Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm working outside the box, way, way outside.

OK, confession, I'm not sure I ever worked inside the box, but…..

This year has been the year of the quilt for me. I had birthdays, and graduations, weddings, friends, guild challenges and babies to quilt for and it was wonderful. I had help with the tops on 2 of the quilts (Always Bee Learning and The Jane Austen Bee and Book club).  I even received a quilt as a gift from a very special and dear friend. And you'd think with all that, I'd have quilts coming out of my ears, but I don't. And that's good too. Each quilt is where it should be, which brings me to the last quilt of 2014. It will be a birthday gift for one of my dearest friends. It's a 50th birthday quilt and I hope she loves it. It took 2 tries to get it just right, I really, really like this person. I was able to do something I've never done before in the process and loved the journey all the while.

 "Outside the Boxes"
92" x 71"
50th Birthday quilt for Ruchi
This entire quilt was made from the special fabric pieces of another quilt. The 2 quilts couldn't be more different and I LOVE that. (more on this later)
The back.
 I repeated a "box" pattern here, the colored fabric "lines" take me outside the box, figuratively and literally.
Fabric (front): please see  fabric for "25 hugs and a kiss". In addition, I added the metallic boxes fabric in gray and turquoise.
Fabric (back): Just Color! by Studioe and Kona black, coal. Also fabric scraps from quilt front.
Threads: Aurifil 50 wt. Mako cotton in Variegated 4665 and solid dark gray, 2630. Sulky silver metallic.
Batting: 100% cotton Warm and Natural
Binding: straight of grain cut at 2" in Wine Lovers Wine words, black.
Quilting: Bernina swiggle stitch #4, with a walking foot, on my Bernina 180, set at 5 mm and stitch length of 2.5
before basting, everything looks perfectly "smooth"

before basting

the metallics really make the top sparkle

the obligatory pin basting photo

one of the "blocks"
Something I've never done before (and likely will never do again): This quilt was made, entirely from the fabric remnants from another quilt. I actually had an entirely different quilt in mind for the recipient, made the other quilt and well, when complete,  it just didn't feel like Ruchi. The design didn't sing to me but the individual fabrics were, however, perfect, and at this point, "precut"(there is no nice way to describe little bits and pieces) for the other quilt. So, I literally had to work with what I had, outside my proverbial box, and make something beautiful in the process. You can go see the other quilt here .
The back of this quilt, like all my other quilt backs this year, had to be constructed from what little was left. I am happy to report that there are no left overs.
My helper (you'd think sleeping on pins would be uncomfortable).
BIG Lesson learned… never despair if you make something and it's not entirely what you envisioned. Pick up the bits and pieces, (literally and figuratively) and make something even more wonderful. Push the box, and if you can step outside it. Be a bit unsure of where the journey will go, but go none the less. I'm pretty sure that you will learn much about yourself in the process, I know I did.


  1. This is a lovely quilt, I loved the other one too. It's great that you were able to use the fabrics for a second entirely different quilt. I bet your friend loved it.

  2. Glad you kept going till you were pleased with the result. I love the 'boxed' effect...

  3. I've so enjoyed looking at all of your outside the box forays this year! Lovely use of those disparate prints and fabulous colors for this one. I can just imagine how much she will love it!


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