Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Best Christmas Gift (Adriana)

Last spring when I was bitten by the sewing bug I kept seeing gorgeous quilts on knitters' blogs (especially here and here). I had just finished helping my parents go house hunting and I couldn't shake the idea that they needed a quilt for their new bedroom. I knew that I was crazy but I'm sure many of you know what it's like when you get an idea in your head. Bear in mind that I had never made a quilt before, or even really sewn much at all (except for my dress). But I had my heart set on a quilt and I wanted to go for it.

On Heather's advice I decided to make a Blooming 9-Patch from Tradition with a Twist. I ordered the yarn from Quiltology, which had been given rave reviews by the Theresa. The owner, Colette, was wonderful. I had decided that since my parents' bedroom was green and since they had both worked in provincial parks, I wanted to go with blues and greens. This is what Colette came up with for me:

Such a great combo of fabrics. I couldn't have come up with something so beautiful myself.

I found the pattern easy to follow and before I knew it I had strips!
2first strips

And then squares:
3first squares

I managed to make the first few sets of squares during the summer but then school started. Grad school and quilting did not mix and I wasn't able to work on the quilt until December. I spent a full week working 12 hour days in order to get the quilt done for Christmas. It was tiring and stressful at times but it all came together. In the end I was able to finish the top but I lacked the time and the machinery to actually quilt it. I decided to leave it as it was and let my parents decide if they wanted it finished or left as a bedspread.
On to the pictures!

When I came back to it in December I had around 70% of the 9-patches to put together and all of the solid squares to cut
4solid squares
I saved those to the end so that my cutting skills would have improved

Once I had all the squares it was time to lay them out to sew into long strips.
5cleo quilt
Cleo supervised

6cleo quilt2
Here she's testing how well the fabric holds up to a cat bath

Once the strips were sewn it was time to lay everything back out again
7quilt on floor
As you can see, my living room floor wasn't big enough

When I went home for Christmas I didn't put the quilt under the tree. I didn't want mom to have any ideas about what she was getting based on package size. (I'd been trying to confuse her by saying that I was making her and dad smittens or a Tracy Ullman sweater). On Christmas Day I told my brother to entertain the folks, and Pete and I sneaked into their room to prepare the surprise.

8quilt on bed
Here it is laid out in it's new home

I left Pete in the bedroom with the camera while I brought mom and dad to the room. I told them to close their eyes and I led them in. Pete, my brilliant photographer, managed to capture the moment when they opened their eyes:

9mom dad1

Which was followed by this moment:
10mom dad2
(Mom and I may have cried a little)

Needless to say, they absolutely loved it
11mom dad bed

It turns out that leaving it as a bedspread is perfect since they wouldn't have gotten much use out of a quilt and this they can enjoy all year round.

It's hard to get a shot of the full quilt. This is the best we could manage:
12quilt whole

It was a lot of work but I'm so happy that I did it. It makes me so happy to give something so beautiful to my wonderful parents. I'm very blessed to have them. Making them so happy was the best present I could have received.


Azura said...

Holy crap! You made a QUILT!!

I am so impressed that I can't think of words to accurately convay my level of impressed-ness.


Heather G. said...

Holy quilt, Batman! Talk about a surprise. Those greens are really fabulous!

spillyjane said...

Gorgeous quilt, lady! You did a great job! I love batik.

Heather G. said...

Gen did a much better job of expressing the same gob-smacked-ness that I feel. Whew!

Adriana said...

Aw, thanks ladies :)
I was kind of nervous showing the this to the world. You made me feel a lot better.

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

I wondered at the time if you had bitten off more than you could chew!
I should have known any one who can make a lace shawl so soon after learning how to knit, would also be albe to come up with a quilt. I have never managed one of that size. It is very beautiful, no wonder your parents are so happy.

Bertha said...

Good lord, how stunning is that?! STUNNING.

Team Knit ! said...

Oh my god, that is incredible!!!! An entire quilt, in the most gorgeous colours I have ever seen!! I bow down to your quilting prowess.

- Julie

steph said...

That quilt is flipping awesome! I think your parents expression is priceless! I am impressed, since I have wanted to make a quilt. Yours looks fabulous!

zoom said...

That's a gorgeous quilt, and a wonderful story! I love the pictures too.