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.
If you’ve ever considered having a custom Irish Chain quilt made for you by Whimzie Quiltz, now’s the time – you’ve got 100 new designs to choose from!
I just finished my 2017 #100Days Project, a creativity challenge where I designed a different Irish Chain quilt pattern every day for 100 days. (Didn’t skip a single day, either; thank you very much 😀 ) I learned to see the classic quilt layout in so many different ways; it’s AMAZING what you can do starting with one simple idea!
Sample the collection of some of my favorite designs from the project below…
or visit them all at 100 Whimzical Chains and let me know your favorite in the comments…
or have a completely new one designed just for you at Whimzie Quiltz. After all, I seem to be on a roll here and I’d love to keep the creativity flowing!
Although I hoped to finish a quilted tote bag I’ve been working on instead, this weekend was set aside for a When I‘m Not Quilting (WINQ) project – adding wood paneling to our upstairs fireplace.
The fireplace is designed to be a divider between two rooms (we don’t use it much here in Southern California, but it’s come in handy on a few winter nights when the desert chill rolls in.) The chimney part that hides the vent rises to the ceiling and was done in traditional drywall and orange peel. It was calling out for something more dramatic, though!
So we decided to add Stickwood paneling.
We hadn’t planned to do this project until later in the year, but Stickwood was discontinuing the Honey color wood we wanted; luckily, we snatched up the planking before it sold out (at clearance prices!)
Since this was our upstairs fireplace, and the table saw was downstairs outside the garage, we hired a friend’s son to be the runner between us. (It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that our ancient knees couldn’t take the repeated strain and don’t let anyone tell you differently. 😀 ) Having his help cut the time in half; we finished measuring, cutting and attaching all the planks – including some not quite level rip cuts along the top – in less than 4 hours.
Although Stikwood offers edging, I found the metal corner trim we decided to use online at Home Depot. It did require a special metal blade/grinder to cut, but with the right tools it wasn’t a problem.
We’re really pleased with the way it turned out – it does make the fireplace focal point much more dramatic!
However, in the interest of being completely truthful, I’m going to mention one note of caution. If you are a stickler for precision, Stikwood may not be for you. It’s a natural product, made from reclaimed or sustainable wood. There are tiny gaps here and there and some edges that don’t match up exactly. I’m sure some of that is installer error – our first attempt! – and some is caused by a 15+ year old house which was never level to start with.
But you definitely end up with a rustic look. Which is perfect for what we wanted, but may not be for everyone. I have to admit, though, the whole time I was working on this project, I kept imagining an entire accent wall of wood with an antique quilt hanging in front of it. It would be absolutely lovely! Maybe that’ll be my next WINQ…
In my continuing quest to Grinch-ify my house during the holidays as much as possible (see Grinch-y WINQs and “Slipping” Into Something a Bit More Grinch-y and “Whos” Coming for Dinner? among other blog posts,) I’ve just added this pillow set.
The long pillow is based on text from Dr. Seuss’ book. I went for a reversible cover – for most of December I’ll have the first side showing, but come December 25th, I’ll flip it over for the second.
The Grinch character pillow is from Pottery Barn Kids, but I added new, fuller pom pom trim to the outside. Because one should never settle for store bought holiday decor when Whimzie Quiltz can make it better!
This pillow makes me laugh hysterically every time I see it. So glad I got it finished before my team begins it’s attempt at a 14th straight conference win!
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.