Tuesday, June 30, 2015

put a bow on it | a quilt for Norah

I made another quilt from start to finish in less than a week, immediately after giving the pinwheel quilt to Sage. I told Matt that I feel like a machine lately, and I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On one hand, I like being productive and prolific, but on the other hand I've found that I'm working so quickly lately that some of the enjoyment is lost. I've been trying to meet self-imposed deadlines (baby's birthdays, mostly) but I haven't been getting any quilts done "on time" anyway. I think it's time to slow down a bit, so I can concentrate on my work and the process rather than the end result. Anyway, this quilt is for yet another baby, the daughter of our friends John and Rachel. I made a quilt for their first child, Elliott, who was born just a couple months after Finn, and they loved it and appreciated it so much that I started planning one for their second child pretty much the moment I found out Rachel was pregnant. Originally I planned on making a giant saw tooth star block, but I've wanted to make a bow quilt since I saw this one from Piece at Last and to be honest, I felt like I needed to make something quick after the pinwheel quilt. Plus I have a few other designs in process and in my mind that I need to get working on, so this simple design was a great fit for this project. The original design can be found in The It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book, but I just sketched out the bow and figured out how many squares and half square triangles I needed. I'm curious, what are your thoughts on making a quilt like that? I copied the design of another quilter though I didn't buy her book. I'm not profiting off of this quilt in any way though, so I think it's okay. Just wondering how others feel about this issue. It tends to come up a lot in conversations about handmade goods. 
Back to the quilt! I've had the fabric picked out for this quilt ever since I knew Rachel was having a girl. Rachel told me the baby's room would probably be decorated in coral and gold tones, and I know that Rachel appreciates vintage grandma style so I selected another of my quilter's quarters bundles by Denyse Schmidt for Joann. I was lucky to have been given one by my mom (she's nice like that) and I purchased a second one when I found it at Joann unwrapped and therefore discounted! And I confess to purchasing a third bundle on etsy as I was working on this quilt because I realized how much I really like these fabrics, though they aren't my usual style, and I didn't want to be without them. I didn't intend on making a scrappy background, but I decided against using solid white because I had some low volume fat quarters that coordinated with the Denyse Schmidt prints nicely and I'm trying to sew my stash this year. After the bow and background were pieced I decided to add a patchwork border because the quilt was going to finish on the small side, only 35" square, so I dug into my stash to find some more low volume prints. I don't have that many so there are a bunch of repeats and I think they kind of distract from the bow but I still like the way the quilt came out. The little animal faces print redeems the border for me, though you can't see them in the photos, I don't think. For the back I used a large cut of a sweet and subtle polka dot and ladybug print along with another DS print, and the binding is scrappy ladybug and DS, too. I had a lot of fun quilting this one. I attempted some more free motion and tried my hand at a large orange peel design. I did three rows freehand and then realized I did one section facing the wrong direction which was really annoying, but I tend to just go with my mistakes and wasn't going to fix it. Then my mom came over and I pointed it out and she said two things - 1. I should mark the quilting lines so the orange peels look better (subtext: your quilting looks terrible. Thanks, Mom! ), and 2. Did I want her to rip out the stitches that were going the wrong way? I sighed and then accepted her offer, and I did mark the rest of my lines and the quilting started looking much better. In fact, the original row of quilting looks terrible in comparison to the rest. Sorry, Norah! Mother does know best ;)
I tried to think of somewhere vintage-y to take pictures and I thought of this old church near our house, so the next time we went out I asked Matt to bring his camera and we stopped on the way home from Lowes one day last week. The front door is really pretty and the side of the building has old fashioned white wooden siding with stained glass windows, but as you can see, he only took two pictures because Ezra was yelling from inside the car (which was less than ten feet away from where I was standing on the steps) that he wanted to get out, again. Needless to say, we wrapped up the shoot pretty quickly. Next time I think I'll pick a quilt photo shoot location that's not on a main road or near water so we don't have to worry about the boys :) 

I'm going to quote a fellow quilter, Astrid, again today - "The problem with making stuff for other people is that one day you actually have to say goodbye to these things you've poured a whole lot of yourself into. Things you've fallen a bit in love with, in the process. But that's the point, right? To pour out, over and over, in order to make space for new inspiration. To share the bits of ourselves that perhaps others are in need of. And if it doesn't hurt a bit to give it up, maybe there wasn't enough of us in it." Norah, I hope this quilt keeps you warm and brings you comfort! My love and prayers for you are stitched right into it. 

1 comment:

  1. I was looking at the picture of Finn with the quilt trying to figure out the design, now I know! Love the fabric. Great job, I know you work really hard on all the quilts and put a lot of love into them!


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