Collaborative Projects meets Colorful Quilts

One of my very favorite baby activities has been working with my Aunt Jeannie in planning my baby quilt. Jeannie is an excellent quilter. She works and teaches classes at Sew Original in Winston-Salem. After spending a few hours with her there, I realized that her work life is probably a lot like mine at Paper Source. I asked her if everyone ohh’d and ahh’d over new fabric, as we typically react to paper in receiving each afternoon. By the end of the visit, she suggested we open a store together. Well, I do have an empty store to fill in Germanton. But a six hour commute would be very tough at this point.

I had a general idea of my color palette, which I think is generally the color palette of my life – light blues and greens with bright punches of color. I realized later, that I also used these colors for my wedding and even my web site design I created sometime last year. But I didn’t really have a pattern in mind. I was leaning towards circles, which according to Jeannie, are hard.

I went to visit Jeannie at her house the day before to check out all of the fabric that she already owned. As I suspected, she has quite a collection in her sewing room. I went through piles of fat quarters and small squares, looking for swatches that jumped out at me. As my collection began to grow, we discussed possible patterns. I finally started flipping through the various pattern books and found this table runner with tea pots dancing across the quilt.

I instantly thought of my lanterns I already having hanging in the nursery. What if the teapots were lanterns instead? So I sketched out this little draft of an idea.

The lanterns are large and bright white atop a pale background. We included the hot pink and orange to match the actual tags hanging down in the room. The mouth of the lanterns are a gray shade. I have always loved gray since Gray is my middle name. Bright colored squares will dance around the lanterns like confetti. I love the small Japanese print that will be the back side of the quilt. Plus I threw in some ribbon from Paper Source, from which the quilt ribbons will hang. Perfect! We just needed a few more pieces to fill in from Sew Original.

I stopped to visit Lia in Richmond and she took me fabric shopping, as well. Not only did I buy more fabric for the quilt, but I also bought this super sweet owl material that set off a creativity fever in Lia. I can’t wait to share that cute little thing with you.

When I returned home, I designed the pattern on the computer, asked Paul if he would print them out on the large copier, and taped them together. I haven’t heard from Jeannie, but I hope that they made the trip to Winston via USPS.

If I weren’t so excited about this quilt and lacking inspiration, I found my close second today via Apartment Therapy’s Ohdeedoh! Check out Purl’s Color Wheel Quilt. It is stunning!

I am SO tempted to buy a set of pre-bundled coordinated colors and try this on my own. But let’s be honest. I have yet to use the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave me at least four or five years ago for Christmas. Granted my very first attempt to use the machine, I tried to write my name with it instead of sewing a perfectly straight line. Starting up my sewing machine is a definite goal prior to my due date!!!

But before I splurge on the fabric, I really want to do another collaborative project with my all time favorite illustrator, who also happens to be a fabulous cook, insightful media attorney, careful editor, budding ukulele player, and soon to be best dad… Henry. This post on collaborative painting by Kelly Rae had me ready to throw down some paint this afternoon. Maybe I will save this project for March instead.

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  1. Renee

    Wish I had read this before I came up to DC this weekend. 1) I love Sew Original – they have the best selection and the best staff! I need to stop in and visit your auntie. 2) I have completed a quilt top for the color wheel quilt. I started it for Sara’s, my oldest friend, wedding. She only wanted blue and green so the quilt goes from light to dark blue on the top and light to dark green on the bottom. I’ll try to take some pictures to post on flickr. Maybe I’ll have the whole quilt done for my friend’s 1st anniversary in May.

  2. Caroline Armijo

    Please share your link to the photos on Flickr. I can’t wait to see it!

    You should go see Jeannie! She teaches classes there, too.

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