String of pearls.

Dear friends,

pearlcu

I’ve been quilting again. Actually, I haven’t paused much since last time I showed you my work. Yesterday, I got one more baby quilt crossed off my list and I couldn’t wait to show it to you.

It’s for the first grandchild of a friend and colleague. Sweet baby Pearl was born two weeks ago but I’m a bit behind so she’s just now getting it.

It’s not her first quilt and it will be far from her last. Her grandmother is a talented seamstress and both her great aunt and her great grandmother are experienced quilters — so my little creation is just one of many handmade keepsakes the little girl will have. At first I thought twice about making a quilt for the first grandchild in a family of sewists but then I decided what the heck. Once I found out the baby would be named Pearl, I couldn’t resist making her a quilt with one of my favorite fabric lines called “Pearl Bracelet” by Andover Fabrics.

And, really, can you have too many quilts?

I decided not.

pearlfront

My quilt is a petite 39″ X 39″ so I think it will be perfect for tucking into small spaces like car seats or playpens.

Pearl’s mother decorated her nursery in bright, gender neutral colors so I chose several hues from the fabric line. In fact, I bought far too much material so, after finishing the front, I decided to piece the back with all the leftover colors.

pearlback

I like how the rows of bracelets are slightly off-kilter as it gives the quilt a bit of a fun-house vibe. And I think the curves on the front of the quilt are a nice contrast to the cascading frames on the back of the quilt.

Not long ago I discovered a terrific long-arm quilter in a city two hours from me. To save time, I’ve been sending my quilts to her for quilting. I rather like the precision of a computerized long-arm quilting machine and Crinkleove does fantastic work. Plus, outsourcing the quilting allows me to make even more quilts. (There’s some 22,000 stitches in the quilting alone so you can see why these things take time.)

Speaking of even more quilts . . . I’ve got to run. I’ve got to get going on a quilt for an upcoming wedding gift.

With gratitude {for so many happy reasons to sew},

Joan-Marie, who for obvious reasons loves old-fashioned baby names

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Day 6: The project.

Dear friends,

I started a new project today — a quilt for a special friend.

It’s a surprise, so I won’t say much here except I hope she likes it.

Based on what I know and what others have told me, bright colors, bold graphics, and a modern layout will please her. I skipped using a pattern and decided instead to improvise the size and placement of each fabric piece.

Here’s a sneak peek:

improv

Once the quilt has been gifted, I’ll tell you the story of the person it’s for. And when I show you the finished quilt along with the story, I think it will all come full circle in the way that only a lifelong friendship, a milestone occasion, and a mother’s love can stitch together.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get back to the sewing table, er, dining room. I’m on deadline.

With gratitude {for the joy of piecing together the story of a life},

Joan, who loves nothing more than a tight deadline and a challenging assignment