Friday, November 22, 2013

Neighbor Farewell Quilt

There had been murmurings of a potential move for some time, but we never heard of any new jobs or move dates. Then just after Halloween we noticed a for sale sign with a sale pending.  As the month continued to fly by, I finally caught up with the mom and found out they were leaving in five days!  My daughter has spent many afternoons with their daughter and is sad they will move six hours away.

After hearing the news, I looked around the internet for a going away gift idea. One idea was a luggage tag. I liked that idea, but also wanted something with which my daughter could help. My next go to was a quilt. I wondered if my daughter would like that idea.  While my daughter slept, I was already forming a quilt in my mind. I hoped to find prints of houses, because we live in the same neighborhood and of bikes, because they ride bikes together and of dolls, because they both enjoy playing with dolls.

I needed something fast and easy.  I considered Road Trip pattern and Layer Cake Lemonade Pattern. Finally I found this Big and Tall pattern and decided it would be quickest to purchase the pattern. This would be my first quilt pattern purchased. 

The cutting for this quilt went quickly and the sewing went very quickly.  I decided to do nine blocks instead of the recommended twelve.  Each block has six components.  After we formed the blocks, my daughter and I spent some time rearranging them until the colors seemed mostly balanced.  After stitching together the blocks and noting that the quilt really goes one way, it seemed more rectangular than square and wider than taller.  The next morning, I decided to add a top and bottom strip of purple to make it more a square.

I had considered making houses for two of the front squares, but I also wanted to put everything together quickly.  I had found a wonky house pattern for paper piecing and studied it a bit.  Finally I decided to just wing it.  
I started with 3" wide door, a 3" x 3" window, and 3" strips to fill out the house.  I ended up trimming the middle and sides. The roof was next, I cut a triangle and then added the sky to one side, then the other.  Finally I added sky to the sides of the house and put it together.  The last step was to cut the house on an angle and add grass.
The first house was pretty big, for the second house I started with a 2" wide door and based everything else off that. I wanted it to appear that one house was close and one far away.

Surprising to me was that the piecing of the back took much longer than the front.  I used up scraps to frame houses and make up a 60" x 60" back.

For the "label" we just rubber stamped on the grass of the smaller house and hand wrote the date and location in permanent ink.

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