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!
And then 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
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.
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
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.
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:
Which was followed by this moment:
(Mom and I may have cried a little)
Needless to say, they absolutely loved it
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:
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.