Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Scrappy Quilt Entry

I hadn't really planned on sharing more than one quilt in the annual Blogger's Quilt Festival, but after seeing all the fun scrappy entries, I decided to include this pinwheel baby quilt I made for a friend a while back.
Since we didn't know if it would be a girl or boy at the time I made the quilt (it was a boy!), I thought bright primary colors would work either way. I was looking for a good scrap buster project at the time, and this seemed like a good opportunity. I used larger scraps for the pinwheels, and smaller pieces for the inner border of prairie points as well as the multi-colored binding.
(close-up of quilt top before it was quilted)

I have used that monkey fabric in so many baby quilts and wish I'd bought more than just two yards! I've seen lots of other monkey prints, but nothing as colorful as this.

I got a little carried away making pinwheel blocks, so I used some of the extra in the diaper bag I made to go with the quilt, along with coordinating fabric pockets on the ends.

My friend loved the gift, and has since asked if I could teach a class so she and her friends can learn how to quilt. I live overseas where quilting is not very common, and I look forward to sharing my love of the art with other women.

Don't forget that you can go and look at all the quilts by category now and starting May 24th you can vote on your favorites. It's going to be really hard to choose because there are so many beautiful quilts! I've been blown away by the creativity and quality of workmanship.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's Time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

It's been a few years since I participated in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and I want to include the baby quilt I made for Simon last year. As friends and family know, this was a labor of love from conception to completion.
For anyone who might be visiting, Simon is our first grandchild, and he was born at the end of 2013. We learned of his anticipated arrival when our daughter and son-in-law picked us up at the airport last May with a big sign that said "Welcome back, Grandma and Grandpa!" To say we were excited would be an understatement :)

Since we were only here four months, I knew I had to get busy quick! I spent the first few weeks collecting fabrics in the colorway Tina had chosen: aqua, lime green, gray, and white.
All the while I was thinking through the design. Kyle and Tina wanted a storybook theme for the nursery, but I just wasn't having any success coming up with any ideas. Then Tina mentioned she was going to do an alphabet wall, and that was just the inspiration I needed!
I mapped out my design on graph paper, choosing to do different sizes of blocks and a variety of fonts. Then I projected the design onto the wall and traced my design onto newsprint paper from a roll. I hand appliqu├ęd each letter to a contrasting background, and as I finished each block, I taped it over the master design on the wall. It was easy to see where it needed tweaking, so adjustments could be made.
Once the blocks were done and sewn together, I took the top to the fabric store and "auditioned" it with a number of prints to determine which would work best as the border. My artistic sister-in-law, Sharon, went with me and helped me choose not only the border fabric, but also pointed out how a thin black sashing between the lime green and border fabric would make the quilt "pop". She was so right! A friend with a longarm let me quilt it on that, but being a novice, I chose to do a simple meandering design.

Although Tina had seen the fabrics, she had no idea of the final design until I gave her the quilt at her baby shower. I loved the look on her face when she opened it up!
And a friend at the shower took this photo of us together with the quilt:
Tina's taking a weekly photo of Simon this first year, and she's using the quilt as the backdrop. Here is a collage of the photos she's taken so far:

Now I'm in the process of finishing a baby quilt for our second grandchild! Our son and his wife are expecting a daughter in August, so maybe next year I can share that quilt with you. They are decorating with a math and science theme, so this quilt is very different from Simon's. I sure do love making original, special quilts for my grandbabies!

Voting begins May 24th, but you can go any time between now and then and look at all the lovely quilts. There are eleven categories, from mini to large, art, applique, hand or machine quilted, modern, original (which is where I've entered mine), scrappy and ROYGBIV. So much creativity, you are sure to be inspired!