Friday, September 13, 2013

a quilt for my mother

on a fence at my parents' place, May 2013

The first quilt I ever made was for my niece's first birthday in Jan 2011, using Bonnie and Camille's Bliss collection. My mom loved the fabrics and wanted a quilt of her own. I was brand new to the online quilting scene but had read somewhere that once fabric was printed and sold that was it, gone forever.
my first niece on her first birthday with my first quilt, Feb 2011
So, with the intent of making her a quilt for mother's day, I immediately went back to my local quilt shop (which is now closing, btw) and bought five charm packs, a jelly roll and three yards of the cheater print, all that was left of the Bliss fabric they had in stock. That was two and a half years ago.
bliss stash, Feb 2011
Fast forward about six months and some lovely blogger ladies (Jennifer and Sarah) were hosting their Across the Sea quilt along and I mistakenly thought it was a Greek Cross block pattern. I jumped on board and cut into my bliss stash, this time intending to finish a quilt for my mother by Christmas. I had a digital mock-up I made in paint and new-found ambition.
original mock-up, Aug 2011
I got all the half square triangle and half-square rectangle segments pieced before realizing that the quilt I was making didn't fit with the QAL at all. Talk about embarrassing! I'd been posting pictures on the flickr page and I'm sure everyone was thinking "who is this chick and what the heck is she doing?!"
on the design wall, Nov 2012
I also noticed that the fabric I'd used as a background was basically blending together with many of the lighter fabrics in the Bliss collection, which felt like a mistake on my part. My mom then mentioned that the quilt I'd made for my niece had a lot of brown in it, which was the main thing she liked about it. I'd pulled all the browns since there weren't enough of them to really work with my design. This is when I stalled out and let things sit for a while.
on a fence at my parents' place, May 2013
Christmas and her birthday came and went. I briefly pulled it out again to work on for Mother's Day but didn't get far. Then I met my husband, so I didn't get a whole lot of quilting done for a minute. Fast forward to November of 2012, I was feeling like a major loser for not getting any sewing things done to give as Christmas gifts. Jon suggested we finish up the Bliss quilt for my mom. WE? This man spent a whole evening arranging nine-patch segments oh so perfectly given my strict specifications. I would sew, he would press. Talk about love!
on the design wall, Nov 2012
I made the executive decision that my original plan for 30 blocks just wasn't going to happen. I stole some of the HST units from said unmade blocks to construct a border, and would have added another border using background fabric but there wasn't enough of it left. I think the quilt would have looked awesome if the design were floating, but I had the opportunity to quilt it on my aunt's mother's longarm while visiting family over Thanksgiving, so there just wasn't time to order more.
on the longarm, Nov 2012
Oh, and I added some brown! For two reasons, really. My mom wanted more brown, and I think the quilt needed some blocks that "pop" out of the design, since several of the others seem to fade in and out. I grew to love that about the others once I added the brown focus blocks. It gives kind of a modern vibe to a traditional quilt. I also used a brown thrifted bed sheet for the backing and the same fabrics as those added brown blocks to construct a scrappy binding.
swirly quilting, brown stripe backing, scrappy binding, May 2013
Christmas crept up on me and I had to gift-wrap the quilt sans binding, but I did manage to sew the last hand-stitch to finish it while sitting in the car on the side of the road with a flat tire in subzero weather on the last night of the year. Just in time to hand it back to her twelve hours later on her birthday. She's a New Years baby!
mom on her birthday, Jan 2013

Quilt stats:
Name: Bliss Cross Quilt (clever, I know!)
Size: 56" by 68" finished
Focus fabric: Bliss by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
Background fabric: Faded bouquet by Meg Hawkey for Lecien
Batting: 100% cotton low loft
Binding machine sewn to front, hand sewn to back
Pieced and long arm quilted by me

It took just over a year to make and just under a year to finally blog about, but it's FINISHED! So I'm celebrating by linking up with Finish it Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts to celebrate :D

Note: I accidentally hit "publish" instead of "preview" when I wasn't quite done yet, so apologies to those email subscribers who got the in-progress version first. Oops!


  1. What a funny story... I love the result!! It turned out so beautiful! Congrats!!!

  2. Beautiful quilt for a beautiful Mom!

  3. Gorgeous quilt .........I am sure you Mom is so happy. thanks for sharing stopping by from Crazy Mom Quilts Marie (

  4. It's a gorgeous quilt Krista!!!! I love the picture of your mom wrapped in her quilt! Happy Friday!

  5. Good for you for finishing it! I have projects that I started and will probably never finish. I think it's lovely and your Mom looks so pleased

  6. I love the story. I am glad you made such a wonderful quilt for your Mom (my sister). Love-Aunt Dona

  7. A great quilt with a great story! I have to agree with mom, the brown really makes a big difference! Beautiful job!

  8. This is a great quilt. Thanks for sharing the story and your thought process as you went through the stages. I'm glad you trusted your gut about the popping brown blocks, they really make the quilt.

  9. What a wonderful post. Your husband is a match made in heaven. Love his support of your passion. Beautiful quilt and your long arm quilting looks beautiful! I love a cozy sheet on the back. It makes the quilt so comfortable. I bet your Mom was thrilled!

  10. What a fabulous quilt Krista. And how fantastic that your husband helps you with your quilts!

  11. I love the story. Thankyou for making your mom (my sister) this quilt. You are very talented, Krista. -Aunt Dona

  12. Wow, what a journey! It's a beautiful quilt Krista and your mom looks so happy and cozy under it. :)

  13. This is wonderful! I can't believe you're only a newbie quilter like me - you're amazing! Your mum looks so happy with it. Love!


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