Double Irish Chain – Anniversary Quilt!

My first finish of 2021! Hard to believe we made it through that last year.

This quilt is a commission work to help celebrate a couple’s 50th(!!) anniversary together. Their daughter reached out to me to help create a truly unique, one-of-a-kind gift for them to help commemorate the memories and events of the past fifty years.

I chose the pattern (Double Irish Chain) as a way to represent the ‘chain of events’ that led this couple to where they are today- and their 50th wedding anniversary. I created the pattern measurements myself. (Just cut up the fabrics in 2.5” blocks and figured out the dimensions of the white background based on that.)

It was mentioned that the couple loved bright, saturated colors and fabrics, and that immediately put me in mind of Kaffe Fassett- so that’s what we went with. You can’t get much brighter than KF! Can I admit that, while I do love many of the fabrics and patterns Kaffe puts out, I go gaga once they’re all cut up and put together in a quilt? I don’t know what it is, but every time I make a quilt using KF fabrics, that quilt is so deliciously rich with color.

The applique pieces are as follows: two intertwined rings, a book, a beaker, and a tennis ball. As you may have guessed, each one represents something special about the couple: rings for marriage, a book for their shared love of reading, a beaker to represent that they both met as scientists, and a tennis ball for their joy of the sport. I used my Steam a Seam 2 for all of the shapes, and then stitched them down using my longarm instead of my machine. The shapes were all in a purple/blue/pink Kaffe Fassett dahlia fabric to help them pop from all the warm fabrics. And that fabric- I may be buying more of that in yardage for myself, I loved it so much!

The backing is another of Kaffe Fassett’s fabrics- this time a cool blue/cream/plum colored dahlia fabric. This one actually has significance to the couple too- they are both avid gardeners and love travelling to Hawaii. I love how it pops opposite the front!

Just look at how gorgeous these colors are together. The contrast has me drooling.

Honestly, though, my favorite part of this quilt is the story behind the color thread of the quilting (and the reason their daughter thought of a quilt in the first place!). Apparently, her mother always told her that “their love was a beautiful tapestry before me, and I added silver and gold thread.” Isn’t that wonderfully sweet? In honor of that, I used a gold thread for the quilting.

I hope that the couple enjoy the quilt as much as I enjoyed designing and creating it!

End of the Rainbow

This was a scrap quilt made with leftovers from another quilt (that I have yet to get quilted haha). I was able to finish the binding in time to take some truly gorgeous photos with the cherry trees outside, and I love them.

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I’ve long admired the Irish Chain quilts I’ve seen; I’ve loved their simplicity. And so when I realized I had enough scraps for my very own Irish Chain quilt… I simply had to. I designed it on EQ7 first, and then cut out the pieces for it.


It was so much fun. I really wanted it scrappy, so instead of doing long strips and cutting pieces out that way I did it individual piece by piece. Took a lot longer this way but I’m happy with how it turned out. I did decide however to not go with a white border around it and just went with the Irish Chain

img_1708I got the backing from Joann’s with a coupon so the cost was quite reasonable, which made me happy since it was a scrappy quilt. However, this batik is so bright and colorful; I think it really goes well with the quilt overall. It makes it so happy! I love the colors of pink/orange/yellow together, so this was absolutely perfect for me.

 

The quilting is adorable little flowers and bees. It’s pretty simple, and the layout of the quilt means that quite a few bees and flowers are framed in the centers of the chain links.

While taking pictures it was quite windy, so in order to get the whole quilt I had to lay it out on the ground. It worked pretty well, actually, and I was able to get the whole quilt in. But I’m short, so it’s on an angle. Still, I love it!

Only a couple more days until the end of the week! Thank goodness!

Christmas Pu- I mean, Fun Time!

Alright, this post is snow joke. Also, if you don’t like Christmas-themed puns you should probably leave because otherwise yule be sorry. No getting incensed on this blog, y’hear?! Buckle into your sleighs, because this one is going to be one wild reindeer ride!

A friend contacted me and asked if I would be willing to make her a Christmas quilt. Being the lover of Christmas (really the whole season) I am, I eagerly accepted. Especially since I have had the mistlefortune to never finish a Christmas quilt myself. (But, side note, JoAnn had a huge sale back at the beginning of the month and I got myself about 12 yards of Christmas fabric for about $35. Woo!)

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You’ll be happy to be informed that I had the presents of mind to design this quilt myself, and didn’t make it from a kit or steal an idea off Pinterest (although that is where we started looking at first).

img_1113I took a simple Irish chain design and added a couple of borders. The Irish chain was the part that was the easiest. It went sledding rapidly down the hill from there. It’s not that the design was hard, it was just time intensive. 238 2.5” HST meant a LOT of cutting, trimming, and line drawing. I used the 8 at a time method, and it STILL took longer than the applique and main part did together. It was snow frustrating. Honestly, the worst part wasn’t the time it took, it’s that because it is a holiday quilt I had a deadline to get it done, so I had to do it quickly.

img_1148When arranging the border HSTs I did it in such a way that it almost looks like a DNA strand. Yes, I will be doing this again in the (very far) future, when I’m not on such a huge time crunch. It’s the same arrangement for each row, you just flip the rows each time. I made 9 patch blocks and then put them together. The HST border is separated from the Irish chain by a simple 2.5” red border. I think it grounds the design.

At each corner, instead of doing more HSTs, I did simple but cute applique designs. The four designs were candy canes (sweet and to the point!), a poinsettia (also, right to the point-setta), Santa’s hat (blanket stitching the white part to the white background was ho-ho-horrible), and a Christmas tree (fir god’s sake, it’s definitely my favorite one!). As mentioned, I just used a simple blanket stitch on the outside of each design.

I learned a valuable lesson, however. I used some of the interfacing that helps the fabric stick on the quilt while you sew it on, and I forgot that I need to put it on the WRONG side of the fabric. I didn’t even realize it for the first few parts because they were all solids so it didn’t matter. But I had to re-cut the candy canes and the tree. I based them loosely on designs from EQ and then modified and freehand drew them on the interfacing.

For the quilting I picked a snowflake design in white to make it look a little bit like there was snow falling in front of the quilt. To be quite frank(incense), I really, REALLY like how this quilt turned out. And the design was pretty easy! I’m thinking about making this into a pattern for people to use in the future.img_1115

I guess this wraps up this post! Hopefully nobody got too incensed, and instead found quite a bit of myrrh-th from all these puns. I’ll take a bough and see myself out. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who don’t celebrate Christmas!

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