Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Summery Christmas Quilt Finish

To tell this quilt's story I will go back to the beginning,  back before I was blogging.

At the beginning of 2011 I was reading craft, sewing, and quilting blogs. At that point I was a big admirer of quilts but had not made a quilt of my own. I loved fabric and thought I could use more of my stash if I were to make quilts as well as kids clothes (that didn't work out so well as in the end it gave me a reason to buy more fabric). I have never been a person to use 1 line to make a quilt; I like to mix and match prints and lines. So I jumped in and made a little pinwheel doll quilt. That was fun so I thought I would make a patchwork stroller quilt using 3" finished squares. Then I happened upon the beginning of the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.
I love history and tradition and was very excited to learn how to piece traditional blocks using modern  fabric. I ordered the book, printed out templates and was on my way. Those early blocks were wonky and took me a looooong time to make. I had a brand new baby and those little 6" blocks were taking more time to make than I had to give. I wanted  to make 2 blocks a week to complete the quilt in a year. I lasted a month before falling in to a newborn induced coma and adjusting to being a family of 8 instead of 7. Baby number 6 was the easiest baby I ever had (thankfully!) but I found having 6 kids was a whole lot more work than having 5.

The months went by. I would sew small projects and dresses for the girls but my Farmer's Wife blocks sat in the book on my shelf. August came and I guess I had a sudden burst of energy because I decided I would make each of the kids a quilt for Christmas. I would use large,simple blocks and each quilt would be different. (I was able to get 4 made by Christmas, one finished a month after Christmas, and then I completed the 6th one in February this year.) I believe it was November 2011 Jeni announced she would be doing a block of the month for 2012 using half square triangles. This sounded like a fun opportunity and an attainable goal to make 1 block a month. I couldn't decide if I wanted to use the BOM (block of the month) to make a Christmas quilt or a picnic quilt. I decided picnic quilt and made my first block in January. I didn't like the block so I decided to make a Christmas quilt instead using some Ruby that I had. I knew I would never make a Christmas quilt on my own so this was my chance to get it done 1 block at a time, 1 month at a time and have a quilt top  at the end of the year.

Blocks took me a long time to make at first but as the months went on I got better making those half square triangles. The 12 inch finished size made things easier too. I looked forward to the 1st of every month and made some nice friends like Alyce and Sarah. Sarah dubbed this quilt "Christmas in July" which has stuck for a name. The further I got into the year the more orange came into the quilt. I do love summer colors and was influenced by Camille's Farmer's Wife blocks.
Once the blocks were finished it was time to choose sashing, binding, and a backing.

Then came basting.
I had intended to do some hand quilting in the sashing on this quilt but due to the cornerstones I decided hand quilting would not be quite right for this project. This was the right project to be the guinea pig for my first try at free motion quilting.

It feels really good to have completed this and to have learned so many things along the way!


  1. wow, that's such an impressive quilt! I love the colours and the different blocks, well done :) x

  2. Very very pretty. You did a lovely job of it. Looking forward to seeing more of your busy life. I'm a mom of six too

  3. Fantastic story Gina! And a fantastic finish as well! It looks absolutely gorgeous, how did the FMQ go? I've still yet to tackle it again after the last try!

  4. Your blocks look pro to me...I really thought you had been quilting for years and years! Wow, when you. Sit back and see the finished product, it really is all worth it! I'm so, so impressed!

  5. It turned out beautifully! Well done on finishing a long-term WiP too. Must feel very good!

  6. Yay!! Haha, you're way ahead of me... I (stupidly?) decided to FMQ each block in a QAYG style to practice. Soooo, I've done one block...

  7. Your choice of fabrics look so good together. It must have felt amazing to finally finish this quilt, quite an accomplishment when juggling the demands of family too.