Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Surprises are Overrated When it Comes to Quilts!
Here's the thing...quilts are expensive to make. Right? Even when your mom owns a quilt shop, and you have your own longarm business and can quilt your own quilts...quilts are expensive to make. So, since we can all agree on that, let me throw out a radical concept: Don't waste your time and money creating a wonderful gift for someone as a surprise. WHAT!?!? Here is my point: If we are going to spend our very valuable time and our limited resources making a quilt for someone as a gift, they should LOVE it! How can we guarantee that they will LOVE it? ASK THEM WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO MAKE! Better yet, take them shopping to help pick the fabrics, or at least take them to your stash and let them tell you what fabrics they like. Why would you make a quilt out of reproduction Civil War fabrics for someone who loves batiks? Why would you make a quilt out of batiks for someone who likes 30's prints? The answer...because you didn't know any better.
Case in point, the above quilt. My little granddaughter is getting her first "big girl" bed. Now, Grammy (otherwise known as me) would choose bright fabrics for that quilt, if left to her own devices. :) I LOVE BRIGHTS! I could just envision a bright, colorful quilt, with some fun novelty print as the focus and a rainbow of colors included. However, knowing that my daughter-in-law has her own ideas and opinions, I decided to get her input. After all, it is her house. Guess what? She doesn't like brights. She loves 1930's reproduction prints. However, she doesn't love traditional block style quilts. How do I know this...she told me! She wanted a modern quilt using reproduction 30's prints. I found a similar quilt to the one I ended up making in a Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine and showed it to my daughter-in-law. She loved it. I bought the supplies and cut out all the circles.
When it was time to lay out the circles, I would have done something radical and swirled them around heavily on one side leaving a big area of white-space to show my quilting. Did I do that? No. I asked my daughter-in-law to help me lay out and pin the circles in the way that she would like them to look. The above pictures are the result. I quilted it the way that I wanted to adding flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies that I borrowed from Judy Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts. It turned out beautifully, and what makes it extra special to me is that I KNOW my daughter-in-law will love it and use it. After all, isn't that more important than a "surprise."