My dear friend, Marcia, had a milestone birthday this past summer and I knew that the only thing I wanted to give her was a quilt. I had planned on a nice throw-sized quilt in blues and grays with a spot of yellow to be used for cuddling up on the couch. My plans were foiled, though, when a few weeks before her birthday, Marcia and her husband bought a farm. Maybe she'd want a quilt for the farm? A bed sized quilt? The answer was yes on all fronts.
Marcia went straight to work making a secret pinterest board of quilts that she liked. I added a few that I liked and, after a couple of days, I had a general plan. Squares. Saturated colors. Light gray. It took me awhile to come up with the exact design as I wanted the quilt to be something that reflected my style as well as her preferences. I let the ideas simmer and settled on a design that has structure even though it looks random and that was easy to piece and fun to sew.
With the exception of the light gray and the backing, all of the fabrics came from my stash. I had a fun time choosing which prints to use. I chose them in groups of four prints with some kind of connecting color scheme in each group. Each of the 36 groups was different, bringing the total number of prints to 144! Stash-busting! Jane helped me with some of the fabric selection. She has a wonderful eye for color and after choosing a bunch of the groupings on my own, I needed her artistic viewpoint to balance out my own color preferences (blue and green, anyone?!?).
The blocks were strip-pieced and then all mixed up and sewn back together. It wasn't particularly fast, but certainly more speedy than cutting 900 individual squares of fabric! And it was doable in chunks of time, which is the way I get most of my sewing completed. Once the blocks were finished and sewn into a quilt top, I added borders of the light gray to frame the entire top. For the quilting, I rented time on a long arm and free motioned a figure-eight-ish pattern across the entire quilt, using the squares as my guide. The backing is one of Carolyn Friedlander's widescreen prints and the binding is an Anna Maria Horner print from my stash.
After giving the quilt to Marcia just before Christmas, she and her daughter, Anna, took it to the farm and photographed it on site. It was so fun to have a stream of photos pop up one after another in a series of text messages. I loved making this quilt for her and I hope it keeps them warm and cozy on the farm.