Friday, December 6, 2013

My First Pieced Quilt

To the experienced quilter, you know what I mean when I say, "I did it!  Look at my first quilt!"  I saw this pattern almost two years ago (A Baker's Dozen, 13 quilts from Jelly Rolls, layer cakes, and more) and knew I had to try this.  I made a lot of changes to the printed instructions, but the results are just as good.

Planning the quilt:

Stage 1:  Insert texture into the quilt.  This allows my granddaughter, almost 2 by Christmas, to love on her quilt.  Test proved positive when I handed her a couple of blocks.  She loved rubbing her delicate cheeks against the fabric.

Stage 2: Pick fabric with her first words.  Zoe loves monkeys, chickens, dogs, shoes, eggs, rabbits, carrots.  She knows the words and the ASL signs.  These are also incorporated into the quilt.  She pointed out these as she "trashed my stash."

Any good quilter, honest quilter will agree that the finished project is not a one-man job.  It's like playing solitaire.  Someone is going to recommend a move at some point, whether it's moving a block, alternate fabric, or a technique.  She will voice her opinion.

Speaking of Solitaire.  My friend Dirk is a hunter.  He claims to carry a deck of cards with him on any hunting expedition.  Should he get lost, he'll sit and play a game of solitaire.  Someone will show up to tell him his next move.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears (of joy)

Since this was a jelly roll quilt, every fabric choice came from a bolt, so out came the handy-dandy rotary cutter and mat.  Scores later (oh, such a bad pun) it was time to build blocks.

  • Our neighbor Beth dropped by and while she was here, I put her artistic eye to work.  She was essential to the final block layout.
  • My dear friend Nancy showed me how to sew the blocks together.  She fussed and fussed how often I need to measure, remeasure, and re-remeasure after each seam.  Repeat after pressing the seams.  Annoying yes, but I loved the results.  (She lovingly chastised me for selecting an "on point" quilt for my first.)  She also helped with the pillow, actually did most of the work when I was ill that weekend.  
  • A HUGE thanks to the staff at Joann's in Sugar Land.  They had the fabric I needed (beyond my stash).  For the backing, I needed 5 1/4 yards.  I couldn't find the fabric locally, but they had exactly 5 1/3 yards in stock.  I came home a happy girl.
  • Cynthia, Lhonda, Laurel, and Pam were my cheerleaders.  They doled out the encouragement to keep me going.
  • April quilted the package.  She did an extraordinary job, down to the thread color.
  • Margie and Ina helped with the binding and finishing touches.
  • Mom is hiding the packages at her place until Christmas.
The worst part of this entire process is waiting until Christmas to give Zoe her new blanket.  I can hardly wait to see her face Christmas morning.

Here is the finished quilt.  Magic Man and I scuba dive, as does Zoe's parents.  Fish seemed a fitting theme.
Fish Quilt - DONE

Bubbles from the fish

"Cat" fish hiding in the coral

Sea Monkeys

Textures and colors

Tuna fish (center small), you know "chicken of the sea"

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