Now, if you do know a thing or two about me, then surely you guessed that this little quilt was my entry… I did ask permission from the judges beforehand to make sure it was all right to put Raya’s name on it, since the competition submissions are anonymous.
I’ve had the idea since the spring that I wanted to make Raya a name quilt. My name is Adrianne – I didn’t have anything personalized with my name on it when I was growing up. And I know we’ve chosen a less-than-common name for her as well, so if she’s going to have anything with her name on it – I’m going to be the one who puts it there!
As you know – I do a lot of one-hour things here, and quilts take considerably longer than that. Dreaming up the design took me… well, weeks, honestly. I knew I wanted birds. Picking fabric was a few hours’ worth of debate as well. So this idea was something I dreamed up before the competition started, but the fabric round gave me a reason to finally make it! The actual construction was about 8 hours of work after the hard decisions were made. I spent a lot of quality time with my sewing machine last week, rocking out to Pandora and drinking Diet Mountain Dew until my husband got home from his evening shift working on this, LOL. ;)
I’m not going to give you a quilt tutorial here today. If you’re looking for a simple quilt tutorial, you can check out the one I posted for my niece’s quilt last year. You’ll find that I break the “rules” anyway – and today’s project was no exception. I also didn’t take many photos here, because working at night with bad lighting on a deadline really isn’t the most conducive environment for stopping to photograph. With only a few nights to work on it, I was more interested in finishing in time! Still, for anyone wondering how I put it together, I’ll talk a little bit about it and link to a few other projects I’ve made that use the same methods.
I knew I wanted a mommy bird and a baby bird, and after Googling and scouring Pinterest for a while, I finally decided to just freehand my own design. I did want to incorporate more color and variety than a plain panel background, so I framed up the background. I left a large panel in a pale pink shade, and at the top and bottom I added a row of colorful blocks, and beyond that, I finished with a darker pink.
I used Heat N Bond to create my own iron-on applique elements. I love Heat N Bond, I use it for all my applique projects (like my Marilyn Monroe pillow from last fall). It is important to reverse it, though, because you’re creating the underside of your applique. Heat N Bond comes with detailed directions how to use it, so I won’t get into that (this post is long enough as it is) – but maybe this gives you some ideas of what you can do with it. One word of caution, though – enough use, and it will gum up your machine. I get mine chemically cleaned every other year or so. If you get the light duty stuff, it’s better on your machine than the heavy duty.
The great thing about Heat N Bond is that when you iron it on, your fabric is stabilized enough for more precision trimming. So I was able to cut my birds and letters, following lines I had sketched and traced. That’s right – I did this entire thing without a Sihouette or Cricut or anything (though it certainly would have been easier!) Then I just ironed them onto the quilt panel, and did a close zigzag stitch over all the edges. They need to be secured well or they will begin to fray. There are actually some really cool effects you can create with a raw edge, but that’s not what I was going for with this quilt.
When I finally had a finished top panel, I agonized over how to quilt it. I wanted to free-motion quilt it, but in practicing a little, I found that I just do NOT have a steady enough hand or a relaxed enough stance for it to go smoothly without a lot more practice! So with my deadline approaching, I decided on simple lines. I quilted the center panel diagonally, and the top and bottom horizontally. I will show you a trick I use for stitching along lines that don’t exist on your quilt top: I mark the lines with masking tape. Then, I just machine quilt along the edge, and peel it off when I am done.
|If this looks like midnight lighting on my living room floor… yeah, it is. ;)|
I will freely admit this is not how most people go about creating quilts. It shouldn’t surprise you at all that I buck tradition, though. ;) For this project, I really enjoyed using my quilt panel more like a canvas, and adding the elements I liked to it in bold colors. Not only is it 100% by my own hand making it a one-of-a-kind gift to my daughter, it has both heirloom and contemporary qualities to it (quilts have been around a very long time!) and I love the juxtaposition of that.
|I think she likes it!|
So thank you, once again, for letting me gush about a big project. I have really enjoyed this challenge, because it has given me a good reason to “think big” with some of my projects. I can’t do big things like this all the time, but it’s so fun to really flex some creative muscle every once in a while!
I link up to these great parties!