For Kimber's friendship quilt, I started with the idea of the "Broken Dishes Quilt" found in the book - but I did not add the extra borders. I had fun picking fabrics for this quilt out of some "scrap bags" I had purchased at local quilt shops - Kimber likes scrappy quilts with character, so I tried to pick colors that would appeal to her and her home decor. I cut 96 quarter square triangles (using the GO! Quarter Square-4" Finished Triangle by Alex Anderson die with my AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutter) for this tiny quilt. It was quite fun to piece this quilt - and although I wanted it to be scrappy, I found myself trying to make it more "balanced" as I placed each block. I wasn't sure if this small quilt would be used as a wall hanging, but I wanted it to have that option, so I put sleeves on the back and included a hanger, just in case....
For Merry's friendship quilt, I decided to something a little more modern (and not in the book). I used fabrics from "Beach House" by Blackbird Designs for Moda (note: some of the blocks have sampler fabric)....and decided to use one of my favorite shapes - the tumbler. I actually cut 96 small tumblers (using the GO! 3 1/2" Tumbler die with my AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutter), but once I pieced all of the rows, I realized I was working on quite a large project (a lot larger than I had planned - my math needed a little help!) - so the end result only uses 64...leaving me a few rows left to build on again. I just loved the soft colors of this fabric line...putting this quilt together was complete joy...and I am sure this quilt has a good home at Merry's house! I also put sleeves on the back for hanging and included a hanger.
I should note, my husband assisted me with the "hangers" - we took a trip to Lowe's, went to the lumber section and I picked up several 2" x 24" pieces of wood that were 1/4" thick....we then had them cut in half, so each was 2" x 12" x .25". We purchased sawtooth hangers and 1/4" (very, very tiny) screws, which Travis then attached to the wood "strips" when we returned home. I thought they worked perfectly and was thrilled I purchased enough to do eight hangers...that way I have some in reserve! They easily slid into the sleeves I had sewn on the back and I was able to give the quilts "ready to hang".
As a finishing touch - instead of using a permanent marker to sign and write on the actual blocks of the quilt (as suggested by the book), I decided to make labels for the back of the quilt to personalize the date and occasion. I used inkjet printable sew-on fabric and printed index card size labels, using a saying from the book:
For my dear friend,
For my dear friend,
Accept the quilt for friendship's sake
For happy times of old and late
Then I added "Happy Holidays 2010!" and my signature. After printing the labels, I serged a 3-thread rolled edge around each one to keep them from fraying - used fusible web to hold them in place in the lower right-hand corner - and then hand-stitched them down with white quilting thread. I am not an expert quilter by any means, but I was thrilled with how well these friendship quilts turned out - and any little imperfections give them "character". I hope this blog entry will inspire you to make a friendship gift for someone special...