Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vacation Quilting - MaryAnna's Quilt

Well, I promised I would do a post of my vacation quilting, and here it is...

A little quick background and new information...

Maryaha (Mar - EYE- Ah) is Chyenne's older sister, and for those of you who are new to my blog, My wife and I adopted Chyenne last year, and we have been trying to adopt Maryaha ever since.  We have recently learned that we are going to be able to adopt Maryaha this summer and have begun all of the paperwork with the lawyers, etc.

Maryaha hates her name (people always call her Mary-AHA, and often say it in a mocking laugh, or a surprised discovery type of way) so she has decided that she wants to change her name when we adopt her to MaryAnna Deneise.  Anna is the aunt she has lived with for the past 7 years and she wants to honor her, and Deneise is Trish's middle name.  So from now on, I'll be referring to her as MaryAnna, and I REALLY look forward to the day I can refer to her as Daughter.

Enough History on who MaryAnna is...  Like my son Jonathon, I took MaryAnna to a fabric store and had her pick out fabrics and point out things she liked about various quilts on the walls etc.

I brought all of her fabrics with me and during our Vacation, I designed, cut and began assembling her quilt.

The design process for me begins with some sketching, and calculations, and sometimes (like this time) I discover that my initial desire won't work with the fabric I have.  (A downfall of buying fabric BEFORE the design process begins...) Originally I had two rows of three blocks for each set of colors, I reworked pieces of my design and landed on 1 row of 4 blocks of each set of colors.

So, here it is... My Vacation Quilting...

First, I sketched and calculated...

My initial drawing... I never use a ruler
or a straight edge for my first draft, and
since this will be a one of a kind, this
is as far as I went with layout drawing.
After I lay out the quilt, I break down a block into
it's parts and start figuring lengths, widths, etc.

Then I calculate what I am going to need to cut for each block, color, size, etc.

And then I figure out how I will cut my fabric.  In
this case most of my fabric was FQs, so I had to
figure out how to get what I needed out of those
pre-cuts pieces.
Then I start Cutting...

The first thing I did was have MaryAnna match up
a "Dark" and a "Light"....  MaryAnna had picked
out a bunch of animal print material, so this task
was not always easy.

Then I started cutting and grouping pieces together.  It's not real obvious
in this photo, but each stack has two different fabrics, each with an
equal number of pieces.

Then we laid them all out as she had them grouped to give her a real idea
of what it would look like.   She stuck with all of her choices... I decided
that I was not going to try to influence her choices, I let HER do it.

And Here is one of those combinations I would not have chosen, but she
LOVES this combination...

And this is one that I really liked.
Of course, after cutting, sewing is the next step...

A round table is not so nice when trying to sew upon it... So, I rearranged
some furniture and borrowed another table for 'Ol Betsy...  I quickly realized
that I really like having a work surface NEXT to me while I am sewing...

Good Old Chain Piecing Pile of pieces.  I think I
chain piece probably 90% of the time.

Organization, Organization, Organization... Did I say it enough??
Probably the most useful thing I have learned from this hobby is how
to stay organized.

Chain piecing again, adding the ends to the blocks, then cut the chain
flip the block and do it again...

After all of the rows of blocks were sewn together, it was time to lay out
the quilt top in the order MaryAnna wants them.  The background fabric
that she chose is a leopard print with roses.  Sandwich that with other cat
prints between and then some other colors and it makes for an interesting
look.  Buy MaryAnna loves it, and frankly, it's her quilt, so that is all that

Close up of the background print next to a plaid, a batik, a solid, and a
flower print.  It is interesting, that is for sure!!
A few things I've learned doing this quilt...  First, If the person for whom I am making the quilt really likes a certain color or print combination, it is OK for me to keep my opinion to myself and just enjoy the process.  Second, MaryAnna saw a few fabrics at Wal-Mart and purchased them for me to use in her quilt.  While Wal-Mart isn't the place I would normally think to go shop for material, our local Wally World put in a new fabric section and MaryAnna found some fabric that she liked a lot.  The quality of the fabric is good.  It's not great, but it certainly isn't bad, in fact, I liked working with it quite a bit.  The only thing I didn't like was that the labels they used didn't fully come off when removed, and I wound up with a sticky mess to clean up before I could really even get started...

Remnants of a label... FQ was only $1.45, but I spent 30 minutes cleaning
it up so that I could actually use it.  Savings sometimes can not be
measured in $$.

The culprit label on the next FQ.  It turned out that two of four left residue
or pieces of labels, but I spent a total of about an hour removing the
sticky stuff before I could proceed.

I always keep my eyes open for potential quilt patterns, shapes that work well together, lines that work well together, and when I see them, I take a photo.  I have a folder on my PC in which I put photos like the following.  It is obviously not a quilt, but look at that wicker pattern... Wouldn't that be an awesome pattern for quilting?  I'm thinking light solids with a dark thread quilting in straight lines...

Potential Patterns are EVERYWHERE!!

Lessons learned from my son's cat after arriving back at home... There are times when even a dog is good for something!!

Until Next Time,


  1. Congratulations on your new family member! And I hope she loves her new quilt.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I removed a comment left by an Anonymous Commenter that indicated "I needed to be sure of all the fine details that may be involved in purchasing fabrics".

    Then there was a link to a site geared toward helping me find a reputable fabric vendor for upholstering furniture...

    Don't know how that comment related to this post...

  4. Paul, great blog. I have also had the sticky stuff left on fabric and have even used goo gone before it was all said and done. You are a very patient dad/quilter. When I have collaborated with my daughter on a quilt (we have diametrically opposed taste), it's all I can do to go along with her take on fabrics, etc. Always glad i have though in the end.


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