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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Majestic! - Riley Blake Designs Challenge Quilt

Here is my finally finished 2022 Riley Blake Design Block Challenge quilt - Majestic! It is destined for my nephew, who loves to hunt. Gary was born to my oldest brother and his wife when I was 8 years old, so he has always seemed more like a little brother to me. Gary and his family live in Oklahoma, not far from the town where we both grew up. I made a quilt for his wife Shelli back in 2016, and you can read about that here. Gary is the father of Cory, whose wedding quilt I recently made, detailed here.

Pinned to my design board
I really like the blocks presented for the RBD quilt-alongs, and I also made a quilt for last year's challenge, posted here. It is a fun challenge for me because I enjoy the format of one block per week for three weeks, then one week off, and I like almost all the blocks presented by various bloggers. All the fabric requirements and block patterns are parked on one page and easily accessible. It is a well-run QAL, in my opinion. And the next RBD Block Challenge begins on January 3 - details right here!

After finishing the blocks, I was undecided about a layout. I had purchased this deer panel for the back, but after fussing a bit with a layout, I decided to let it be front center and place the blocks around it. I think he looks majestic, hence the name of the quilt. Everything was just too "square", so I decided to set the blocks on point with some dark brown Grunge as setting triangles. This increased the block size from 10-1/4 to 14-1/2 and made for a larger quilt - and that was fine with me.

I wish I had changed out one block - the second one from the left - and redone it with more contrast.

Once the blocks were finished, I needed sashing to make the dark blocks pop. I added 2-inch strips of the background fabric, Decostitch in Cloud, between blocks and around the panel. I had to order more fabric from Fat Quarter Shop (which is here in Texas and came a little faster!)

While I waited, I coaxed Toby off the backing fabric and pieced a backing. that I had purchased from That's So Janice, the Etsy shop of  Janice at Color, Creating, and Quilting. Janice carries older and out of print fabrics for very reasonable prices, and I got 6 yards of this soft paisley flannel for $6.00/yard!

For quilting, I decided on a design that is less dense and fits right into the theme of the quilt - Maple Leaves. Once I finished, I wish I had found a variegated thread to blend, but I am still pleased with the overall effect. I did make mistakes with positioning, and in one spot two of the leaves were about an inch off. I showed it to my husband, and he laughed and said in all his life he had never even looked at the quilting on a quilt and that no one but me would notice! So I left it as is and simply corrected the next row, and he's right - I don't notice it!

My husband suggested the flannel backing as binding, and it turned out to be the perfect choice!

I decided to go ahead and launder it, to make it crinkly and to make sure none of the red fabrics on some of the blocks faded (they didn't). Toby jumped right up afterward and slept there for 2 hours! Gary's daughter (who lives about 20 miles from me) will deliver both The Wedding Quilt as well as this quilt to my nephew when she drives to Oklahoma for Christmas later this week.

Quilt Details:
Front fabrics:
"Close Encounter" panel, artwork by Jack Paluh for Marshall Dry Goods
Decostitch Elements in Cloud by Art Gallery
Various fabrics from stash
Hot Cocoa Grunge by Basic Grey for Moda

Backing and binding:
Vintage flannel paisley by Peter Pan Fabrics

Superior Threads So Fine
Piecing: #503 Genoa Gray and #402 Pearl, both 50 wt
Quilting: #402 Pearl
Binding: #425 Brown Sugar

Quilt Pantograph
Maple  Leaves from Urban Elementz

Finished size:
65" by 83" before laundering
63" by 78" after laundering

I am linking up with Joy's Monday This and That and Melva's Sew and Tell!


  1. Linda, that's beautiful! The deer panel is perfect for the center, and I love how you chose the block colors to go with it. I bet your nephew is going to love this quilt! I've never participated in a Riley Blake QAL, but now I'll keep an eye out for it.

  2. You did a great job on this quilt. Do you know if they are doing it again in 2023? Hope you have a wonderful holiday with family all around.

  3. Two beautiful quilts for delivery, Linda. I just love how you fashioned this one with that striking and appropriate panel. I also love how you echoed the leaves with the quilting lines. Clever! Btw, thank you for taking a close look at my cross stitch motif that I was having trouble with...this was a while back. You were so right...I was off in two places not one, which I think was why I was so confused. I've actually removed the whole motif to start it fresh another time, maybe next autumn, LOL. Anyway, dear, hope this holiday will be everything you want it to be!

  4. Oh that is just beautiful!!! What a great way to frame that panel!!!!

  5. A very fun finish! The blocks really compliment that panel, the browns look great. Congrats on getting it finished before the holiday.

  6. Linda what a beautiful quilt! You did an excellent job! Have a wonderful Merry Christmas staying warm. We hit 16 this morning. There was ice on the inside of my windows in the Studio (we have no heat - we use the small ceramic heaters when we are in here. The wind is calming down SOME. Clay put a lot of bird see out and they are flocking to the feeders, but the birdbath is totally frozen. Hugs

  7. Well, bet you got an Anonymous from me just now. It is me. I forgot to look and remember to sign in! Merry Christmas hope you got the Anonymous.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! Your nephew will be thrilled. And if Toby approves, you know it has to be good!


    1. Thank you so much Michelle! Yes Toby is the chief inspector. ;)

  9. Linda, that is a gorgeous quilt!! I love it and I'm sure Gary will too!

  10. You did a fabulous job with this. I think the background fabric was a terrific choice, and nice that the blocks were all inset in a dark color….really makes it work. Love the choice of the panel on the front and washing before gifting is always my preference. Happy dance for a beautiful quilt and gift!

  11. Embrace the imperfections. Take your husband's words and know that it's just beautiful just like it is. And, the cat has approved the comfort as well.

  12. It is perfect!!! You handle all the issues to make a stunning quilt. Now I might have to do a RBD this next year.

  13. What a beautiful quilt! Well done. :)

  14. This is a gorgeous Linda!!! You did a great quilting work.

  15. OMGosh! Majestic is fabulous! I understand you angst about the single block, but you know, i didn't notice til you pointed it out! The entire quilt is just wonderful!


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