My big kids turned five last month, and I decided it was time to make the upgrade from toddler beds to twin beds.
I had asked them a few months ago if they wanted new quilts for their new beds, or if they just wanted something from the store. Frankly, I didn’t want to bother making a big bed-sized quilt if they weren’t interested. My son, in truth, much preferred the Star Wars duvet cover from Pottery Barn Kids. Fine with me, I can always make him a new quilt another time. But my daughter decided she wanted me to make her one, and I was only too happy to comply.
After some discussion, Rebecca decided she wanted a rainbow quilt. As luck would have it, I recently participated in the Spectrum Swap, so I had over 200 5″ squares at the ready. I added a handful of my own to balance out some colors, as well as a whole set of pink at the bottom. Not only did the quilt need a bit more length, but I dare you to tell my five-year-old that pink is not its own color in the rainbow. All of her drawings would beg to differ.
Once I had all of the charms sorted to my liking, it was easy-peasy patchwork. Well, mostly easy. Since I was relying on the cutting skills of others, it’s not as though they were all perfectly the same size. Harumph. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to re-cut every single one of them down to 4.75″, so I just kept sewing and hoped for the best. I made the executive decision that having a flat quilt top was more important than points that matched up. So when I sewed the rows together, I made sure the middle squares lined up, and then smoothed out from the center and let the corners fall where they may. Just don’t look to closely, OK?
Another big! exciting! part of this quilt is that it was my first-ever time using a longarm quilting machine! I took a class through the Boston Modern Quilt Guild a few months ago, and rented some time last week to make this quilt happen. (Big thanks to my sister-in-law for watching the kids…) For my first time, I used a pantograph (i.e. traced a pattern, for those like me who are new to the longarm lingo). It definitely looks better towards the end of the quilt than the beginning, but overall it’s pretty neat. Next time I think I will go bold and do free motion, but we’ll see. This 68×90″ quilt took me three hours, from walking in the front door to walking out.
The back and binding of this quilt are both from Connecting Threads, and both were Rebecca’s choice. I love the giant floral, the quality of the fabric is quite nice, and the price per yard is even better than if I had done a Kona solid. Win! Not to mention, this was the first time I haven’t done a crazy pieced back in quite a while. It was sort of refreshing to have it be all the same fabric, and a lot less mental work to put it together.
I have to say, one of my favorite things about this is the very last addition. Rebecca was dying for the quilt to be done, and I told her I only had to make a label, and then it could go into the wash. She asked if she could write it. So I had her write her name, and I wrote the date and “Love, Mom.” 5-year-old handwriting, preserved on the quilt. It’s like it suddenly became a time capsule, and it thrills me to no end.