Sunday, September 15, 2013

Long Time, No Quilt

Blink and three years go by without updating.  Life, new relationship, busy jobs, shifting priorities, forgetting to download photos from one's phone...  It all adds up to not a lot of quilting for me.

But I have made a couple, so for the sake of posterity, here's my update.

"Rock Lobster" Quilt

This is a lap-size quilt I made for my friend, Wendy, and her husband, Mike.  Wendy loves to decorate using black and white, loves rocking out to Journey, Bon Jovi, etc. and loves eating lobster.  My husband and I have enjoyed many wonderful times with Wendy and Mike, so I was glad to bust through my stash to create a quilt I knew they would love.  I used one of Denyse Schmidt's patterns (gah, I forget which one) and adore the simplicity of the triangles.

Next up is the baby quilt that I FINALLY finished.  Just in time, too, for my friend Cindy's baby shower.  Cindy had a little boy in January and this quilt has a place of honour in the nursery.  Being a blankie baby like Linus when I was a kid, I hope that Cindy's boy will get a lot of use out of the quilt.

The last update is a quilt I made for a dear friend and his fiancee.  K & D were married in April and didn't register anywhere, mainly because they're between coasts this year and don't know where they will set up permanent house.  I thought a quilt would be the perfect gift.  One problem: time was against me with a sudden job contract that limited the spare time I thought I'd have free to sew. I scaled down the ambitious vision I had to something very simple, yet I hope still meaningful.

NYC is one of the groom's favourite cities. It's also where he was born, and where he proposed to his bride.  It also happens to be one of my favourite cities and on a trip a couple of years ago, I picked up some NYC themed fabric from City Quilts.  I'd been saving it and knew it would be perfect for this quilt!  Without knowing what a couple or person's decor is like, making a quilt can be a real shot in the dark but thought using fabrics that relate to personal events would be good regardless of decor.

Because time was at a premium - I only had two days from start to finish - I opted to keep the background VERY neutral.  Then came another hiccup:  my local fabric store, The Workroom, was sold out of batting.  I brainstormed with Karyn, the owner, and decided to use a gorgeous heavy flannel as the backing.   It turned out to be the perfect solution.  The quilt is an over-size lap quilt (great for two people to snuggle under but smaller than a double) and the flannel backing, minus batting, cuts down on the bulkiness which is good if you want to pack it for a trip.

Plus, it saved me an extra step which I didn't have time for anyway.

I wanted to let the "LOVE" block stand out and decided to match the background with the flannel backing so that the quilt would look like a blanket.  Carrying through on the neutral palette, I stuck with a cream thread.  It was the safe choice and I was worried about the quilt looking too busy.  In hindsight, if I did this over again, I would choose a thread (black, navy, or red) that stands out so that you can actually see the quilting.  

Quilting was a challenge - there was a LOT of blank canvas to use up!  It's hard to pick out in the photos but I decided to quilt a big heart around the "LOVE" block with an arrow going through it.  On the two remaining "blank" corners, I quilted the bride and groom's first initials, K for the bride and D for the groom.  After a couple of washes, the quilt will puff up around the lines and the pattern will hopefully be more visible.

All in all, I was very pleased with what I accomplished in a short amount of time.  The quilt was a labour of love and one I plan to repeat someday as an anniversary gift for my husband.

I have one last quilt to tackle this year...

A baby quilt for my own little one who is on the way and due in December!

See?  Aside from not quilting, I've been pretty busy!


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