Once upon a time my Hetero-Life-Mate (awesome roommate) told me about a handmade quilt that had sadly been lost to her through circumstance. Understanding the importance of a cherished quilt, I was sympathetic and filed away in my brain the knowledge that she was definitely "quilt-worthy".
Fast forward to last year; my HLM and her fiance got married in Asheville (I was a bridesmaid!) At the time, I didn't have a wedding gift ready for them because, well, I suck at gift giving and hadn't found anything that felt meaningful, or special, or fun enough and I was way pressed for time.
After the weddings, I had a lot of fun working on the pinwheel quilt and quickly realized that I wanted to make them a quilt too. I could easily picture either of them snuggled up on the sofa with a kitty or two under a colorful quilt, or spread out under a shady tree reading.
Committed to the idea, then came the question of design/fabric. I knew the quilt should be colorful and bright and beautiful... something that reflected my friend's personality and our friendship. Eventually, I settled on a mystery quilt kit from Craftsy.com called Blooming Garden for Amy Butler's new egypt inspired fabric line. The pattern design went together very easily and in spite of a few hiccups, the quilt top was done very quickly.
Now, I'm a bit of a quilting newb, but this quilt had to be special, so I decided that having it professionally long-armed was going to be the best choice for finishing. After googling "long arm quilting service" I found Linda Lovett's fantastic website. She uses state of the art technology with her quilting machine, blogs the progress of each quilt, and is also located in the same state my friends were married. I sent her some photos of the finished top and we traded emails, chatted on the phone, and within a few days I sent the top and the pieced backing to her.
|via Linda Lovett|
Apparently I did a good job prepping the top and Linda's generously sent my quilt to the top of her queue. (Thank you Linda for helping to make this gift extra special!)
The pantograph I chose is a feather pattern that I felt complimented the grey sparrow backing fabric and has nice movement. In less than a week the quilt sandwich was on its way back to me for the binding.
|via Linda Lovett|
Back in my hands, I quickly trimmed the quilt sandwich and stitched on the binding. Then I hand stitched the binding closed on the back side and made a label to sew on.
|I love my labels. I also love not doing my homework in favor of hand binding quilts.|
And here she is.
***Shortly after starting this project I got the terrible news that my friend's beloved dad passed away very unexpectedly. It's a strange and terrible feeling to know someone you love is suffering a profound loss and there is nothing you can say or do to lessen their sadness. All I could do was try to get the quilt done as soon as possible and send it to her. ***
Even though I raced to finish the quilt as fast as possible, I enjoyed the process and am extremely proud of the results. While working on it I took the opportunity to meditate on friendship and family. I think this quilt is beautiful and a worthy gift for my dear friend and her true life-mate. I'm happy to finally send it to them and I hope they enjoy it for many years,
PS. All the finished pics were taken by my buddy Sara!