The Christmas Quilts, Part 1

I made three quilts and one table runner between Thanksgiving and December 17th!  I didn’t really intend to be up against the Christmas deadline so frantically, but I was.  I’m so glad I finished them, especially the one I lamented about in my last post.

The first one I finished was for my mother-in-law.  She just bought a beach house and when I saw Moda’s Pure fabric line by Sweetwater, I knew it would go perfectly in her beach house.  I also knew that I wanted to do a square in square quilt so the planning for this one was pretty easy…it just took a bit of time to piece it.

I finished the hand sewing the binding the first weekend in December.  We were at our very own brand new beach condo for the first time which is a few buildings down from my in-laws’ place.  After I finished sewing the binding on, I snuggled under it for a bit…just had to make sure it was going to work well for a beach house!  

After I washed and dried it, it hung on my stair railing for a few days.  I still get a little shiver of pride when I see what I’ve created, so it was fun to walk by it every time I went up and down the stairs.

I used a layer cake to make the square in squares and I added a 5″ border around it to make it a little bigger.  I quilted straight lines on both sides of the blocks, horizontally & vertically.  I used a sheet for the backing which was a first for me.  It was a Wamsutta sheet that I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I loved the feel of it after I had washed and dried it.  I bought a chocolate colored binding at the fabric store.  I think it might be my last store bought binding (unless I’m in a bind – ha ha) because the combination of it and the sheet on the back made it difficult to hand sew the binding.  It just required a little more effort and time because the needle didn’t slip through the fabrics as easily.

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Jack’s Quilt

After finishing up my daughter’s quilt for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, my son, Jack, asked me every day if his quilt was done.  A few days later I finally finished it.

While I was making Casey’s quilt, Jack requested one for himself.  I had just seen some of Alexander Henry’s 2D Zoo fabric and asked Jack if he wanted his quilt to have zoo animals on it.  He most certainly did as long as there was a lot of blue involved.  I ordered a little bundle of fabric, including the 2D Zoo and some coordinating prints but I didn’t have much of a plan for it.  I knew Jack was going to bug me about it every day until the quilt was done, so I wanted it to be simple and quick.  I also wanted to try to showcase the 2D Zoo and not cut it up too much.

This quilt is the first quilt that I have designed myself and I’m proud of that.  But because I was in a hurry, I made a bunch of mistakes on it and all the way up until I put the binding on, I didn’t like it at all.  I just wanted to be done with it.  Thankfully, now that it’s a finished quilt, I like how it came out.  It’s backed in a light blue minky that Jack picked out himself and I used some Alexander Henry elephant fabric for the binding (not that you can see the elephants but it was the only piece that had enough fabric leftover and that matched the back).

To be honest, the quilting isn’t entirely done but after spending a night quilting straight lines like a mad woman, I didn’t have it in me to outline the big squares the way I wanted to.  And a 4 year old was demanding his quilt so I just let it go.  I might go back and finish them later.

Pretending to sleep after I first gave it to him.
Quilt burrito

But the best part of this quilt is the reaction from Jack.  He loves it.  Here is some of his praise:

“This is great for rolling on.  I love my new blankie.  I like mine 168…you know that Mommy?”  (He’s big into trying to describe things with numbers, the bigger the better.)
“Mommy, this has all kinds of good boy colors in it.”
“Casey is going to be excited when she sees my blanket all done Mommy!”
“It’s great for cuddling.”
“I can do anything with my new blankie!”
He really said all those things on the afternoon that I gave it to him.  I doubt I’ll ever hear such gushing praise for one of my quilts so I’m so happy that I got it finished, imperfections and all.  After school on Monday he even said, “Mommy I told Miss Holly and all my friends that you made a quilt for me!”  

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Fall 2010

This is my first time participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy’s Creative Side.  I’m excited to have just finished this quilt for the show.  This quilt has been a labor of love and a labor of frustration and I’m so happy that it is done!

 I love this quilt because I love the fabrics.  It is the first quilt for which I went to a fabric store and picked out all the fabrics instead of using a coordinated line.  They are mostly good quality quilting fabrics but they were all in a discount store in Maine and I have no idea how old they might be.  This summer when I was visiting my parents there, I asked my mom to watch the kids while I spent quite a bit of time picking out fabrics.  At first I was overwhelmed, but then I just found a few fabrics that I loved and started looking for others to coordinate with it and ended up loving the resulting stack of fabric.

I couldn’t wait to start making something with these fabrics when I got home to my sewing machine and I decided to try a zig zag quilt.  I used a quilt is nice’s zig zag tutorial.  This was my first experience with half square triangles and they frustrated me a little bit.  Once I realized I needed to do a little squaring, it all started coming together a little better, although a lot slower than I wanted.  

The dog and my daughter were both trying to “help”.

In the middle of the process, my 4 year old son wanted to know who the quilt was for.  I told him it might be for his 2 year old sister…the colors would look great in her room.  He didn’t like that answer so much…if she was getting one, he wanted one too.  So I started trying to finish this one up and order fabrics for him.  I love that he wants me to make him a quilt, but I am definitely feeling the pressure on all the Christmas projects that I have planned and now a quilt for my son.

In a way, this festival has been just what I needed to get this quilt finished (along with the looming Christmas deadline).  I’ve been so frustrated the last few days knowing that I was so close to finishing it but seeing everyone else start to post their quilts.  The four year old social scene around Halloween left me very little time to work on it.  In my haste to finish though, I messed up the binding.  After putting my quilt sandwich together and trimming, there were a few rows where the batting was still a little wider than the row.  I decided I would just use a wider binding but when I sewed it on, it ended up being too narrow in the front and didn’t catch the edge of the quilt top in a couple places.  Grrr!  I decided to just finish the binding and I will fix it later.

The finished size ended up being 48 x 60 and the backing is a lavender minky.  I even took my kids to the quilt shop to pick out their minky backings and they had a great time.  I quilted along the zig zags with my walking foot, about a half inch from the top of each fabric.

Anyway, I love how this quilt turned out and I will fix the binding soon.  This will be the first quilt I’ve made that will live in my house, so I’m glad to be able to see it on a daily basis.  Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for my son’s quilt soon!