This is a very special finish. I made a quilt for Mom's birthday! A while back I was perusing Craftsy for fabric and other supplies (let's be honest - yarn) and I came across a kit for this beautiful quilt. The pattern is called Sweet Melody, and the prints are all from Anna Maria Horner's collection Folk Song. Looking at the fabrics with their bright colors and pretty flowers I decided it was time to make Mom a quilt and there was plenty of time left before her birthday in mid-August.
I cut the pieces back in July
and, given that I could chain piece a lot of it, the quilt top went really fast. I had it done in about a week. I love the way the design shows off the prints in the relatively large HSTs and the trellis of checkers reminds me of McKenzie-Childs designs that Mom and I both really like.
Over-confident me figured I'd have it done well in time for her actual birthday and of course when I heard she was coming out to visit at the end of August I decided to give it to her in person and have even more time. Haha. I hemmed and hawed about what fabric to use for the back and before I knew it arrival day had come. Turns out that was totally fine because then I had a basting buddy! It was way more fun sandwiching and pinning than I usually have, plus I got to show Mom how quilts are made ;).
For the back, I landed on this great print I got from Hancock's of Paducah a couple years ago. I bought a lot of it because I loved it and it turns out that was great because there was plenty for a quilt back and plenty to spare. In addition to the leafy waterfall, there are a range of swankily dressed women in hats, bell bottoms, and bright colors. While not a coordinating print to the front, all the colors are there and it pretty much sums up Mom and I. We should both pick out avatars from among the ladies.
After basting I lightly quilted some diagonal lines to mimic the trellis pattern. I set the sewing machine up on the dining room table and showed Mom my walking foot contraption and how I roll up the quilt to get it through my machine. All of this makes it sound like my mom is not sewing savvy. Nothing could be farther from the truth! This is the person who taught me how to sew, crochet, and craft. She can make clothes like nobody's business (still a weak spot for me) but she hasn't ever made a quilt. Hence, the super special let-me-make-you-a-quilt-in-exchange-for-all-those-clothes-you-made-me nature of the project. I'm hoping she feels like she can go home and try something for herself now that she's seen how everything is done.
We were so happy when it was finished (the day before she left!) we dragged Dave outside for some family photo time. After binding, the quilt ended up about 44" x 60". I bound it in the navy solid, as requested in the pattern, but instead of a 2.5" strip I used 2.75". I also did something a little bit different in the application. Instead of sewing on the front and flipping to the back to secure with zig zag stitching like I normally do, I sewed first to the back and then flipped to the front so I had more control over where the stitches landed. I used a red-orange thread that stood out really nicely against the navy and just tracked down the middle of the binding, rather than the edge, for a decorative finish.
I'm really glad to have found the perfect project to use these ladies on -- they are a great quilt back. You can also somewhat see the quilting lines in this photo, just a simple diagonal lattice.
Here Mom is pointing out how great the backing coordinates with the flower prints on the front.
I've named it Birthday Bouquet for reasons I imagine are obvious. This is one bouquet of flowers that will last and last. Happy birthday, Mom!