Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Favorite Quilt

It's finally time to show a quilt that I get to keep for myself... hooray!  And just in time to participate in the "My Favorite Quilt" series over at Sew Mama Sew!  Throughout the month of June, they have been showcasing the favorite quilts of quilt bloggers.  Then regular folk like me can participate by completing their interview and linking up.  What fun!  So here we go...

Q: Tell us about your favorite quilt.  When did you make it?  What pattern did you use? What fabrics?

Last November, I participated in a Kate Spain charm swap that Michele over at Quilts from my Crayon Box hosted.  Around the same time, my quilty friend, Anne, brought over her "HST Overload" quilt to show me.  I wanted to keep it for myself.  But being the good friend that I am, I let Anne keep her quilt and decided that I would just make my own, using the Kate Spain charms that would be arriving soon.  I've never looked back.  I did look on Pinterest a few weeks later, though, and realized that I had pinned Rita's quilt many, many moons ago.  So I guess it was on my "to-do list" even before I saw Anne's quilt or signed up for the charm swap. All at once, the quilting stars aligned, and I had the impetus to actually make this quilt.  I love it when that happens! And I love it when the perfect fabric for backing goes on sale, too.  

Even though all this happened back in December, the next few months were quite busy with the quilt auction.  So this quilt was not actually finished until a few weeks ago.

Q: What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?

Well, of course it makes me think of Anne.  I had to channel her good taste in order to put all these fabrics together.  I usually would not do such a "loud" quilt, not to mention one that lacks Kona White!  Also, Anne did the clamshell quilting for me, and when her third baby was only a week old!  (I promise I did not ask her to do it then.  She gave me a coupon for Christmas for a "free quilting" - what a sweet friend! - and I do believe I got the quilt to her before her original "maternity leave."  But she had a harder-than-expected pregnancy, so it did not get done before Baby Matthew arrived.)  

I also think of my husband when I see the quilt, mainly because he dislikes it so!  At first glance, he reported with disdain, "It has too many colors in it!  I mean, there must be 25 different colors in that quilt!"  If only he knew that the selvage of the backing alone showed 25 different colors...  

Q: What do you like best about the quilt?

I love the colors!  Quilting for me is primarily about the fabrics.  I was excited to participate in the Kate Spain charm swap because I love Kate Spain's use of bright colors as well as her lovely, nature-inspired designs.  I'm not sure that I was originally planning to use all the charms in one project, but I'm so glad that I did!  I might have otherwise agonized about how to separate the charms into different projects.  But that would have required too much thinking and too much making things "matchy-matchy."

Q: How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

I learned that I might really want to start trimming down my HSTs.  Or at least snip off the dog-ears.  With four little kids and one with special needs and cancer, I try to cut corners and quilt as quickly as I can.  But I must admit that handing over the quilt for Anne to do the quilting was a bit embarrassing.  "Umm, try to avoid the points where the blocks meet; you might break a needle," I sheepishly confessed.  Fortunately for me, the quilting seemed to go well for her, and now that it's all said and done, I really don't notice the bulk in those corners.  Still... I might want to do it "right" the next time.  

Q: If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?

I would work a bit more on the layout.  Now that I see pictures of the quilt and also look at it at every meal (it's in view of my seat at the dining table; makes me happy!), I see blocks that I wish weren't right next to each other.  I do remember working on the layout quite a bit, though, and agonizing over it.  I'm sure I reached a point (as with every quilt) where I just threw my hands up in the air with "enough is enough!" and went with what I had.  

Also, I would make the quilt bigger.  It's only 52 by 58 inches, so rather small for a throw quilt.  Big enough for me to keep warm, but no room for my husband.  Though, I don't think he minds!

Q: Where is the quilt now?

We just moved into a new home, and my new-to-me quilt rack has a perfect home on a little wall by the fireplace.  So the quilt lives there.  It's kind of in between two rooms, so like I mentioned before, I can see it at every meal.  It's also in sight of my husband's new couch.  It's a pretty sweet couch that is the centerpiece of his study.  And though he loves me dearly, he has his limits with this little hobby of mine.  As soon as we got the couch into the room, he turned to me and said, "Listen: no draping quilts over this couch, or making pillows for it, okay?"  (How does he know my mind so well?!)  All that to say, the blues in the quilt really do accent the couch nicely!  So the quilt is close enough to the couch for me get a bit of homemaking satisfaction out of the connection, but still far enough away from it to maintain this thing called "marital bliss" that we've got going on.

But when he's out of the house, who says I can't stage a photo shoot?! 

So there is my favorite quilt.  It was an easy choice because it is, in fact, my only quilt! That's right: I've made dozens of quilts for auction, for friends, for my own kids, but this is the first that is just for me and just for fun.  Wow, that makes me happy!  I think I'll sign off here so I can go pet it right about now...


  1. I love it, and even though I pinned Rita's quilt many moons ago, yours inspires me to use this pattern for my long hoarded Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn prints. I think this will be perfect for them, and it's something I can work on a little at a time. I've also never kept a quilt (not that I've made dozens, but still), and this one I mean to keep. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So gorgeous! I love this quilt (and the comments from the protesting man of the house).

  3. This is so beautiful!! Your husband sounds just like mine with the colors and this mis-matching lol! This is so special. Thank you for linking up!

  4. What a gorgeous quilt, Lauren. The colors would make me happy. I wish I could learn from you!

  5. Oh I just love the way it turned out and HURRAY for you for finally making a quilt for yourself. Enjoy it as I know you will.

  6. The pattern suits Kate Spain's beautiful colours. I wouldn't change a thing about this quilt, it's gorgeous!

  7. A lovely quilt, and really cool to read your 'story' that goes with it.

  8. Three words.....ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!

  9. What a lovely quilt. I totally understand husbands who just don't get it!! I too have quilts for my half of the bed that he doesn't particularly want to lie under. You've done a fantastic job with this and I'm glad it maks you happy.

  10. Lots of Kate Spain goodness here - BEAUTIFUL quilt!

  11. Love the combination of fabrics. The simplicity of the HST adds to its charm. Great job.

  12. I would have staged a photo shoot on the couch too! LOL, that's hilarious. I also that there are at least 25 colors in that quilt. It is happy and joyful, which is exactly what quilting is supposed to be, right?

  13. Oh I love the quilt! I also love Kate Spain. I love the way you wrote this and I'm happy to know I'm not the only one out there with a hubby that's similar!!

  14. I love everything about your quilt....the colors, the fabric, the pattern. Just beautiful. Makes me want to cut my fabric and get going on one just like it. Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy your lovely quilt.

  15. Lauren, your story made this beautiful quilt all the more fascinating! I love your sense of humor. I am glad you are keeping one for you!


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