We visited them for the first time in October, I think (maybe early November), after seeing a stunning fabric art show at the Burlington (ON) Centre for Performing Arts. Beautiful house with lovely touches and lines...and several fireplaces and lots of couches.
When we received their invitation for a housewarming party in December, my immediate thought was that I would make them a quilt for their new home and life.
The quilt is based on "Basket Weave" from Denyse Schmidt's "Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration."
The Christmas blocks on the front are from a Moda line - I bought the material about 3 years ago, planning to make placemats for all our friends. I even mentioned it in one of my blogs that this was underway! I think I pieced one placemat and severely lost interest. This initial material was purchased from Reichards Quilt Shop in St. Jacob's.
I didn't want to buy additional feature fabric, so the quilt is not quite the dimensions in Denyse's pattern, which is 72 x 86. I had written the dimensions of the finished quilt down somewhere...likely my whiteboard...but it's been cleaned several times and it's gone. The full blocks are 14", and the border (on sides only) contains blocks of 5x13.
I purchased the green fabric for contrast on the front - Robert Kaufman Fusion - I have used this fabric a lot in many different shades of green and brown, cream, red...and maybe more...over several projects. The shades just seem to be what I am looking for. And the variegated colour of the fabric makes it very interesting. You can kind of see what I mean in the above photograph - it's not a solid green, it even looks a bit bluish in some parts. The binding was also done in this green.
I really like the Christmas prints. I did have to buy a small piece of the red material with white snowflake to finish up the blocks. And some blocks needed pieces of material pieced together to get the full strip. I particularly liked making this border strip below as an accent.
Since I purchased material from a wide backing bolt for the back (the red), I brought some of that to the front to tie it together. All the additional material was purchased from Creative Sisters in Kitchener.
The back, well, I did need to purchase material for it. Carol at Creative Sisters helped me with picking the green fusion material on the front, and when I went back later, also helped me figure out the back - material AND math!!
I liked the idea of the strips in the back. Made it interesting.
The quilting was done in 2 steps - I stitched in the ditch around the printed blocks, and then did a diamond pattern based on the pattern on the front. Quite happy with how it turned out. The thread was a variegated King Tut. My next quilt I'm trying Aurifill! I found it in another local store today!
I called the quilt home, and gave it to my friend, who I understand spent the next day wrapped up in it on the couch, after the party. That is a very good use of a quilt.
What did I learn with this quilt?
1. I tracked my time with this quilt. I first set up a work breakdown structure using Trello, so that I have a reference of all steps required to make the quilt. I then used another tool to actually track time per activity. Unfortunately, this tool changed while I was using it. However, it turned out that my actual time was about ...hmmm..i just went back to Trello and it turns out I didn't actually add up all the hours. Let's call it at least 20.
2. I wanted to show myself I could complete a project on a deadline. Last year I completed 1 quilt (started 2 years ago), and two small projects. This was my start to see if I could do better for 2013. I was successful. I had a target to finish it a week before the party, because I was going to Vegas before that date, and the quilt needed to be done. It was.
3. I had fun modifying the pattern to fit the material I had. That was pretty creative.
4. I let myself go a bit crazy on the back! I like piecing backs, but this was different because of the material I used.
5. I used 505 adhesive for basting. I'm going to try safety pin basting next time. Basting is my least favouring activity (it used to be binding, but I got past that!), and I really could tell on this quilt that the spray basting didn't do me any favours.
Next up, the Christmas present blog, and then the Sampler blog, and then...quilts I'm working on in 2013! I've almost got the first one done! It's due to be done by the end January, and it will be. It's been a lot of fun to work on it!
What's your adventure today...this week...this month?