Friday, May 6, 2016

a "For Keeps" quilt for Sarah

Sharing beautiful and useful things with the people we love is the main reason most of us sew, isn't it?  At least that's how I feel about most of the sewing that I do.  I made this simple but lovely quilt for my dear niece Sarah in April.

Sarah is a lovely person inside and out; she's a wife and mom to two beautiful sons, and probably the most kind and genuine person I know. She recently had a bit of a health scare. I wanted to sew a tangible and beautiful reminder of how much she is loved - something she could see and use every day.

The quilt was delivered to her last weekend, and then yesterday I listened to a podcast interview with Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickery Dock and learned about her "For Keeps" pledge.  It so perfectly sums up how I feel about sewing and making things for my loved ones, and this post seems the perfect place to share it.  Don't worry - I'm also including all the details on the making of the quilt a little further down in the post :)

The For Keeps pledge states:

"I love to sew because it brings me joy, and I love to share that joy with those around me 
by making things that are used and enjoyed every day.

I don't sew because it's trendy.
I don't sew because it might make others like me more.
I don't sew because I have to.

I am taking this pledge to refocus my heart and to remind myself of why I sew, and who I sew for.

I pledge to make things I love
For the people I love
To use every day.

I will sew for keeps."

Perfect, right?!

And now back to the quilt details... Sarah's Pinterest boards gave me great insight into her home decor preferred colors, and I know that she loves simple classic designs.  I immediately thought of the "Small Change" quilt in the "Quilts Made Modern" book by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.

Twenty different shot cottons by Kaffe Fassett and Pepper Cory make up the palette for this quilt.  I used a half yard of the bottom grey and quarter yards of all the others cutting two (four from the grey) 3.5" x 42" strips from each.  The strips were then randomly sewn into 3 strip sets which were cross-cut into 3.5" x 9.5" sections shown below.  I advise pre-washing shot cottons especially the Pepper Cory shot cottons - the shrinkage rate of these beautiful fabrics is greater than other quilting cottons which could result in a very puckered finished quilt when it is washed and dried for the first time.

These three-square sections were arranged in an 18 x 24 square grid to determine color placement. I also used the monotone (black and white) setting on my phone's camera to check that the light and dark values were spread across the quilt.

A new quilter in the area - Isis in Huntley - quilted this all over classic fans design in a mauve thread.  She did a fantastic job!

The backing and binding is a solid from Lotta Jansdotter's line Glimma for Windham Fabrics. The color is chameleon-like; it's a dusty grey/mauve/lavender that changes depending on the lighting and what colors are next to it. Very versatile, and I really love the way the quilting texture is highlighted on this solid backing.

I've been keeping a record of most of my projects in this swatch journal. Orderly rows of fabric squares and neat handwriting push all my buttons :) And how fun to have a tactile record of the items I've made for my loved ones!

Let me know your thoughts on the For Keeps pledge. There is a free printable available for your sewing area and a blog button too on Amy's Take the Pledge webpage. I've added the button to my sidebar :)

You can get more information about the podcast interview with Amy here. Sandi Hazlewood does a fantastic job with her Crafty Planner podcasts; you'll want to subscribe and listen to all the episodes!


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