Quilts I've Made

A Quilt for Miss M

This is the grande finale of my Nine Quilts by Christmas Series! If you’d like to see where is all began, click here. To see the previous eight quilts, click the corresponding number: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

DSC_0582 (2)

And here we are! What a journey! Thank you for coming with me! And let me introduce you to quilt number nine, that was given to Miss M. Miss M is four, and her nickname is Firecracker – it’s quite apt for this bundle of adorable energy. The pattern is Powwow by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew, and the fabric is entirely from Flow by Zen Chic for Moda.

DSC_0643 (2)

IMG_20171223_182004 (2)

DSC_0645 (2)

IMG_20171223_182824 (2)

The backing is a light coral-y pink suede flannel, and the quilting was a scrolling pattern.

DSC_0649 (2)

DSC_0652 (2)

It seems kind of appropriate that the biggest hiccup I had in my making of these nine quilts was on the quilt for Firecracker. With a name like that, it seems inevitable that drama will ensue! I am incredibly blessed to have access to the long-arm quilter at Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage, and the quilting machine and I had a disagreement halfway along the last row of quilting (entirely user error!) that left the tension in the bobbin thread awfully wacky. The consequence was that I had to unpick the entire bottom row of quilting, which took hours. Luckily, I had excellent help (thanks hubby!)!

IMG_20171130_140258

I actually need to give a massive shout out to the crew at Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage. All of the ladies there were so patient with me hogging the quilter, so kind and affirming with my design decisions, and so encouraging when I was feeling overwhelmed. More than one of them helped out with unpicking some stitched on this quilt when my hands were cramping up, and not all of them were paid to be there! I’m SO thankful for the loving environment in that shop, and especially to Marcelle, the shop owner, for her love and support on this epic journey, and for giving me the capacity to neglect some of my other responsibilities in order to finish these on time. It definitely didn’t go un-noticed.

DSC_0366 (2)

Miss M definitely had the MOST fun response to receiving her quilt. I wish everyone was as excited as a four-year-old when they receive a quilt! She dragged it around, and kept rolling herself up in it, or just jumping up and down on it. Ironically, she liked the (fluffy) backing side better, and kept laying out the quilt with the backing facing up – but that’s ok with me. As long as she loves it!

IMG_20171225_123637 (2)

IMG_20171225_123719 (2)

IMG_20171225_124021 (2)

IMG_20171225_124025_1 (2)

And that’s it! What an adventure! Given it seemed like a near-impossible task when Christmas was six weeks away, it felt completely amazing when I finally finished those last stitches on the bindings and labels. In some ways, the deadline was SO good for me – it forced me to get outside of my comfort zone – to keep pressing on with tasks even when I was bored or frustrated with them, and to be resourceful and the make the most of what I had, because I didn’t have time to wait for or investigate other options. There was no time to feel sorry for myself when things went wrong – I just had to keep going. I wouldn’t want to work under those kinds of timelines constantly, but I learnt so much about myself, and I think I’m a better Creative for it.

Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me as I shared these quilts! But I hope it’s not the end of you dropping by my blog. I’ve already been madly making all sorts of bits and pieces to kick off 2018, and I will keep sharing them with you here! So hopefully you’ll check in again soon – or you can sign up to follow my blog and receive notifications each time there’s a new post!

See you soon!

Quilts I've Made

A Mammoth Effort

I was pretty quiet at the end of 2017, and while I haven’t been super consistent with this blog to date, I have been busting for the last 2 months to share this project with you! Alas, it was under wraps until its Christmas deadline.

DSC_0621 (2)

These pretties have been a roller coaster in the making, but boy, were they a satisfying finish!!! And did I get some mega hugs when they were gifted!

DSC_0360

Not long after I first started quilting, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt for each of my nine nieces and nephews. At the rate I was making quilts at that time (about 3 a year), I didn’t think it was fair to gift them one at a time – as it could be years and YEARS between the first and last quilt being gifted. So I planned to give them all at once, with no real deadline as to when that would be.

And then, about 8 weeks ago, I had a brain wave. All nine nieces and nephews would be in one place, this Christmas. That only happens every few years. I had three quilt tops made, and I had just over six weeks to make six more quilt tops, and then quilt, bind, and label the lot. Easy, right? Hah!

Nothing for it but to dig-in and get the job done!

Challenge number one: The early quilt-tops I’d already made were only crib-sized. The eldest of my nieces and nephews was 13. Crib-sized was not going to cut it.
Solution – I made each a crib-sized centre panel, and added 3.5″ and 6.5″ borders. Hooray for borders adding quick width!

DSC_0673 (3)

Issue number two: I wanted each quilt to be unique. No two centre-panel patterns were to be repeated, and nor were the quilting patterns.
Solution: I relied on my favourite quilt pattern designers – Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter, Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew, and Emily Dennis of Quilty Love, for relatively quick and easy patterns that packed a visual punch. And then I was so thankful to Marcelle from Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage, who has been teaching me to use her long-arm quilter. By knowing the edge-to-edge patterns available, and having access to such a beautiful machine, my dream of nine unique quilts in such an absurd timeframe became suddenly achievable.

So here they are, and I am SO excited and thankful to be on the other side of this challenge!

Quilt Merge

DSC_0630 (2)

IMG_20171223_183846 (2)

All of the quilts have flannel backings, as the kids all live in Victoria, so I wanted them to be nice and snuggly. I thought about using wool wadding for extra warmth, but I prefer the feel of cotton quilts, so I stuck with the 100% cotton.DSC_0759 (2)

I used printable fabric to make labels, and vlisofixed them onto the backings. I used a simple blanket stitch with thread that coordinated with the quilt binding to finish them off. Name removed from pic below for privacy 🙂

IMG_20171223_184540 (2)

It was the ultimate seal of approval when the kids all dragged their new quilts out on the deck as they went about their busy-ness, or snuggled up under them for the Christmas afternoon movie.

IMG_20171225_151535 (2)

IMG_20171225_155322 (2)

IMG_20171225_170605 (2)

Also, I wish all quilt recipients were as excited as a four-year old!

DSC_0366 (2)

Over then next few weeks I’ll show you more detailed shots of each individual quilt here on the blog, as well as information on the fabrics and patterns used, so stay tuned! Or subscribe for updates 🙂
You can also see more picture on my instagram using the hashtag #ninequiltsbychristmas
Can’t wait to share more!