This quilt has been a long time in the making. My sister, Jillian, and I went fabric shopping before I ever left my old house in July 2014, and she bought all of the fabric. It became apparent that Jillian was very specific about how she wanted the colors spread out, so while she was visiting with my mom, we all crowded into my old attic sewing room, and I cut all the batik pieces and darker frame pieces. Then the quilt languished.
Fast forward to me getting engaged, then married, and Jillian living through two summers of beach weather without her beach quilt. After I got married, I pulled out the project, thinking that I was going to get down to sewing because all the pieces were cut. No so. I realized I had not cut the background pieces since Jillian didn’t need to have a say in their placement. I love this In Your Neighborhood Pattern by Melissa Corry, but there are so many background pieces in the pattern. So many. 273 of them to be exact. It was not exciting to realize that instead of sewing right away, I’d be doing a lot more cutting.
But, I prevailed through cutting. Mark and I have found a nice marriage balance. He enjoys playing video games on occasion, so some evenings, I sew while he plays video games, and we both get to enjoy our hobbies. As Christmas approached, I realized that I might be able to get the quilt done, so I picked up the pace. Jillian wanted the quilting to be as hidden and as minimal as possible, so even though the quilt was mammoth, I was still able to get through the quilting on my home machine.
So, what have I learned through this quilt:
- Never let a bad seam go. During its test wash, a seam came undone in the middle of the quilt. I was horrified! It happened on Christmas Eve, and I couldn’t believe I had let a bad seam go during piecing. Ugh. Since the quilting was light, I was able to pull the quilt together and hand stitch a new seam. Someone does have to know to look for a flaw, but still, there is a noticeable pucker where I had to pull the quilt together, and I’m holding my breath that the new seam I had to sew will hold. The quilt was secretly going through its second test wash while my sister was downstairs playing an epic Christmas Eve monopoly game.
- My sister has a good eye for color. I never shop the batik aisle, so I cringed when Jillian first selected these batiks. I still won’t rush to that aisle of the fabric store, but I do love how they worked in this quilt, and it was fun to see Jillian get excited about fabric shopping.
- I love using flannel for batting. Since Jillian wanted minimal quilting and for the quilt to be as lightweight as possible, I used flannel to prevent the batting from pulling apart and bunching up in the wash. I tend to like heavier quilting, but it’s nice to have an option where I can keep quilting minimal, and the quilt is a great summer weight.