December 27, 2010

My Yearly Quilt

For the crafty among us, it seems there is no more meaningful way to say thank you than to spend dozens of hours hunched over a craft table, cursing those resourceful pioneers who hand-stitched their love of quilts right onto our popular imagination. Quilts are nothing if not a labor of love, complete with the requisite blood and tears, and possibly sweat, depending on the season. 

I made this quilt for my sister, who has been there and back for me this past year. I gave it to her as a thank you gift, as a token of sisterly love, and in the hopes that it will become an heirloom and a reminder of our delightfully modern and complicated blended family. 

When I saw this pattern on the Purl Bee blog (a totally adorable blog that you should only read if you can resist buying the insanely amazing and overpriced craft supplies at Purl Soho), I knew I wanted to make it for her, in part because it's called a Wedding Quilt. I got married in October, and since I spent most of that week freaking out, Rachel basically made our wedding happen. 

The original pattern was made in a gorgeous spectrum of orange, pink, and yellow, but Rachel's favorite color is blue, so I emailed Purl Soho and asked them to make me a spectrum bundle with blues and greens, and they did it the same day. Pretty awesome.

The finished quilt:
Pattern courtesy of the Purl Bee.
As the title of this post suggests, I don't think I can make more than one quilt per year. Quilting is pretty tedious, and is really one of those things I primarily enjoy in retrospect, although playing with all of these bright colors does help chase the winter blues away. Quilting also allows me to indulge the more reclusive side of my personality, which isn't always a good thing. However, much like any slow work, it is completely engaging--once I start, there is no way I'm going to quit before it's finished. I can't say that about many of the other sewing projects sitting around my house, although I claim to enjoy those projects more. I loved it, then I hated it, and I loved it again when I watched my sister open it and spread it out for everyone to see. (Then I hated it again when everyone started asking for one. Eek!)


  1. I love it! I've never been able to finish a quilt, but now I'm inspired again! Did you hand sew it or use a machine?

  2. Thank you! I machine sewed it. Like I said, I think one a year, in the middle of winter, is a good pace. Otherwise quilting gets to be too much. It helps to have a time frame--I had to have it done by Christmas, so I finished in about 8 weeks!

    The website has a cool tutorial on how to machine quilt. Of course if you want to make a special design like a tree or something it's probably better to hand stitch. I think stippling looks more modern than quilting in the ditch (i.e. only sewing in the "ditch" of the seams).

  3. I just wanted to say I love your version. I am about to begin on one of those quilts too. My colors will be very similar to yours. I am going to use blues, greens and greys. Wish me luck! It is inspiring that it only took you 8 weeks to complete it, start to finish. I love quilting, but am a very A D D quilter. I grow bored with them very easily. I usually try to keep 2 projects going at a time. That way I can switch up what I am working on. Where I have one on the frame and one in construction.

    I just wanted to let you know how much I loved your version. Some of the others I have looked at, while I loved the colors, they just didn't flow into the next color smoothly. I think for this quilt to work that is necessary.

    Happy quilting!

    Erin Stevens
    Forney, TX