Sunday, September 22, 2013

How fast can you piece a quilt?

I had a great weekend! And I think I sewed more this weekend than I did all summer. Whew!

First, at the Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild meeting Saturday morning, everyone brought in their improv herringbone blocks for the raffle. Don't they look fantastic? 
Guess who won the blocks? Yep! I did! Thanks so much, ladies! 

While we were laying the blocks out on the floor, I was telling one of the ladies how I would assemble the quilt "if" I won. About a minute later, I was jumping up and down when my ticket was drawn. Can't wait to put this one together!

My friend Kathy was in town for the weekend hanging out while my husband was out of town. We had an agenda: piecing two quilt tops to meet some gift-giving deadlines (as well as catching up on life, solving the worlds problems, eating gelato, drinking wine...). We also had a tight-ish timeframe of working hours: Two nights, and only after the kids went to bed (8:30ish) until we couldn't stay awake anymore. 

For the first quilt, we decided to use a jelly roll of Cuzco I'd won from the Quilting Lodge through A Lovely Year of Finishes. We started with this tutorial for a bento box quilt, using Kona Snow to supplement the jelly roll, but a little more randomly and sparsely than in the tutorial. Later we decided that we wanted the quilt to be slightly larger (but didn't want to piece anymore blocks!), so we added sashing and an outer border. 

Friday night we pieced all the block units:
(bad phone pic in the wee hours of the morning)
Saturday morning I won those gorgeous blocks at the top of this post, and then Kathy and I went fabric shopping for the second quilt.

Saturday night we chose to divide and conquer. She started working on the new baby quilt, using this tutorial on Moda Bake Shop. I assembled the blocks and then the quilt top from the Bento Box quilt, plus preparing backing and binding, with plans to be her "sous chef" when I finished. I think I switched over to start helping her about midnight. 

But we did it! We were able to finish both quilts, thought we might have been a bit bleary-eyed this morning. 

I love the soft green, gray and blue palette she chose for the baby quilt (intended to match the baby's room). We also heard there elephant motifs in the room plans, so we appliqued a cute silhouette in the bottom right corner using a darker gray solid. 
By the way, this quilt almost wasn't meant to be. Among the fabrics we bought were two gray tonal polka dot prints. We texted a photo of the fabrics to the grandma-to-be, who questioned the lavender fabrics. Yikes! While we ultimately decided they truly were gray, we still weren't comfortable using them because in some light they did look purple-ish. Fortunately we found a few substitutes in my stash. (Imagine if this had happened before I pieced my Shades of Gray quilt--talk about gray options!

The assembled bento box quilt. Love this, and loved using my Cuzco fabrics!

The binding for this quilt: leftover strips from the jelly roll. Beautifully scrappy.

Posing with one of our two finishes. These quilts have a date with a machine quilter on Tuesday.


  1. I have a sewing date with my sister on Friday...... I'll show her this post....It can be done...It can!

  2. Great post! Congratulations on your win. I wish I could have been there, but I had out of state company. I did start my improv block and did not find it all that easy, I only got one strip completed and wonder if I'll ever get back to it. Looks like everyone else did a great job and all those blocks will make a beautiful quilt. Enjoy!

  3. Omg, it looks amazing!!!! It's great to see so many of those herringbone blocks together, they look great as a whole quilt, and I'm very honored that you guys did this with my tutorial :)