Friday, December 3, 2021

Birthday Quilt

It seems like most of what I've done this year is blocks and small projects. There haven't been many quilt finishes. I'm not sure why that is, but I am excited today to share a quilt. Such a satisfying project. And I'm pleased to say that I finished it a whole month ahead of the gifting for my husband's younger brother's birthday. (He's not on social media, so I can safely share this now without ruining the surprise.)

M lives in a house with 4 other guys with special needs. Each of them has his own room. And this past summer, I got a glimpse of M's room when we picked him up for an outdoor family reunion after many months apart. I knew that I wanted to make him a quilt this year, but that brief visit was the inspiration I needed to make decisions about design and color. 

I've made this quilt design before. It's based on a colorful batik quilt I saw on Etsy several years ago. The site is no longer active, and I have no idea who designed it. If someone knows, please let me know so I can give credit. Anyway, the first quilt was this one I made for our  brother-in-law L in 2012. That one was smaller in both scale and size, but I knew that a larger size would work well, too.

M's room is a light yellow-green. The furnishings are wood tones. He has a charcoal-colored easy chair and a rug with grays and blues in it. I forgot to take a photo when I was there and had to rely on memory for the blues. I'm thinking (hoping) that they were somewhere between a medium and greenish blue. 

I wanted a scrappy look with prints that read as solids. (There are no solids in the quilt at all.) Most of them are from my stash supplemented with some new fat quarters. I started by cutting about 2/3 of the plain squares and then a variety of strips and squares. I had some vanilla/gray grunge fabric that I knew would stand out well in the flying geese and nine-patch squares. I made the flying geese first using paper foundations. It's my favorite way to make geese as it's great for getting good points. I put the nine-patch squares together webbing style like some quilters sew together quilt blocks. I laid out plain, geese and nine-patch squares first and then planned the colors and locations of the other blocks in place on my design floor aka living room carpet. (I was too lazy to go upstairs to my design curtain.) 

As I laid out the quilt, I added more plain squares in the colors I needed. Here are close-ups of the types of blocks in the design.


Flying geese



Block variation 1

Block variation 2

Block variation 3
I placed the variations randomly after laying out the first three types of blocks, turning some in different directions. 

The backing is lighter than I envisioned, but I couldn't find one with blues and greens that I liked. So I went with a fallback fabric that I've used for years. I'm happy that it's still available at my nearby big box store. It is buttery soft, and while it might look like solid ivory from afar, it actually has a khaki vine print.

Please excuse the wrinkles. This was folded away over the weekend.

Can you see the vines?

I quilted with a khaki thread I hadn't used before, and my sewing machine loved it. I used my beloved meanders, so relaxing and one of my favorite all-over designs. 

My initials and date show up more than usual, but I always sign in the lower right corner. The geese were too small and the next block over just happened to be charcoal. I had to make sure I wrote neatly!

Here are the stats: 

Pattern: Unknown. Blocks finish at 6 inches.
Fabrics: Variety from stash and store.
Batting: Fairfield 80/20. (My machine loves this.)
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Coats Egyptian Cotton machine quilting thread (30 weight) in Dogwood. I've never used it before, but my machine LOVED it, and I was thrilled that it comes on a cardboard cone (1200 yards). I wish my favorite quilting thread wasn't on a plastic cone. I really hate plastic waste. So it's nice to know this is available and that it works for me. I used a strong hand quilting thread in off white for hand sewing on the binding. It's no longer available, and now it's almost gone. Waah.
Binding: I think it's a Keepsake Calico in a mottled green.  
Size: 60 3/4 inches square before quilting; about 58 3/4 by 58 1/2 inches after quilting; about 55 5/8 inches square after washing on cold and machine drying on low. I expect it will relax a bit with use.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for free motion quilting and  machine work on the binding.

Just a few more photos--

Hey, it matches my chair!

Yummy texture after washing

I love how quickly this quilt came together and that the plain blocks moved it along but not as alternate blocks but as part of the overall design. Must do this again. Gifty quilting is fun.  Any gifty quilts in the works for you this month?

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 


Preeti said...

I would call it a darling quilt but it is really more handsome than pretty. It looks gorgeous on the chair. I am sure M will love it. I have too many quilts and I recently gifted one made a few years ago. Another one I made in July (to use up scraps left over from the tree skirt) is going to India with me for a newborn baby girl.

Mari said...

What a beautiful quilt! It looks masculine, cozy and perfect for some charcoal gray furniture. It reminds me of lakes and trees and rocks. I'm sure he will love it. Be sure to label it, too. Have a great weekend!

Patti said...

It is a very comfortable looking quilt. I am sure M will cuddle under it for a long time to come. Wonderful of you to share your talents, bless you.

Jannette said...

That's a fantastic quilt - love the colours that you chose! The different blocks all work together so well. I'm sure that it will be a favourite of M's for years to come!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love the way your colors came together, and how the alternate blocks move give interest but also let our eyes rest. I am sure I can use my AccuQuilt to make something similar to this, which I think would be great for our local Ronald McDonald House. (Did you know they give a quilt or blanket to every family who stays with them?)

Katy Sweigart said...

I love this! The colors, pattern, the quilting…..a perfect combo.

Linda said...

What an attractive quilt! I saw this on IG last night and emailed myself a reminder to read your post. Will you mail it or deliver it in person?
I love the different blocks and colors, and I would not have guessed without closeups that those are not solids. Your quilting is really pretty and looks especially good after laundering. Beautiful job Janine!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that quilt looks like it will be perfect for your brother in law. I don't let plastic waste bother me - there is nothing I can do about it, too bad they won't make spools out of heavy cardboard or something like that though that could break down when finished

Margo Yang said...

M’s quilt looks fantastic. I’m in the same boat; not many finished projects even though I felt I was quite busy working on this and that.
Happy Holidays.

Bernie Kringel said...

Yum, love the colors you chose. Also - the design is so fun - seems like you took a basic idea and filled it in with a variety of blocks. You are so clever. I like it quite a lot!! I am sure M will love it just as much.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a beautiful quilt, JanineMarie - very warm and woodsy looking! It seems like the perfect gift for your brother-in-law, and will really dress up his room!

QuiltGranma said...

I'm sure M will really appreciate this gift!

The Joyful Quilter said...

What a fabulous gift this will be!!!

Sandy Panagos said...

You finished a whole month before the event? I didn't know we were allowed to do that! It's a great quilt!

Louise said...

Oh, M is going to love this quilt! I love the strong diagonals of the design, and the colors sound perfect for his room. The texture is fabulous, too! Congrats on a super, gifty finish :)