Yesterday I had a mini celebration for myself as I completed my first quilt for 2014. The quilt is a small lap or crib sized quilt made of fun 1930's reproduction fabrics and some of Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures. After reading so much about improvisational piecing all over the quilternet (Mainly the Quilt Improv blog hop for Lucie Summers book) I decided to give it a try for this project.
So here's the thing, I love to read and learn tons, but I am horrible with keeping track of where all of the information came from. The blogger of one of my favorite posts talked about how they liked to riff on the improv notion by setting up a couple of rules for improv blocks and then loosely sticking with them. The rules for my blocks were:
1. Each block would be made of random width strips of fabric.
2. One of the strips of the blocks will be made of two pieced fabrics.
3. The blocks would be sashed.
I followed these rules loosely and as I hope you can see from the photo above that some of the blocks do not have rule #2, but that is fine. It's fun to break the rules sometimes.
The quilt came together quickly. The blocks took one evening, and putting the quilt top together took one more evening. I used IKEA fabric for the backing and sashing. The green backing is an IKEA sheet. I've read about other bloggers using some of these great prints and the sheets in their quilts. I'm a thrifty guy, so the $5.00 green twin sheet was a great buy to help cover the back.
Here is the completed quilt with the green IKEA twin sheet and a fun animal print from IKEA pieced to make the back.
Here is the front of the the quilt completely hand quilting with straight lines and a chevron, the point of it follows the seam between the green sheet and animal print of the back.
I also used the IKEA animal print for the binding. I haven't done the binding on a quilt since 2007 and I needed a little refresher. Jenny at Missouri Quilt Company refreshed my memory in this great video tutorial. I love the way the large print and color of the binding almost looks like a pieced binding.
Now, if you've read this far I have to tell you my favorite discovery from working on this project. This is not only my first quilt finish of 2014, but it's also my first gift quilt. I made this for the new born of my best friend from college, Anna. Making a gift quilt was a great experience. I thought about my friendAnna during every step of this quilt. I reminisced about all of the great times we shared. I thought about what a great mother she is going to be to her daughter and how lucky this little girl is to have such an awesome momma.
I am already thinking about my next gift quilts and the great memories that I can think about as I create. Who will you share your gift with next?