Retro Ornaments Quilt - using Ruby Star Society Candlelight Fabrics

I'm so excited to finally share about my new Retro Ornaments quilt using the Candlelight Collection by Ruby Star Society! This collection was a collaboration between Melody Miller and Alexia Marcelle Abegg, in which they combined gorgeous prints and soft, textured yarn-dyed wovens. The combination of the two fabric types is brilliant, and it really creates an "heirloom" quality. Mixing textures is one of my new favorite things. Up until last year, I strictly ONLY wanted to use the same kinds of fabrics in my quilts. Whether it's fabrics from the same collection, the same designer, the same manufacturer....or whatever! Now, I realize that it's SO fun to use various fabrics in the same quilt. I don't know of many fabric collections that offer a collaboration between two designers like this. But it really is so fun and unique that they created this collection together! Alexia and Melody perfectly married these two styles of fabrics into one cohesive collection and it's perfect. Literally perfect!  

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I love that this collection doesn't scream "CHRISTMAS". It's very classy and subtle. The colors are soothing and could be used year round.  I've been looking forward to making this quilt for a long time! I actually started planning it around this time last year, but I didn't share about it until this past summer....and I didn't finish it up until recently.... and NOW I'm finally getting around to sharing about it here! It's been one of those quilts that's been on the back-burner. I've sewn a few ornaments here and there....it's been nice to take my time with it and slowly see it evolve!

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While I consider these to be "modern" fabrics, they also lean towards the "traditional" side as well. They just feel very classic and sophisticated. I love that the collection has a cohesive theme, yet each fabric tells it's own story. For example, I really love the "paper cuts" motif in a few of the fabrics....I remember making paper snowflakes in elementary school art class and this fabric reminded me of that. So fun!

I also really love the doves that are scattered throughout some of the prints. They're the perfect reminder that Christmas and Advent is a time of hope. As I've been working on this quilt all year, I kept coming back to those peaceful doves. In a year that has the polar opposite of what we've all anticipated....these doves carried me through. They were subtle reminders that Hope is coming. This is temporary. We will get through this. Dwelling on that hope this past year has really kept me going. 

 

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Using my Retro Ornaments quilt pattern for these fabrics was the perfect choice! Retro Ornaments is 1/4 yard  and fat quarter friendly. It's a great Christmas-y pattern to show off large cuts of fabric! I have a (very low quality, haha) demo of Retro Ornaments tips on You-Tube. 

One thing that I love to do with this pattern....if I have a certain fabric that's directional....say the stripes, for example; is to arrange those ornament pieces so that they appear in a criss-cross pattern. Trying to match up directional prints can sometimes be very tricky and if it's not perfectly done, it can be distracting. Doing this sort of "interwoven" look adds an extra design element, which I really love!

We have kits for this quilt in our shop!

For the Background, I used Speckled Wool by Rashida Coleman Hale. This gray fabric really is stunning! I has "splotches" of metallic gold, which really warms it up....as well as "splotches" of blue...which ties in the blues from the collection.  For the Caps of the ornaments, I used Mountain Gold. Then the fabric names are as follows: 

  1. Paper Cuts Poinsettia
  2. Doves Poinsettia
  3. Winter Garden Poinsettia
  4. Jubilee Holiday Stripe
  5. Jubilee Shell
  6. Winter Garden Wool
  7. Doves Wool
  8. Jubilee Gray
  9. Paper Cuts Wool
  10. Winter Garden Water
  11. Doves Water
  12. Mountain Ocean
  13. Jubilee Blue
  14. Paper Cuts Pine
  15. Jubilee Pine
  16. Wintergarden Pine

If you've been following along for some time, you might recall that I don't typically do a lot of "prep" work to my fabrics before I start using them. Very rarely do I prewash, starch, stabilize, etc. I think this is just because I can be a little impatient; but also because I recognize that handmade things aren't perfect. Looking at some of my grandmother's quilts, there are lot's of imperfections....and honestly they're my favorite part of the quilt. That being said, if you are a perfectionist.....or maybe you're a beginner and you want to set yourself up for success with sewing curves: I would consider pre-washing and starching these fabrics. The wovens are a looser weave than the prints. Prewashing will shrink them up a bit and make them a little easier to work with. The "Mountain" fabrics in particular are very very soft and also a bit shifty. If you have any thin stabilizer laying around, that fabric might benefit from some....otherwise, use lots of pins and you'll be fine! Like I said, I didn't prewash/starch/stabilize and everything turned out beautifully. :) 

I sent this quilt off to Ashley of Henhouse Quilting for the long-arming. I wanted her to add sort of a "twinkly" element that played up the fact that this is a low-key Christmas quilt. I've never used this pantograph before, but boy do I love it!  It's called Chevron Tumblers- Grande. 

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For the backing, I used Doves Water and for the binding, I used Mountain Gold. I'll be honest, the binding fabric that I chose wasn't my favorite. I actually considered ripping it out and going with a different option. Since the weave is a little bit looser, it got a little stretchy/shifty in some areas. In hindsight, I should've used one of the prints. Oh well! It adds character. :)

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I absolutely love this quilt. The collection is stunning and I'm so thrilled with how this project turned out!

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