It's been radio silence here for a long while, and now I can finally show you the reasons!
Earlier this year I decided to make each of my five sisters-in-law on my husband's side of the family a quilt. The idea occurred to me as I stared at the closet of beautiful fabrics in my sewing room wondering how I would ever manage to use them all in my lifetime. My SILs are all lovely women with very individual personalities and color preferences, so I thought a large lap-sized quilt for each would be not only the perfect Christmas gift, but also a great way to use up some of my ever-growing fabric stash. I started digging through the closet pulling fat quarters and half yards to coordinate with the few pieces of yardage I had that were big enough to use as borders. Turns out I had been collecting fabrics all this time that were perfect for each of their individual personalities without even realizing it!
Much of my sewing time this year was spent working on these quilts and last weekend I had the great joy of presenting them to the SILs at our family Christmas celebration. And yes, they loved them :) I fact, this is the last photo my husband took before they starting elbowing each other and holding up their quilts in front of each other's facing exclaiming "mine is the best!"
First up is Rita's quilt. She loves chrysanthemums in the fall, so I chose a mix of autumnal batiks from my stash that coordinated with this beautiful ginkgo leaf border fabric. I used a free pattern from Timeless Treasures called "Tonga Harvest All Squared Up Quilt" which was designed by Pam See of vanillalattequilts.com. It measures 48" x 68" with 10" x 12" finished blocks.
The backing is another fall toned batik, but I'm not sure of the manufacturer or pattern name.
Beth is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan whose new home is painted and decorated with lots of soft greens. I added some soft browns to the mix so the green and yellow wouldn't be too obvious. This pattern is "Picture This" from the pattern book "Happy Hour" by Atkinson Designs. The finished blocks are quite large - 14.5" square - with the entire quilt measuring 58" x 72".
The large piece of green and yellow sweet gum leaf fabric on the back was the original inspiration for the color palette used on the quilt front.
Mary is a master gardener who loves roses. These fabrics are from Jennifer Paganelli's "Circa" line for Free Spirit, and the pattern is "Show Biz" by Villa Rosa Designs. It finishes at 54" x 63".
Mary says the back of her quilt is just as lovely as the front; it's the "Taylor" print in blue from the Free Spirit "Circa" line.
Jody's home is filled with a burgundy and cream color palette so I used a mix of French General, 3 Sisters, and Red Rooster fabrics. This quilt is made using the same "Show Biz" pattern and also measures 54" x 63".
The color of this French General backing fabric is slightly off in this photo - it's really a much deeper red that looks so rich with the deep red tones of the quilt front. It's one of my favorite prints from French General and kinda makes me want to start hoarding their fabrics.
And the final quilt belongs to Lisa - lots of deep navy accented with gold, wine, and green. The pattern is "Snapshots" from the "Happy Hour" book by Terry Atkinson and measures 57" x 75". The multicolored border was my color palette inspiration.
I used several extra blocks on the backing to make it more interesting and colorful.
Each quilt has a hand-written and hand-stitched label containing my name, the date, and the name of each sister-in-law.
There are lots of machine and hand stitches in each of these special quilts, but I have to give the machine quilting credit to my super-talented longarm quilter Carol Linder. She did a fantastic job getting each of them quilted in plenty of time for me to have them all ready for Christmas delivery.
It was a big job to finish all of these beautiful quilts, but I'm so glad I decided to do it, and I'm even more thrilled that each of these five special ladies loves their quilts. I'm a lucky girl to have married into such a wonderful family :)
Watch for two more posts about my 2014 Christmas sewing projects coming this week!