Nightingale Quilt - the Dusty Merlot version

Well well well. It's been almost a year since the start of the Nightingale Quilt along, so I figured it was more than past due for me to share about my finished Nightingale quilt! I actually absolutely ADORE how this quilt turned out, so I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to write this post! Either way, here we go!

If you missed the meaning behind this quilt pattern, you can read more about it in this blog post. In summary, I bittersweetly left my career as a NICU nurse in the fall of 2020 and this pattern was dedicated to not only my own journey, but the journey of healthcare workers in general, especially in light of the pandemic. In thinking about what fabrics I wanted to use for this quilt, I really just wanted it to feel like "me".... which has kind of been the case for all of my Nightingale quilts. 

I used the Dusty Merlot 1/4 yard bundle from our shop, which is the perfect blend of fabrics...in my opinion. ;) You have prints, solids, yarn-dyed wovens, traditional quilting cottons. It really is a nice mixture of fabric types to create a really interesting group. Also, shout out to all the monochromatic color palate lovers out there! 

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In the photo above, from top to bottom, the fabrics are:

  • Sweet Darling (AGF)
  • Nikko 3763 (DT)
  • Cinnamon (AGF)
  • This fabric was discontinued by AGF, I would substitute Blushing, which is a light solid pink.
  • Teeny Weeny Cinnamon (AGF)
  • Nikko 3794 (DT)
  • Heritage Woven 2433 (DT)
  • Weathered Brick (AGF)
  • Nikko Topstitch 4812 Wine (DT)
  • Promenade Plum (AGF)

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In the photo above, from top to bottom, the fabrics are:

  • Firefly Awaken (AGF)
  • Always & Always Thyme (AGF)
  • Laced Ballerina (AGF)
  • Delicate Veil (AGF)
  • Nikko 3764 (DT)
  • Domestic Charm Birch (AGF)
  • Firefly Awaken (AGF)
  • Nikko II 4459 (DT)
  • Nikko III 4631 (DT)
  • Winterberries Gold (AGF)

(DT) = Diamond Textiles

(AGF) = Art Gallery Fabrics

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For the background I used my go-to solids...Art Gallery Fabrics Magnetism. It's truly the most perfect shade of charcoal....not too cool, not too warm. It goes with everything and looks great with all kinds of fabric!

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If a darker background fabric isn't your thing, here's what the bundle would look like with AGF Sandstone. Kona Doeskin would be a good alternative too! (Ignore the "Diamond Textiles" logo in some of the fabrics, haha)

 

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We have kits for the quilt top (the 1/4 yard bundle plus the Background Magnetism) and we also have just the 20 piece 1/4 yard bundle, if you want to shop for your own Background fabric.

Once everything was cut, mixing and matching was super fun, as always. I actually shot an overhead video of this process:

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Then once I had each of the piles, it was time to start sewing! This quilt is super rewarding to put together because each block can look so different from the next! I created this quilt a few different ways now: block by block, or chain piece all of the components at once. Either way works! It's just a matter of whether or not you want that instant gratification. :)

Some of these fabrics are directional, so if you are a type A perfectionist about how your fabrics appear within your block/quilt, be sure to read through my blog post about using directional fabrics for Nightingale!

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Once the quilt top was complete, I sent it to Andrea of Walker Quilt Co. She quilted a design called Diamond in the Rough by Karlee Porter using a really gorgeous medium pink metallic thread. 

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I really went back and forth over my binding fabric. Initially, I thought that I would use leftover scraps from my 1/4 yards, but in the end, I felt like that might be too busy. I ended up going with Bella Spice, which gives a nice frame to the quilt, without being entirely too loud. The fabric is actually more of a rusty orange shade, so I really like how it plays with everything else. We have 1/2 yard cuts of Bella Spice available in our shop. If you use binding strips that are wider than 2.25", you might need two of these cuts.

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I did a big-stitch binding technique to finish things up. I was feeling adventurous and decided to try something new. I stitch a few " + " stitches to tie in the crosses from the front of the quilt. Someone asked how this would hold up in the wash and the answer is, I'm not sure! I haven't washed the quilt yet, but I can't imagine it'd hold up any differently than traditional big-stitch binding. I have many quilts that I use daily that are bound using this technique and they've held up great!

I have a big-stitch binding tutorial found here

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Oh! Silly me, I almost forgot about the backing! But how could I with this PERFECT black and white floral?? It's called Laurel Daring by Art Gallery fabrics. Using other colors, felt kind of weird with this quilt, so the black and white give the quilt top some space to breathe....yet it is still beautifully stunning! We have some backing cuts of this fabric in our shop!

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There you have it! I truly love this quilt so much. We will be adding it to our personal stash of quilts. :)

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