Along with the last quilt for customer Beth M.’s daughter, I sent a quilted backpack as a “thank you gift with purchase”. I thought a young girl might find it fun to carry a few things around with it. Beth, though, seemed to have other ideas… she told me it was so cute, she almost kept it for herself!
So what do you think I made as a thank you when I finished her latest quilt? Well, a backpack just for Beth, of course!
You can read all about the process of designing and creating the Princess Mildred and the Pea quilt, but part of the story is that I went to four different fabric stores to find enough of the 1930s reproduction kitten fabric for the backing. It really was the purr-fect choice, though, and worth it, even though, as a quilt back, it will rarely get seen.
Using that same fabric for the backpack, though, means it finally gets the attention it so richly deserves. After adding a pink gingham and a black dot, Beth finally has an adorable vintage backpack of her own!
Ok, apologies up front, but I’m going to do some gushing about this custom quilt because it’s just so cool and I’m just so excited to send it off to customer Beth M. today…
This is the 6th quilt I’ve made for Beth (returning customers are the best!) and it is the culmination of a lot of thoughtful effort to bring together everything she loves into one final piece.
Beth’s love of quilts is genetic – she’d inherited several gorgeous quilts from her great-grandmother that she shared photos of with me. There are nods to her great-grandmother’s work in the choice of 1930s reproduction fabrics and in the baptist fan quilting that I did in the border (see right). Great-grandma did her baptist fans by hand, though!
The bottom quilt in the center represents Beth’s favorite family quilt – a traditional nine-patch. In an effort to replicate it closely, I tea-stained modern fabric the right shade for the vintage muslin. The other four quilts are based on quilts she had me make for her children – love of quilts will carry on in this family for sure!
The pieced kitty sleeping on top of the quilts is the family’s much loved tuxedo cat, Mildred. Mildred passed on during the year we’ve been working together, so this quilt has become a memorial to a much missed furry friend, as well.
In working with Beth, her devotion to her children and her desire to create a loving home for them were her most obvious characteristics. So I chose a block for the border called “Nest and Fledglings” to reflect that dynamic. Using those Nest and Fledgling blocks around the outside to pull everything together was the perfect metaphor for a mom’s warm embrace.
Literally every design element in this quilt was chosen to have a meaningful association for Beth and her family, past and present. And I wanted every detail to be perfect. For instance, the backing features a 1930 reproduction fabric with tiny black and white kittens tossed on a mint background – I went to four different stores to get enough of it! And that’s even knowing she plans to hang this quilt and the backing will probably never get seen 😀
Again my apologies for the long post. But this feeling of happiness mixed with giddy satisfaction is just spilling out of me this morning. I’ve been blessed to make something so beautiful – and so meaningful – for another person.
This is why I create custom quilts.
One of the things I like to do here at Whimzie Quiltz is include with every custom quilt a gift-with-purchase – a little somethin’-somethin’ for you, the customer, to go along with your actual quilt. With a bed quilt, it’s often matching pillow shams, but with smaller quilts, it’s maybe something you wouldn’t normally expect.
Here’s the scoop on a couple of recent surprise somethings that Whimzie Quiltz customers have received…
Movie Night Right
William M.’s Favorite Things quilt pattern was a mix of all of everything he loves – cats, Boy Scouts, England, music – done in a black and white palette. That color scheme inspired his gift-with-purchase… a black and white checkerboard! Knowing his affinity for old movies, too, I chose a vintage-looking film strip fabric for the border. After all, I figured, what could be better than playing a few games while you wait for the DVD to start?
Hitting the Right Note
Originally, Katherine M. wanted a quilt that featured her love of music, but it had to be purple, too. The first fabric I purchased just wasn’t purple enough, which resulted in changing the whole design and creating an ombre purple Triple Braid quilt instead. I still wanted her to have something with the music theme, though, so I used the original fabric to create a fun quilted backpack that lets her “carry a tune” 😀 wherever she goes.
When you request a custom quilt through my website, I take the information you provide and use it to craft personalized quilt designs. Depending on what you are looking for in a quilt, there’s usually a couple of ways I can go with those personalized designs – either literally or figuratively.
When Beth M. contacted me about a quilt for her daughter who loved the color purple and was very into horses, I could have sent a design with a purple horse face or purple horse blocks. Very cute, but very literal.
But she wanted something that would grow with her daughter. So I started looking into some figurative designs. While I don’t know a lot about horses, I have, of course, heard of competitive horse shows. And I’ve seen some amazing images of horses that have braided manes and tails when showing competitively. That’s how this lovely figurative design was born.
Using plaited horse tails as inspiration, I created three ombre braids that span the quilt from top to bottom and added a nice, wide border. Where the pieced braids meet in the center, I monogrammed young Katherine’s initials using machine appliqué. There’s specialty quilting on the braids and an all over meander in the border, but it’s the gradation of color that makes this quilt just glow.
This ability that quilt designs have to be literal or figurative is one of the aspects of quilting that I love the most. A quilt pattern that actually looks like a horse is just as warm and whimzical as a quilt with three braids symbolizing a plaited horse tail. A custom quilt from Whimzie Quiltz can be anything – it just depends on what you want.
Order today and your pink Tardis quilt will ship in time for the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special.
I heard this morning, but it wasn’t until I was sitting in a restaurant at lunch that it really hit me. And I started crying tears of happiness. Which made a more than a few people at Rubio’s wonder what was going on 😀
I didn’t care because I’m so freaking excited for a female Doctor!
I’ve actually seen Jodie Whittaker in Broadchurch. She’s really good.
(I am a little worried about Chris Chibnall as show runner. Broadchurch is so slow-paced that I’m worried his style won’t translate well to Doctor Who. On the other hand, he picked a fantastic new Doctor, so he must be doing something right!)
There’s 163 days until the Christmas special when the new Doctor will make her debut. That’s plenty of time to have a custom pink Tardis quilt – or traditional blue Tardis quilt – made by Whimzie Quiltz.
Contact me at deidre [at] whimziequiltz.com to get yours started today!
One of my favorite things about custom quilts is when someone asks for a quilt of their favorite things. The more, the better!
So when customer Beth M. told me her son like Boy Scouts, old movies, their beautiful tuxedo cat, English history and music – well, I knew it’d be a challenge, but I also figured we could have some fun with it.
I was initially struck by how many of his favorite things were black and white, so I decided to make make the quilt using only those two colors. Although the overall look is high contrast, I actually chose a variety of tone-on-tone small prints or marbled fabrics in these two shades to give the quilt depth and dimension.
As for the symbolism, this quilt features
- a Tower of London (with the six crows that legend says must live there or the monarchy will fall,)
- a piano keyboard representing music,
- a tuxedo cat, in between two halves of the Union Jack,
- a strip of film, and
- a fleur de lis from the Cub Scout logo
I filled in the remaining spots with a traditional PINWHEEL block to make the pattern feel more old fashioned and quilt-like – something Beth had mentioned she really wanted. Two thin borders, one white and one black, pull everything together.
Although the majority of the quilting is stippled, I added in some texture in spots – like the birds and the cat’s white accents – to make those areas pop even more.
Influenced by this quilt, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how individuals are rarely defined by just one characteristic. Different likes and loves, hobbies and habits… they all come together in one person.
Like how lots of different blocks come together in one custom quilt! Whoa! That’s some deep stuff 😀
All kidding aside, it’s made me think about a lifetime of my favorite things, and how they’ve come to make the person that is me. I think that’s a quilt I want to make, too (another for my bucket list!)
What makes you, you? What would be in your favorite things quilt?
The classic Depression-era quilting tale always touches on how nothing was wasted – every scrap of fabric was used by thrifty seamstresses determined to grimly “make do” with what they had.
That description always seems so sad to me. Scrappy quilts are happy quilts! They are every voice singing in perfect harmony. Every person doing their part to make the world a better place. Every piece coming together to make a larger whole.
When I had leftover fabric from Beth M.’s recently completed 1930s Irish Chain quilt, I didn’t just want her thank you gift to “make do”.
I wanted the gift to make her smile.
It took a LOT of time to piece all those little blocks together, quilt them and hand embroider the names on the stocking cuffs. As it is, she had her custom quilt for nearly a month before the stockings were ready to ship!
But they were so worth it. I can’t help but imagine Beth, her children – and Santa! – all smiling when they see these scrappy, happy stockings.