It’s done! It’s done! (Paintbox Wall Hanging)

I finally finished my project of the past two and a half months, the Paintbox Wall Hanging.

Paintbox Quilt

It looks so pretty up on my bedroom wall! It’s 48″ square, which is larger than it looks in the photo with the giant cat and bed in the foreground. It was inspired by this Paintbox Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. She has a tutorial for that quilt, but I did my own thing. I made 49 six inch blocks, each one featuring a different solid color and matching scraps. I used our Quilter’s Candy Solid Stack, because then I had the equivalent of 2 charms leftover for future uses and reference. I could have also used a strip set. There are 56 solids in the pack, so that gave me some wiggle room to throw out colors that didn’t play well with the rest. In case you are curious, the colors I didn’t use were: White (it’s the sashing), Cream (too close to White & Beige), Espresso, Wine, Ivy, Indigo, and Turquoise. For the binding I used Solid Beige in order to really let the blocks shine.

This time around I made my quilt sandwich using the method Elizabeth Hartman describes in her book, and I love it. I have no wrinkles in the backing (except in one corner where I broke my own rules and quilted from the edge in). This is the largest quilt I’ve ever quilted myself, and I’m rather proud of the quilting. I stippled the entire thing with my free motion foot. I must say I rather like stippling–no marks to follow, no lines to stay on, just anything-goes movement. In her book, Elizabeth compares the rhythm of stippling to “doing the robot dance”, and it’s so true. (I feel like I’m gabbing on and on about Elizabeth Hartman here–suffice it to say that she was very influential to this project!)

Paintbox Quilt - Quilting Detail

I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had on a quilting project. I never got bored or tired of it. My goal was to do a set of colors (7-8 blocks) each week, and that worked out really well. With chain piecing they flew together. The only downside is that I’m not sure if making a quilt like this for my bedroom is such a good idea. Last night I kept staring up at it, mentally rearranging the blocks, “Why did I put Kiwi there? I should have switched it with Sprout…” etc. Hopefully after a few nights it becomes more a part of the background and I stop nitpicking it. The folly of trying to arrange blocks systematically! I do love it though, and it’s just the thing to bring color to the bare walls of the bedroom.


  1. patricia - January 26, 2011

    Fantastic! I love your quilt. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Stephanie - January 26, 2011

    What a beauty! It really sparkles against that pretty wall. A finish is always very satisfying. Congratulations.

  3. Betty - January 26, 2011

    I love this quilt: beautiful colours, simple blocks.
    When is the quilt kit ready?

  4. Karen - January 26, 2011

    I’m impressed Melissa! The colors are fabulous and you did a great job on the quilting.

  5. Teri M. - January 26, 2011

    It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Off to check out that book.

  6. Stephanie G. Benson-Greer - January 26, 2011

    I second Betty’s comment…when will the kit be ready with instructions and such? Nice job, give the kitty a scratch for me.

  7. Melissa - January 26, 2011

    A kit?! My, that would be a lot of extra fabric! I used 6-8 different prints per block, and it only took a little scrap of each. Charms and strips would work well–I used a lot of those from a variety of packs. If there’s enough interest, I can post my block directions for people to follow along. They are just courthouse square log cabin blocks.

  8. sylvia - January 26, 2011

    Love love love! So pretty!

  9. Rhonda - January 26, 2011

    Love your quilt! Great job!!!

  10. Ginger - January 26, 2011

    Great job!

  11. Gayle L. - January 26, 2011

    Great job Melissa! I really like the colors that you chose and am glad that you finished it. It feels good to finish a project and not start a UFO.

  12. Robbin Neff - January 27, 2011

    As an artist in traditional and non-traditional terms (see blog), your paintbox quilt is inspiring. I may have to give it a go myself, and extend to include the myths about artists, by using crazy quilt blocks. What a hoot that would be. Imagine putting all that work into the embroidery, for it to be visible up close. Speaks even further to dispelling the artist myths, you have to get to really know an artist. Hmmm, better blog those thoughts. Very nice work.

  13. Barbara Setterdahl - January 27, 2011

    That’s beautiful! What great colors!

  14. Kandus - January 27, 2011

    What a beautiful quilt!! This has inspired me to possibly try! Love all the colors, great work!

  15. Kellie - January 27, 2011

    This is gorgeous. I absolutely love it! I”m going to add a project like this to my ever growning list of to-makes!
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Debi - January 27, 2011

    Would look great in my 3 month old granddaughter’s bedroom. So cute & bright!

  17. Lisa - January 27, 2011

    It is just BEAUTIFUL! What an inspiration piece… I’m glad you shared your pictures. It is stunning!

  18. Judy LeVang - January 27, 2011

    I love your quilt! it is sooo pretty!

  19. Barb Schneider - January 28, 2011

    Love the quilt. Also, have to thank you for sharing a great resource. After reading your blog I researched Elizabeth Hartman a little more. She’s a great source of inspiration, much like this website.

  20. Lori - January 28, 2011

    It’s beautiful, it’s Beautiful!

  21. Pam T. - January 28, 2011

    Absolutely awesome!

  22. linda harriott - January 31, 2011

    Love this,it is so fresh looking.

  23. Annie Perry - February 8, 2011

    This is just Wonder*Full, have found myself day dreaming of making one since I saw yours…..I check out the posted picture often just for life inspiration!!! Thank you for sharing a creative project