Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Family of Trees

Finally, I have time to show you my last quilt from 2011, "Family of Trees."
This quilt was made for a co-worker who had her daughter right when I was learning to quilt. She is the only co-worker that did not receive a baby quilt from me, because I was not confident in my skills at the time. So fast forward nearly two years and I have finally created her quilt. I did not choose the fabric for this quilt, and was very nervous when my co-worker gave me the fabric because I didn't know how to bring it all together. My co-worker asked me a while back if I would make her daughter, Olivia, a quilt. I said I would love to and she took Olivia to JoAnn's to pick out fabric. Olivia, at the time 18 months old, requested the pink fabric with the trees, her mom then found 6 fat quarters to go along with the yard of trees Olivia wanted.
To be honest, I thought the fabric she chose was pretty ugly, I had no idea how to tie it together. I knew I wanted to add white to the fabric, and use squares, but that was where my ideas ended. So I searched Flickr for some inspiration and came across a tutorial from Allison at Cluck, Cluck, Sew for a Stack-and-Wack square block. I threw in another yard of white fabric and got to cutting my blocks, starting with 9 inch squares from the fat quarters (trying to use all the fabric I could).
I used the tree fabric for the back, along with the left overs from the fat quarters. I also used what I had left of the tree fabric for the binding and appliqued an 'O' on the quilt for Olivia using a scrap from my stash. For quilting I decided to do straight lines with a light blue thread, to match the blue in the tree fabric. I love the way the quilt turned out, the fabrics work pretty well together with the added white. And I was pretty happy with my straight line quilting....after taking out 4 lines of stiching and re-basting the quilt. I have a way to go before I am super confident with straight line quilting, my fabric pulled a bit as I quilted....practice makes perfect.
I wanted the quilt to have a name with "tree" in it, and I had "Kids" by MGMT* in my head, so the name of the quilt comes from that song. To me the song is about childhood and growing up, so it's kind of a fitting name for the quilt. Hopefully Olivia can enjoy it for many years. *If you check out the song by viewing the music video, be warned that it is very strange and a little disturbing. You may also want to watch the "making of" video to reassure yourself that the toddler was not afraid of the monsters. :)
What I learned:
As the tortoise taught us from has infamous race with the hare....SLOW and STEADY wins the race (at least when straight line quilting). I forgot this simple rule and had to un-stitch and re-baste after some bunching that occurred. Also, spray baste seems to help keep the quilt layers together well when making the straight lines.
Another thing that frustrated me a bit when making this quilt was using the tutorial. It was really helpful, and I appreciate all the tutorials I have used from so many quilters because they have taught me SO much, but every quilter is different in the way they phrase things. I want to make a note that when Allison says "finished block size" in her tutorial, she is not meaning finished size when the quilt is put together (which is what I think of when I hear "finished block size"). Instead she is meaning the size the block will be when pieced together. I started with 9" fabric squares, so my quilt blocks were 8" when pieced together, but the finished block size was 7 1/2". This really confused me when I was working on my quilt top because it ended up being a little smaller than I had anticipated and I was thinking I cut my fabric wrong. I just wanted to give a heads up to anyone that uses her tutorial, which I highly recommend!

Now I am going to try and get some studying done. I took Friday off work for a 'mental health day' and I am hoping to get some quilting done. I guess that means I REALLY need to work on studying now so I can use all my time Friday for quilting. Happy Tuesday everyone!

1 comment:

Mrs Fruvellhoff said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR QUILTS candels!!!! how cool:)