Sunday, August 21, 2011


Amy and Tim open the quilt!
I've been wanting to make this quilt called "Shimmer" from the February 2004 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting for a long time (since the magazine debuted). Ben and I decided that it would be a good pattern to make as a wedding gift for Tim and Amy, and with a bit of a last-minute push, I was able to finish it in time.  Their wedding yesterday was beautiful (at least what I saw of it, when I wasn't rushing out with a screaming Jonah), and we gave them the quilt this morning. I hope they enjoy it for many, many years to come!
The full quilt (queen).

Close-up view of the quilt.
While I personally liked the pattern, I didn't much care for the color palette used in the magazine and decided to make it entirely out of batiks for a more contemporary look and feel.  I was able to make the entire quilt (except backing) from my stash, which was an added bonus and probably attests to my need to continue my fabric "diet."  The pattern itself was well written as it appeared in the magazine, though had I actually purchased fabrics following their materials list, I think I would have been a bit put off by the excess they wrote into the pattern (I was able to get nearly twice as many stars from the yardage they suggested).

I did my best to work within a color palette of blues, purples, blue-greens, and burgundies, and I'm guessing there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or more different fabrics in the quilt, as most of the fabrics I used were fat quarter cuts.  I realized later on that I could have used some left over jelly roll strips, as some of the units were based on a 2.5" grid.

The label, using a bit of leftover fabric to tie to the design of the front.
While I normally choose a cotton batting, I opted to use wool this time and may be a convert, as the loft and feel is nice.  In this case, there wasn't a huge difference in price due to the size of the quilt and the widths in which the battings are sold.

I have four extra blocks left over (they are large, at 19" square) that I plan to sew up into a separate project, perhaps for one of the handmade gifts I promised in a Facebook challenge earlier this year. We'll see whether I can bear to part with them.

Wishing Tim and Amy many, many years of happiness!

Friday, August 5, 2011


The full quilt.  Isn't Ben doing a great job holding it up?
My nephew Grant turned two late last month and I made him Convoy as a new "big boy" quilt (I made one at the time he was born too).  The pattern is from The Buggy Barn book "Those Crazy Kids" and when I saw Lisa Garms' completed quilt, I'd known it would make a great quilt for one of my nephews. I picked up the supplies and pattern not long after Grant was born, using gift certificates that Mom and I received from a quilt shop hop to help offset the costs of the supplies.
Given that I have much less time to quilt these days, I began work on the top during the Door County quilt retreat I attended in March. I liked the pattern a lot in that it involved a fair amount of piecing, and the Buggy Barn instructions were excellent, as usual.  It was a bit down to the wire, but I dropped off the top to have it quilted at the end of June (I had made a reservation for the quilting; I'd wanted to have a fun pantograph used on it and I'm only up to meandering on my own frame). I sewed the binding down while on the drive to Ohio for Grant's birthday party and the label was applied at Mom and Dad's house after we arrived there.
Detail view #1.

Detail view #2

The label Ben designed.

Those who know me well might have been surprised that I chose to make this pattern, as applique of any sort really isn't my thing. That being said, there are an awful lot of really cute patterns for kids that feature applique, so I figure I'm going to continue to work on my skills in that area and push myself to the limits of my comfort zone. I don't intend to become an expert needle-turn appliquer, but hope to at least be somewhat competent at machine applique.

Happy birthday, Grant! I hope you love your quilt!  (And I'd best think about getting your big brother a "big boy" quilt lest he become too jealous!)

The birthday boy with his quilt.