Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Introducing Boston Commons by FreeSpirit Fabrics!

Hi, all!

The day has finally arrived - the release of FreeSpirit Fabrics' new line, Boston Commons!  I've been waiting for so long to share this beautiful fabric with you, but first I want to tell you a little bit about the genesis of my projects...

When FreeSpirit contacted me about Boston Commons, they told me that it was inspired by an antique quilt owned by Donna Wilder, who started FreeSpirit Fabrics.  As you may know from my blog, I don't work much in reproduction fabrics, so this was a whole new challenge for me.

remembered a book that my sister (who loves to haunt antique stores and junk shops) gave me for Christmas a few years ago, and decided to look through it for some inspiration.  And actually, I was amazed at how modern some of those antique quilts looked!  But I found two that really caught my eye...

I love the medallions on this quilt, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for...

And then I found this one!  I knew this would be the perfect way to showcase all of the beautiful fabrics in this line.  And so I got to work with paper and pencil (have I said recently how much I hate quilt math???) and came up with a working pattern inspired by this quilt..

incorporated the medallion theme from the first quilt into the center of my design, combining the two and using it as the medallion in the center of this quilt.

It reminds me of a bed turning...

"In the distant past, the Quilter would use a 
Bed Turning as a social event.  A lady would
invite several guests over and serve tea and cookies,
then show off the quilts she had made by 
layering several of them on a bed."

...several separate sections that each look like a quilt on their own, turning as they are layered on each other.  This quilt is made up of over 1300 individual pieces, and took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to make - but I love it!  I have a whole new respect for the quilters who created quilts like this without rotary cutters, rulers and templates, computers, calculators, or even electric sewing machines.... it almost killed me, and I had all that stuff!  I originally planned to write a pattern for this quilt, but I did so much "flying by the seat of my pants" I'm not sure I could write a coherent pattern.  Sorry!

I loved the center medallion so much, I decided to use the shape to create coordinating pillows to go with this quilt.

Working with the octagonal shape was new to me, and a lot of fun to play with once I worked out that pesky quilt math!  I also made them reversible...

And remember I told you my sister likes to haunt antique stores?  She found me the cool hand-carved antique wooden buttons I used on the back of the pillows...

...and I found this gorgeous painted coconut button for the front at Joann's - isn't it perfect?

I had a lot of fun with this photo shoot, too!  It's amazing how much vintage stuff I had to use as props.  The chair on the left is a family piece we lovingly call the "boot chair".  We think it dates from Revolutionary War times.  The sofa in the center was used in my great-grandfather's law office way back at the turn of the 20th century.  The smokehouse dates back to the late 1800's, shortly after the Civil War.   The collection of old rusty metal and wood pieces have been hanging on the smokehouse since we bought it!  We didn't have any fall leaves yet, so I had to add my own for color....

But wait - - - there's more!  After I returned to the house, it was time to take some pictures of the table runner I designed using Boston Commons...

As you can see, I echoed the corners of the quilt in this table runner, pairing the fabrics with my favorite Essex linen.  

The colors in this fabric are so gorgeous for fall decorating, and I love the touch of blue!

Lots of straight line quilting on this piece give it awesome texture!

And see - - - that little pop of blue lets me add in my pretty Delft bowl!

Boston Commons should be showing up at your local quilt shop soon - I found it on-line at Hancock's of Paducah, and it's on sale!  (I'm not an affiliate of H-P, just passing on a good deal!)  I hope you'll check it out - its rich, vibrant colors make it ideal for fall projects, and as I've shown, it can be used in both vintage- and modern-looking projects!  

Many thanks, once again, to FreeSpirit Fabrics for allowing me to play with their beautiful fabric!  I feel like I learned a lot with this project, and stretched beyond my self-imposed boundaries too - always a good thing.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Tell me - what would YOU make using this beautiful fabric?




  1. No pattern?! Noooo!!! A pattern would be amazing!!

  2. So many pieces!! And the table runner, perfect background fabric to show off the others and straight lines are beautiful.

  3. Gorgeous quilt, table runner, and everything you have made. I love the fabric collection. I'd want to make a large quilt and even a purse from Boston Commons.

  4. Stunning Sarah! I know Free Spirit is so proud!

  5. That is a stunner of a quilt. With no pattern, it becomes a "one of a kind" piece. Well done, quilty math and all.

  6. Wow! What a beautiful quilt! A true masterpiece!

  7. Wow, your quilt is a masterpiece! I love your outdoor settings for the photo shoot.

  8. The quilt is fantastic, and so are the pillow and runner! What a wonderful way to showcase those fabrics.

  9. Oh, Sarah, that quilts is gorgeous! You really outdid yourself this time...so elaborate and fancy! And the hexagon pillows are inspiring, too.

  10. Your projects are beautiful Sarah! You did a fantastic job! I really love the quilt. I use reproduction prints a lot so I will have to keep my eyes open for this line at my local shop.
    Happy Stitching!

  11. drop.dead.gorgeous....it is so amazing that old often looks new....stunning quilt...excellent finish

  12. What a wonderful quilt. You did a fantastic job with this creating and designing as you made it.

  13. I think I've read this post 4 times over. I am in awe. Seriously.

    I love the fabric line. I'll be on the look out for it!

  14. OH my gosh Sarah...you totally rocked this quilt/fabric line! What a stunning piece of work! Well done!

  15. Fabulous! Please tell me it won't be your last reproduction fabric quilt, now that you've seen how beautiful the fabric designs are! I've often found antique quilts that I thought could hang right in the MQG show. I love these fabrics and colors. Thanks for the tip.

  16. What a fantastic quilt, pillows and table runner! I love the fabric! I can imagine there was quite a bit of brain juice flowing to pull that pattern together. Yay for you! What a great way to meet a challenge!

  17. would have bought the pattern or a kit for it in a heartbeat. It is beautiful. How disappointing not to be able to to get either

  18. I’m in awe that you designed that quilt and made it from scratch yourself! It would’ve been quite a stretch for me to make a quilt like that - with so many individual pieces that had to be each in the correct size, fabric and place, in order for it to work - even if I had a pattern provided to me. I can’t begin to imagine having to design it myself, too!

  19. Your quilt is amazing! The color placement is spot on and you showcased the fabric line so well. Beautiful work.

  20. Simply stunning......you captured the antique look beautifully. What size is the quilt? Love the photo shoot also, good eye for detail!

  21. OMG! Sarah, for someone who doesn't work much with repros, you ROCK! I love medallion quilts, and yours is nothing short of brilliant. I don't usually think of Free Spirit as a company that does repro fabrics, but I'll definitely be looking up Boston Commons.

  22. Absolutely wonderful Sarah! Your color placement is perfect and that quilt just glows.

  23. Congratulations for making such a wonderful quilt; the design really showcases the fabric. I can see using this wonderful collection for a much simpler pattern; a blooming nine-patch or I would make another Trip Around the World.


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