September 25, 2015

mod sampler queen size wedding quilt for D and T

This quilt! I don't even know where to begin. Yes I do: Spring of 2012. But I almost need to go back even further, to 1988, because that's how long I've known the other people in this quilt story...
So, old friend #1 (D) met a fine fellow, fell in love and got married (in Hawaii!). Old friend #2 (Liz) and I decided to make a quilt as a wedding present for them.  The wedding and a local reception were to be held later that year, so we got together and plans were hatched; we felt no sense of urgency to complete it and decided it would be a nearly stress-free process if we didn't burden ourselves with deadlines. 

I bookmarked Oh Fransson's Mod Sampler quilt pattern as a possible contender for this quilt. Her book The Practical Guide to Patchwork is so insightful & informative, and this (free!) quilt pattern from her blog was no different. This pattern calls for 6 print fabrics and 6 solid fabrics, so we went to Textile Fabrics during one of their 50% off sales and picked out the prints. Shopping for fabric with a co-conspirator was so much fun (Liz noticed fabrics I typically would've breezed over, and it helped me step out of my comfort zone). A few prints jumped out at us (ultimately because they reminded us of D) and it was neat finding others to match. Back at home, I got out my nifty Kona Cotton card and found 6 coordinating solids. It was slightly challenging, as our prints contain browns and purples which typically don't "go" together. In the end, we got: Ash, Mahogany, Salmon, Yarrow, Coral and Hibiscus.

Since the pattern is written for a 52x62 throw size quilt, I transposed it so it would be a queen, and ended up with these notes: 

And here's where everything kinda turns to mush. When we bought our fabric, we each purchased one yard of each of the prints (so...12 yards of prints if you're doing the math). (Side note: at the Textile 50% off sale, you're required to get 1 yard to get the discount, so I figured it was probably "worth it" and easier for us to each get a whole yard). I followed that same (il)logic when buying the solids. 2 yards of each, so...12 yards of solids. 24 yards of fabric for a queen quilt. Any fellow quilters reading this will know how absurd this is. Not to mention: I also ordered additional fabric for the back and binding. That's the point alarm bells should've gone off, but it took about a year and half for that to happen. 

Here's what I THINK happened. My plan was for Liz and I to each make 40 blocks. So...80 blocks total. When we bought the fabric, I think my yardage estimates must've accounted for us each making 80 blocks...

Anyway. So it's Summer 2012 at this point. I thought it would be best to pre-wash all the fabrics because of the deep purples (I had trouble with purple bleeding with this quilt). If I recall, I got right to work on washing, pressing and cutting. I sewed 40 blocks, then stored them in a box. Fall of 2012 is when we put our house on the market. We sold it that winter and moved to our new place in March 2013. Sometime that spring, I got all this stuff out again - saw the "80 blocks" note, counted that I only had 40, so I made 40 more blocks. I had the fabric already cut? (Guess I had cut enough for 80 blocks the first go round). Liz and I continued to talk on occasion about the quilt. She was going through a major career change during this time and was going to move out of state in the summer. So we got together to cut the fabric for her blocks prior to her moving. We spent the day cutting out fabric for 80 more blocks. 

After Liz left that day, I counted all the blocks I had made and realized THAT I HAD MADE ALL THE BLOCKS FOR THE WHOLE QUEEN SIZE QUILT. How and why it took me this long to figure it out is beyond comprehension.  I have no excuses. The time lapses between working on it - irrelevant. My brain just wasn't working. I wrote Liz an email apologizing profusely for my error. I wish I had realized this PRIOR to cutting into her 12 YARDS of uncut fabric, but such luck. 

Before Liz moved, she came over and we worked on the layout of the blocks. Her help was immeasurable as we moved and manuevered 80 blocks around my hardwood floor. We had to make sure all the blocks were facing the right way & that they were in a specific order...and that same patterns weren't next to each other and whatnot. 

When it was all settled, I sewed all the rows and sashing strips (kona snow) together. Quilt top=Complete! 

In an effort to maintain Maximum Equal Collaboration Efforts (a.k.a. M.E.C.E {official term, coined by middle children of the world}), we were able to come to a fair agreement - Liz would take care of the quilting. We contacted Nanette at All Sewn Together and used the same quilting design from my king size lotta jansdotter quilt.  

While Liz and I hoped there'd be some way for us to give D & T the quilt in person, the fact that we all lived in 3 different states made this near impossible. D & T had made a move too, from Seattle to Houston - so - Texas, Tennessee and Florida. I saw Liz around Thanksgiving and was able to show her the finished quilt (and take some pictures at her parents' amazing house). 
In a remarkable case of poor timing, D & T came to Nashville the following week, missing the opportunity for all of us to be in the same state at the same time by a matter of days. But Liz agreed that I should just go ahead and give it to them, and I was delighted to present them their 2+ years-late wedding gift from me and Liz. 

1 comment:

  1. Just, Wow!! This is an amazing collaborative effort...and a stunning quilt! Your fabric choices are so FUN!!!