Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Friendship Quilt

I'm back!  Well, I technically didn't go anywhere but I took a little break from blogging because I was a little bummed that nobody entered my giveaway.  But oh well, gotta roll with the punches, and since I'm going to the SoCal Social this weekend to meet other crafty bloggers I figured it was time to get back in the saddle and write about a few of the projects I've been working on. Luckily, even though I took a break from blogging I didn't take one from sewing, so I have several things to write about that I'll probably spread into a few posts.

But anyways, onto the Friendship quilt:

First the background information: at the beginning of summer my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law (who are both avid quilters) approached me with the idea of a friendship quilt.  The idea was that each participant would create a bunch of half square triangles with their fabric choices and then we'd meet and swap so that we'd each end up with an equal amount of HSTs from each person which we would then use to create whatever we wanted.  We'd then meet again and show off what we made.

Well the second meeting in which we showed off our projects was this past weekend and as usual, it took me all the way up to the meeting for me to finish my project, but now that it's all done I can share it with the bloggy world.

To start we were each given 22 sheets of Laundry Basket Quilts HST exchange paper and told to use light & dark fabrics of our choosing.  I chose to use a cream fabric with hearts and leaves as my light and a dark green with white polka dots as my dark.
 My fabric selections and the template sheet.
Once we had our fabrics sewn together using the template we were supposed to stop and not cut the pages into the individual HST pieces, this would be done by each person after we swapped sheets.
All 22 sheets cut and sewn, waiting to be swapped.
We met in late August to swap sheets and when I looked at all of the different prints and combinations I ended up with I was a bit overwhelmed.  Several of the prints were definitely ones I would never in my life put together, so I really didn't know what I'd do with all of them.  Once I cut the templates apart I realized that I then had over 280 HSTs to press open and take the paper template off of, so I set them aside and decided to not worry about them.

After thinking about it for awhile I decided to use the fabrics to make pinwheels and flying geese, and to make them into squares of four HSTs all of the same print, since I didn't see how I could combine them all and still have it be aesthetically pleasing.
HSTs pressed open waiting to be sewn.

HSTs sewn into pinwheels and flying geese.
After sewing them all together into pinwheels and flying geese I had to figure out what design to make for the quilt.  For the sake of simplicity I decided to bypass sashing and just join them all together into one giant rectangle, and then put a border around it to make the quilt top.

To lay out all the squares I decided to hang a blanket on the wall and pin the squares to the blanket.  I have no idea why I didn't anticipate that the fabric would stick to the fleece, but it did and no pinning was required, they stuck where I put them beautifully.

I didn't count how many squares I had made so I didn't know what the finished dimensions of my quilt would be or even how many squares wide or long I should plan for.  I just started sticking squares up on the wall, spacing them by where I thought the colors looked best, and as it happened the rectangle I made was 7 x10 and it fit all 70 squares I made perfectly.
Pinwheels and flying geese up on my design wall.
I ended up taking the square second in from the left on the bottom row out because my flying geese we facing the wrong way, and after shuffling things around a bit I made a space second in from the right in the second row from the bottom for a blank square in which I could embroider a message on.

The rest of making the quilt top was relatively simple.  I first sewed all of the squares together into rows, and then sewed all of the rows together into a rectangle.
 Sewing the rows together.
I then bordered the design with a 4" wide Kona bone border and made my quilt sandwich, using a low loft cotton batting and a solid piece of the Kona bone fabric for the backing.

At this point I stopped taking pictures since it was in the middle of the night the day before I needed to have the project done and the lighting was horrible and my sewing room a mess. But needless to say I made the quilt sandwich and then started in with the quilting.  I decided against straight quilting in the ditch and decided to do some free motion quilting. Not the best idea for how late it was.  I started with a stipple stitch then decided against it and took all the stitches out.  I then decided to do a large looping design and started doing it free motion.  Again, not the greatest idea.  I couldn't keep the loops the same size, so I ripped all of that quilting out and pulled out one of my new Frixion pens and drew the design onto the quilt top.  With that as a reference I was able to get the quilting done in an hour and a half or so.

After the quilting was done I trimmed it down so it was all even and then make my binding.  For some reason binding is one of my favorite parts of quilting.  There's just something about being so close to finishing the project and doing it by hand that makes me so happy.  I had selected a burgandy/ deep red color for the binding and whipped it up and sewed it onto the quilt using my new TQM Binding Tool to bring the binding tails together.  I then moved to the living room and relaxed on the couch watching The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice while I hand sewed the edge of my binding down.

I finished at 4am Saturday morning and threw it into the washing machine and went to bed.  When I woke up 3 hours later I pulled it out to discover that not all of the washings had washed off.  Instead of drying it and then ironing the marks away (which is what the Frixion pens are good for) I hand washed the quilt to get the marks off, then went ahead and threw it in the wash again to get the remainng soap out, then dried it to get it warm and fluffy.

I was quite happy with my finished product.  It's actually the first quilt I've ever made myself and I'm happy to have it.

To show off what we each made we met at one of the Ladies' condo by the beach and had lunch.  Not everyone finished their project, and two of the people weren't able to make it, but it was a nice afternoon and I snapped photos of all of the different projects.
Kirstie and her "Flowers in the Mud" quilt.

Dorothy and her pillows.

 My mother-in-law Harriet's quilt (she's the one on the right).  You can't see it because it's behind the chair but the bottom left of the quilt features a church with stained glass windows.

 My aunt-in-law's quilt top.  The border on her quilt is also a pinwheel fabric.

Suzy and her basket squares.

 And me with my quilt!

I'm also linking this post up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.


  1. Very nice, love the vibrant colors and the pinwheels look great.

  2. I love the colors and the random toss-ins of non-pinwheel blocks. It looks great!
    (And Harriet's quilt is totally cool!)

  3. Love your friendship quilt! Great job. :) I love all of the bright colors.

  4. I think it turned out great! You can be really proud and for the giveaway, don't be too bumped out. I personally dont really care for srapbooking though I always like to see what other people create with it and I was so sure there would be others who go crazy and enter your giveaway. I guess I was wrong.


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