In this post, I'm covering my makes from the latter part of 2015. It's part of a greater effort to count up the quilts I've made over my life.
I like to think that every quilt has a story, but the story behind this quilt just happens to be a GREAT story. :)
In 2008, my husband's grandma passed away... we're not to the great part of the story yet, bear with me. Her name was Ada and she did some sewing and other handwork throughout her life. Because I'd already established myself as a quilter at the time of her passing, her daughters wanted me to have these blocks that she had embroidered. I'm not sure if it's called needlepoint or cross-stitching, the roses are done in a cross-stitched pattern, but the design/guide was printed on a muslin-like fabric.
Anyway, jump ahead with me to last year, 2015. My husband's cousin and his wife were expecting their first child, a daughter. To the delight of everyone, they revealed that they would be naming their little girl Ada, after what would have been her great-grandma. I did not remember that I was in possession of Grandma Ada's embroidered rose blocks until the week of baby Ada's shower! When I suddenly remembered, I knew that I had to sew it together quickly, making a scrappy sashing/border in coordinating fabrics from my stash. The above picture was the result and it was so sweetly and warmly received by the proud parents!
I made this quilt for an extremely fun, artistic, wonderful couple having their first child. I knew I wanted to try something bold, original and unique - a truly one of a kind piece that even I couldn't duplicate again. Improv quilting seemed to be the obvious choice. I'd been listening to podcasts and seeing social media makers talk about and produce beautiful improv quilting, I just didn't have much experience. I decided to limit myself to black and white fabrics for the improv part and as I was making my blocks I had the idea to offset the action-packed improv with some calm solid fabrics to give it a little balance. I took the same approach with the quilting: regularly spaced straight lines in the improv section helped to unify and calm that part down, while the solid gray showed off some spicy quilting. Yes, I just used the word 'spicy' referring to quilting. Or maybe it should be savory.
As I said early on in this series, mini quilts count! My aforementioned modern quilt group held a holiday gift exchange. This is the mini quilt I made for the occasion. I love feathered stars!
Man, I really loved making this quilt. We had a need in our community which prompted the organization of a silent auction to benefit the family involved. I couldn't resist making a quilt for it even though I solemnly vowed to myself never to make a quilt to be auctioned again. People just don't know the value of how much fabric and all of the materials cost, let alone the labor and time involved. It's just that I had an idea... in Iowa, our beloved Iowa Hawkeye football team had a stellar season and was selected to play in the Rose Bowl. I had the idea to make a commemorative quilt (that's what the one red block is all about).
This quilt, unlike the others, gets two pictures! I was really enthralled with these feathered star blocks. I reworked a feathered star foundation paper piecing pattern in EQ7, making the assembly easier (for me) by eliminating y-seams. At the same time I was brainstorming ideas for a wedding quilt to be gifted to a young friend of mine. I really wanted to use the feathered stars, so I set them in a fun overall layout and made it. Also at the same time, submissions for QuiltCon '16 were nearing the deadline and I thought it would be a great idea to get this quilt done in order to submit it for that show. I did. It wasn't accepted, but it seems pretty traditional compared to the quilts that did get accepted into the show. Live and learn. :)
It wasn't a conscious choice to repeat a lot of the same colors in this quilt as in the one just before, but sometimes that's the way it happens. This was a gift I made for another special young friend of mine who had her first baby, a girl. She doesn't like the typically girly colors, and I can't blame her. How can a gorgeous color combo like this discriminate?
Even though this quilt wasn't published until 2016, it definitely falls within the list of quilts I made in 2015. This is the first quilt of mine that was published! I couldn't be happier with how the process unfolded. I thought the team at Quilts and More did a wonderful job of making my quilt look good! The instructions were wonderfully done and the photography was outstanding. I look forward to submitting more ideas to publishers in the future.