Ever have one of those quilts you are super proud of? That when it’s complete you know it will be magical? And for no real reason, it takes you four years to finish? This is the state of my Vangogh Galaxy quilt!
This is the Technicolor Galaxy pattern by PileOFabric. I signed up to do this amazing skill builder block of the month in December of 2014 as it was slated to begin in January 2015. Three friends in my guild all signed up to complete this quilt. By the way – I am the second to finish! Don’t take that to mean it as a difficult quilt but it is definitely challenging and life got in the way. Alyssa of PileO’Fabric has incredible resources for this quilt. Downloadable pdfs, video tutorials, and a Facebook group.
You start off with a coloring sheet to design your quilt. Her original design for the quilt is a color wheel. Rarely do I follow other color choices and decided that the color wheel was too traditional. I was inspired by Vangogh’s Starry Night and chose that iconic painting as my color palette. My daughter also decided to color with me. I actually really like her purple and orange version! But I know I will never make this quilt again. It is definitely an accomplishment, but not a repeat!
For this quilt, you start in the center and work outwards. The center starts with bias strip applique. The first time I had ever attempted bias tape and it is the first technique in the quilt! Starting with this center, you then build out on the rings and finally patchwork corners. Each month has their own instructions, video tutorials and templates. I purchased the templates from her, to make it easier on me and I am very glad I did, some of the templates are huge!
I would say I was pretty current with the months until month 3. Ok, I know that’s not too far – but you know, this is such a big quilt technique wise! The sun points radiating out from the center were my favorite to do. As very simple paper piecing, they were fast to make. Once we moved into the rings, the small patchwork kept taking longer and longer to do. I like to sew and quilt fast which was one reason it was put away for so long. In her design, you do this quilt as a Quilt-As-You-Go project. I did that once with my guild for a project and will never do it again. Definitely not my type of quilting! I knew this beauty needed to be on the longarm.
In 2017 I added the project to my American Patchwork & Quilting UFO list. I did get it out that year, but only worked on one set of curve blocks. Again I realized how time consuming it was, so back in its box it went. For 2018 I felt like the time was ready. The quilt rolled over on my UFO list, and then preempted about six months of UFO choices. I finished the Gravity BOM in 2017 which was a big finish so I was determined to complete this one in 2018. Other UFO’s would be pulled from the group list, but I kept working on my #1 – my Technicolor Galaxy. Which oddly enough it’s number was called in December, the month I finished it.
I finished the quilt top in November 2018. My goal was December 7th for the full quilt to be complete. I knew it would turn out amazing and after four years it better! I planned to enter it into a few quilt shows so needed that extra time to quilt before the deadline. My Thanksgiving tradition is to quilt one of my own quilts, and a big one! I was able to finish many client quilts beforehand for this beauty to receive it’s own week of quilting. This is the first quilt I truly feel I “Quilted to Death.” I knew I wanted to fill every little inch of this baby. I double batted this quilt with Quilters Dream cotton and a layer of wool.
It’s not perfectly quilted, and before you say in your head it is – No, it isn’t. My quilting bumped onto the bias strips a few times and I remember quite clearly when it happened. I stared at it for a good minute trying to decide if I was going to rip it out or not, thinking really hard what that little bump would mean. I knew I was entering this quilt into quilt shows and that little bump took away the option of “Best in Show” but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t be accepted. Really, all I want are for my quilts to hang and be seen. Ribbons are amazing – I earned my first three in 2018, but they are not the point of quilting for me. After staring at that little bump I just kept on quilting. I bumped three times which from a glance, you can’t see but a quilt judge would notice on close inspection. Time will tell what happens to this quilt. I for one, am incredibly proud of it’s final state. A four year UFO, finished with determination and a new set of sewing techniques and quilting skills earned.
Size: 62″ x 62″
Thread Changes: 4
Quilting Hours: 21~
Binding Hours: 2
Length of completion: 4 Years
Shown: World Quilt Florida January 2019, AQS Quilt Week Spring Paducah April 2019.