The aerial grove design is by Carolyn Friedlander, undoubtedly my favorite quilt designer. I’d had my eye on doing a version of this quilt ever since I got a copy of her book, Savor Each Stitch (not surprisingly, my favorite quilting book.) Finally, I decided to give it a go.
The primary motif in the quilt is a series of columns of appliqued circles of different fabrics. I did fewer circles than she’d recommended for a full-size quilt, since I was planning a baby quilt, though I wasn’t originally sure of the recipient.
For the appliqued circles, I used essentially every piece of blue fabric I owned. For the rest of the quilt, I used predominantly neutral fabrics, with a few light blueish pieces thrown in for interest. Most of the neutrals were Friedlander fabrics, as I think she makes the best neutrals in the business, while the blues were a wide assortment of fabrics. I didn’t buy any new fabric for this quilt (a first, I think), and you can see scraps of nearly every quilt I’ve made somewhere in this one.
For the back, I used primarily a couple of Lotta Jansdotter fabrics. (She is another of my favorite designers.)
The binding is a pink print from Carolyn’s Carkai collection.
Once again I used my favorite batting, 100% wool from Quilter’s Dream. As always, it’s a bit harder to work with, but I love how light and warm the resulting quilt is. For this particular quilt, it does a nice job showcasing the free-motion quilting.
I did the entire quilt in Aurifil Make 50 Wt in White (2024). This includes both the machine piecing, hand-applique of the circles, hand-sewing the binding, and the quilting.
I copied the quilting that Carolyn did on her Aerial Grove quilt. She did entirely straight-line quilting, vertical and horizontal, mostly alternating in direction and width from block to block. The piecing beyond the middle is improvised, and I was definitely a little intimidated in try this approach for the first time, but I’m happy with how it worked out. While this in theory could be done with a regular foot, I think you’d be mad with the turning by the time you were done, so I FMQed the entire thing. The biggest challenge was going around the appliqued circles.
I did my usual double-fold binding hand-sewn to the back. I also did a hand-appliqued label.
Right around the time I started this quilt, my brother and his wife became pregnant, after much waiting. I can’t think of anyone I more wanted to make a quilt for than my brother’s first baby, Rita. Anyway, hopefully the quilt will be well-beaten up by the next time I see it.