a rush of a quilt

I must admit, I’m not stranger to flashes of inspiration followed by bursts of insane productivity resulting in a final outcome within a short space of time from the initial idea. One such flash hit me in January, when I decided one Sunday night that I would make a quilt for our neighbour who was due to move away. On Tuesday. I’ve done this quilt-in-a-day thing before, I thought to myself, I can do this. I didn’t dare remind myself the last time I’d done such a thing, I’d had two children – 3 and 15 months. Now I had four, ranging from 7 down to 4 months. But I told myself if I kept it simple, it could be done.

My first port of call was the Moda Bakeshop. I knew precuts were going to be my friend, and so I scanned through, and one jumped out at me, using mini charms or candy bars. I sketched out a rough version in the smaller lap-size I had in mind, and worked out my fabric requirements. Monday morning saw us loading up the car and heading off to the fabric shop bright and early, list in hand and mental mind map ready.

There may be many benefits of living in a small country town, but a wide range of precut options and ranges isn’t one of them. That’s fine, says I. I’ll get a charm pack, slice the charms into quarters and do it that way…or not, it seems. Not a charm pack to be found. My only options were layer cakes or jelly rolls, neither of which appealed to me. It seemed kind of silly to pay that much for a precut pack, only to chop up and thus render pointless, so many of the constituent pieces. Charm packs are cheap enough not to worry, layer cakes, not so much.

I ended up settling on a fat quarter four pack from the Happy Go Lucky range by Bonnie & Camille (if you know me well, you know I’m a sucker for Bonnie & Camille fabrics). Complemented by a sweet print from their Ruby range for the contrast border and the binding, and some white homespun to set it off, we were sorted and back home by morning tea.

But of course, then my mind started wandering. Would all that white be too stark? As the children ate their morning tea, and the baby slept, I scribbled and recalculated and quickly readjusted.

Butterfly loved being my offsider on this project. The big boys would play together, the baby boy slept, and my sweet girl sat with me and watched as I cut strips then squares then strips again. She walked around the layout on the floor, helping my work out the right balance. And she sat on my lap as I sewed, joining it all together.

The top came together quite quickly, by mid afternoon I was sandwiching and picking a quilting pattern. Of course, this was the perfect project to try out a new free motion design, wasn’t it? Biiiiiigggggg mistake – I completely underestimated home much time that pattern would take. I really like it, but it took more time than I could really afford. As a result, I found myself machining down the binding Tuesday morning, finishing so close to the deadline I barely had time to take photos. It was literally clip the last threads, lay it out and snap three photos while calling to the children to put their shoes on, scooping up quilt and (sleeping) baby (why are they always sleeping when you need to go out? At least it left me free to finish!) and heading out the door, 15 minutes after we said we’d be there.

For all the rush and stress, the recipient loved it, which makes it all worthwhile. In saying that though, it’ll be a long while ’til I try it again! There’s a reason my last go at something this crazy was back in 2009!

charm square lap quilt

shell echo FMQ

{look familiar? I blogged these photos over at And Sew We Craft earlier this month as part of a post on ten tips to take your project from conception to execution in a day (or other tight timeframe). Pop on over and check it out!}

ten tips for quick quilts

Monday hit hard around here, with a silver lining of lots of baby cuddles. Today, however, I’m fighting back and catching up. Creative fun on my list today includes finalising the invitations I’ve been talking about for a week or two, and sewing with my girl. Working on my next ASWC post, maybe some baking, and if I can swing it, start a cross stitch. Come on Tuesday, let’s play nice.

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