I’ve drawn so much inspiration from her blog and from this book.

I decided to draw up my own paper piecing templates to help with keeping the piecing precise for this quilt.  For the most part I’m really happy with the alignment. When it came to the few exceptions, I decided there was just no way I was going to rip out a line of stitching at eighteen stitches to the inch.

Garnets and Gold Close Up

The fabrics are about 90% Amy Butler and a few other random ones that fit the color profile, like that gorgeous orange Anna Maria Horner feather print. Honestly, I go back and forth in my thinking about whether this quilt is just too loud. Sometimes I love it, and other times I start feeling vaguely grossed out by it. It’s definitely not in my usual comfort zone, but it’s good to bust out every once in a while, no? I have a more subdued plan for the back, with scattered wonky diamonds like the ones in this quilt on an almost black background. I think the scraps from the front should really sparkle.

I made myself a little mock-up to audition some possible quilting designs.

Quilting Diagram

I’ve been watching Angela Walters’ Craftsy class on quilting feathers and have gotten kind of obsessed with them. I think I’m going to try putting feathers up through the warm sections of the quilt and then densely quilt back and forth over the cool colored diamonds. But I need to practice a lot first. I’m particularly concerned about avoiding the lumps where all those points come together. That could turn into a total nightmare!

Garnets and Gold Quilt

So, have you ever made a project that you couldn’t make up your mind if you liked?

Oh, and unrelated bonus question: have you guys watched The Great British Sewing Bee? My friend Stephanie clued me in to the fact that you can watch episodes on YouTube and I love it! It’s kind of like Project Runway except it’s specifically for home sewers and everyone is nice to each other. I may be the last one to this party, but check it out if you haven’t yet!


  1. Love this! I do sometimes feel ambivalent about my finished quilts, but usually they grow on me. The organisation of colour and the simple effective design keep it from being too overwhelming. Your quilting plans look good. Are you going to use that long arm?
    Have heard about that sewing show, but not seen it yet, so thanks for the reminder!

  2. It’s a beautiful top. Cari. Yes, it is bright, but you have been up close and personal with it for quite a while now. Once you are finished with it and have had a break from it for a while, I am sure you will love it! Those feathers will look great through the warm sections. I like the wavy line quilting for the cool sections, too.
    PS. Hope you don’t mind… I shared this quilt, with a link back, on my facebook page at

  3. Oh! I think it’s gorgeous! And your plan for quilting is perfect! It has such great movement! I’ve had a couple that i haven’t liked upon finishing, some i knew soon enough into the project so they were taken apart, others i ended up really liking after being quilted! And i think this is part of the reason i have so many projects on the go, so i don’t get bored or tired of any one project!
    Keep at it! It’s going to be awesome!

  4. So jealous that you have a longarm near you to rent! (Or maybe I am jealous that you know how to use it.) This is a beautiful quilt top. It’s so summery–I started to say it would brighten a dreary winter, but do you get dreary winter where you are?!

    • Sort of! I live in Northern CA, which is definitely not the climate most people think of when they think “California.” :)

  5. Beautiful! I love the loudness. I think for this quilt it totally works. I love your idea for feathers in the quilting although I could see that being a scary thing to try. Can’t wait to see it finished!

  6. This is a beautiful quilt top. I definitely know what you mean about being on the fence with a project. Once you finish your quilting it might give your eye a place to rest (I find if my eye doesn’t find a place to rest I struggle with liking my projects). I think it’s going to be a lovely finish, good luck with those feathers! Can’t wait to see it finished up.

  7. It is amazing, even more awesome in person! Had a ton of fun playing with the indigo today and I can’t wait to see what else you whip up before the vat is done. Already ran the pieces I took home threw the wash, pictures to come tomorrow I think.

  8. I think your quilt top turned out very nice. i make quilts all the time that i hate somewhere in the middle of construction but i usually come around to liking it again at the end. when it’s quilted and bound you’ll probably fall in love with it.

  9. This quilt is on my to-make list. I love so many of Kathreen’s quilt patterns. Your top turned out beautifully!

  10. I love it. I don’t think it’s “loud” despite all the prints because they are all approximately the same value.

  11. Hi Cari, it’s so nice to see Kathreen’s work is still inspiring others – she would have loved to have seen this quilt top. The original that she made was on her sofa in her living room and I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of sitting on it while drinking tea. I think you’ve done a great job with the fabric selection in your version and I can’t wait to see it quilted up. And thanks for the Craftsy class idea, I’m trying to quilt something at the moment and am stumped for ideas, I’ll go and check out the class. Jules

  12. Lauren aka Giddy99 says:

    It’s completely gorgeous! I love the loud prints and bright colors – I’d make one just like it. :)

  13. Andrea B. says:

    Definitely not too loud–it’s gorgeous! Love the choice of prints and the use of the different cools and warms together! Very well done!

  14. Beautiful finish for stepping out of your comfort zone. Congratulations. I stumbled upon your blog via In Color Order, I’ll definitely want to check back when you have it all quilted.