04 February 2021


(affiliate links to my fabric designs)

My Spoonflower panel has been draped over my quilt rack as a flimsy since April 2015. I wanted to finish it right away. But I didn't have a clue how to quilt it.

My Snow Bike II design was inspired by my own actual crocheted snowflakes appliqued onto gradient batik fabric and made into a quilt for what I thought would be a juried art gallery display in New York.

The gallery exhibit never materialized, and the quilt experienced a few speed bumps and hiccups along the way. There had to be an easier way! The panel design took about three weeks of Photoshopping. Receiving the printed panel in the mail was better than Disneyland. But how would I quilt this one? I didn't want to do the same thing I did to the applique quilt... it had left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth! As well as my washing machine. Ha ha ha!

At the beginning of this year, I set a goal (just like last year) to finish one WIP each month. I finished eight quilts last year, but not all of them were WIPs. I realized last Friday only two days remained in January. It would take at least a couple of weeks for me to finish Charming Painterly Petals. I looked through my WIP list to see if I had any projects that could be finished in 24 to 48 hours. If I did straight-line quilting on the Snow Bike II, I could probably finish it Saturday.

I pulled it out of my stack (which took a while because the stack is so big!), and that night, I went to bed thinking I'd do diagonal lines, just to finish it fast. While I slept, I dreamed about all our wind-fueled Ride the Rockies tours, and I decided I could make the straight-line quilting a little fancy to create headwinds. Because that's what I remember most about almost every single Ride the Rockies!!!

I also decided to keep a one-inch border around the panel instead of trimming off all but the standard quarter-inch seam because the last few snowflake-themed quilts I've finished have stash snowflake strip borders. I wanted this one to be different.

I thought I might be able to use a machine embroidery stitch that looks like wind or snowflakes in a contrasting thread to spice the quilt up a bit. Unfortunately, I don't have any winter-themed embroidery stitches on my little cheapo machine. This made me dream just a tiny bit about owning a machine with more embroidery options... For now, however, I settled for hearts. Might as well. I love cycling.

When I took the quilt off the longarm, I realized I'd done my headwinds upside down, so they are tailwinds. I decided that's okay because that's what cyclists wish for each other. Tailwinds. Helps a cyclist pedal a little easier, especially while going up a mountain. I decided Tail Winds might be a better name for the quilt than Snow Bike II...

I did all but about six inches of the tailwinds on the top and bottom of the quilt on my Simply "Sweet" Sixteen, affectionately named Ringo, and the rest I did free-motion style on the little domestic machine. Then I did the hearts all the way around. I'd used the hearts a few times before, and tension on the project and/or me pushing/pulling leaves some of the hearts with bottomless holes. I had about 11 inches of bottomless hearts on this quilt when done. So I took an extra lap of straight stitching all the way along the heart bottoms so they aren't losing their love out the bottom.

The backing is one of the snowflake fabrics from my stash that was big enough without any additional piecing. I auditioned my entire snowflake fabric stash to find something that could harmonize with the Spoonflower blue in the fabric, without success. So I used a dark snowflake fabric from the stash because it looks like a fancy frame.

On Sunday, the day after I finished the quilt, I learned one of my closest friends, also a cyclist, got married last week!!! I decided this quilt would be the perfect wedding gift, especially with the accidental tail winds! Sort of like a "smooth sailing" wish to the new couple. The quilt has now been gifted (I called to ask if we could leave it on their porch), and they both love it! I look forward to the day I can meet my friend's new husband in person!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. I love this!!! Is the panel a 1 yard piece ( as in if I order 1 yard am I going to get the whole panel?) this is a great piece!!!

    1. Thank you, Alycia! I had this one printed in a full yard, but Spoonflower's full yards have a bit of a wide border, so not the full length of the fabric. Still, not a bad size. I did order one fq-size, too, thinking it might make a nice block in a bicycle sampler. I have a few bicycle fabrics I plan to incorporate one day. Gotta finish some existing WIPs first, though!

  2. I've never quilted by machine always to afraid to ruin the (master)piece. I love the border of hearts. :-)


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