Wednesday, July 16

Carolina Byways Miniature Quilt - with link to free pattern

"Carolina Byways".... Isn't that a great name for a quilt?
It brings to my mind the wonderful times we had meandering through the Great Smoky Mountains, where my Grandma delighted in getting us lost, just so we could spend more time there.  

Carolina Byways is a split nine-patch quilt created by Janet Wickell and she has offered it as a Free Pattern!  Her quilt is made with 6" blocks and she also has instructions available for a miniature version with 3" blocks.  I made the mini - so each square you see in the photos is 1". (There are nine squares, arranged 3 x 3 in each nine-patch block.)  I also didn't follow Janet's pattern exactly and changed the way my nine-patches were split.

Which usually comes first for you?  Do you start with fabric you love and then search for, or create, a pattern?  Or do you find a pattern you just have to make and then look for the fabrics?  In the case of this quilt, I fell in love with Barbara Brackman's Morris & Company fabrics and then looked for a way to use them in a mini quilt.  They spoke of the woodlands to me:

Morris & Company fabrics

I played around with the fabrics and the layout of the squares before sewing them all together.  You can see how I made the more distant mountains blue and the closer ones look like they were just starting to be touched by Autumn.  I wanted my mountains to look like the morning mist was still lingering, so added light colors along the ridges. It is pretty easy to end up with something you love when you work with such a beautifully designed collection.

Here is what it looked like when I had the final layout up on the design wall, but hadn't sewn them together yet.  You can see that my nine-patch blocks are split wherever it looked best, and not in the traditional way.  I think it gave the mountains a more natural feel. I also added 1 extra row of squares to both the width and the height... in a way, this became a postage stamp quilt with HSTs (half square triangles).

Carolina Byways - playing with the patches before sewing

Here is the final quilt, with a mitered border framing it: 

Carolina Byways Mini Quilt

And of course, I had to make a pretty label for the back.  The leafy border is from our garden:

Linking up to Quilt Story / Fabric Tuesday.  

Thanks for visiting!


  1. What a lovely quilt, Lara! It looks like autumn on the mountains! Love the mitered border, too. Well done!

  2. This is what's so great about the crafty blog scene: this quilt would *never* have come out of my quilty brain. But I'm glad it came out of yours and I got to see it -- it's so pretty!

  3. Looks like you're not shy of tiny piecing either :)

  4. Love that layout choice- it's great!

  5. It's beautiful Lara! You can even see a glint of a sunset on the left corner, nive work! :)

  6. Hi Lara, I see mist covered mountains on an early morning...and I think your quilt is making me want to move to North Carolina...it is stunning...

  7. I love the quilt, but the label should also include the year and place it was made! Documentation is important for future generations who discover our quilts!

  8. This is gorgeous! I love your artistry with fabric... you chose the perfect fabrics and color placement for this quilt. It must have been hard to give away.... :) LOVE IT!

  9. This is gorgeous!

  10. I missed this when you blogged about it. I think some of the taupey grays and tans I'm cutting for my next project would go well in this. My SIL has a cabin near Asheville and this would make a lovely gift. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Absolutely beautiful and definitely channeling the Great Smokies!