Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jammer's 100 Good Wishes Quilt

Nine years ago today, after 28 hours of traveling to the other side of the world, we woke up in Ho Chi Minh City and a few hours later, this tiny little cutie was placed in my arms and we became his parents forever.  I will never, ever forget that moment. 
It seems only fitting to share for the first time on the blog his 100 Good Wishes Quilt.  Although it has been done for years, I was only recently able to get pictures of it.  Why?  Because it is huge!
(Warning...there are a lot of pictures in this post).
 
This is THE quilt....the one that really started my journey to becoming a quilter.  Well actually, total truth to be told, it was the 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Sunshine (that has yet to be made) that really started it, but since Jammer came home first, his quilt was made first. 
The first fussy cuts of the blocks started in July 2010.  To say that I was nervous and my hand shook a little as I made the first cut is an huge understatement.  Something that I had been planning for many years was about to become a reality.
The family room floor of our previous house was put into use a lot as I was laying out the blocks.
 
When it came time to find backing fabric, I came across this great dark Red Fusions at my LQS and bought all they had left on the bolt. Since I needed more to make it big enough, I found the  Brown leaf fabric and they looked perfect together.
To show you just how big it is, here it is on our king size bed.  It finished at 116" x 130".  Yes I was insane at the time and wanted the blocks bigger...now I know better....but I still love it.
As is the intent of a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, I can identify most of the fabrics and exactly who they came from.  Jammer can identify a lot of them too.
Since we are the center of his world, at the very center of the quilt I put the 4 blocks from me and my hubby, his are the 2 fire department ones and mine are the 2 with lobsters on them.
Surrounding those 4 are the squares from our immediate family and closest friends.  These are just a few of my favorites:
 
This one was from my youngest sister.  Her son drew it as part of a school art project and she had it printed onto a piece of fabric.
My mom's mom passed away many years before we started the adoption process but I was able to have her represented in the quilt after my mom gave me a box of fabrics that were hers from when she used to make Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.  I think this was from one of her aprons.
My mom aka Nanny gave us this adorable frog reading print. Reading with the grandkids has always been something she loves to do.
Uncle Tom (Chuck's one and only sibling) was living in Hawaii at the time so this was his contribution.  We are sure that bringing Jammer home was his incentive to move back to the area.
My other grandmother knew we were adopting and gave us a piece of this Holly Hobby fabric.  She actually passed away at the age of 95 the morning after learning that we had received Jammer's referral.  So that she could be represented in both kids' quilts I searched online for months and eventually was able to purchase a 2nd piece of this same fabric for Sunshine's quilt.  
My nephew Danny, who many of you remember the story of his tragic death at barely 16, is remembered in the quilt buy this Spiderman piece....his favorite character. 
And this block, just one of so many more in the quilt from other waiting parents who have eventually become friends, is from my BFF.  Little did we know at the time that I was collecting the fabrics and wishes just how special some of the people would become in our lives. 
That is exactly what a 100 Good Wishes Quilt is all about ......the personal connections we have to the people who's squares make up the quilt.
 
This quilt weighs a ton and even with a pillow tuck, it skims the floor.  The reason I made it bigger than the typical kids' quilt.  I wanted him to use it longer than when he is a kid.
I guess I overdid it just a tad.
When I was sewing the blocks and rows together, I had no plans for the borders but the pieced one finished it off perfectly.
All those years ago, I had a specific vision for the background and sashing fabrics.  After traveling to every single quilt store in my area,  I found what I was after and to this day, I'm still thrilled with the way it turned out. 
Since this quilt is so big, the only place that I could find where I could take a full picture of it was at my sister Tina's house.  When I took this picture, I was standing on the ground and my 2 brothers-in-law were holding it while standing on the 2nd story deck.
I still get a little teary just looking at this quilt and it will forever be my greatest accomplishment....because it brought our adoption story and my quilting life full circle.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dogwood Trail - another finish

My mother-in-law is turning 75 so it is the perfect time to make a quilt for her. I've wracked my brain to come up with a different name for this one but can't think of anything better than the name of the fabric line that I used....so here is my Dogwood Trail quilt.

Originally I had planned to make a different quilt for myself with this fabric but while organizing my stash a few months ago and coming across that "kit" I realized that this really isn't my style or colors any longer but it certainly suits my mother-in-law's taste to a T.
I think the Hot Pink So Fine thread that I chose does a good job of standing out a little without overpowering the piecing.  For the panto, Dainty mimicked the blossoms in the fabric perfectly.
The combo of the two produced a nice flowing texture across the top.
The pattern I used was Grandma's Dominos by Kymberly Pease for Moda Bakeshop. Since I was piecing this top in the middle of Girl Scout cookie season, I wanted to make something fast and easy that would also result in a pretty quilt that is her style.  The quilt finished at 62" x 77".
I found a pretty backing fabric at a terrific price in Pink with light Blue flowers.
When I went to piece the backing together, I found that the company I purchased it from shorted my order.  Rather than try to get the additional inches sent by them, I luckily had some other yardage of the same fabric line and decided to piece in that to make it large enough.
Since I like the added interest a pieced backing provides, I was happy in the end with this solution and the added yardage coordinates just fine.  It's always fun to see how the early morning sun shines through the quilt when hanging on my front porch.
My mother-in-law was thrilled to receive her quilt and I'm sure it will help ward off the chill in the evenings as she sits and reads in her favorite chair.
 Linking up with:

Sew Fresh Quilts
Fort Worth Fabric Studio