Thursday, November 15, 2012

cottage garden, a quilt

Linking up with Amanda Jean and  Elizabeth again. 
I've actually fit in a bit of reading this week: Sarah Veblen's Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting,
which I'm borrowing from the library, but think I may need to purchase to have on hand as a resource!

I've told ya'll before how amazing my friend is.
I don't do a lot of gift-giving for birthdays, but I do usually give one to Eva.
And if possible, I like it to be hand-made.
(not that I think hand-made gifts are necessarily better than store-bought,
but gosh, I do like to make stuff more than I like to buy stuff...)
As a bonus, the time I spend working on her gift,
is time I spend reflecting on her and the gift of her friendship all these years,
so it's a win all the way around.
(assuming she likes my gift, that is...)

This year, fresh on my mind when it was time to start thinking about her gift,
We couldn't have pulled off the reception without her.
she was a huge help!
Eva loves my kids well; and she loves me well.
So this year, I wanted to make her something extra special.
Something that would remind her daily
that she is loved.

I knew that she liked this quilt pattern, so that was what I was going to make.
I was going to use her living room pictures as inspiration for the fabrics,
but I couldn't actually get my hands on pictures of her pictures....
I went shopping anyways, figuring I'd just pull something together.
Nothing was speaking to me. At all.

I went fabric shopping again, still with that quilt pattern in mind.
Quilting cottons were 50% off at Hancocks, and it was the last day of the sale,
and it was already mid October, so I really needed to get my fabrics chosen.
I grabbed a few I liked, that I thought Eva would like,
but I just wasn't feeling it.

you know how I hate laying out the quilt blocks? This one was giving me even more fits than usual (spent 4 hours total, just on the lay-out. Lame!) blocks were falling off left and right, so I was laying out just a few rows at a time, then sewing 'em up, and pinning them back on the 'design wall'. I had huffing and puffing and sweating and trying to lay out a few more rows and reminding myself just how much I loved my friend, when Lexi came in, clapped her hands together and said, "Oh! My favorite part!"

And something was bugging me just a little;
I wasn't sure I wanted her throw to be for the living room.
I kinda thought I wanted it to be more of a cozy sit in her bedroom with her Bible study quilt
but with some browns, should she want it in the living room...

Then, I saw this fabric

and the rest was history.
Eva loves cottage gardens and English tea-time.
She's a great note-writer and dabbles in calligraphy (or decorative writing, at least),
so I wanted all of that to be reflected in the quilt.
I couldn't see the fabrics I'd chosen working with the pattern I'd planned,though,
I scrapped that idea and decided to go with 4" patchwork squares.

I was able to find almost all of the fabric at Hancocks that day,
including the back and binding,
found one more at Hobby Lobby,
and ordered just a few more text pieces off of etsy a few days later.

I spent a good chunk of my weekend alone working on it, but only managed to get the top pieced.
Monday I pieced the back and Brandon helped me baste it that evening.
I spray basted for the first time.
It was definitely easier than pin basting, but I used about half of a big can of basting spray
which is not cheap (and I thought I'd read that you could baste 8 throw sized quilts with one can?!
and it sure didn't seem like I was using an excessive amout, but maybe I was?)
so I'm not sure that will be my go-to method.
I started quilting it on Tuesday.
And started unpicking a whole bunch of nasty stitches Tuesday afternoon.
I've never unpicked quite so many stitches on one quilt before!
Then I took my machine back to the shop on Wednesday.
(it still isn't quite right. grrr)
The quilting isn't anywhere near perfect, even with all my unpicking,
but I figured if Eva can look past all my imperfections and love me anyways, maybe she could overlook the quilt's?

Saturday ended up being full, and I was only able to put in about 30 minutes on it,
 so on Sunday, I was starting to panic that I wouldn't finish by her birthday.
Which I thought was Tuesday.
Until I happened to see on my computer (on Monday) that Monday was the 12th, not Tuesday.
Which really was fine, since our kids have TKD together on Tuesdays, and I'd planned to deliver it via them.
I worked my poor fingers so hard on Monday to get the  binding sewn on in record time, they're still sore.
But, finish on time, I did ~ around 11:30 Tuesday morning, which gave me plenty of time to wash and dry it
(it shrunk almost 6 inches both ways! gah!) and snap a few pictures, before wrapping it up right before walking out the door.

And then, her kids didn't go to TKD!
So there I was, with this gift I'd worked so hard to finish 'on time' and it hadn't been delivered.
It was going to sit there for two more days, until the next TKD class.
Not acceptable!
At my sweet hubby's suggestion, we all hopped in the car around 8:45 Tuesday night,
stopped at Walmart to buy ice-cream treats,
and showed up at her house a little past 9.
(I did send a text giving her a 10 min. heads-up. I'm nice like that ;-)

Happy Birthday, precious friend. I love you more than words can say!


  1. Oh, so lovely!
    Great job, sis.

  2. its very english tea gardenish, writerish, and I am sure she loves it more than words can say! well done once again sister! xo

  3. It's wonderful!! She loves it, to be sure! she knows your heart is part of it!
    Awesome job!

  4. A very special quilt for a special friend. I am sure she will feel the love from you every time she uses it.


You're leaving me a comment?? Oh goody! I love comments :-)