Our niece Jana got married on May 24th (2014) and our gift to her and Jerry was a quilt. I gave her links to several Pinterest boards so that she could pin the ones that she liked and give me an idea of what I should make. This was the quilt that she liked. It is called Third Street Neighbourhood by Esch House Quilts. Jana loves house images and she was drawn to the neutral background and the brightly coloured doors. I used this image as my inspiration for her wedding gift.
I liked the pattern but I wanted to add more interest by using a variety of different house blocks in different sizes. I visited all the local quilt shops and raided my stash to come up with a variety of white, grey, and black prints.
It started out as a throw that they could both cuddle under while watching TV. Then it grew to a queen size quilt for their bed. Finally it morphed into a KINGSIZE quilt. Needless to say there were many more trips to the fabric store to buy additional fabric and new backing material. My sewing room looked like an fabric explosion.
I started working on it in late February….thank goodness I started early because it took so long to design each block, figure out the cutting and piecing instructions and then sew all the little pieces together. The first sew day was 6 hours and I only got 4 simple blocks done. It went downhill from there. I decided to get more creative and design blocks that looked like important homes in Jana’s life. I made blocks for the house that her Grandma was born in, the one her Mom grew up in, her childhood home and the boat that she and Jerry share. Some of those blocks took more that a day to design, cut and piece. Eventually I assembled 24 twelve inch house blocks. I added another 25 plain blocks to come up with a 7×7 block design.
Here are some of the key blocks that will hopefully have some special meaning for Jana. They are not meant to be literal translations….more like loose, artistic interpretations:
The house her Grandma was born in back in 1915:
The house her Mom grew up in and her grandparents lived in for almost 50 years:
The house that Jana grew up in:
And finally, the boat the Jana and Jerry love that was featured on the front of their wedding invitation:
I thought making the blocks was time consuming….then I started the free motion quilting. Each plain block was heavily quilted and detail quilting was added around each house to fill the 12 inch block. I ended up having to take several days vacation from work just to get the FMQ done. I was really worried that I wasn’t going to get it finished in time but I took it off the frame just hours before we left. We drove out to the coast a few days before the wedding and I spent all the time in the car as well as in the hotel hand sewing on the binding.
Of course, as soon as I sit down to start the hand sewing, my little furry daughter has to park herself right in the middle of the quilt.
I managed to get half of the binding sewn on by the end of our first day in the car. The last few hand stitches were completed on the ferry over to Victoria.
And here she is…..Jana’s House Quilt. I feel like I’ve poured my heart and soul into this one. I hope they like it.
We managed to get a few pictures of the bride as she opened the quilt up:
Here is a close-up of each of the 49 blocks (sorry for the inconsistent pictures. Some where taken outside with an annoying breeze distorting the blocks and they have shadows across them and others were taken in my basement studio with the quilt still on the frame):