Tuesday 30 April 2024

Wendy's Quilts

Several years ago, I made Grandma's Kaleidoscope Garden for my friend, Wendy, as a gift. Then one time, while she was with me on a quilt shop hop, she asked about animal print fabrics, and purchased a couple of panels from which she commissioned me to make a lap quilt and a wallhanging for her. One of her grandsons fell in love with the lap quilt and tried to leave her apartment with it, so she determined to have me make one for each of her grandsons, as well as one for her son, for this past Christmas, each with a minky backing. 

Face Off was the first one I completed. I wanted the focus to be the Oilers fabric, and didn't want to chop up too many of the logos, so I opted for a 9" square of the focus fabric and 9" churn dash blocks for the solid and blue fabrics. I had wanted to alternate the placement of the fabrics in the churn dash blocks, but the quilt shop did not have enough left of the orange, so I had to make all of the blocks the same. It still looks great, in my opinion, and since orange is the dominant colour in the Oilers fabric, it worked out well. 
I quilted it with the Hockey Swirl pantograph. 
Next, she wanted a soccer-themed quilt. I had a couple of metres of small soccer ball prints that I could use together with a neutral textural print. But while on a quilt shop hop with me, Wendy called ahead to one of the shops we were visiting and found out that they had a soccer ball print and when we arrived there, she purchased a metre of it. 
However, when I put the prints together, it was Yuk! It's so terrible that I find it painful to look at. So, I would keep my two prints (the green and the blue) for another project and use the larger soccer ball print for Wendy's grandson's quilt. But what to do with it? It's such a large and strong print, with very few colours, that it was really difficult to know what design to use, and what fabrics to coordinate it with. Finally, I decided on black and white solids and came up with this design. 
Fairly simple, but striking. And I can't help but wonder how many people actually appreciate how much time and effort can go into designing a quilt, even though it's deceptively simple. And I don't generally charge a design fee. Otherwise, they likely couldn't afford the quilt. Not that I sell that many anyway.
I quilted it with the Soccer Ball pantograph, and named it Game On.
For the oldest grandson, I created Safari. Wendy purchase the small African animal print panels and some fabrics that coordinated well with the panels, and I had to figure out what to do with them. I came up with a basic zig-zag design and quilted it with Marfa
I had some assistance quilting this quilt (notice the grey tail sticking out from under the fabric). One of my nephews moved from BC and lived with me for a couple of months, as did his 3 cats. 
Jazz was an enthusiastic participant in quilting. 
Wendy's son is a Mountie, and she had to have this panel for him. But she didn't buy any coordinating fabric at the time she bought the panel, leaving that up to me. Each of the coordinating fabrics is a maple leaf print from the Stonehenge Oh Canada line. I didn't want plain borders, but I also didn't want anything that would attract attention away from the panel. I think I came up with a good compromise. I actually had another friend offer to purchase it when I posted the picture to Facebook. I call this one On Guard for Thee. 
I chose a bold red minky backing, the colour of the Mountie's dress uniform and quilted it with the Maple Breezes pantograph. 
All of the Christmas quilts got finished on time. Meanwhile, Wendy asked me to accompany her on a trip to visit a seniors' housing development in another town. That trip included a couple of quilt shop stops, where Wendy purchased fabric for another quilt for her son and a panel for herself. 
Initially, I couldn't imagine liking a monochromatic grey quilt. And even when I first put these blocks together, I was thinking, "No." 
But once I put it together, I thought it had a certain elegance and distinction. 
For the quilting design, I chose Glory, a strong design that I felt suited the stars and sort-of stripes on the quilt top. While I love this quilt design, now that it's finished, with the polyester fibrefil batting making the quilting more distinct, I feel that the quilting almost overpowers the quilt top. But it could just be the lighting. I had to take this picture indoors as it was too windy to take it outside. 
The quilt pattern is called Oh My Stars! and it's found in Fabric Cafe's Quilts in a Jiffy book, but I called my version It's a Grey Area. 
When it came to the panda panel, Wendy and I discussed whether to make a quilt or a wallhanging. I suggested a lighter weight quilt with a cotton backing, rather than minky, and include a hanging sleeve. That way she could chose how she wanted to use it. 
Once again, I was left with the challenge of what fabrics and design to use. I didn't want solids as I often find them too stark and boring. I chose a tone on tone black, a green tonal forest print and cream print with leaves. 
I chose the Bamboo pantograph for the quilting. Because I didn't want the quilting to be prominent on the panel, I used a 60 weight cool grey Glide thread and a 100% cotton batting, rather than my usual 40 weight thread and 80/20 batting (80% cotton and 20% polyester), which has more loft. This one is called Panda Paradise. 
These last 2 quilts were done under a time constraint as Wendy decided to move back to Ontario and I wanted her to have them before she left. On our last quilt shop hop, she purchased two more panels, plus coordinating fabric for backing and binding. These can wait, however, until she's settled into her new home. 

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