I missed blogging last week (I'm trying to do it once a week), but in an effort to try to not get behind on finished quilts again...or rather continue catching up...I'm back!
This week I'm sharing Becky's quilt.
Becky is a friend from high school. I actually met her in sixth or seventh grade. There were about six of us girls that hung out together a lot and she was one of them. We lost touch after high school, going different directions and all that, but with the magic of Facebook have found each other again not too long ago.
Becky was always a girly-girl. Her shoes matched her pants matched her shirt matched the bow in her hair. She was almost always wearing flats and I think she used more hairspray in her bangs in a day than I use in a year. She always seemed very proper and lady-like while I was over there playing in the mud with the boys.
And she loves pink.
When we reconnected, she was sharing her adventures learning how to make and perfecting the technique to make macaron cookies. The fancy, filled, French kind.
And then she got a pink Kitchen Aid mixer.
And THEN one day I was perusing Pinterest and saw the French Macaron Quilt pattern and it began.
I was actually longarming something else (probably one of the charity quilts) when I saw the photo and immediately thought of her. But I tried to push it out of my brain. I usually don't make quilts for people on a whim and we hadn't reconnected that long ago and would it be weird?
The longarming must have been fairly routine because I kept thinking about it. And then the Lori Holt kitty (Becky has two kitties) and stand mixer quilt blocks popped into my head and it was OVER. A naughty word may have escaped my lips when I realized how OVER it was.
This quilt was going to happen.
So I shopped my stash...
...and discovered I had enough fabrics to pair to make the cookie and fillings in many "flavors." I made sure to include brown, as the chocolate cookies in the photo were what really made it for me.
But I wanted to work on the cats and stand mixer blocks first. If I was going to stall out on something too hard (hahahahahahahahaha!), this would be it. I dug out my patterns and modified the kitties slightly so the ears would be pointy and not tipped. While the pattern is cute with the tipped ears, I also know that is an indication (in my area, at least - one ear) that the kitty is feral, but has been spayed or neutered. I didn't want to imply THAT of her spoiled housecats! Also, one of the kitties is a "tuxedo" variety, so she needed white toes and chin.
I asked Gabby and Finn to help me choose colors, as her kitties are the same (or close) colors, but they were having NONE of that. So I winged it.
That's a lot of pieces!
And with a little surgery to move those toes to a better location, Samantha and Isabella are looking quite nice. (Though that white chin piece does make the kitty look a little like a priest...)
Then it was on to a PINK mixer because we can't mess that up!
I discovered I didn't have any bubble gum pink in a large enough quantity to make the whole mixer, but this coral pink will do just fine. It's still pink, after all.
But again, a LOT of pieces!
The pattern has two stems of beaters going from the mixer into the bowl, but I decided to leave them out. This can be a waiting mixer, not an in-use mixer, okay? I also left the handle off the top - more because it needed to fit into the quilt than anything else.
With that done, I could dig into the cookies. That was a lot of cutting and keeping pieces straight, but I made it.
They took much longer than they should have, but I kinda hit a mental roadblock in losing all those corners. It was a tedious task for 47 cookies, but I got it done eventually.
And then I used my design floor to try to get the stacks of cookies randomly assorted.
It looks very tall and skinny here, but with some sashings to make it all fit, it will be better, I promise! (It is still a little on the tall and skinny side, but this makes it look much worse.)
See? Not so bad.
I pressed the cookie lost corners carefully to make sure I could nest seams. And while it wasn't critical the cookies stack perfectly, Becky is a perfectionist and I know if she knows better, she will notice the mismatches, so I was careful.
Then it was on to the quilting stage. I debated a lot of ideas, but ended up deciding to just do a ribbon meander (basically an overall large stipple/meander that you go back over and follow along and weave in an out of and it looks like a twirling, twisting ribbon) and be okay with it.
It was more poofy than many of my other quilts that get more quilting, but since she has never seen ANY of my quilts, she'll never know. And it's not like it's going to fall apart or anything - there is plenty of quilting in there.
Next up was the challenge of binding. So far, other than the back (which you can see there on the takeup roller a little bit), this whole quilt was done from my stash. I should be able to find a binding, right?
Oh, wait! Willow's quilt had some leftovers...oh! Pink! Perfect!
And then it was done!
I intended this to be a birthday present, but then found out (thanks Facebook) that her birthday was mid-May, not mid-June. So I missed it, but that's okay. Until I contacted her for her address, she knew nothing of it, so it wasn't like she knew I missed it!
It took a bit to get a label made and attached, but then it was time to mail it out.
I boxed it up and set it on the table along with another package and went to bed. The following morning, I trekked downstairs, laundry hamper in tow, and stepped on it. Finn had knocked the box off the table and pushed it about 10 feet across the room to the base of the stairs, where I found it with my feet. I nearly fell, but caught myself and was glad there was nothing breakable inside. So I got another box and repackaged it and made it to the post office early enough for the pickup that morning!
The post office, being smart this way, estimated the delivery for Monday (I dropped it off on Friday). So when the box arrived Saturday, we were all surprised! And Becky sent me this...
She said she took it out of the box and was trying to get a good photo and the girls did this immediately.
Looks a lot like my house!
So I told her it had already been rigorously tested in that manner here and not to worry. (I also sent a note telling her it was okay - and expected - that she use the quilt.)
And sent her this photo...
...where Gabby was PRETENDING to sleep and really waiting to put 43 new holes in my hand as I tried to sew down binding.
I was going to add a photo of the quilt back, but I think this one does quite well now that I look at it! Baking stuff, of course!
She loved it and was surprised completely.
And I'm glad I didn't talk myself out of making it. I often do that. This time I just told myself I needed to do it and stop worrying. If she thought it was weird, then maybe we just didn't need to be that kind of friends.
In other quilty news - there isn't much - I've been plugging away at the bear's paw quarters. The cutting is labor-intensive and digging through my stash, making decisions about what makes the cut and what does not isn't much fun.
But I managed to get 5 days off in a row (I requested the 4th to celebrate with family and the others were just luck) and knew it was time to do something.
So I cut and sewed yellows...
...and then oranges...
...and finally today, the reds.
Now if you remember, I need 100 of these quarters to make 25 blocks for a 5x5 layout to result in a 77x77" quilt. But to make this easy, I made 15 of each color (splitting "blue" into blue and turquoise, making 15 total), so I would have 5 extra blocks. That's okay because it will give me a little more wiggle room with layout. And the extras will go on the back or something.
And this afternoon I did just that - vacuumed the design floor before the hubby went up to take a nap, and while he was sleeping, fussed with 100 blocks and color placement.
Gabby helped, but I got no photos of that. I was trying to get her to STOP MOVING THE BLOCKS!
This looked fairly random and so I labelled the rows and picked them up quickly before the boys joined in the fun.
These will get sashed to make the four-patch bear's paw block and then sashed again between the blocks. I have a plan how to do this without having to lay everything out on the floor again, but we will see how that goes. Worst case, I have this photo to refer back to.
I'm very happy with it. Some of the lights weren't as light as I anticipated, but I forged ahead and convinced myself this would be okay in the end - it is scrappy. And I think it IS going to be okay.
I have some yardage of a white with tiny bright asterisk-stars in it, purchased for another project, but I changed my mind, so this whole quilt MAY end up being entirely from the stash. (Until I need a back, but I rarely buy yardage without a plan, so I rarely have yardage just hanging around to make backs. But there is always the sale room at the local quilt shop!)
And now I am excited about this quilt again. It took a lot of work to get to this point - scrap quilts are like that, you know - but I am loving it. Part of me wants to go sew it all together tonight, but I also know messing up my sleep schedule like that will cost me later, so I'd better just take my time.
So that is all the quilty news for now. I still have one more finished quilt to share, but that, of course, will get a post all to itself. Hopefully in about a week.