A new finish, plus….

Today I will focus on my most recent finish, but I will also do a quick overview of my finishes during my year-and-a-half long blogging gap.

I think I mentioned in my last post that I know seven or eight women who were pregnant last year. And me. Thanks to gestational carpal tunnel syndrome, very few of the quilts for those women and their babies even made it past the planning stage, let alone got completed. My goal with these now is to have them completed by the time the babies are a year old.  😀  My friends understand and are patient with me.

The baby that this quilt celebrates was born in July. It’s more of a family quilt, however, because her two big brothers didn’t get quilts from me and they would be jealous. Instead, my friend requested something that she could snuggle under on the couch with all three kids. Voila.

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Planning this quilt was a challenge, as the mom is probably my pickiest friend. Yet, when I asked her questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” and “What’s your husband’s favorite color?” and “What are the boys’ favorite colors?” her response was, “I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it.” WHAT!? Who doesn’t ever think about color? Is it just because I’m a quilter that this idea is so completely and absolutely bizarre to me?

So I thought and thought and then told her that the only colors I’d ever seen her wear to work were blues, greys, and reds. Unless she objected, I would make her family a quilt using those colors. She did not. So last February I selected fabrics and began making blocks. (Mind you this was only after texting her a photo of the fabric pull and receiving her approval.)

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I didn’t have quite enough of either of the Lotta Jansdotter prints at the bottom to make all of the blocks, so I used both.

The rectangle-within-a-rectangle blocks were made last fall while my newborn slept.

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I loved both block sets. Then I started laying them out…

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and didn’t like them together. Too busy.

I considered swapping out the RWAR blocks for simple rectangles of the red and grey fabrics, but didn’t have enough remaining yardage of my favorites. Also, I reminded myself that this quilt is meant to be snuggled under and viewed in lap-sized chunks. It is not wall art to be viewed all at once. With that in mind I stitched them together and started on the back. I delivered it to, and and got it back from, the long-armer before Christmas, but only found time to bind it last week.

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I still think some of the block combinations are far more successful than others. I realized somewhere during the process that I had never worked with so many high-contrast fabrics before, which contributed significantly to the overall busy-ness.

Lesson learned, but I hope that this feature will be appreciated by the kids in the family, as it gives them a lot to look at. Here’s the back:

As for the design, I had been scouring the blogosphere for ideas and saw something similar that stuck in my brain, with the exception of where I saw it. So I re-created it from memory. If it was yours or someone you know, my apologies! Let me know in the comments so that I can give appropriate credit.

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Quilt stats: “Clark,” by Toni Davis, completed February 2016. Finished block size is 6  inches x 12 inches, finished quilt size pre-wash is 54 inches x 72 inches. At least five Lotta Jansdotter prints are in there, as well as a Violet Craft in the blue blocks and binding. The solids are American Made Brand and were an absolute dream to work with. I’ll be buying more of those. The predominant fabric on the back is from Angela Walters’ Drift collection. The remainder are from my stash. One is approximately 15 years old!

Okay, now for the quick-and-dirty on the finishes (there are only four) during my bloggy hiatus:

This first was a request from a former co-worker for her niece. She was pretty specific about what she wanted, so this is an uber-simple crib-sized quilt. The only thing I added was the applique elephant. It was the first time I worked with flannel, though, and I know I learned a few things but since I didn’t take the time to blog about it, I’ve forgotten and will have to re-learn them the next time I do a flannel project.

I’d been wanting to make some feathers for awhile, so when a former classmate whose last name translates as “birdsong” announced her pregnancy, I knew the time had come. I used the free pattern from Anna Maria Horner’s website, and a selection of purples, lavenders, and mint greens from my scrap bin. When I took it to my long-armer, I just had some generic birds in mind, but everything was eagles, ducks, chickens, etc. We ultimately stumbled across this little panto that was juvenile enough for a baby, and she stitched it for me in a lovely variegated purple.

I finished a Very Old WIP for one of my aunts. This one was especially satisfying, as I was able to thank her for some really great stuff she’d done for me, and move a long-ago stalled project out of my WIP bins and into the home of someone who loves it, making room for something that appeals more to my current quilting tastes. I still love many of the fabrics and blocks, but if I were to begin this project now, I would utilize them all very differently. Does this happen to you? Where you still love pieces of a project, but you’ve fallen out of love with the whole so it sits in a closet, waiting?

Finally, even though I had WIPs going for some of those other babies mentioned above, I chose to let my own “cut in line” and made one for him. It’s from Sunday Morning Quilts by Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg. The pattern is called Gumdrops. I chose not to use the templates. The average size of my drops turned out larger than suggested and so I cut my background strips a little wider to accommodate. Also I didn’t have enough yardage of any one fabric I liked for the background, so it’s a combination of Architextures Crosshatch, Pearl Bracelets, and a solid white. I quilted it in a blue thread I had on hand and it’s backed with a great monster fabric from Thousands of Bolts. The baby loves all the color and the texture of the raw edges.

With some cooperation from little Mr. WIP, it won’t be nearly so long before I have another finish to share. Linking up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted this week by the Devoted Quilter.

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4 thoughts on “A new finish, plus….

  1. So much awesomeness in one place!! I have a coworker who is expecting, and she knows I’m making her a quilt. She came up to me, so timidly and sweetly, and sort of whispered her favorite colors to me, and the animal they were using in nursery decor. Then, she got all worried and asked if she was being obnoxious- I told her NO WAY- it was so much easier to have a starting place! Also, little Mr WIP is so cute, and his quilt is fabulous.

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