This is my husband's grandmother Lottie. She turned 85 this week! One of the main reasons we made this long trip to Florida was to celebrate her special day. We threw a big party and about 80 friends and family members showed up to honor her amazing spirit. It was such a great time.
Of course, I had to make her a quilt for her birthday! Isn't it funny when you start quilting how no other gift could possibly be as good to give someone on an occasion like this? I literally felt like I couldn't have avoided making her this quilt even if I had tried. Oh the quilty powers...
I wanted to make her something with a very vintage feel. Someone at a CMQG meeting a few months ago had brought in a vintage bow tie quilt someone in their family had made that had red as the background. I'm not sure why, since that's not normally my thing, but I was enamored with that red and decided I would have to use it in a quilt one day. The solid I used is Bella Country Red. I almost couldn't buy a color by that name based on principle alone. Country red? But it was the perfect color for this quilt.
Most of the prints are DS Quilts for Joann's, which I bought because someone gave me a gift card there. Then I added a few other fabrics from my stash. I really regret using that lime green AMH hugs and kisses print. I hate feeling that way about one little decision when a quilt is finished. That color shows up in some of the other prints, so I thought it would work well. When I finished those individual blocks, I hated the way it looked on the red but figured I should just keep going and it would look fine in the whole quilt. I was wrong. Blurg. Of course, no one else but me minds that. Lottie was over the moon excited about the gift, and still keeps talking about how she can't get over it. That's all that matters.
One thing I am happy about is the way my free-motion quilting turned out! The meandering stipple thing really stresses me out when I try it because I don't have a plan for where I am going. I mean, I try to make a plan, but I get lost and freak out :) So with this I used a retractable chalk pencil (new favorite marking tool ever!) to mark my rows of loopty-loops. From there, it was pretty smooth sailing and I finished really quickly. Much faster than the close straight line quilting I normally do.
The back is almost all leftovers and the binding is pre-made Moda bias binding in Bella Silver. We carry it at Sewn in lots of solids and it is the best time-saver. You can buy it by the yard, and it is just as soft as Moda Bellas, because that's what it is.
The cracker pattern was inspired by this quilt I spotted in a Tennessee antique shop. I loved the simplicity of the block pointed all in one direction like that. I had never seen this pattern, but of course once I had it on my mind I began seeing it pop up around the internet, like Angela's beautiful modern version. I constructed my blocks like this, but changed the dimensions to make them oversized.
We are still here in Florida, having a wonderful time. But man, am I having sewing withdrawals. And I still have until Monday to home to my machine!