Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Pair of Bright Quilts

Yes, it's February and these were Christmas gifts, but I'm slow and lame, ok? I had grand plans this fall to start early and make tons of Christmas gifts, but as I stared down the holidays, I realized I just didn't have it in me this year. So I did what I felt like doing and let the rest go. My mom had asked me if I could sew up a couple of lap-sized quilts for her two best friends, so I focused on that. Since they are our "beaching" friends, I thought that it would be nice to do the quilts in batiks. I showed a few options to my mom, but she was definitely interested in brighter colors. We ended up choosing the Lorikeet colorway of Hoffman's Bali Crackers, which are packs of 40 10" squares. I split 3 packs between the 2 quilts and ended up with two generously sized lap quilts.

With little time and 2 quilts to do at once, I wanted to keep them simple. I also wanted the quilts to be similar, since they were going to two good friends, but I tried to mix it up a little as well. For this first quilt, I cut half of the crackers into 5" squares and the other half into 5" x 10" rectangles. I matched up 2 squares to 1 rectangle for a block and then rotated them as I made my rows.

I used a mix of oranges and blues from the extra crackers for the backing with an aqua blue solid. Since I ordered everything over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I actually didn't get the batting or blue fabric in time, as orders were backed up. I ended up running to Joann's for a blue solid. I think it is Symphony broadcloth. Not the quality I'm used to, but it was the only solid that matched the batiks. Gotta do what you gotta do, right? I quilted this one with diagonal straight lines.

For the second quilt, I alternated blocks of 4 squares and 2 rectangles, just to keep them from being identical. I have no idea if they even noticed the difference, but it made me happy and kept me from being bored with doing 2 of the same quilts.

I pulled out the extra purple fabrics for this backing and used a purple Cotton Couture solid. The difference in quality between this and the other solid is HUGE. I will never, ever buy Symphony solids again, unless I have no other choice. I'm fabric spoiled. Again, to switch it up I quilted this with perpendicular diagonals. Also, I swapped the solids from each quilt to use as the bindings.

I worked like a mad woman the weekend before Christmas to get these done in time. I had to ship them to my mom in time to give them to the ladies on Christmas Eve. It all worked out (phew!) and my mom and her friends loved them, so it was completely worth it. I have to say that I'm not really a big batik person, so I really couldn't tell if these were turning out and kept asking friends that came by if they were ok! Just stretching my comfort zone...

Right now I am finishing up a quilt for ME - I finally cut into the Liberty fat sixteenths I collected all last year. Can't wait to show you! I also have some babies and weddings coming my way. Can't wait until everyone is married and delivered!