Friday, May 30, 2014

For the Trees

This was possibly my favorite quilt I made last year, maybe my favorite quilt so far! It was completely improvised, which was a first for me and I had so much fun with the freedom, not to mention nerves of "what if it sucks!?"

This was a quilt for a friend's third and final baby. Her oldest boys' quilts are here and here. With baby #2 we were all sure it would be a girl...I used a charm pack of Sherbet Pips for the quilt, including the pink tones thinking just maybe we'd all be right and they would have a little girl. Although I think this is still a neutral quilt, I do feel bad for MR. Ryker that he ended up with a slightly feminine quilt. :) Although, these friends are not the type to car at all.

I wanted this quilt to be neutral, but with bits of pink and purple, because even boys can like these colors. I started making it at a time that I was organizing my scraps in my office/craft room and I discovered SO MANY scraps that needed to be used up, plus a ton of tan/beige fabric. I wanted to try out piecing together a block to make a shape after being inspired by Penny's work at Sew Take a Hike, so I got to work on creating a tree with a bicycle. I loved it. Notice the little bird in the tree too?

Next I went in search of fabric to use and add to this quilt and I found these at a local fabric store. I was really lucky to find the tree fabric from the Critter Community line. The trees were perfect to go with my pieced tree block, and the recycle fabric would go great with my theme of using scraps to make this quilt.

I cut out some trees in a wonky style, then started to piece on scraps using Aneela Hoey's tutorial. Other than looking here to see how to do this no other pattern or plan was in place for this quilt. Our office/craft room was a mess during this process as you can see below!

I started to line up my tree blocks on the design wall as I worked and when I felt they were finished I pulled out all the beige/tan fabric I could find and sorted them out into piles to create larger blocks for the quilt front. I included the recycle fabric for part of the front. The rest I have saved in my stash for a future project...not sure what (I love this fabric!).

The back of the quilt is the Critter Community fabric I used to cut trees from, and the binding was left over scraps of binding from past quilts that I pieced together. So much of my stash was used in making this quilt and it felt great to get rid of pieces of fabric that were small but I didn't want to throw out. For the quilting I again stepped out of my comfort zone and did a tree bark quilting design with several knots on the quilt like the one below.


This quilt may be one of my favorites! And I am very excited to meet the recipient (a GIRL!) in one week when her Momma, family, and my other wonderful friends and their children come to see me and throw me a BABY SHOWER!

That's right, I am expecting...not one...but TWO BABIES!! Our twin girls will be here by the end of August. So you can imagine the lack of quilting and blogging that will soon be happening. (as if I have really done that great with blogging in the first place!) Also, the amount of projects I am trying to finish up before their arrival seems to be never ending! :) Two friends are pregnant with their 2nd child, plus a friend and old co-worker is due with baby #1 in December. I have A LOT of work to do this summer, more posts to come!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vroom, Vroom 2

Here is my commissioned quilt I finished last fall.

A co-worker friend of mine was due with baby number two and wanted to make the transition to a big boy bed an exciting one for her two year old. Like many toddlers he loves transportation vehicles so she threw the idea of a twin sized quilt with cars and trains out for me and both of us got to brainstorming.
I found many quilts and projects for inspiration, and she found a vehicle fabric line that went with the grey color scheme of her son and baby #2's room. Then I got to sketching a few layouts for the quilt and she relayed the idea to her husband. The only thing this fabric line was lacking was a train. So I decided I had to add a section with a train. I searched for more quilts for inspiration and sketched a plan with a train added in. Mom and Dad loved the idea and I was super excited to add in an improvised panel for his quilt.

The fabric she chose was so easy to piece together, all I needed to do was cut and stitch a few panels plus my train panel: a pieced together engine, 2 cars, and a caboose.

She loved this grey fabric and wanted to make the quilt reversible for versatility so the back was simple to put together as well, which was great for me because my deadline for finishing it was a month...right before Lee and I left for Hawaii.

I LOVED making this quilt (and getting paid for my hobby!) and learned how much fun it can be to collaborate with another person on creating a quilt. Although, I'm sure that can be difficult with some customers. :)