Saturday, March 18, 2017

postage stamps in spring | a quilt for Appleby

Last year I made my second biggest quilt ever, a generous full size that's now on the bed of one of my best friend's daughters. Ari, my friend, had ambitions of making her daughter a quilt. She bought and cut a bunch of fabric (some of my favorites, like Bonnie Christine's Winged fabric, Tasha Noel's ducks, Heather Ross's strawberries and ballerinas, and Leah Duncan's Meadow prints) and even sewed a few strips together, but she ended up feeling overwhelmed and I asked if I could finish it up. I was so happy when she agreed to let me because it was such a nice quilt to work on. If I didn't love her and her daughter so much I'm not sure I would have been able to part with it!

I always intend to keep track of my progress better and I actually succeeded this time! Since Ari wanted a postage stamp quilt and had already cut a lot of squares I decided to make blocks that were 7x8 squares to make the project a little more manageable. I thought it would be more doable that way instead of piecing insanely long strips together at the end. If she had just given me yardage I probably would have used this tutorial because I think it would be faster and the prints would be randomized automatically. Anyway, I made sixteen of my 7x8 square blocks for a total of 896 squares! The back is from a sheet set that I saw at Target and suggested to Ari, small black plus signs on a white background. My mom offered to baste it for me (she knows that's my least favorite part of the process) but I ended up doing it over because of a problem area that I knew would be an issue when I was quilting. I did it early one morning before the boys were awake because whenever I baste a quilt they can't resist walking all over it which makes the task difficult, and that's putting it nicely. Ari and I decided on simple straight line quilting 1/4" on either side of all the seams, which is a lot of straight lines! It took me almost ten bobbins and between 10-12 hours, I lost track along the way. We picked Cotton + Steel Sprinkles fabric in black for the binding which gives the quilt a nice sharp finish, I think. Once it was done it measured 92.5"x89.5", and after washing it measured 82"x72", shrinking more than ten inches. I remember being really surprised at how much it shrunk, but I'm wondering if I measured that last dimension wrong now because that's a real lot. Hmm...

The pictures don't do it justice, but as usual I had Matt hold the quilt while the kids ran amok so we didn't have much time. We were at Meshanticut Lake, a little hidden gem in Cranston (okay, it's kind of gross because of all the goose poop sometimes and the swans are scary, but it's pretty if you can ignore those things, and I like to bring the boys there so we can illegally feed the ducks), and I love that I caught one of the swans in the first photo. Check him out up there! I love this quilt and am so glad I can visit it at Ari's house whenever I want :)

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