Two Quilts for Two Sisters

In June of 2018 my family took a dreamy vacation to Paris and Southern France. We shared the second part of our trip with old friends and their two kids, and found that adding these humans to our time in the French countryside made it all the more magical.

These friends happen to live in Barcelona, so we don’t see them often. Before we said goodbye I made sure to ask the girls their favorite colors. Lili said black and Josie said rainbow.

When I got home from France I immediately started working on these, using templates that I had made for one of my art classes earlier in the year. I’ve been trying to use fabric from my stash this year instead of purchasing more. I was able to make both of these 100% from my stash, which felt great.

I’m finally about to give these to their recipients, so I hope favorite colors haven’t changed too much in the past year! I put snails on the backs because of a walk we took one night. French countryside snails everywhere. A beautiful memory.

Josie’s quilt

Josie’s quilt

Josie’s quilt, detail

Josie’s quilt, detail

Josie’s quilt, back

Josie’s quilt, back

Josie’s quilt, back detail

Josie’s quilt, back detail

Lili’s quilt

Lili’s quilt

Lili’s quilt, detail

Lili’s quilt, detail

Lili’s quilt, back

Lili’s quilt, back

Lili’s quilt, back detail

Lili’s quilt, back detail

These were quilted for me by Nikki Maroon. Mitch Hopper took photos for me. They measure about 60” square.

A quilt for the Taylors

I needed to make a gift for our good friends.  They were expecting their second baby. But I hadn't made a quilt for their first baby, so the second baby couldn't get his own, right? That's my logic, anyway. So I thought a family quilt would be more appropriate. I made a large throw size quilt (75"x65"), big enough for Kristin and her little boys to snuggle with right now, but sorry, Colin and Taylor boys in the future, it's definitely going to be too short for you. Without really planning it, this quilt became a sampler for the classes I took at QuiltCon 2015. I learned to make the circles and pebbles in a class with Rossie Hutchinson. I also chopped up the doodle I made in Sherri Lynn Wood 's class and incorporated that into the patchwork. The construction of the top was improvisational and ruler-free. I thought much too long and hard about what to do with these blocks from my QuiltCon classes. In the end I threw them haphazardly on my design wall and loved this simple layout. I quilted this on my Juki 2010Q and it's far from perfect but I love it. I did echoes in a few spots and then straight lines or grids on the rest. I'm proud of this one. Everything came together beautifully.

My "doodle" from Sherri Lynn Wood's class

My "doodle" from Sherri Lynn Wood's class

Doodles, circles, and pebbles  

Doodles, circles, and pebbles  

The finished top

The finished top

 {This actually turned out to be a trade, since Kristin Taylor is a talented artist. A quilt for an awesome portrait of my family. Thing is, I totally would have given this to them anyway. Suckers! JK, I love those guys.} 

Quilt for the Taylors

Quilt for the Taylors

I did a huge log cabin block for the back of the quilt.

I did a huge log cabin block for the back of the quilt.

Soft Geese for Grandma

A year and a half ago, my dad's mom, my last living grandparent,  moved out of her home and into a small apartment attached to a nursing home.  We had been wanting her to move closer to family for a long time.  So while we were happy she was finally living closer to my parents, so they could look in on her from time to time, the move was very hard on her.  I wanted to provide a bit of comfort, if I could. 

piecing in progress

piecing in progress

I chose colors and floral prints I thought Grandma would like. I included quite a bit of double gauze in the quilt which made it extra soft.  I worked from a pattern called Bows and Braids by Jocelyn Ueng. The final quilt measures 58"x68". I had it quilted by Sarah Wilson of crinklelove.

completed quilt

completed quilt

back of the quilt

back of the quilt

My grandma was 89 and healthy when I started this quilt, and she was 90, hospitalized, and rapidly declining when I finished it. When she unwrapped it, with help, from her hospital bed, she said, "I don't think anyone has ever spent so much time on me before." This from a woman who had knitted and crocheted countless items for others through the years. I regret that we only had three more weeks with my grandma after that moment. I wish I had given her a quilt earlier, that she could have used and enjoyed longer. But I'm glad she had it for a time, for warmth and comfort in unfamiliar beds, and to know how much she was loved.

binding

binding

hand-stitched label on back of quilt

hand-stitched label on back of quilt

My grandma has been gone for almost a year. Her quilt now lives at my mom's house. I love seeing it when we go home to visit. 

my grandma's high school yearbook.  I love her quote. 

my grandma's high school yearbook.  I love her quote. 

Grandma in 1959

Grandma in 1959

My grandma with my dad

My grandma with my dad

me with grandma

me with grandma

the quilt displayed at her funeral

the quilt displayed at her funeral

Shot Cotton baby quilt

Susan got a wedding quilt and I decided to also make her a baby quilt! Why does Susan get two quilts when many people in my life have yet to receive one from me?  I don't know. Maybe I miss her, or feel guilty about not visiting her more?  Most likely her big life events just happened to fall at a time when I had an open quilting schedule.

Front of quilt.  Measures 49"x35"

Front of quilt.  Measures 49"x35"

Back of quilt

Back of quilt

Again, I wanted to make something simple for her, in line with her taste for all things clean and minimal.  I started with big stripes in soft tones.  Then a friend at Chicago Modern Quilt Guild told me about making a quilt using shot cottons and wool batting, and how the quilt was so soft and had such a nice hand.  Typically I don't give a lot of thought to the hand of softness of the quilts I make, but in this instance it seemed like making a baby quilt extra soft would be a great idea.  I had a gorgeous stack of shot cottons that I had purchased at a great price on Craftsy.  I loved this stack so much that I decided to use it as it was, not changing the order of the colors at all.  I paired the colors up as they came off the stack, cut them into pies and crusts, and sewed them into drunkards path blocks.  I decided to add borders, and the phrase "Hello, world" to the bottom of the quilt.  I wanted to make examples of the letters I had sketched out for a pattern (Simple Shapes Alphabet, hopefully coming out soon), and I thought it was a cute expression to welcome a new person into the world.  I did not know at the time that this is a famous reference to computer programming.   Even though I did watch Halt and Catch Fire.  But I digress.  By now I had come to think of the original front as the back, and this more colorful patchwork as the front.  Of course Susan can use it in whatever way she prefers.  

On the design wall...

On the design wall...

In progress...

In progress...

piecing the letters

piecing the letters

such a pretty spot to nap.

such a pretty spot to nap.

My helper got tired arms. 

My helper got tired arms. 

quilting detail.

quilting detail.

I sent this to Nikki Maroon for some very simple, open quilting.  After it was bound I added a label made from a piece of vintage embroidered linen.  I hope it's getting plenty of use by sweet baby Nico.   

The cutest! 

The cutest! 

UPDATE: Nico is the most adorable butterball and he looks perfect in his stripes on his quilt. This picture made my heart leap.  

Wedding Quilt for Susan and Alex

My friend Susan has been extremely dear and important to me since high school.  She left the midwest for beautiful Portland, Oregon several years ago so I don't see her nearly often enough.  She has always had impeccable taste, so when she got married, I wanted to give myself the challenge of making a quilt she could love and that would look great in her gorgeous Portland bungalow. 

image.jpg

Susan had expressed admiration for the work of the Hopewell Studios.  I took direct inspiration from their quilts, but tried to put myself in there too.  I had a few goals for the making of this quilt.  I wanted to shop strictly from my stash.  I started out strong in this regard, but ended up buying some additional neutral solids.  I also wanted to work ruler-free for this quilt. I almost accomplished that, but did need to do a bit of measuring to successfully piece the mitered corners.  And I threw in a few orphan blocks that were originally constructed using rulers.  Everything else was improv with no rulers! 

Improv in progress.

Improv in progress.

Working out the composition on the design wall.  

Working out the composition on the design wall.  

I began quilting this on my domestic Juki, with a mix of straight lines and curved lines.  I wasn't thrilled with how the quilting looked, and I didn't enjoy shoving this big quilt through my machine.  I decided to add some big hand quilting.  I always love the look of big-stitch hand quilting, and sometimes use it to (hopefully) compensate for the shortcomings of my machine quilting skills.

Quilting and binding detail.  

Quilting and binding detail.  

Quilting detail.  

Quilting detail.  

As always, I would change a few things if I could, but overall I'm happy with how this quilt turned out.  I know it's already getting a lot of good use in Portland.  Susan said it was the perfect weight for summer, which makes me happy. 

Back of quilt  

Back of quilt