No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee 2 – Round Three

Oh David Barnhouse! What a quilt you started. A quilt I found so dreadfully boring. That’s right, I said it, the big, bad B-word. All that grey Essex linen surrounding little blips of improvised colour … inspiring, well, *cough* ahem. When I saw your centre block for the first time I immediately struggled with thoughts of, “What am I going to do with that?” To make matters worse, as it progressed through the normally colourful hands of Christopher Thompson, Giucy Giuce and John Q. Adams it just seemed to become more … grey.


Now let me say that I love my NGAQB2 brethren. I do! I really do! That’s why I feel I can speak truthfully about your quilt and their contributions. Otherwise, I’d just be all like, “Oh, that’s nice.” You know that’s not me. Instead I have to tell you how I really felt about it and, honestly, that’s the greatest form of flattery from me. So grey, yeah, I understand that is sort of some people’s style; muted sophistication, or whatever. Mr. Sparkles even warned me not to ruin it with my typical flamboyance. But I needed me some drama, and this quit was begging for some Molli Sparkles flair! Grey is blasé!


Can you not see how those fledgling pieces of orange Carolyn Friedlander in the centre were crying out to be a part of something bigger and better in their quilt life and destiny? My heart ached for them! That’s why I had to make them the hero of this quilt. Linen, blue, nah–that’s your dad’s quilt. This, David Barnhouse, is the quilt you deserve and need to be! So I let that grey bleed out into flames of orange, coral, tangerine, and pumpkin. I wanted to keep my border structural but also referencing all of the triangular, improvisational piecing that came before it. That’s why I chose a Delectable Mountains block (tutorial here!) structure as it has plenty of pointy peaks and valleys, but also creates a uniformity around the quilt that was lacking before. Loud, proud, and god-damned well dressed!


So mister, I hope you like it and the new vibe-ing direction I took your quilt. If it’s not your favourite flavour of frozen margarita (how you could even pick one I’m not sure!) I’ll happily keep it and finish it off for myself. I am seeing more navy, midnights and black curves surrounding those flames. However, much like the light-blue Doe extends into my grey border in several areas as an element of transition, I’d hope that the orange could do that with the next border. That’s up to Nicholas Ball though, as I’m sure he’ll want to improv the hell out of it again. I’ll leave you with a quote from John Q. Adams, as it seems to sum up the whole experience, “The international leg of the NGAQB2 is where all the drama happens!” Only if I have something to sew about it, and you know I always will!


To be fair, all that grey really allows my piecing to sparkle, so kudos to those who came before me. Also, no hate mail for the sake of my NGAQB2 fellows. They know I’m writing about them, and it is all said out of love, and the utmost respect for their talents. A wink, nudge, poke and a cheeky grin!

24 Responses

  1. I think the orange is a great frame, and even with all your talk of the gray, the way you incorporated it into your addition really does keep the orange from overwhelming the calmer center. I hope we get to see how all these quilt finish up when the tops go through their final additions!

  2. Good call on the orange!! It’s amazing. I like the delectable mountains…I need to try this block.

  3. Janine says:

    Looks fantastic, it sure did brighten up the rest of the quilt!
    Love your blog, Molli it always brings a smile and a laugh, if you ever write a book I’ll be buying it for sure!!! Keep up the good work

  4. Megan says:

    I like the border you’ve added. It has changed the look and feel of the quilt quite dramatically so I guess it may cause strong reactions – either positive or negative – from those who have gone before you. ‘Twill be interesting to see what the next border is like.

  5. Kate says:

    I LOVE this!! It’s gorgeous <3

  6. Susan K says:

    I love the orange! It sings and sparkles and without the “boring” gray center wouldn’t be as fabulous. Good call. Can’t wait to see the next project.

  7. Nadja says:

    Really nice! The pattern makes the colors really pop.

  8. Hayley says:

    I LOVE what you’ve done. The orange is a perfect compliment and the structure of your border balances the improv bits. I’d steal it given the chance!

  9. Sue says:

    I love that splash of orange and coral with the improv centre. It’s the perfect foil. Good call – hope your bee mates think so

  10. Alyce says:

    Oh yes, that’s set it on fire!

  11. Leslie in MN says:

    Seeing the quilt with your fabulous border, I can’t imagine it without it. I like your ideas for the next border, too. You have such a great vision, which is something I lack. Well done, Molli!

  12. Kath S says:

    Absolutely incredible!! What an inspirational transition – I love it! I want one too!!!

  13. Natasha Friegang says:

    I wish I was a boy because I want to join your club. Oh well. This quilt is rad dude. Love it! I love orange. I want to make that block so thanks for sharing.

  14. Brenda says:

    I love where this quilt is going. But I have to ask whether you let your tea brew a little bit too long.

  15. Pip says:

    I think you nailed it, the quilt needed that extra orange zing.

  16. Ken Casey says:

    It’s WONDERFUL! The oranges/corals make this quilt sing! GREAT call Molli!

  17. Love your addition! You were smart to do the HST and QST blocks in the corners…taking the DM around the corners is really hard…I ended up making them paper pieced in the quilt I made…ugh!

  18. mary says:

    I’m guessing they planned this for you just so you could have this moment of glory – you’ve got a great bunch of bee mates 😉

  19. terri henderson says:

    love love love this quilt top

  20. Lisa says:

    I have to say that I like the middle panel of this quilt and I like the wavy greyness that surrounds it, but it is the flamboyant orange border that sets that middle panel to singing .

  21. Jayne says:

    I doubt anyone will complain about your border…it is the perfect addition, so right!

  22. Rebecca says:

    Exactly what it needed now it’s sparking!

  23. Kathleen says:

    I like the sparkle you added! I hope you can show us a pic when it’s finished so we can see how the others followed through.

  24. Kelly says:

    I love this quilt top so far! Such stunning colors! I’ve pinned it to my “Quilty Goodness” board on Pinterest (with proper credit, of course!). Feel free to follow me if you’d like:

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