Jack's Gate Quilt Featuring Stay Gold by Ruby Star Society
I fell in love with Stay Gold the first time I saw it. I love the colors, especially the metallic gold accents. The bold, bright colors and floral designs were right up my alley. I had bought a fat quarter bundle right when it came out because I didn't want to miss out on the line. However, I had no idea what project I would use it with.
You can buy a copy of Jack's Gate modern quilt pattern here.
Jack's Gate uses fat eighths for the flowers and yardage for the gate and background fabric. Even though fat quarters are a larger cuts than I needed, I decided to use them anyway.
I don't know about you, but it is hard for me to cut the ribbon on those pretty bundles, pull them apart and start using the fabrics. They look more like a decoration than something to use.
I decided Jack's Gate was worth pulling the Stay Gold bundle apart for. The varying sized floral prints were the perfect choice for this quilt. The bright colors were also perfect to provide a nice contrast between fabrics.
Choosing the Right FabricsThe Stay Gold Ruby Star Society line was perfect for the flowers in the quilt. The line is actually pretty large. So I had to narrow the fabrics down to 13 prints.
The flower squares are not very large. Therefore, I didn't choose the fabrics with larger prints on them. Instead, I stayed with smaller prints and bold colors which would stand out against the white background I had chosen.
I chose a blue fabric for the gate. Since the flowers in the pattern are in the middle of the gate I wanted to make sure the blues I chose didn't blend too much with the gate fabric.
I like contrast in my quilts. I know some people do not like contrast in theirs. If this is the case then choosing similar tones for your gate and flower fabrics would be a good choice.
However, that flower fabric is so pretty I had to include it.
As I said earlier the Jack's Gate modern quilt pattern uses fat eighths for the flowers and yardage for the gate and background.
The 13 fat eighths are mixed up throughout the quilt. So it's key to find fabrics that coordinate well. Since I'm colorblind and really struggle with choosing fabrics I find sticking with one fabric line is the safest and easiest choice.
This quilt is bed sized so there is quite a bit of background fabric required, 4 2/3 yards! Since the design is a modern design I generally like to choose something pretty basic that doesn't distract from the pattern. You can't get more plain than white... am I right?
Inspiration Behind the PatternJack's Gate was inspired by gates in my neighborhood in Asia. The gates which guard our flats and and villas are set into cement walls which surround our residences. These provide a sort of protection.
So many times in nature and the real world things are not symmetrical. Nature doesn't grow plants equally. Gates don't always hang evenly. That is why the gate is not the same on both sides of the quilt. It gives the illusion of flowers overgrowing on one side.
I also added quite a bit of negative space above the gate. I had several people tell me to take it out. But the negative space helps draw your eye to the gate and gives the look of sky. Most quilts stop right after the main design ends. But the added negative space also gives the quilt a more modern feel.
The piecing of Jack's Gate is not difficult. However, because the quilt is sewn on point, for a beginner quilter the trimming at the end can be a bit of a challenge. This is why I listed the skill level as intermediate.
About the Pattern and Skill Level
There is a lot of piecing required because many of the flowers need to be pieced in separate rows. So being an organized quilter would certainly help with this quilt. Each time I made this quilt I would sew the flowers and pin the various pieces all together. This helped me keep track of them until it was time to sew them into the rows of the quilt.
Flying geese and half square triangles are used in this quilt. Out of these two I have found flying geese to be the trickiest to master. If you don't have the flying geese mastered, I would practice with scraps until you feel confident. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing part way through a quilt your blocks aren't coming out quite right.
Jack's Gate has three sizes
- Crib: 41 in. x 54 in.
- Throw: 54 in. x 72 in.
- Bed: 69 in. x 93 in.
Finishing The Quilt
When I first made this quilt I was surprised at how large it turned out, I mean I knew it was going to be bed sized. But I regularly make throw size and wasn't prepared for the massive size of a twin.
My mom makes king size quilts regularly and I don't know how she does it. That's a lot of time commitment. Plus the quilts take up so much space! I had a hard time finding space in our 1,200 sq. ft. flat to baste this gal.
It was also a challenge to trim the edges of this quilt on our kitchen table. I suggest using a long ruler with a 45 degree angle on it to assist in alignment when squaring up.
Because of the size of the quilt I didn't have enough backing of any one fabric. So it was time to be creative.
I took the 4 yards I had of an old Free Spirit Fabric print. I happened to have a fat quarter bundle of the coordinating fabrics. So I chose enough fat quarters for the yardage I needed. I cut them into 6 inch strips. Then, sub cut those into varying lengths. I pieced the fabric back together into a panel the width of the backing. I then cut the backing in two pieces and sewed the panel in between the yardage. The result is a vibrant and fun back of the quilt. You can see the back in the image below.
I quilted this myself using my Janome Memory Craft 8200 sewing machine. I couldn't have quilted it without a large sewing machine like the Memory Craft. I sewed horizontal lines every 1/2 inch. Quilting this large of a quilt took me two days because of all the work. I wish I was in the U.S. and could send it out to be quilted by a professional!
Jack has claimed this quilt for his bed. I told him he has to have his picture taken with it first. I am also a bit nervous about giving a teenage boy a quilt with so much white fabric on it.
Grab a copy of the pattern in the shop and crack open that bundle of fat eighths you have been using as decoration.
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