Grandma's Quilt: The whole story

It's been a while since I posted a quilt and I am happy to bring you my latest finish from a pile of fabric to the finished quilt in it's new home. So sit back and let me tell you the whole quilt story (foul ups and all!)

My Grandma-in-Law (GIL for short) requested I make her a quilt about two months ago. She had only a few requriments: A queen sized blue and white quilt to match her bedroom -- by winter time. Little did she know I had a surprise in mind for finishing this quilt in time to give it to her during our vacation to visit the family in July! (more on that later) She left the over all design and fabric patterns up to me. It was a blast picking some favorites from my stash and rounding them out with just a couple of purchases - mainly a lot of Kona White! 
Fabric chosen, a perfect match to GIL tastes
The design came quickly, saw tooth stars set in an Irish Chain with a medallion in the center. I set about sewing my stars first, and then realized I'd made a big wonky mistake on each block!

First blocks

can you see the mistake? I didn't either until it was too late!
I thought I knew how to make flying geese blocks, turns out I was wrong! I centered the triangles when sewing them together instead of lining up the edges! How dumb right! I learned a big lesson that day, take a minute and read some directions before starting. But it wasn't the end of world, I just cut a new set of blocks and made 24 perfect Saw Tooth Stars.
Saw Tooth Stars; Take Two
A plan, new blocks and ready squares
The rest of the quilt top came together perfectly! And so far in my quilting career, it's the most accurate quilt I've ever made. I did a little happy dance about that! (sorry no picture of that!)
A perfect top ready to quilt
Long arm quilting is my new favorite part of quilting. Taking a top in for a few hours and walking out with a quilt sandwich is so gratifying. I found a great quilt shop close by to rent time on their long arm machine. After an intro class and a practice top session I was ready to try an easy stipple, loopy'd loops and a single flower in the center.
But not before I made one whole pass with the tension totally out of whack! Thanks goodness the ladies that run the shop are super helpful, because it took two of us 20 minutes to pick out all the bad stitches. But that's okay because in the end I was in love, look at that smile -- I'm a happy quilter!

I finished the quilting a week before we left for our NY vacation to visit the in-laws and introduce everyone to the latest addition, Baby J.  The quilt came with us so that I could give it to GIL in person! Hooray!

Grandma with her new quilt! She's happy too!
My in-laws live in just about the most beautiful little farming town in up-up State NY. The kind of place where there are old farm house and lots of corn fields. I am in heaven here, I'm a city girl trapped in a country girl's body. And with the most beautiful farm house just up the road we took the quilt over for a photo shoot with the barns, tractors and porches. 

Remember those messed up saw tooth stars? I put them to good use on the back of the quilt. They don't look wonky from here :)
This might be my favorite picture of the quilt!
Does it get anymore iconic? Nope!

A storm was coming and we couldn't get the
'quilt in front of a barn shot' so we
opted for in front of the trees
A shot of the full front
The whole back
And now it lives with Grandma and she couldn't be more pleased! It ties her whole bedroom together, don't you think.
The quilt in it's native habitat, Grandma's Room!
Thanks for coming along on my quilt journey. This quilt was such a joy to make and to give! But having all the pictures to share along the way is just awesome! 

Blue Bird Sews
I also have to share with you before I go the Stashtacular event I'm co-hosting with the lovely Jenna of Sew Happy Geek and Stephanie at Spontaneous Threads. There's only a week till it starts! The three of us have teamed up to bring you 4 weeks of tutorials, inspiration and camaraderie during our 4 week fabric fast & stash swap. But that's not all, there will be tons of prizes and even a 'Stashtacular Runway' contest. Check out all the details at my Stashtacular Page and hop over to the Flickr Page to post pictures of your fabric stash and fabric to swap. It's going to be a super fun time. There's already 30 ladies signed up, so get on board!




The Sunflower Patch said...

Love ho your gil's quilt turned out,wonky stars and all! Wonky is just another word for character!

Jessica said...

What a beautiful quilt! It turned out so well. Good idea to use the "imperfect" stars on the back.

Dorian said...

You did a lovely job on Gma's quilt! I love Irish chain patterns, and this one is just gorgeous. Great job!

Anne said...

The quilt is gorgeous! So clever of you to use the other star blocks on the backing. Wonderful quilting job, too.

kendascrafts said...

That's lovely! i love saw-tooth stars!

Katie said...

WOW! great job on the quilt! Thank you so much for linking up to Sew Woodsy today.

Megan said...

great quilt! I'm glad that I'm not the only one who messes up sometimes!


Rae said...

What a stunningly beautiful quilt, I am in awe, what a lucky (and happy looking) GIL you have

SewHappyGeek said...

Oh my, I did the exact same thing when I first tried flying geese - I thought I could cut up a charm pack and it would only take one charm to do a FG thingy, but I didn't research it so didn't realise that the squares need to be bigger than 1/2 the length. Oh well.
You did a GREAT job on that quilt - design and everything! And next time take a picture of the happy dance, dammit! LOL
I'm so jealous you go to play with a long arm! There's a lady around this area with one and I'm gonna email her today! So thank you for the inspiration!
Got the weekend as a breather, then whoosh! We're off!

SewHappyGeek said...

BTW I featured you too!

Maury said...

It looks great! I'm just learning to sew, so I'm pretty far from this, but I hope to get there!

Sarah Craig said...

Kelly, thanks for joining us for Whoop Whoop Friday -and with such a spectacular quilt, too! It's really beautiful, and I love the story you told about it.

LynCC said...

A gorgeous quilt with an amazing story. :D THanks so much for sharing. Glad I saw you - Whoop! Whoop!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great quilt, front and back. I'm sure GIL is doing the happy dance now.

Brita said...

Awesome job, Kelly! You have a right to wear that big ole grin :-) The pictures belong in a magazine. Huge Whoop Whoop! for you!!!

FabricsNQuilts said...

Using the stripes in your star points gives so much dimension! Well done!

BunkHouseQuilts said...

Wow, I love everything about this story. Love, Love the back. I can't tell you how many times I have salvaged mistakes and used them stunningly on the back. Love all the photos. Your Grandma is a lucky lady. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful.

Karen said...

Your quilt is gorgeous. My favourite white and irish chain setting. It looks wonderful in it's new home.