I finished my Hope Valley quilt top last night! I'm very happy with it, although I can't say I'm sorry to be done piecing it. : )
This one started out as a sketch. I didn't have any particular fabric in mind at the time—I was just sketching. But I knew I wanted small-scale prints with very little white. Hope Valley jumped to mind immediately.
Next, I made a mock-up in Adobe Illustrator. I don't do mock-ups for all my quilts, but I knew this design would take some hard-core planning in order to pull it off, so no flying by the seat of my pants on this one! I like to use Illustrator for my mock-ups because you can import scans of your fabric and save them as pattern swatches in the color palette. Then you can easily fill any shape with that pattern—it will automatically repeat the pattern to fill any shape/size. It makes mocking up with prints easy, quick, and accurate.
Even with the mock-up, I kept making adjustments to the design as I pieced it. Most notably, I dumped the yellow/green inner squares. And that was after I sewed all the HSTs! (But before I squared them up, at least. And I'm sure those HSTs will make an appearance in something else.) There are a few other smaller differences between the mock-up and the finished top. I also went back and forth about the borders and sashing before finally settling on what you see here.
And I am so happy with how all of those seams came together! Finally my seams are starting to match up! As I finished piecing this last night, I thought back to when I started quilting and would get so frustrated because things just wouldn't line up. It's so nice to realize that all my failed attempts and all my practice are finally paying off. There are certainly places where this top could have come together better, but it is head-and-shoulders above where I was last year at this time. Now I just need to work on that quilting!
So of course, I'm planning to quilt this one myself—probably diagonal lines through all those little squares. Hopefully I can get to that after Thanksgiving.
Oh, I'm also adding this to Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday. And don't forget WIP Wednesday tomorrow—please join us with your WIPs!