Friday, January 23, 2015

The Sanctuary Quilt

A good friend of mine has been having a tough time lately.  There's been work stress, health problems, career changes for her and her husband, and a cross-country move.  All with two young children.  They've all had a tough time.  On top of it all, my friend isn't getting enough sleep because her 6-year-old daughter keeps waking her up in the night, almost certainly due to transition anxiety.

I can't solve any of these problems, but a wakeful little girl in need of comfort is just screaming out for a quilt!

So I made her one (of course).

This pattern is from Simply Modern Christmas, by Cindy Lammon of Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  I love how it features a large-scale print, but has plenty of other interest to it.  

I had been hoarding a yard of a beloved fabric (Sanctuary, from Kate Spain's Cuzco line) and this seemed like the perfect place to use it.  It's just right for a little girl, without being too cloyingly girly.

I had been wanting a chance to make a bunch more flying geese, since getting all inspired by the no-waste flying geese method I discovered last fall (fast! easy! so perfect they don't need trimming!).  This was a perfect chance---plenty of flying geese, but not too many to intimidate a novice.

I had a fitted sheet left over from the Target sheet set I bought to back my mom's Queen-size quilt and matching patchwork pillows---it was great to be able to use it up!  And a fun zigzag stripe for the binding---again, something in stash that I had *just* enough of.  

I was very happy with how this quilt came out.  It's a pattern I may find myself using again.  I was dedicated and the quilt went fast: the whole things was done in two weeks, in time to gift while my friend was in town.

And the recipient loved it.  She said hardly a word the whole time they were at our house, but when she unwrapped the quilt, she folded herself in it and stayed snuggled up in it for the rest of their visit. I hope it makes her feel hugged and snuggled.  At any rate, I hope it's something she can love about her new room.  Change is hard for anyone, especially a little kid.

My son wanted to participate in the photo shoot, with Olaf in tow (as usual, these days).

I love the way this quilt came out, but it wasn't hard to give away.  On the contrary, I felt like it was going to the best possible home.  I hope it gets loved for years to come.  There is no better fate for a quilt.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

CatVent quilt: success!

A handmade gift success: my sister loves the Cat quilt.

She recently emailed me to say:

"I am love love loving my cat lap blanket.  I have already had one jealous friend (disclosure, it was ____, who's probably my most stylish friend) be like, where did you GET that? She did not like my reply."

With that vote of confidence, I can't help wanting to make *more* things for her to impress her stylish friends with.  I'm thinking maybe one of Elizabeth Hartman's other awesome animal patterns.   

Because she's cool, my sister already has a bunch of fox-motif stuff (and even sent a handmade "What does the fox say?"-themed birthday card to my 2-year-old son), but I'm starting to feel like foxes are a little bit over-done.  It's possible to be too trendy, right?  So I'm thinking maybe a hedgehog pillow.  

That way, my sister can move on from trendy foxes to not-yet-trendy hedgehogs before they are cool.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Science-y Baby Quilt

One of my friends from graduate school had a baby boy this summer.  Like me, she recently transitioned out of academic astrophysics into being a data scientist.  I feel a lot of parallels with her, but she lives in Switzerland so I don't see her often.

I wanted to make a quilt for her new baby, as a small part of celebrating her new life.

I used the "Jelly Roll Jam" pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, except that I didn't use a jelly roll.  I started with a few strips from a jelly roll and then cut a lot of strips from stash.  I made sure to include some fun science- and astronomy-themed fabric.

This quilt came together incredibly fast!  I wanted something a little larger than 36"x36", so I added another row of blocks to make it 36"x48".  That's a size that will last a little longer, which is good because the baby is already 7 months old.  

Backed with this awesome planetary print and bound in Squared Elements.

I made the quilt top in a weekend.  It took me several weeks to get around to binding it.  And now it's been sitting in my house for two months, waiting to be mailed.  I'm really, really bad at that part!

This is my fourth and final finish for the 2014 Q4 FAL.