Collaborative Quilt Project

My incredibly talented and creative girlfriend in Seattle asked me several months ago if I would be interested in participating in a collaborative quilt she was planning. She was putting together a collection of fabrics, and wanted her friends & family who sew to each make a couple of blocks of their choice from those fabrics (or others from their stash that coordinated). She would then assemble them together into a finished quilt. I obviously said, “Heck yes!”

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She reached out shortly after the new year and asked if I would prefer to get the box of fabric first and work on it before the baby’s arrival, or if I’d rather wait a while and do it toward the end of the line. Since I was almost done with my other sewing projects, I told her to send it my way. A few days later, a box of fabric arrived in my mailbox. There are few things in life more fun for a quilter than receiving a box of fabric in the mail. Little B completely agreed. She loved looking through the stash with me, saying, “Ohhh, pretty!” as she made her way through the fabrics. She also loved looking at the inspiration cards my friend sent, as well as a couple of quilting magazines I had on hand that we flipped through for ideas. For several days, I’d find her sitting with the magazines, flipping through the pages.

My task was to create two blocks; any combination of either 18.5” x 18.5” or 18.5”x 36.5”. I decided on an 18.5” x 36.5” flying geese block for one of them because a) there were several flying geese examples on the inspiration cards she sent and I want her to like it (it will be her quilt, after all!) and b) although it’s a classic block, I had never done a straight flying geese design.  I opted to use the no waste method, and while it worked well, I did find that I needed to upsize my squares a bit from the tutorial in order to reach my target size.  After experimenting with a few color-blocked layouts, I ultimately went with a more scrappy look.

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For my next block, I picked an 18.5” x 18.5” crazy pieced star. This was something that was totally new to me; I hadn’t done anything with crazy piecing or a star design like this.  I was a bit disappointed that there are a few imperfections in this one (the crazy pieced portions were seam heavy in some spots, so some of my final seams aren’t quite as flat as I’d have liked), but every quilt needs an Amish square, especially mine. 😀 And hopefully once it’s all quilted, it won’t be noticeable.

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All in all, this project was a blast. It was a fun way to tackle new designs without the commitment of a larger project. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see the final product. This project was a good reminder that I should add a few smaller projects into the mix now and then. My nephew got a sewing machine for Christmas this year, and I’m hoping I can create a similar project with him since I’m not close by to sew with him. And of course, I consider myself a lucky girl to have such creative friends!

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