When I redesigned the blog, I found this post buried in my drafts. I could've sworn I had published it ages ago. In 2015, to be exact. Mind you, I still have moving boxes to unpack from that summer, so it's not surprising at all that it fell through the cracks. What is surprising is that I found the time that year to sew not one, not two, but three quilts! Perhaps I'm motivated by extremely limiting circumstances. Or perhaps I sew to survive extremely limiting circumstances. Hmmm.
First up is the Southern Star, a quilt that my best friend commissioned as a wedding gift for one of her best friend's. Talk about pressure. This was the first time that I had to factor in not one, but two other people into my design process and I learned a lot from the experience, mainly that I need to take a chill pill. Ha! A wise person once said, "it's only fabric." I need to remind myself of that more often.
I don't know why I struggled with this design so much -- it's actually my favourite combination: a super simple design and a nice blend of traditional and modern. I love all the white space and that the contrasting squares are so subtle. You may not even notice that they are prints from afar. That's exactly what we were going for, so mission accomplished. I'm told that it lives at the owner's beautiful lake house in Prince Edward County and I can't think of a more perfect place for it!
The pattern is from a book called Urban and Amish by Myra Harder. The pattern as written was a king size. I used the same size of blocks, 5" squares, but eliminated two rows for a final size of 63" x 82", which fit my double bed nicely.
Had to include this shot of me sewing the embroidery patch at the laundromat while I was washing the quilt. Clearly time was of the essence! Haha!
I'm curious, how many of you wash your finished quilts before giving them away? Personally, I prefer the look of a crisp, freshly sewn quilt. But they spend so much time in my hands and, let's be honest, the floor, that I usually opt to wash them (if time permits).
The second quilt I made that summer was extra special to me, not only because it was a wedding gift for two dear friends, but also because my husband wanted it to be a joint effort and helped with every part of the process that he could, from pattern and fabric selection to block layout. Decision-making is my biggest challenge in quilting (and life), so having someone help me make some of the more difficult calls was a treat. The whole process was more enjoyable as a result and came together really quickly too. It's all a metaphor for marriage, really. I couldn't think of a better wedding gift if I tried.
This pattern is also from Urban and Amish and it's called Chinese Lanterns. Again, I made the quilt significantly smaller. However, in this case I didn't like the look of the design when I removed rows, so I decided to make the blocks smaller instead, which was as simple as removing the longest strips from each block. So half of those shapes are four strips instead of five. It's quite a simple and quick sew that has a big impact. I think I'll be making another one soon, maybe in more earthy tones.
Hot tip: If you're using a binding fabric that tends to fray a lot, like the chambray I used here, after stitching it down, overlock your edges. The hand-sewing experience is so much more enjoyable without having to wrestle with tucking in stray threads all the way around.
Last but not least, this crazy cute baby quilt I made for my friend's little boy. There's something I love about a whole-cloth quilt. It speaks to my love of simplistic design for one; two, it's a great way to show off an amazing print like this; and finally, it's a perfect choice for babies because it may not be perceived as so precious. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I worry that my more intricate quilts are never actually used because people worry about getting them dirty or ruining them in the wash. I even used to get this comment about my aprons, for heavens sake. That breaks my heart a little. Use your beautiful things, people! The more baby puke the better! Haha!