For the Love of Squircles by Marla Varner penny lane quilts

For the Love of Squircles

First of all, I’d like to welcome the new readers to the blog since my last post. This quilt was largely responsible for my long absence! I am just adding a label and preparing to ship to Austin, so it is time to tell its story.

The quilt began as a daily project in January of 2018. After piecing my first squircle quilt using print fabric in 2017, I decided to repeat the process with solid fabrics. This time I pieced the background of each block before using needle turn applique to attach the squircle shapes. All of the fabrics came from my scrap bin, and were pieced and stitched randomly, with no particular design in mind.

At the end of the year, I had my 365 blocks plus the 13 extra to again bring my array to 18 x 21. Unlike the previous quilt that was assembled as I went along, this time I had 378 blocks to arrange on the design wall. Looking back through my photos, it looks like I arranged and rearranged them for over a month!

arranging the squircle blocks

I began piecing the blocks just before heading to Nashville for QuiltCon and finished piecing mid-April.

piecing the squircle quilt

By the middle of May, it was basted with a fluffy Hobbs Tuscany wool batting and an extra wide peppered cotton backing. I loved the way it felt once it was basted and couldn’t wait to start hand quilting!

preparing to baste For the Love of Squircles

Fortunately, I  had stocked up on WonderFil Eleganza perle cotton #8 while I was at QuiltCon.

My goal was to have it completed by the December 2 deadline for  submissions to QuiltCon 2020 in Austin. Here is my hoop on the first day of quilting.

squircles quilt hand quilting, Marla Varner, penny lane quilts

After quilting for a few days, I estimated that I would need to quilt an average of three hours a day to make that deadline. That seemed doable! I worked on it steadily throughout the summer and tried to make up for lost time when I was away from home on other adventures.

By September, it became obvious that I had miscalculated, and I began quilting all day every day. This is not something I would recommend, as it takes a toll on the body.  I tried to  consistently  take breaks, do hand and shoulder exercises, change chairs and positions which all helped to keep me stitching. I also listened to a LOT of audiobooks. There were many days when I abdicated all but the most pressing of daily responsiblities. And here is my hoop on the final day of quilting.

last day of quilting For the Love of Squircles by Marla Varner penny lane quilts

Late November found me trimming and attaching the binding. Trying to get good photos on gray, rainy days was a stressful part of the submission process. A goal for this year is to improve my photography set up.

My diligence paid off and the quilt submission was in before Thanksgiving…a new record for me! Many thanks to Audrey Esarey @cottonandbourbon for suggesting the name of the quilt to me. (She is a rising star in the modern quilt community…I highly recommend you check out her amazing work.)

For the Love of Squircles by Marla Varner penny lane quilts

It was so exciting to get the news that it was accepted to QuiltCon and I am looking forward to traveling to Austin again. Maybe I’ll see you there!

17 thoughts on “For the Love of Squircles”

    1. I am glad you will have the opportunity to see it at QuiltCon and I’ll look forward to your reaction. I estimated that I spent between 600-700 hours hand quilting and with the hand applique, piecing, binding, blocking, etc. I figure I have roughly 1000 hours lovingly stitched into this one.

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  1. This quilt is lovely and I really like the hand quilting with the contrasting threads. Thanks for all the details about batting, threads etc. I find those really useful.

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  2. oh I loved your first squiggle quilt but this one is just over the top. I can’t even believe the time and effort you put into the hand-quilting. It’s gorgeous! Good luck at QuiltCon! I’m so glad it’ll be in the show.

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  3. I ADORE this “For the Love of Squircles” quilt. I think it’s breathtakingly beautiful. The hand quilting is so impressive. I think the piecing of the backgrounds was a stroke of brilliance. I just stumbled across this blog from the Daily Blog on TheQuiltShow.com, and am so glad I did. I’ve signed up for your newsletter. Love your work! ~Diana K.

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    1. Thank you so much!I appreciate your support. The quilting was definitely a labor of love. I’ve been absent from the blog for awhile, but hope to be back soon with some of my newer work.

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