Darlene has been a dear friend of my mother's for years. She even babysat me when I was little! Unfortunately, she was in a bad car accident over a year ago, and is still struggling to recover. When we found out how hard things have been for her, we knew she needed a quilt.
This was the first time Mom and I have worked together to make a quilt, but it won't be the last. It was so much fun! We had a four-day retreat at the local sewing studio (A Stitch off Seventh), and it took just about the whole time to piece both sides.
We wanted a pattern that would be relatively quick so we could finish at the retreat, and that would be forgiving for having blocks made by two different people. We chose to modify Sparkling Cider by All Washed Up Quilts. We only used the blocks with the small stars, and we split the large rectangles lengthwise to give the quilt more movement. Since none of the seams have to match between the blocks, we could easily trim them all to the same size after we finished piecing.
We are both a little bit crazy when it comes to using up our scraps on the back of the quilt. In this case, I think the back took longer than the front! We both made a pile of blocks, then used the design wall to figure out how we were going to make them all fit together. We tend to have pretty different thought processes when solving this kind of problem, but we made it work. We even still liked each other when we were finished!
We decided to try something a little different this time and pieced the label into the back. We made a star and framed it in yellow to set it apart from everything else. We wrote on the label before quilting. It's much easier to write without the squishiness of the batting, and this way we weren't trying to write over the quilting thread.
I'm a big believer in labels, and this was a fun way to do it. I'm thinking I will do more of this on quilts that get pieced backs. If I'm already piecing it, why not?
For the quilting, I chose Swinging on a Star by Jessica Schick. It's my all time favorite star design. I love its whimsical, playful feel, and the larger scale of the stars was perfect for the big blocks in this quilt.
I'm happy to say that Darlene was thrilled to receive the quilt. She was deeply moved by the love that she knew went into it. Quilts make the absolute best hugs, especially for the special people in our lives that are far away. Any time she wraps up in it, she will know there are two ladies in Montana thinking of her and cheering her on.