Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The anniversary quilt

Next weekend marks my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. That's a very long time my friends. They wear their years together quite well I must say. To celebrate this landmark achievement, almost my entire family (aunts, uncles, brother, s-i-l, niece, nephew, cousins, etc.) took a road trip to the Kootenays on the long weekend to do what we do

Of course, we had more than just my parent's day to celebrate, my brother and his wife just had their 10th anniversary late last month, my aunt and uncle are marking their 35th next weekend and The Dear Sweet Husband and I will be celebrating our 6th next weekend as well (actually, TDSH will be at a football game...I will be doing something else...that, my friends, is how you ensure a long, happy marriage together). In case you lost count, that's four anniversaries within one week.

I had to do something special for my parents' big day. So, of course, I chose to do a quilt. I picked out the fabrics to match their bedroom (from memory) back in late March and started the quilt top right away. I think it was a few days after that was done that my mom informed me they were having their bedroom (and the entire house for that matter) repainted! Calamity was averted though because they sensibly kept their room the same colour.

Anyhow, it was awesome to finally get to give it to them the other day. My mom's first comment was, "Oh, now when did you have time to do this?!?!?!" Hee, hee, hee...I love surprises!

The design was inspired by a quilt I saw ages ago on one of the (many) blogs I follow. The moment I saw that quilt, I knew I wanted to make one myself. The official pattern even wound up being in the Denyse Schmidt quilting book I borrowed from Miranda a while back. But in the end, I did this completely freestyle.

There were ten fabrics in total on the quilt top. To start, I stacked all of the fabric into a neat pile, alternating coloured fabrics with those on cream backgrounds, and trimmed off the frayed edges, selvages and the fold line. I was left with 20 large rectangles. I divided the pile in half and set one stack on my cutting mat. Using my rotary cutter and a ruler, I sliced a line at random through the ten layers of fabric. I took one piece from the top of the stack on the right and moved it to the bottom of the pile. Then, I just sewed the pieces back together until I had a complete stack of large rectangles again.

This is how I continued until I had rectangles (blocks) made up of nine different fabrics. Once all of the blocks were done, I just sewed them into the four rows that make up the quilt top. I'm pretty happy with how I was able to maintain the alternating colours and still keep it looking somewhat random as well.

The back of the quilt is a light oatmeal colour with polka dots. Due to the size of the quilt, I had to go with an extra-wide piece of fabric to avoid having to piece the back. In terms of the actual quilting, I opted just to quilt the three central seams and picked two of the darker fabrics and quilted only those strips. The result is a pleasantly random quilting pattern. Sometimes the lines are close, sometimes quite far apart.

My parents are still off gallivanting for a few more days so I'll have to wait a bit longer to see how the quilt will look in its new home. Fingers crossed that I got the colours right!


  1. I recognize the butterfly fabric in this quilt. It's gorgeous by the way! I can share my pattern for the linen frock with you no problem- it's a pdf. I'm not really sure how this reply thing with blog comments works, so you can e-mail me next week- I am back at work. You can find me listed in the Civil department. Am jealous of your linen score. You must show me.

  2. What a great quilt, Kim! Congratulations on having the idea, creating the quilt, and getting it done for the big 40th celebration! My in-laws are celebrating their 40th in February and I'd love to make them a quilt.

  3. a beautiful quilt kim...i bet your parents loved it!!!

  4. Kim-Well, your gallivanting parents are home. As you know,the quilt now has a new home at the foot of our bed. Arranging it on the bed was one of the first things I did when we arrived home. It does look lovely- I keep going to admire it. I had no idea that you were working on a quilt for us---We are thrilled with your perfect gift. I just took a couple of pictures -- the colours are a lot different that your photos.

  5. @Kristin
    Having a crafty friend at work could get dangerous!

  6. @myredbike
    You should totally do it! The technique I used is awesome if you don't have a lot of time.

  7. Beautiful quilt! Love the colors and simplicity. I'm starting my first quilt. Doing a nine patch, but haven't settled on my exact approach yet. Then I keep finding so many other awesome quilts. So many options, guess I'll just have to make more than one :).

  8. @Katie
    Good luck on your first quilt! Post pics once it's done!


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