Thursday, July 13, 2017

sixteen | a quilt for Hanah

Almost a year ago a friend from church, Kim, asked me if I would be willing to make a quilt for her daughter's sixteenth birthday. She had purchased an Amish quilt before her daughter was even born, but her daughter loved the quilt and it had grown worn and threadbare. Kim had the idea of giving Hanah a new quilt made with sixteen blocks to represent each of her sixteen years and also her sixteen closest family members. It would be queen size and completely custom so I was a little hesitant at first because of the size and scope of the project, but ultimately I decided I was up to the challenge. First I visited their home so I could see Hanah's original quilt, and I took photos as a reference for style and color because Kim wanted the feel of the new quilt to be similar to that of the old one. Then Kim provided me with ideas and inspiration for family member, leaving it to me to interpret them into quilt blocks. I began by choosing a rough color palette, leaning heavily on Carolyn Friedlander and Cotton + Steel (mostly basics and gingham) fabrics for their wide range of colors. Then I sketched the dimensions of the quilt, deciding on a traditional layout with sashing, cornerstones, and very wide borders, thus keeping the sixteen blocks on top of the bed so all would be visible rather than draped over the sides. Some blocks were easy to make - the inspiration was straightforward and I knew right away how I wanted to translate the concept into a quilt block. Others were more difficult and I struggled with the best way to convey the idea, but I spent lots of time thinking and eventually came up with blocks for everyone. I'm very happy with the quilt and I'm proud (and relieved!) to say that Kim, Hanah, and family are too.   
[I've included a few links at the bottom to credit my sources for a few of the blocks.] 









Navy Seal machine embroidery

funky candy fabric & treasure jars pattern (note: I enlarged the block size)

heart quilt block

Amelia block (the airplane) from the book Dear Quilty by Mary Fons & softball fabric

awesome banana fabric

police car block (pillow size) from Busy City by Shea Henderson

I can't forget the back! Kim requested that the back have a paw print to represent their dog Shaggy and I embroidered the reference for Hanah's life verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

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