After a bit of a crafty dry spell I finally have something to show you! My niece is graduating high school this month and I wanted to make her a little something special to take with her to college.. a gift to represent the start of something new, something happy and full of cheer! Halen is an awesome girl and I love her very much, but she hasn’t always had it easy. She has had to figure out much of what life has thrown at her on her own. I’m sure she’s stumbled more than I know, but as a whole, she’s made good choices and has turned out to be a very mature and responsible young lady. I’m proud of her, to say the least.
So after much thought, I decided to make her a bright and happy quilt…It had to be “cool”.. what an 18 year old would consider “cool”. I spotted a little inspiration in this brocher’s tablecloth and thought it was just the thing I was looking for…
Bright and cheery with a slight modification…
My niece’s H.S. Graduation gift.. A bandana quilt.
Talk about quick and easy…sew the squares together, layer it to batting and a back panel, and quilt it with simple straight lines. Two nights and it was done!! Love it! The outcome was just what I was going for..
I can’t wait to give it to her!!
A couple days back the receptionist at worked called and said I had a package waiting for me. For me? I didn’t think much of it, as I never get anything at work. Never. In fact, I told another lady in the office to grab it as she came up.. No hurry, no rush, it can’t be anything important. This is what she brought…
I sat there looking at it for a few moments. Hmmm, what could it be? Maybe one of the sales people I work with sent me a rattlesnake?.. Maybe it’s full of anthrax? (love/hate relationships 🙂 ).. My imagination was running away with me… So I just opened it, and look.. Easy Quilt Projects
Michelle, my best friend from High School, sent me a Birthday present. She’s the same, thoughtful person that sends me an email card every year.. and I do nothing for her…Notta. Her b-day is exactly one week AFTER mine.
I know, I’m totally worthless! Thoughtfulness is not a strong point (ask my husband). Well, I might think of it, but then I get distracted and forget……. Now, what was I saying? 🙂
Oh yeah, Michelle is awesome. Just look at all the yummy goodness.
If I had more time, I’d make her this
and surprise her with a sweet package for her birthday.
Can we pretend that I did that?
I didn’t think so.
(Thank you Michelle!!! I promise to take you out for lunch when you come home.. just call me, okay?.. Or else I’ll forget 🙂 I love you, girl!!)
So, as I said, I’m not an expert quilter.. no where near.. and I don’t like to measure ANYTHING. My quilt was really made as if each block was its own project.. and then as an end result pieced together. I don’t like things too symmetrical or extremely well planned. This is my way.. I’m aware that most of you are the exact opposite 🙂 and that is why I’ve attempted to
put some type of order to this quilt (though I encourage you to “wing it” and break a few rules.. you’ll love the freedom). As a result of my madness, the free pattern pieces will not provide you with a quilt that measures exactly mine. I’ll leave the size of your quilt to your discretion.. The measurements given are roughly a queen size, which is what mine turned out to be. Your blocks should end up a little more symmetrical, and hopefully the whole process will take you less time. The binding is simply leftover scraps sewn together.. Some of you might have just gasped at that.. Yes, I know it won’t hold up as well as if it were just one solid piece of fabric.. but that fact doesn’t bother me in the least. If I have to go in a different direction down the road I will. A scrap binding is the look I wanted so I went for it. YOU choose the look that YOU love. That’s the beauty of handmade!
And here’s my disclaimer: I reserve the right to say that this quilt pattern will not be perfect (it’s just not in my nature :))
Good luck.. and if you make this quilt or anything made from my pattern I’d love, love, love it if you’d send me a link so that I can see what you’ve done with it. Happy quilting!
Yes, I know I could have come up with a more creative name for this quilt (the 1st quilt that I designed myself), but it’s what I’ve been calling it for the last year and a half. That’s right, 1.5 years, on and off. The applique was fun.. the rest? Well, we’ll just leave that alone. I am not an expert quilter, nor will I call myself one. I’m just a dabbler…and because it took 1.5 years to finish, I’m sure that’s exactly where I’ll stay. 🙂
The inspiration for this project came to me through a rootbeer can. Here is the first block (not the rootbeer can) and post.
Today, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have it done! My design was an evolution with an outcome that I really love. The only regret that I have is that I wish I would have hand stitched the binding. I might have spent 1.5 years on the rest of it, but I was in a rush to get the finishing touches done. Goose’s B-day was yesterday and I decided that I absolutely had to give this quilt to her. Here’s my label.
She really liked it and I’m sure will appreciate it even more when she’s older.
Here’s my inspiration, in it’s complete form, for my baby girl as she hits the big “two-digit” years!
If you like it too check back, because I plan to post the block patterns soon for anyone who would like them… (that means you Cindy :).)
Outside my office window there is a wall mural that has been there for 23 years. I vaguely remember when it was originally painted.. before the office window was MY office window. This afternoon I took a picture of a section of it..
The artist is repainting it for obvious reasons. I’m seriously amazed by her dedication. This will be her third time painting this mural.. she is currently on re-do number 2. The mural measures 11X60.. but, she works alone, up and down on that scaffolding all day. Today she began working at 7:30am and finished at 5pm. The temperature peaked at 93 degrees. Not just any artist would tackle such a job…3 times. Time and effort… and attention to detail. With both re-dos she has added more…changing it ever so slightly…increasing interest. She’s currently on week 3 and I cringe, as she is not even half finished.
Her dedication makes me think about the way I work on my little projects…the way others work on theirs. I wonder what could be if I, if everyone, “invested” in their work…giving it what it deserves.. You know, less quantity..more quality. Can you imagine?
A short time ago, when I was fighting with stretchy material, I had someone to leave me a comment that’s stuck with me.
The comment: “hi have you tried a walking foot it usually works with stretchy fabrics hope this helps keep calm and carry on lol”
Just a simple little comment.. and boy, have I been thinking about it.
My reply: Hey Nicole, Thanks for your suggestion. I hadn’t considered a walking foot. Your choice is so interesting to me. It’s inspiring.. It reminds me that I don’t have to do it the same way that everyone else does. Break the rules and get the job done.. I love that! Sorry if I got a little deep on you.. but you got me thinking about the ‘process’ and that’s my favorite part!!! Thanks so much!
It’s true.. who says I have to do it like everyone else? Who says? I’ve tried to force myself to read, and follow, instructions.. but it’s not as fun and going my own way. So, yes, I do break the rules..sometimes I chop ’em up into tiny little pieces :).. But most of the time I never tell you because I know it’s not the ‘right’ way to do it…I worry someone might read it and say, “That’s wrong, she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” Well, let me just say, they’d be right. I have no idea what I’m doing half the time.. but I keep going until I achieve the outcome I’m looking for. I only follow the instructions as a last resort. Sure, there are times when a project takes me longer than if I’d read the instructions.. Shoot, there are times when the whole thing becomes classified as a failure.. but something else, there are those special times when my project becomes something different than I had expected.. something better.. something that’s all mine.. and that’s when I LOVE doing this… when I’m breaking the rules, going my own way, and getting the job done.
My way may not be the ‘right’ way but it’s my way and I feel really good about that. There, I’ve said it.
I encourage you.. if you’d like to make something but feel as though you’re not capable.. that you don’t know the ends and outs of sewing well enough… Who cares? Go for it! It’s worth it. And just know, you’re going to have so much fun!
I’ve been working on something.. Really, I have! I’ve been trying a new applique technique. I’ve always wanted to try machine applique. To me, it look gives it a nice finished look and I’ve heard it’s much faster than hand applique.. You know I love a fast project… But, given my track record these past few months, nothing’s been too fast. You see, I wanted to use machine applique.. but I didn’t want to fool with changing my thread with every color (there’s a lot of color & I’m lazy).. Again, looking to get it done fast. So I chose invisible thread thinking it would be a breeze.. I’ll tell you now, there is no wind in that sail. That stuff had me ready to pull my hair out..and it left ugly stitch holes in my pretty fabric! So, instead of suffering through.. I just choose another route.. a much slower one .. I’m now finishing with embroidery. It’s still not exactly how I’d envisioned it but who knows, I might like it better.. You just never know until you try it.
Filed under quilting, Sewing