The Favorite Flavors quilt pattern is now available in the shop! Woohoo!
The idea for this pattern started when my dear friend Ashley told me that she'd been wanting to make a new throw sized quilt but with three small children and limited time, she needed something super cute without any little pieces. Her little ones love lollipops, particularly Dum Dums so Favorite Flavors had to be! I love the idea of her being able to make a quilt with three lollipops, one for each of her kids. But what if a mom has one child or two or more?!? Or what if someone wanted to make a quilt with a lollipop for everyone in their family or for a group of friends? I had to make this pattern with lots of options so it includes instructions to make quilts with 1 to 6 lollipops. Of course these can be combined to make other quantities. For example, two 4 lollipop quilts become an 8 lollipop quilt. I keep imagining that before quilters make this quilt, they host a lollipop tasting party to discover everyone's favorite flavor then make the quilt to match. Wouldn't that be fun?
What I love about this pattern is that the lollipop blocks are pretty quick to make and are still so cute, especially when they're quilted. A confident beginner could make it and I will be hosting a sew along for Favorite Flavors so quilters of all skill levels can have a chance to ask questions and get a more hands on look at the construction.
The original version of the pattern had one size for the lollipop blocks, meaning that the largest quilt (the one with 6 lollipops) would be 50" x 68 1/2", a throw sized quilt. As I stitched it up with my pattern testers, we realized that having a larger lollipop block option would be a great addition. Now, the 6 lollipop quilt can also be a twin sized quilt! This means that the 3 lollipop quilt can be made in a child size version and a throw size version! Yay! One to six lollipops each in 2 sizes means there are 12 options for this quilt. When you make yours, use a pen or highlighter throughout the pattern to mark the one you are making because it will make it easier to get everything right. The only way I could see to completely avoid this was to break the pattern up into multiple patterns but that just seems unnecessary. You want all the options in one right?
One of my favorite things about designing and writing patterns is seeing other quilters use their creativity to make their own versions. I get so excited when my pattern testers send me pictures! This one was made my Amanda @stitchymomma. She had that super cute halloween candy fabric in her stash and used it to inspire the rest of her quilt! I love the lollipops on the black background! They POP!
This next quilt was made by Carol and I love that she used brown fabrics for her lollipop sticks. They make me think of lollipops you'd find in an old fashioned candy shop! When she had the lollipops all put together, she wanted something fun for an extra border so she went to her local fabric store and found lollipop fabric!!! This version is just so stinkin' cute.
Ashley @catscoffeeandquilts is my friend with the three darling little ones and she made her quilt with the larger lollipop blocks. I love this video she posted of her baby with the quilt. You have to watch it with the sound on. My husband just walked in my office and said, "I keep hearing a baby. Are you watching Ashley's video again?" Hahahaha yes, yes I am. I have always loved babies and always will.
While we tested this pattern, I realized that there was a way to eliminate a seam from the original pattern. See how on all three of these quilts, the candy part of the lollipop sits on top of the stick and there's a seam all the way across there? Turns out, it's not needed! So each lollipop block has 9 seams instead of 10! A huge block with only 9 seams! Win!!! The picture below is a close up of my peach flavored lollipop and that seam is not there. Kinda silly that something so simple makes me so happy.
During the pattern testing stage, I made three versions. Here's the the first one I call "Malt Shop" up on my design wall with butterscotch, root beer, & cream soda flavored lollipops. I made the smaller sized lollipop blocks with that extra seam but with sprinkles all over the background fabric, it hides pretty well.
I decided to go with Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) for this project because they have a great selection of solids (I wanted lots of lollipop flavors) and they have this super cute sprinkles fabric by Dana Willard @made_everyday that looks great with every flavor. I didn't realized that AGF fabric had such a different feel to it until the fabric arrived. I mean, I should have known because their catch phrase is "FEEL THE DIFFERENCE" and it's in all caps on their site. I was pretty uncertain when I started cutting it but as I worked with it, I really came to love it. It's softer, which made me think it would be slippery when sewing it but it isn't. I even had to double check on their site that yes, it's 100% cotton, because I just couldn't believe it was so soft. So how does cotton get this soft? Taking extra steps to clean it (cotton is natural so it has dirt, leaves, and debris in it when it's picked) and using the longest cotton fibers to make the threads creates high quality cotton fabric for quilting that I just wasn't used to. You'd think I would have been thrilled initially about this fabric because all the tee shirts I sell use cotton made this way and they are softer and lighter weight than traditional cotton tees but it just didn't dawn on me that quilting cottons like this existed.
It hit home that AGF fabric is something special when I sat under each quilt to hand stitch the binding because these quilts are so lightweight, so soft, and so warm, even with only one layer of warm & natural inside. Now I'm believer, AGF you know what you're doing. Thank you for bringing something wonderful to the quilting world.
The next two test quilts I made came together quickly, a one lollipop grape flavored quilt with a large lollipop block and then the cover girl with cotton candy, peach, strawberry, lemon-lime, pineapple, and bubble gum lollipops! I used the sprinkles fabric for the border on both of these and love that this print looks great on all three quilts.
When it came time to quilt them, I decided to use ribbon candy somewhere on each of them. Grape got it twice! How could I make candy quilts and not quilt ribbon candy somewhere on them?!? I ended up quilting my malt shop version last. I loaded it up on my machine then went to a free motion quilting class by Vicki Ruebel at Orchid Owl Quilts. She gave me the confidence to use my rulers less and free motion more (notice that the cover girl got lots of ruler love and only a bit of free motion in the sticks and border). I like to make the swirls that you see on the candy part of the malt shop lollipops because they were the first free motion design I learned, they're deep in my brain. But I tried the elongated swirl Vicki taught me for the background and I really like how it turned out! The bigger centers create a polka dot look! How fun is that!
I even got brave enough to throw another ribbon in my ribbon candy and turn the corners instead of taking the design off the edge then going the other direction! Vicki was so honest about that sinking feeling that stops us all in our tracks when we go to quilt a quilt. She even said, "Don't worry, your quilt will NOT spontaneously combust when you quilt it!" Hahaha It's so true though! Far more often than I'd like to admit, I have had a quilt loaded and then not quilted it for a very long time. Needless to say, Vicki really knows how to quilt a quilt and she's a great teacher. I highly recommend taking one of her classes if you get the chance!
Since I have three kids, I knew that I wanted to quilt their names in the sticks on my malt shop flavored quilt. I tested out the idea by quilting my mom's name, Pam, on the grape lollipop in cursive. It was hard to read so I echoed around it but I still don't love the way it looks. So on this quilt, I used my marking pen to draw the block letters then quilted over them 2-3 times to make them more prominent. I almost used a different color to really make them pop but I ultimately decided to keep them white to let the colors of the candy shine.
It always feels so satisfying to launch a new pattern. I had such a great experience making these quilts with my pattern testers that I've decided to host my first sew along so I can make another one with you! This time I'm thinking watermelon! What flavors will you make? Since this quilt is pretty quick to put together, the SAL will only last one week and it starts on April 24th, 2003! There will be amazing prizes (someone will be getting their quilt quilted with an all over design by Vicki at Orchid Owl!!!!), zoom Q&As with show and tell, and all the details in weekly blog posts!
To add to the excitement of this pattern launch even more, I'm also launching a design-your-own quilt kit to go with it! You get to chose how many lollipops you want and what flavors you want! Then choose the fabrics for the background, border, and binding! Have your own binding, border, or background fabric? No worries, you can mix your stash into your kit too! The pattern is included in the kit.
Thank you so much for supporting my small business! Happy Quilting!!!