Thursday, November 6, 2014

the panda quilts: #32: wonky stars quilt for a baby girl

Remember the king size granny squares quilt I made for some friends back in '12? Well, those friends are having a baby girl next month, and this is the story of that quilt. It started with this fabric, which I purchased at the Fabric Studio here in Nashville (with the intention of it being a quilt back). It's a super adorable, kinda flannel-y Japanese Kokka fabric with sheep on it - how can anyone resist sheep?! I certainly cannot. 
 I picked several gold/yellow and green fabrics from my stash to match this print and cut away...
...and made (9) 14" wonky star blocks. I was able to make the whole top in one evening - it came together quite quickly. 
I used the sheep for the center star and planned on using it for the back, but changed my mind at the last minute. It's 85% cotton, 15% linen, and it's really soft...but I just thought it was a bit heavy to be the sole fabric for the backing. Plus, I didn't know how it would hold up to repeated washings.
Instead, I used this Lizzy House print from the Cat Nap collection. 
I wanted a break from the sewing machine, so: adventures in hand binding, part 3 (in which I watch the movie Carrie while binding).
Here's me with the mama-to-be at the baby shower (+ an adorable little boy). 
I am so very excited for these guys & can't wait to meet their little lady (she'll be here around Christmas). 

the panda quilts: #31: dense triangles for an outdoor modern quilt show

'scuse all the wrinkles...hard to smooth it with such dense quilting lines! 
A local fabric shop (the fabric studio, 221 Chestnut St., Nashville) called for submissions for an modern quilt show to be held in conjunction with the neighborhood's monthly art crawl, so I jumped at the chance to contribute something. With no specific baby in mind, I set about to create this quilt.

I had a vision in my head - lots of empty space, triangles - and planned the quilt around all my leftover kona stone fabric. In retrospect, this wouldn't have been my #1 fabric choice, but I went with it, all in the name of thriftiness. The floral print is an older Japanese Lecein print, and the weight is slightly lighter/more sheer than regular quilting cotton. 

It's been so long that I can't even remember what size I cut the blocks (to be used for half-square triangles). I played around with several layouts: 
...but none of them really fit what I had in my head. I cut the HST units smaller, and came up with this:
From there, it was time to quilt it. Again - I had a vision: very dense straight lines. It took awhile, and midway I began to feel as if i was making a glorified UHaul packing blanket. (A google image search led to this - look at this rad packing blanket!)

Anyway, back to this quilt. Since I was entering this in a show, I hand binded (hand bound?) it and promptly dropped it off to Nancy at the Fabric Studio. 
I had to go and check out all the other quilts, and I was so proud to see my lil quilt up there with all of the beautiful quilts (seriously - look at the one to the left of mine with the purple & pink half moons, made by Linday Sews - GORGEOUS!) 
Here's me with my quilt: 
Nancy wrote a fantastic wrap up of the event here, with tons of pictures of the other quilts. And if you happen to live in the Nashville area - most definitely check out her shop. She carries a perfectly curated selection of modern fabrics and I am happy she set up shop here. 

This quilt is back home with me, and I don't know what to do with it. Since I posted pictures of it on social media, I'd feel funny gifting it to a baby someone, as I really do carefully think about the recipients each and every quilt I make (I wouldn't want it to seem like an afterthought). I still do have plans of one day having an etsy shop or selling at a craft fair, so perhaps I just need to squirrel it away. But until's all washed and folded atop my shelf waiting for a home. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

the panda quilts: #30: rectangles for a happy marriage

It's not every day that your baby sister gets married. And this not-every-day occasion certainly deserves a quilt. I made Courtney a quilt way back in 2011, where it quietly lived a too-small-to-fit-on-the-queen-size-bed life for the past several years. So it was perfect: I'd make the newlyweds-to-be a queen size quilt!

Courtney and Brian's bedroom is blue, and I covertly snapped a picture of the wall color as my frame of reference. 

This wonderful triangle print designed by Leah Duncan became my basis for fabric selection.

Typically, I like to mix and match prints from different designers and lines, but I used only prints from Duncan's Tule collection. I also picked a few Kona solids to break up all the prints. I went with a very simple offset rectangles pattern, cutting the blocks 10x5, and it came together relatively quickly (considering the size). I didn't photograph the back - I used the Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Crosshatch in White (108" wide - first time not piecing a large back!) 
laying out rows on my bed
first little section sewn together
I contacted my local long arm quilting gal about quilting this one for me (too big a job for me to tackle...) and she came up with a neat meandering triangle design to compliment the triangle print. It turned out great. I was SO ANXIOUS to give it to Courtney and Brian once it was back in my hands, but I waited a few days and gave it to them at their wedding shower. They had no idea I was doing this for them so I was happy to surprise them with it. 
the quilt - new home on their bed! 
All the hubbub of the wedding and reception is now over, and I am so thrilled to have a new brother-in-law. Brian just fit right into the family dynamic. I couldn't be happier that my sister found the right guy to complete her life. Congratulations, Courtney and Brian! May your lifetime together be filled with adventure, laughter, communication, patience and love.