Thursday, February 14, 2013

needle and thREAD ~ brought to you by the number 125

Last summer, she asked Tyler if she could hire me to make her a quilt.
"No," I told him; 
"I could never charge somebody what my time is worth, I'd rather gift it.
If she buys the fabric, I'll make one for her."
In January, I told Tyler to tell her
I was ready to make her quilt.

She wanted:
and aqua.
No pink.
No flowers. 
(um. I didn't exactly abide by this one...)
A smidge of green and yellow.
Totally random.
A bohemian hippie vibe, with a nod to re-purposing.
And the quilting should be unexpected.

After a few e-mails back and forth, and visiting over coconut coffee, 
I had a pretty good picture in my mind of what she wanted.
I ordered a rainbow bundle of fat sixteenths (light on the greens and yellows).
I added a little bundle of purple,
and another of oranges.
I dug through every piece of fabric that I own,
looking for pieces that met the above requirements.
Then I shopped at thrift shops, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, and The Bargain Shack to round out my (admittedly tall) stack
and ended up with 123 different fabrics.

after shrinkage, quilt is 69x81 (did you see the pop of orange in the binding? :-)

I spent 5 hours over the course of 3 days cutting 4 1/2 inch squares.
(It takes a lot longer to cut a few squares from a bunch of fabrics
than it takes to cut a bunch of squares from a few fabrics!)

A week of sewing (and ironing) here and there
resulted in a finished quilt top.

In early January, a friend had offered to let me dig through some bins of fabric;
she knew I was a quilter (I'm a quilter!!:-) and thought I might find something I could put to good use.
I kept hoping that when I dug through the bins, I'd find fabric that would be perfect for the back of Nancy's quilt.
And I did!
Of course, I had to add some piecing to the back, too.
I used up every cm of those fat sixteenths ~ I had to; that was some expensive fabric!

After a quick trip to the church to baste it,
I spent the next 3 days quilting with my new Juki exceed f600.

Then it was time to decide on a binding.
And then, of course, make, and attach the binding,
then hand-sew it to the back.
(I forgot to take pictures, but my corners were perfect. I was so tickled!)

123 fabrics, plus the blue back
and the black binding - so, 125 fabrics
and about 31 hours of cutting, sewing, and ironing (ironing is a big part of quilting!)
and Nancy got the quilt she's always wanted her whole life.

Thanks, Nancy, for letting me make your quilt.
It was a fun challenge :-)
I hope you and Bruce enjoy many picnics on it
and snuggles on the couch under it.

Most of the photos in this post are by Brandon ~ thanks, Bud!
Linking up with my quilting mentor's Finish it up Fridays
and my friend's with needle and thREAD, although very little reading transpired.


  1. That is a pretty quilt. I love making quilts with small blocks. Fantastic.

    Richard and Tanya Quilts
    Track My Shows

  2. I think of all the ones I have seen posted on here..this is my favorite. I love it.

  3. what a beautiful quilt!

  4. This is absolutely lovely! What a gorgeous quilt! I'm sure it will be well loved and enjoyed. :)

  5. Fabulous photos, like your style.

  6. What an awesome quilt! What gorgeous pictures! And what a great story behind the quilt. Beautiful finish.

  7. Great quilt, love the bight colours.

  8. Im thinking it looks just like she imagined! its perfect and she must be loving it especially on these wintry days!!

  9. This is an absolutely gorgeous quilt. Would love to hear more of the making story....was there a way you tried to mix up the colors as you sewed? Did you sew them in strips and then sew the strips together?? I just love looking at the pictures. I wonder if I could make one half so beautiful from the shelves of Joanns....hmmmm....

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. Ter ~ She said she's been dragging it all over her house :-)

  11. Thank you all for the very kind comments :-)
    Wendy ~ I did this one a bit different... Since I used so many different fabrics, as I cut my fabrics, I put them into 4 different stacks - each stack contained only 1 of each fabric.
    When I laid out the quilt, I did it a section at a time, using the fabrics from 1 of the stacks.
    Once I had it how I wanted it, I labeled each piece with masking tape, telling which row and column the piece belonged to.
    chain piecing, I sewed each row together, first by 2's, then connected those to their neighbors, 'til I had a row, then sewed the rows together.
    I pressed seam allowances to opposite sides on even/odd rows, so they'd nest nicely (I prefer pressing open, but it takes sooo much longer...) I had a little index card taped near my iron, so I'd remember which row went which direction ;-)
    Then I sewed the rows together.
    Once I had a section done, I pinned it back to my 'design wall' (which is just the batting for the quilt, hung wherever I can find a spot to hang it ;-) and then laid out the next section, making sure there weren't any fabrics too close to its twin, and did it all over again....


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