|A Nancy Drew quilt.|
At the beginning of this year, I resolved to use up the fabric accumulated over the years. My plan was to make quilts using only my stash - no new fabric. I'd get creative, and save money. To that end, I stopped browsing fabric sites on-line.
It was a good plan ..... until I glimpsed a link on-line to the Get a Clue Nancy Drew fabric line from Moda. Uh oh. In my childhood, I was an avid Nancy Drew fan, and two friends, Monica and Cy, not only shared the Nancy Drew passion, but we actually spent hours recreating Nancy Drew dramas. I have every yellow spine book in the series, and a few odd books picked up from yard sales. Even now, when we get together and share a glass or two of wine, we still make reference to Nancy Drew, her sporty roadster, Bess, George and Ned. My "no new fabric" plan was history - I had to get some of that fabric!
By the time I found this fabric, the yardage choices were limited. I decided on a project - Nancy Drew tote bags for each of us. The pattern, which I have had for years, but never made, required 1 yard each of two different fabrics. I started my order.
|I got a yard each of the Nancy Drew heads and silhouette in blue.|
|Look at how nicely the fabric matches the old artwork in the inside cover of the blue fabric books.|
|I also got two yards each of the black Nancy head fabric, and the red silhouette fabric.|
As I was browsing, those 6 yards didn't seem quite enough. Since a layer cake was on sale, I snapped it up - for a grand assortment of 10 inch squares.
|A sample of some of the other fabrics in the layer cake. I really like the bookshelf fabric, and wish I had more of that.|
Then I found the panels containing reproductions of six of the yellow spine covers. I could not resist. I didn't pay attention to any description, and just assumed the covers would be the same size as the actual books, so I got two panels. I was thinking Kindle covers.
|Four of the book covers on the panel. What great crisp bright colors. If you just saw a picture, wouldn't you think these were the size of the book?|
It turned out that the panels were about three times as big as the actual book!
|As you can see, the panels were much larger than the actual book. No Kindle covers here!|
Once the fabric arrived, I didn't jump right into the tote bag project, as I was busy with my string quilt. Then I thought that, since I was blogging about making quilts, I should make my friends each a quilt, rather than a bag. Is there anything nicer than a warm cozy quilt when you are reading a book?
Since the panels were so big, I decided to use those as the centerpiece of the quilts. I also decided to make two similar, but not identical quilts. I used my design board quite a bit to try out various fabrics and designs. I had to be creative, since I had ordered up the fabric for the tote bags, not for quilts, and had to work with the yardage in hand. I started building these quilts from the inside out.
|I fussy cut the panels, and experimented with tipping them. I was considering using some of the 10 inch squares as the background. I ended up tipping them differently than pictured on the board.|
Since the covers were so graphic, I decided to make them stand out by using plain colors for the background, and picked a bright yellow and a crisp white.
|The red border is from the panel. I trimmed 1/2 inch from the interior edge, which left a 1/4 inch red border in the end.|
I needed to plan the rest of the quilt using the yardage I had purchased, so went with the fabric I had the most of, the black Nancy heads and the red silhouette.
|A close up of the "Nancy head" fabric, which also contained a smattering of quotes. I tried to get each quote into the borders.|
|I ended up fussy cutting strips of the heads, with 1/2 inch on either side before sewing. Some rows were vertical, and some horizontal. Fortunately, I had enough to make it work.|
|Trying out the design on my board.|
|Piecing together the panels and the border. You can see the small black square from the layer cake, which featured little magnifying glasses, in the center.|
I didn't have enough of the black fabric to use the entire length, so I added little squares on the edges. I used the black magnifying glass fabric for the squares in the middle, and in the corners used red for one, and yellow for the other. I was trying to keep the distraction of too many patterns to a minimum, since the book cover prints were quite vivid on their own.
I created the outside border from the red silhouette print. I only had the two yards, plus a few 10 inch squares, so that was very carefully measured and pieced together, since it was a one way pattern. I added a narrow interior border of plain white to make the bright colors pop. I originally cut it as a 2 inch border, but then decided to cut it down to a finish at one inch. Since I had just enough of the red, I used some of the other 10 inch squares for the corners of the quilt.
|The finished quilt top. The silhouette fabric was very hard to photograph, but shows up pretty well here.|
I wasn't sure what to do about the quilting. I like the graphic look of the bright colors, and strong prints, and didn't want the quilting to distract from that. After using it on my scrappy around the world quilt, I decided to use a primary color multicolored thread to do a large meandering in the center of the quilt, thereby not highlighting any particular color. I just outlined the white border, in the ditch, and used a plain red for a large meander on the red border.
|A close up of the center, which shows off the colored thread.|
|A photo of one of the tops quilted and ready for binding. I used the bright yellow to bind each quilt, and backed each one in homespun from my stash.|
|Cy's quilt, in the sunshine!|
|The back of Cy's quilt.|
|Monica's quilt in the sunshine!|
|The back of Monica's quilt.|
|Cy and Monica with their quilts!|
|Cy, me and Monica.|
|Cy, me and Monica - just a few years ago!|
|"You can always talk a loyal friend into joining you in your schemes and ruses!"|
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