Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pinwheels in Central Park

This little quilt has been in the works for a long time....much like the recipient.
A friend from high school was diagnosed with breast cancer when we were 23 years old. We were all shocked! There we were in our early 20s: young, healthy, celebrating marriages, loving life, invincible...and one of us was struck down with the C-word! She was one of the lucky ones though. She underwent treatment, opted for a double mastectomy and met her 5 year cancer free mark this past December.
Out of all my good friends from high school, this friend and her husband shared a seat in our kid free boat, but not by choice like Lee and I. They were told by doctors to wait, finish medications, make sure the cancer was really gone, so sadly they waited. This couple is tough, they stayed strong throughout cancer treatment and during the long waiting process of being able to try and have kids. They knew there was a chance it wouldn't happen for them, and they prepared for it.
In December when Lee and I read their Christmas card we were so happy to hear that the cancer was officially gone, 5 years free of cancer! We also learned they were expecting! :)
I wanted to make sure this quilt would be perfect for them, and their little girl so I was very selective and specific with this quilt. I wanted the prints I used to be full of life, because these future parents had lived a lot of life so far, and this little girl was their miracle of life. I wanted the prints I used to be girly, and gender neutral at the same time; I settled with the rest of my charm pack of Central Park from Kate Spain. The trees, flowers and small animals in this line were perfect, plus there were shades of purple, mom-to-be LOVES purple!
Once I settled on this charm pack it didn't take long to decide I would be using pinwheels: whimsical, full of life, and energy. What I didn't want was the old fashioned all in a row grandma style pinwheel quilt though. I wanted my pinwheels to be random, floating on a solid background.
I used this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop to whip up my pinwheels quickly, then I had them up on my design wall forever, constantly in a new arrangement. It took me a while to get the right layout and size for my pinwheels but I finally did. Of course not in time for the baby shower (go figure!) so the new momma was given a soft taggie block I made with a few prints from my charm pack, and a husker taggie blanket (Dad-to-be loved it!) to open with a promise that the quilt would be done before little 'Wolverina' arrived.
I hesitantly used a white background for this quilt, I'm always afraid to use white in baby quilts because of stains. I found somewhere on a blog, or Pinterest, that you can use Scotchgaurd to stainproof white quilts, but I didn't try it. Has anyone done this?

The back of the quilt is a purple/pink flannel, with a strip of white, a pinwheel and my quilt label. I used the same shade of purple/pink for the thread and stipple quilted it throughout. I love how the thread color contrasts with the white background and then blends in on the back.
For the binding I cut and stitched together 3 yellow prints of fat quarters I had lying around that belong in the Central Park line, I love the yellow cheery border, like a frame of sunshine around these spinning pinwheels.

I delivered on my promise, finishing the quilting and binding as miss Peyton Nola came into the world. Then I quickly washed, photographed and drove it to the new little lady. She is precious! I am so happy for my friends!
What I learned from this quilt: careful planning pays off! I love everything about this quilt and unlike other quilts I didn't come out wishing I had taken my time because something wasn't perfect. I guess slow and steady planning is the key. :)

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