Scenic Road: A Modern Sunflower Quilt

Posted by Amanda Bagin on

Pattern release day is finally here for the Scenic Road Quilt! This is my first experience writing a quilt pattern and I'm a combination of nervous and excited that it is finally out in the world!

Photo of Scenic Road quilt in front of barn

If you follow @QuiltsByCritter on Instagram you may already be familiar with the story behind the Scenic Road quilt pattern. In 2020, my dad designed and painted a sunflower barn quilt and installed it on a barn on the corner of Scenic Road and Hubertus Road in Hubertus, Wisconsin

This barn quilt has been a happy addition to the tiny town of Hubertus! After the barn quilt was installed, my dad and I began talking about how fun it would be to make the sunflower design into a real quilt to combine our two interests. I did some initial quilt math in the fall (and even painted it on a barn-shaped birdhouse that my dad made!) but making the quilt fell to the wayside until after the holidays.
I spent much of 2020 testing quilt patterns for designers and had some insight to how the design and testing process typically works. With those experiences and my dad's barn quilt design, I finally wrote the pattern in January. 

The Scenic Road quilt pattern includes instructions for two sizes: baby (48” square) and throw (66” square). I wrote this quilt pattern to be beginner-friendly, meaning if you have some general knowledge of using your sewing machine but have not made a quilt before, this pattern could be a good place to start. It’s constructed using large half square triangle (HST) blocks and instructions for nesting seams. Nesting seams is one of my favorite ways to engineer a quilt (and deserves its own blog post in the future) as a way to match up blocks in rows. The HSTs are constructed two-at-a-time and there is some extra room for trimming them down to size. A little room for error is always helpful for beginner quilters (and experienced quilters)!

                 Close up of quilting on Scenic Road quilt            Dog sitting in front of Scenic Road sunflower quilt top 

One of the biggest errors I made when I first started making quilts was cutting fabric inefficiently (think: cutting out triangles one-by-one on yardage…if only I could get back all that time I wasted!). It was important to me when writing this pattern that it included detailed cutting instructions. And, for those of you who are list-makers, checkboxes are included (so satisfying)! The rows in this quilt can also easily be chain-pieced so it comes together incredibly fast. I made my dad a baby size version of the quilt from start to finish in about 48 hours (and that was with an 8-hour work day in there!). Need a last-minute baby shower gift? You can definitely make this quilt in one weekend.

The trickiest part of constructing the Scenic Road quilt is the border with cornerstones. The pattern testers had some great ideas and helped craft the instructions so that we could give you the best recipe for success on that final border. (I promise, it’s not too tricky and you can totally do it).

Baby size and throw size Scenic Road sunflower quilts in front of barn

For both of my sample quilts, I used Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids in Turmeric, Canary, Emerald, Gingerbread, Coffee Bean and Snow in an effort to stay as close to the original barn quilt colors as possible. Gingerbread is one of the newest Pure Solids colors that came out in early 2021, and I was on the "email me when in stock" list on several fabric shops' websites while waiting for it to become available! I knew it would be the perfect match for Color 4 in the pattern.

The quilting community on Instagram has welcomed this pattern with open arms and I'm so thankful for the support its received. A group of talented quilters offered to test this pattern and I can't wait to share their beautiful versions of Scenic Road in the next blog post

                 Photo of scenic road quilt in front of barn with barn quilt             Scenic Road quilt in front of barn

As I have shifted my focus for Art by Critter from watercolors to quilts during this season of life, it was important to me to have a painting as a component of this quilt pattern release. The Scenic Road watercolor print is available in limited quantities and the proceeds from the print will be donated to Mental Health America. The artwork is also featured on the Scenic Road sticker!

  Hands holding art print with scenic road design     Print and sticker side by side

I'm so thankful for the time my dad and I have spent collaborating on this project. He always gets roped into my big ideas for Art by Critter, and this is a memory we'll always have. We have many more ideas up our sleeves, too! 

The Scenic Road quilt pattern is aptly named after the intersection of roads where the barn quilt is located. However, I find it also to be in line with to the Art by Critter tagline, "Art inspired by the places we live and love." I hope that your own Scenic Road quilt reminds you of a scenic place or memory that you hold near your heart.

                 amanda in front of barn holding quilt            two quilts in front of barn
-Amanda

Scenic Road Quilt Kits:

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