Meet Annabelle - Cotton and Joy’s 26th pattern and the first of 2024!
Annabelle came to be a little differently than my previous patterns. Usually, I work from a traditional quilt block or a shape and go from there. But Annabelle is a bit of an ode to a years long friendship.
The Story Behind Annabelle
Before I started Cotton and Joy, I worked as a web designer, primarily working with bloggers (back when blogging was A Thing haha). During that time, I met lots of different people, one of them being Jen.
Over the years we went from a simple online acquaintance to true friendship. She’s one of the few people I talk to every single day - sometimes multiple conversations on different platforms/apps. We’ve been together through deployments, pregnancies, moves. On any given day we may talk politics, books, Marvel movies, music, Peloton, or simply check in with each other.
It was during one of those conversations that I said, hey maybe one day I’ll design a cow quilt pattern for you. Why cows? Because my girl Jen loves cows.
Shortly thereafter, while playing around on Illustrator, I remembered that conversation and began playing around with a cow quilt block – and it was love at first sight. I sent a screenshot to Jen and we decided this simply needed to happen. Once I went to save the file I didn’t know what to name it, until I remembered Jen’s cow statue on her porch. Her name? Annabelle.
Unfortunately, after the initial mockup, I had to wait close a few months before I could even begin thinking about working on Annabelle due to other deadlines I had. Once I was able to really dig in though, I was unsure of what fabrics or colors to use for a cow quilt – I’m not a big fan of browns or farmhouse decor so this was tricky.
Instead, I focused on the block construction and making sure that was solid before getting to carried away with fabric choices. It was during this process that I realized that the Annabelle block was perfect for 10" square precuts (also known as Layer Cakes). Knowing that, and knowing Riley Blake had a basics collection coming, I simply had to make a rainbow Annabelle!
Once I got my hands on a POParazzi! Layer Cake, I layed out all the squares and moved some around to figure out exactly what colors I wanted to use and in what order. I decided to start with an off-white / cream on the top left corner and go from light to dark colors on a left to right arrangement, and work in an almost rainbow order top to bottom.
After I finalized the colors, I took a picture of the fabric on my cutting table because otherwise there was zero chance I’d keep these in the right order once I moved them!
Then, slowly but surely, I began cranking out Annabelle blocks. The first one was this purple lady because Jen and I are both purple people. I’ll be honest, I was a little intimidated by all of the piecing in this pattern, but once I saw this purple block, I couldn’t stop – and the blocks come together a lot quicker than you’d think!
Before I knew it I had a whole herd of colorful cow quilt blocks and I did a quick video of them for my Instagram. I was really nervous to share them with everyone because this quilt pattern is so different from my usuals but it seems the world – or at least my followers – were ready for this modern cow quilt pattern!
Putting this quilt top together was such a rewarding moment! I loved how it looked once I saw it all together - the colors, the cuteness, it was all just perfect.
Quilting and Details
Since I knew I needed to make at least one other sample quilt once I finished this quilt top I wanted to get this long armed. So I reached out to Ashley Perkins of Hen House Quilting. I was a little nervous because it was early December and I knew she’d be busy with quilts for the holidays and such, but she was able to squeeze me in.
Together we picked the “Identity” pato, which has really smooth and organic loops, which gives the quilt a wonderful texture that perfectly matches with the cow blocks. When Ashley sent me these pictures, I almost screamed – the quilting is beyond perfect!
For the backing and binding I went with a coral color since it’s so predominant on the quilt top with all the cow muzzles. The backing is a fun gingham fabric to match the farm vibes of having a whole cow quilt. The binding is a solid coral to keep the focus where it belongs – on the Annabelle blocks and the amazing quilting Ashley did.
Then, on photoshoot day, my mom and I drove by the food co-op downtown Spokane and we spotted this mural on their parking lot and had to stop and take a couple of pictures – Annabelle made it to the farm(ish)!
(The picture with the goat and bunny is probably my favorite quilt photo I have ever taken!)
Quilt Pattern: Annabelle by Cotton and Joy
Fabric: POParazzi! Layer Cake, Confetti Cottons Solids in Black, White, Peaches N Cream, Coral, and Silver (background). Purchase the kit!!
Binding: Confetti Cottons Solids in Coral
Pieced on my Janome M8
Quilted by: Ashley of Hen House Quilting
Panto Used: Identity by Karlee Porter