Two years ago, our eldest granddaughter, Erin, asked, "Grandma, will you make me a graduation quilt?" Now who could refuse a request like that!
Even though I had two years' lead time, I was anxious to get started, so I looked at patterns and fabrics, and came up with a pattern by 3 Sisters for Moda that I thought would work. (I know--a true artist would design an original pattern. But I consider myself more of a craftsperson than a designer. I'll experiment with original designs with scraps - or for quilt guild challenges. But when I'm purchasing this much fabric for a special occasion quilt, I'd rather go with a sure thing. So please don't judge.)
I loved the mix of applique, and the colorful pieced border.
I consulted with her mom, and she approved, so off I went to purchase fabric. (My blogging friend, Duni, would approve of my choices, I'm sure!) There were pretty small-scale floral prints in shades of pink, blue and green, an assortment of cream-colored background fabrics, and a soft blue tone-on-tone floral for the backing. The florals were from the Aviary collection by 3 Sisters for Moda -- high quality 100% cottons.
And all those pretty fabrics sat in a box for awhile -- for QUITE awhile -- I had two years, right???
Several months later, I cut all the strips for stems and the pieced border. Using our AccuQuilt GO! Baby, I cut the 358 freezer paper templates for the leaves, then ironed each template onto fabric. I also created a template plastic guide for placing the leaves around each stem.
And then came a long, hot summer and a busy craft fair season, followed by a holiday Etsy rush, and then another tax season. All that time passed in a BLUR-r-r-r-r!
So after tax season, I began some serious hand stitching -- needle turn applique. I completed the stems in a weekend, but I grossly underestimated how long it would take to stitch all 358 leaves! I'm still not done, with graduation only three days away (and I have a custom Etsy order, a tight deadline free lance research project and a L-O-N-G drive to Colorado to complete in the meantime).
SO-- I will give her a sneak preview -- along with my apology for being late - - and a card with some cash. And Erin will have her finished quilt when she moves to Lincoln next Fall to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (One less thing to move from CO to NE.)
I quilt my big quilts by credit card. I haven't attempted to quilt anything larger than a baby quilt or lap throw on my home machine. I am fortunate to have a talented quilt guild friend, Kris Vierra, who is an award-winning machine quilter. She's been quilting for me since before she became famous, and she lives only a few blocks from me. Her quilting can turn an ordinary quilt into something fabulous. She has a long waiting list, but it will be well worth the wait! I'll show you all the finished quilt sometime this Fall.
THEN, I'll need to begin working on a graduation quilt for Erin's brother, Daniel! I have the pattern (much simpler -- no leaves or hand applique!), but I'll need to search for "guy fabrics" -- AFTER Erin's quilt is done! I'll have less than a year to complete that one.
LeAnn aka pasqueflower