It has been a whirlwind month. About two weeks before the big day, my baby brother announced that he was getting married! Since we had already met and fell in love with our new family member, and my new sister-in-love, we were very excited, but under the gun for the wedding gift. As quilters, we like to make, you guessed it, quilts and it was going to be very, very tough to get one made in two weeks for the wedding.
And, honestly, we didn’t make it. Even after Mom and I sat at the dining room table with two sewing machines and sewed like fiends, we didn’t make the deadline. They were married on February 4th and we gifted them with their quilt on February 22nd, after they had come down to celebrate my brother’s birthday with us. We put the last stitch in it on February 19th and washed and dried it on the following day. Not too bad, all things considering.
I may have been a little gung-ho to get this done (out of fear of it languishing around for years, unfinished), as Dad dubbed our work area as “Jan’s sweat shop.” Ahem. Nuff said.
As the bride didn’t indicate any favorite colors and we couldn’t be too bold and ask outright (it would ruin the surprise), we took an “anything goes” palette of scraps in all colors. I used an “organic, improvisational, modern” approach. I have since learned that those terms mean, essentially, “wonky, but cool.” In order to save time, we densely quilted the blocks onto the batting as we made them, adding the backing on separately.
It was an interesting way to finish a quilt and it was quite efficient in some ways. In retrospect, I would have added backing to each block and joined them Quilt as You Go style with sashing strips. My sewing machine just couldn’t handle the stress of sewing through the intersections and the free arm was just short enough to prevent me from quilting the back on “in the ditch” as originally planned. Hence, we tied the back on, Appalachian style.
It does kind of work as I tend to quilt my quilts and my Mom tends to tie hers. This one is a unique hybrid of both techniques.
But, I wish the quilting went through to the back. Live and learn. It was quick and simple. I love the end result.
And the best part is that my brother and his gorgeous wife love it, too!
The worst part was wanting to tell this quilt’s story, the new technique and all while I was making it and knowing that it would blow the surprise if someone told them what we were working on. I am horrible at the discretion part of this gifting stuff!
What are you working on lately?
Till next time,