This is THE quilt.
Little Miss O's REAL quilt. And it is done. finally. After almost 2 years.
Let me explain.
I have professed my love of all things Basic Grey in blog's past (They of the amazing scrapbook papers and stickers and such) I made my little girl a baby scrapbook using their paper collection called Blush, which features beautiful pale turquoise, pinks, whites with a little brown and brick red thrown in featuring different flowers and little birds - it is perfection! I loved using their papers, they were perfect for talking about my baby girl.
Then I found out that Basic Grey made lines for fabric for Moda ....and that the Blush collection of papers was made into a collection of fabrics! That the colors of the fabric line perfectly matched the rug in her room was a complete bonus!
I did not know how to quilt at this time, so I bought a cute jelly roll of Blush fabric. A jelly roll is 2 1/2" strips cut the width of the fabric (usually 42"-44" in width) rolled up into a cute little roll. There were 40 strips in the roll. I thought that would be good for a twin size quilt right?
Now, I am good at math, but I didn't do the math then. If I had, I would have seen right away that this was nowhere near enough... But I didn't do the math. I think I was too taken in with the cuteness of the jelly roll. Look how cute it is!!
I found the perfect quilt pattern in Elizabeth Hartman's book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker. (Highly recommend this book and Elizabeth's blog Oh Frannson by the way...) The quilt is called Small Plates and it was perfect for working with a jelly roll. And it was when I read the fabric requirements for the quilt that I realized I needed more, A LOT more fabric!
That was when I was completely thankful for the inventions of the internet, Etsy and Google, as I was able to track down more pieces of my dear Blush fabric. Plenty to make the quilt. And two pillowcases (made to hold her over while I worked on the quilt!) And I have more...but I have plans for more accessories....we'll see...
As you can see from the quilt, it is made up of 80 blocks, with a 5" square piece of fabric framed by a different fabric. 40 blocks have the same color frame, the "main" color of the quilt. I knew I wanted the pink to be main color of the quilt, but I needed to figure out which fabrics would be framed inside those pink borders as well as what fabrics to choose to border and frame for the other 40 squares. That was a lot of planning.
Luckily, it was summer and we had lots of play dates and my friends were awesome about helping me and giving their feedback. I plied them with baked goods to thank them.
I sewed the blocks by hand, since my sewing machine was not working at the time and I was eager to start. All 80 of them. Luckily, the blocks were portable, so they went everywhere with me! To swimming lessons, piano...stitch, stitch, stitch!
After that, I had to figure out how to lay them out. Thankfully, my amazing quilt teacher Judy and the awesome ladies in the quilt class helped me with this daunting task! Judy advised me to make diagonal stripes of each border color, which I loved! Unfortunately, this meant I had to make 11 more blocks in the colors I needed. (which is fine, because I made a sweet quilt for my dear cousin's baby girl out of some of the other squares- see below - cute, right?)
After that, I used my machine to sew the blocks together.
Now, it was time to make the quilt back!
Something I love about Elizabeth Hartman's designs is that she is very thoughtful. Her back design is beautiful AND uses the leftover strips from the front on the back middle panel. I picked my favorite two fabrics for the large pieces and used strips of grunge turquoise to break it up. So pretty, right?!
For you that do not quilt or haven't thought much about them, quilts have a front, a back and batting in the middle. Once you put all the layers together, you have to pin them all together (Again, my quilting friends helped with pinning using a LOT of safety pins- THANK YOU LADIES!!)
Once you have all that done, THEN YOU QUILT IT!
The "quilting" part is actually the process of sewing a design while joining the three layers together! The rest of the work is actually called piecing. I had never quilted a quilt this large and used my machine to do it. It was a challenge to maneuver such a huge amount of quilt through the machine, but I got it done with a lot of helpful advice from Judy.
After all that, there was still the bias binding to make and then apply to the quilt. I used the chocolate colored grunge fabric. The binding is the edging part that makes the quilt look polished and finished. You sew it on by machine and then wrap it around and sew the other side by hand.
And there it is. After almost two years since I started accumulating Blush fabric and planning, it is done. Now, I have made MANY other things in these two years, but I practiced with my class making the class quilt and built up the practice and skills before I did it on this quilt. I wanted it to be perfect!
And it was so worth it! Look at what Little Miss O did when I gave it to her.
I just love it. And so does she!
Here is a close up of the back quilted. Judy helped me figure out what design to quilt on it. The pattern called for free motion all over loop pattern, but I haven't ventured into free motion yet. I LOVE the design she suggested. And look how beautifully crinkled it got after I washed it.
Quilting is a LOT of fun but a tremendous amount of work. I am in awe of people who do this all by hand!
Thank you again, dearest Judy and my fellow quilters! This quilt would not be done without you!