Sunday, October 9, 2016

on the wild side

 My sister had some very specific ideas in mind for her quilt.

leaving me very little room to misinterpret her wishes.
(which is always a concern with a custom quilt)

(But then, isn't that what big sisters do - make life easy for ya?? ;-)

The good thing about that,
was the entire time I was working on this quilt,
I knew she would love it!

I did have one brief moment
where I wondered, 
"It's been a few years,
what if her tastes have changed,
and this is not the quilt she'd want anymore??"

But then I remembered,
this is Terri we're talking about.

This is exactly the quilt she'd still want.

Coming back from celebrating our anniversary
we stopped at a fabric shop.

The shelves were not at all full,
and after a quick glance,
I told Tyler there was no way I'd find animal print fabrics there.

But he spotted them;
(spotted - heehee)

a whole section of animal prints,
(which probably made up 5% of their entire inventory)

I bought 1/3 yard cuts of all the ones that were decent
(for some reason, animal print quilting cottons are notoriously pixel-y
and I just really can't stand that)

The remaining needed fabrics were purchased 
a few months ago at my L(ish)QS - Cozy Quilts & Things.

I wanted Terri's quilt to be bigger than her inspiration quilt,
so instead of two strips of each fabric,
I cut three.

And as you can see, 
I went with twelve fabrics 
instead of the nine the pattern called for.

I was going to use thirteen,
but my final fabric wasn't technically an animal print.
I thought it would would go okay anyways,
but it turned out not to play nicely with the others,
so got relegated to the back.

Like last time,
 I cut the zigs 3 1/2 inches wide,
and the zags 2 1/2.

The strip-piecing and sub-cutting was straightforward,
but joining the blocks on the diagonal taxed my brain,
and I had to concentrate embarrassingly hard
when I sewed the rows.

Sewing the rows together
didn't hurt my brain as much :-)

The quilt top ended up being bigger than I expected
(the finished quilt, after washing, is 64 1/2 x 77)
so I needed to add some width to the voile I'd purchased
(which was already 6 inches narrower than I expected)

I used Cotton & Steel's teal Xs
because - hello - metallic Xs were a perfect companion
- even though it doesn't always look like it in the pictures -
the C&S teal is an exact match for the aqua-y teal in Sunday Clippings.

I wanted a list of quotes and/or verses that Terri liked,
so I enlisted the (stealth) help of my sister-in-law.

All Marin managed to get out of her was,
"I really like Psalm 46:10"

At first, I was like
I wanted at least three...

But then I looked up Psalm 46:10
and realized it could totally stand alone.

And it was sort of perfect for putting on a quilt :-)
(even if I couldn't get a decent picture of it...)

you might remember.

I was reminding myself how very much I loved my sister that day

Once basted,
I had a little trouble
settling on how to quilt the zigs
so I decided I'd hand-quilt the zags
while I figured it out.

I bugged consulted with Carole
and thought
and googled
and searched pinterest
and doodled
until finally I decided on feathers.

Which meant learning something new.

That's one of the things that inspires me about my sister 
- she totally embraces learning new things -
so it was fitting that I should learn how to quilt feathers
for her.

Jeremiah found a perfectly-sized piece of plexi-glass
out by the shop,
and I laid it across one row of the quilt
and practiced.

I drew feathers
and wiped them off
and drew some more
until I felt confident enough to start practicing with thread.

When I was reasonably comfortable with my practicing,

I started on the quilt
in the middle - using tan serger thread
(it was the only thing I had that matched...)

When the four rows that got that thread were quilted,
I moved onto the black Sliver.

We had some fights, that thread and I
and I had to pull out the seam ripper,
but in the end, I won.

Based on my bobbin usage,
after quilting four rows with it,
I determined that I wouldn't have enough of the black metallic thread
to quilt the six rows I'd planned.

I was concerned that the black 
might be over-powering on the half-white zebra prints,
so I quilted those two rows
with a shimmery,
though not metallic,
white 60 wt polyester thread.

After that, all that was left was the two rows 
that needed to be quilted with gold Sulky Sliver.

Each row of feathers averaged a ridiculous 1 3/4 hours,
so the machine quilting took a little over 21 hours
(I am amazed (amazed!) at the fabulous quilting that Renee
 can do in that amount of time. Or less...) 

(In my defense - I did a good bit of fighting with tension.
which I seem to do a lot...)

 After I finished the quilting,
I decided that the fabric I'd purchase for the binding
wasn't right after all,
so I spent about an hour and a half on Etsy,
until I found just the right one.

the gal shipped it out immediately
and it arrived in plenty of time 
for me to get the binding made,
sewn onto the front,
and glue-basted
a few days before our day-trip last week.

I finished it on the 3rd,
a full week before her 50th birthday :-)

Happy Birthday, Ter!!
I love you so so much
and am so glad you are my (little) big sis!!
(thanks for doing all the planning and designing for me ;-)

and thanks, Love
 for joining my workout program helping me with pictures.

linking up with hat knitter, AmandaJean


  1. What a labour of love. Sisters are always worth the effort though. Your quilting is amazing.

  2. TEARS!!!!! I am soo blessed and I love this so much!!! I almost have no words....Thank you for loving me!! I am glad God gave me YOU!!! the quilt is so perfect, I almost want to just hang it on the wall so it doesn't get dirty and messed up!! and I even have a matching pillow!!!! bonus!! I will always love animal print and flowers! and I never really realized that I "designed" this quilt, but looking back at the comments, I see I did!! lol!!! Thank you so much!! It is my most loved possession!! I love you!!!

  3. I love this post! Great story, great photos, and a beautiful result. Five out of Five hearts!!! ♡♡♡♡♡

  4. my ten yr old, who is all about cheetah prints and anything wild, LOVES this quilt! i love how you made it for your big sister to her (mostly exact) specifications. and that photo by the stream is great styling, too. well done!

  5. The quilt is beautiful! My favorite photo are the ones in the long grass. I can so see a cheetah racing across, or a lion stalking its prey. But the story, yes, the story and the big sis love note and just the whole, whole entire story. And the quilt is beautiful.


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