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Monday, May 5, 2014

My Mother's Birthday Quilt


     Happy 85th Birthday to my mother!  This has been a cold, cold winter (the ice is now gone, but this picture was taken only a week ago).   My mom loves yellows and blues, and so for her birthday I made her a cozy string quilt in her favorite colors.
     I wanted to use fabrics from my stash, and found so very many blues and yellows.  I kept the blues to one basic shade, and then used many gold and yellow fabrics.  I used a Kona Cotton in Copen as the one solid.   Despite being limited to blues and golds, I ended up using 24 different fabrics for this quilt.   I started by cutting my fabric into 2 1/2 in strips of various lengths.
     For piecing the quilt, I cut scrap paper into 8 1/2 inch squares, and used my 1/4 ruler (I am not sure of the real name) to draw the center diagonal lines.  I was using the blue solid for each center.

     With the blue in place, I started sewing on the strips, picking mostly at random, but trying not to use the same fabric twice in a block.   These blocks come together quickly and easily.
Blocks without the final little corner piece.

The pile of blocks being used by Chester as a little booster as he checks out the book on top of the bookshelf.

The back of the finished block.

Trimming off the excess fabric  

The trimmed blocks

I love putting the blocks together to start to see the pattern emerge!


     I am never sure whether to sew the blocks together with or without the paper.  In this case, I removed the paper first.  This makes it easier to sew, but the blocks do tend to stretch out of shape a bit.  In either case, little bits of paper and usually left behind.
     I used tweezers to remove the little paper bits before putting the quilt sandwich together.
      I made a string quilt last year with more blocks that had no border, but I decided this quilt needed to be just a bit bigger.  I still had some yellow fabric left over from another yellow quilt, and decided to use that for the border as well.



     It took me a while to decide upon a quilting pattern, and I decided to use a walking foot to do a lattice design, but rather than straight lines, I used a zig zag setting on my machine to make for a little different design.  I wanted to make sure the lines started out straight on the border fabric, and so I used a disappearing ink pen to draw the starter lines.
     The backing (pre-washing) shows the quilting more clearly than the front of the quilt.
     Since the strips were the same width, I quilted down the middle of each strip.  I also did a straight stitch in the ditch around the center solid blue lines, and the border, just for a little more definition.  This was a very forgiving quilt design!
A close up of the quilting on the front.
     I still had some stars left over from the big star stash that I used for the other yellow quilt.  I used some of those stars, some IKEA number fabric (I didn't have enough for the whole back) and some of the border fabric to create the backing.


The back of the quilt

A close- up of the finished front
  Here are some close-ups of the birthday girl!
My mom with her mom, circa 1954

My mom, today.  Happy Birthday!
   A few more shots in the wind of the finished quilt. Thanks to my daughter, who filled in for my regular trusty quilt holder.


     Happy Birthday, Mom, and Happy Mothers' Day soon to all the moms!
Linking up to Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival
Take care,
Gretchen