Friday, December 1, 2023

Elizabeth Hartman's Legendary Pattern / Beauties Pageant 238

Back in 2017, Elizabeth Hartman released her Legendary quilt pattern, and I was dubious. It was a cool design, but was there really a market for a Sasquatch quilt pattern? 

Six years later, I realized that, with a few palette decisions, I could transform Sasquatch into a yeti, and obviously, I need a yeti quilt in my life.

Yetis, or abominable snowmen, are a running joke between me and my older son. Over the years, I have bought him yeti Christmas ornaments, yeti stuffed animals, yeti washi tape, you name it. As his 15th birthday appeared on the horizon (and by this, I mean it was just three weeks out!), I knew I had to move into high gear and get this project done.

Essex Linen

Thankfully, I had already cut out almost everything, including five different green fabrics for the forest. The dark greens are two prints from Cotton and Steel past and present, and the lighter, brighter greens include a solid, a blender, and a print from Kate Spain’s Grand Canal collection.

For the background I used Essex Linen. It was something I purchased for a different quilt, one that requires a lot of fiddly curve sewing, and I am thankful I used that cut of fabric here instead. 

Now, I am not an Essex Linen novice. I’ve used it a variety of projects, most of which are bags, not quilts (see the links at the bottom of the post). In other words, I know Essex Linen’s lovely, textured hand can be annoying to work with. It’s malleable and stretchy and not nearly as well behaved as quilting cotton. So I took precautions: I washed the Essex Linen (and all the other fabrics, for that matter) and I gave it a good press with starch.

I chain-pieced 12 of the 14 tree blocks right off the bat. As I squared the blocks, though, I realized that I would lose some points when I sewed them into the quilt top. I blamed this (ahem!) on the fact that I did not mark the diagonal seams before sewing them and instead just eyeballed everything. But then I cut and sewed the final 2 tree blocks, diligently marking every diagonal seam with my hera marker, and they were not any more accurate than the first batch I sewed. Sorry, Essex Linen, it’s not me, it’s you!

The Quilting

There was no way I was going to quilt a project with this much Essex Linen myself. On one hand, I think Essex Linen merits a good amount of quilting to stabilize it. On the other, too much quilting could result in a top without much drape.

I decided on a pantograph called Ramble, and I couldn’t like it and the scale my longarmer decided on more. I had considered different designs that played up the forest theme, but this modern geometric seemed more appropriate for its 15-year-old recipient.

I’ve been second-guessing my thread choices of late (remember this quilt?), and Legendary was no exception. My usual rule of thumb is to use the lowest value in a quilt top as the color for the quilting thread. Instead, I went with a medium gray option here, which makes the quilting recede on almost all of the blocks and the background. Don’t get me wrong: I really like it. I can’t help but wonder, however, what Ramble would look like with an off-white thread.

The Backing and Binding

A flannel from Tula’s Holiday Homies collection was the perfect foil to all that Essex Linen. And I finished everything off with a solid binding, also from Tula, in matcha.

I knew I would miss an opportunity to add another layer of texture if I machine-finished the binding, so the time required to sew these chunky stitches was well spent, even if I was still at work on it the day before I planned on gifting the quilt to my son! (For a tutorial on chunky-stitch bindings, click here.)

I divide Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern design into two phases. Her earlier work, including the designs in her two books, is mostly geometric. The ones that do have a novelty feel to them (like these cats, which are freebies on her site) are fairly simple to make. Most of what she designs now is much more complicated. I’ve heard friends talk about all the pieces required to sew her sloths or her dinosaurs, and I cringe. Legendary may be part of her later work, but despite my woes with lost points, it’s pretty easy. If you have a reason to sew a Sasquatch quilt or, like me, a yeti version, I recommend it!

Other quilts from Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns:

Other quilts made with Essex Linen:

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  1. What a great gift Michelle; love the transformation of Sasquatch to yeti, a quilt full of personal meaning!

  2. That looks like a really cozy quilt with the flannel backing and one that your oldest will enjoy snuggling under for years! I love that you made your version a Yeti. :)

  3. What a fun quilt!!! :-)
    quilting gail

  4. What a cute story behind the Yeti quilt. It's neat that you were able to give your son a quilt with so much personal meaning.

  5. Congrats on the finish! I like all the little details, the essex, the flannel, the big stich binding... I am also very happy with your grey thread for quilting. It does not take away from the design on the background and tree and it reminds me of fur on the yet, which I like a lot. Enjoy or better, I hope your son enjoys ;) xo


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