The year of gifted quilts
This blog post was originally written for my Canadian Modern Quilt Collective takeover the weekend of Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. I’ve added a few new photos and made a few content edits.
It wasn’t intentional, but this year I only finished one quilt that I’ve kept for myself, and that was a WIP from 2018. Every other quilt I’ve made this year, I’ve given away. That wasn’t the plan going into 2019, but at the same time I’m happy with the quilty love that I’ve shared this year.
Let’s start with the one quilt that I’ve kept – the I Heart You quilt by Lindsay of Pen and Paper Patterns! This quilt is such a fun pattern, in that it can have so many looks, based on the colours/fabrics that you choose. I made this quilt as an ode to my stash, and only used fabrics that I had on hand for the hearts. I paired them up using a light and dark version of the chosen colour, and then arranged them in an angled gradient. And because I had used an array of colours, why not go bold on the back!? I have loved this Carolyn Friedlander wideback for ages, but never had a quilt in progress that went well with this blue. I love how it turned out, especially the bright burst of colour on the back.
While not quite a quilt, the first gift of the year used the incredibly adorable Magical Unicorn pattern by CenterStreetQuilts. This foundation paper piecing pattern just SCREAMED for ombre or rainbow fabrics to be used on the unicorn’s mane! My oldest daughter had asked me for a unicorn pillow, having previously seen me browsing unicorn FPP patterns. The only thing I felt lacking about the piece once I had finished the pillow top was that I wanted it to feel a bit more realistic – and what’s more realistic than a unicorn with adorable closed eyes and fluttery lashes! I’m sure I squealed with delight at my own cleverness after I had embroidered it on.
I have to admit that I’m not the best “blogger”, or the best at remembering to take good photos of my give-away quilts before they’re gifted, as there are a few quilts that I’ve sent off to new homes, that I didn’t take photos of. I know… I know… at least I labelled them! One of these poorly photographed quilts was a throw-sized Four Winds Quilt by Fancy Tiger Crafts, which was made for my mother, as the companion to the first Four Winds Quilt that I had made for her a few years ago (which only got one quick kitchen snapshot – I found that photo recently – its bad). Maybe some day I’ll steal it back and take GOOD photos of this new quilt’s crinkly goodness! If you haven’t seen this quilt pattern you should check it out – its VERY simple to make and is fat quarter friendly. One of my favourite versions was made by Jaime Jennings – co owner of Fancy Tiger Crafts (shown above), and uses a dark navy for the background, which makes the flying geese blocks stand out so nicely. I always forget to use navy as a background!
I was very excited to start this next quilt, as I was one of the VERY first people to get my hands on this pattern! I was one of the lucky quilters to test the super popular Looper Quilt by Ruby Star Society’s Brand Manger Devon Iott. Needless to say, I haven’t finished it yet. *let me hang my head in shame as I toss it onto the WIP pile*. I may have bit off more than I could chew, but haven’t we all been there at one point or another? Once I had finished the queen sized top my eldest daughter exclaimed that it was the MOST perfect and beautiful quilt top she has EVER seen and it NEEDED to be hers. But she wanted it super floofy and thick and heavy. Sure honey, not a problem! I can totally do that, and with the design that I planned to quilt on this, it’ll TOTALLY be manageable enough under my domestic machine. *face palm* Well, I’ve managed to wrangle the quilting on the curved lines, and now its geometric improv time on the rest as I think that’ll be the easiest way to get this done without throwing out my back. But a good challenge for both myself and my quilt wrangling skills are in order, and I’m hoping to get this quilt done during the Christmas holidays when we’ve got some down-time. My daughter also wanted to re-paint her room over the holidays and it would be a perfect addition to a freshly redecorated tween bedroom!
This summer was spent making the Lakeside Sampler Quilt for a good friend from college. He and his new wife are avid campers and love to spend time outdoors in their canoe, hiking and being all outdoorsy. (I’m not that outdoorsy, so I’m allowed to describe them as being outdoorsy.) I had seen this pattern around the inter webs for a while, but once I heard the news that they were engaged, I knew it was the perfect quilt pattern for them.
Let me tell you though… this quilt shook me. As much as I made sure I was using scant 1/4 inch seams, my cutting was accurate, etc. parts of it turned out wonky. And made me question what I thought my skill level was as a quilter. But you know what… I made it work. They more than likely wouldn’t notice the wonkiness, and I was gifting them a handmade quilt gosh darn it, so if they had the gall to question me or complain I’d take it right back. *Foot, down. But that didn’t happen; the day after the wedding I got a lovely message from my friend telling me how wonderful they thought it was and how perfect it was for them. Now that’s a good feeling.
Most recently I had finished a Meadowland Quilt for one of my best friends. She’s been having a rough time at work this past year, unsure of her direction, and becoming quite anxious about it. I knew that at some point I wanted to make quilts for my closest friends, and this seemed like the best time to make one for her. It was gifted just this past weekend, and she was so surprised and excited to have received it. That feeling – THAT feeling – is the best. Giving someone a hand-made item and knowing that they appreciate the effort it took to make said item is priceless. She teared up, I teared up. It was wonderful and I know that quilt will be loved. Again, I didn’t take a good photo of this quilt before I gifted it, so please accept this photo from the October Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild meeting, binding not yet finished, and my “design choice” where I didn’t match the small squares to the geese, but whatever, we can’t all be perfect, right!?
What’s the plan for next year? Tackling my stash and making one of the Plaid-ish quilts for myself is a priority – I’m feeling a bit jealous that I haven’t been able to keep any of my makes this year, but its been well worth it, and I feel it high time that I make a quilt for me! So I’ll start with a quilt to give to my other best friend… and put some blocks together for a charity quilt… and my nephew is going away to college so…