Friday, July 18, 2014

Coral + Navy Herringbone Quilt


My quilt collaboration skills could use improvement. LOTS of improvement. I came to this unfortunate realization during the planning phase of my latest quilt. Originally, there was a team effort to make this quilt but then I did what I do best (irritated the crap out of my older sister) and the team was reduced to ME. Let's blame it on the fact that I almost always make quilts by myself. Yep, that's it. That's my excuse. Usually when I make a quilt, I choose the pattern, the fabric, the quilting design, the thread--I make all the decisions. Occasionally I ask for outside opinions, but in the end I have complete creative control. I like it that way. Who doesn't like to be in charge? And of course I generally think everything I make is wonderful and brilliant...so there's that. (Did I mention I am conceited too?!) :) With all that said, it should come as no surprise that while working on this quilt, I hit a couple of snags in the collaboration department.


This quilt was made for my little sister Juli...luckiest girl in the family because this is her second quilt in less than a year (first one is here). Normally I like to spread the quilty love out a little bit but Juli got married last month so she NEEDED another one! Yay for weddings! It was lovely, and Juli was a beautiful bride!

(Photo courtesy of sister-in-law Samantha!)

When we found out about the upcoming wedding, my older sister Allison (who also quilts) suggested making Juli's quilt together. I had been planning on just making one myself, but I was a busy girl, so I thought a little teamwork would be a faster, smarter way to get it done. Allison and I have made quilts together a couple times before: once with a quilt from a kit, and once when Allison chose the fabric and pattern, pieced the top and then I quilted it. We'd never done one quite like this before...you know, one where we had to agree on the fabric and pattern. In hindsight, I probably should have just told Allison in the beginning that I wanted to do my own thing, because I think that was my real problem. Though I didn't have anything in mind, I knew I wanted it to be something Juli would like, and I wanted it to be awesome (read: I wanted it to be my idea).


After tossing a few ideas around, (ok, it was more like me just shooting down every idea that Allison suggested) I finally just quizzed Juli about what kind of quilt she would like. She told me she liked the style of this stripey quilt and this other quilt I made a few years back. She also told me she wanted it to be mostly coral but a little bit of navy blue too. Yikes. The color combo sounded a little daunting, but luckily those colors are both trendy right now so fabric wasn't hard to find. A stripey quilt would have been super easy, but I wanted to do something I'd never done before. I thought a herringbone pattern would work well because it would have the look that Juli liked and make the color scheme doable. So I mocked it up in inkscape (I know...I'm so predictable!) and showed it to Allison. She thought it was ok, so we started talking fabric.


To make a long story short (too late) about 3 weeks before the wedding we decided that Allison would buy the fabric, piece the top and then send it to me so I could quilt it. Brilliant plan, right? Wrong. It would have been brilliant if I hadn't been trying to micromanage the entire process. Anyway, Allison went to 8 or 9 different fabric shops (lucky girl lives in the Salt Lake valley so she has the luxury of being able to hit several amazing shops in one day). She sent me pictures of what she was finding and I gave her my opinion on most of the fabrics. In then end we had a wide array of print styles and shades of coral and a few navy blues. Some of the fabrics I really liked. Some...not so much. I suggested we not use a couple of them. Then we decided to get Juli's opinion...and Juli didn't like a couple more of them. Understandably, this totally frustrated Allison, because after all her time spent shopping, there went half the fabric. Of the fabrics that were left, there were 2 I liked more than the others and they happened to be from the same line. It was called Iconic by Camelot Fabrics. So I looked it up online and saw that there were a whole bunch more coral and navy fabrics that were coordinating. So I offered to just buy a bunch and have it sent to Allison so we would have more choices. But by that point, she was done. She said, "Why don't I just send you the stuff I have and you can just do it yourself." I don't blame her. I'm sure she was probably envisioning me telling her where to place every single piece of fabric in the quilt, which is, no doubt, exactly what I would have done.


So Allison sent me all the fabric she had, I ordered the Camelot stuff and it all arrived one week before the wedding. I ended up using mostly the Iconic fabrics with a few others thrown in. I lived in front of my design wall for the next few days and got it done. By the time I was finished, I never wanted to see the color coral again! I kept saying "It looks like a flamingo threw up in here!" (Beaches...such a good movie). Seriously though, it was a lot of coral. Good thing Juli likes it so much! And thankfully, Allison has forgiven me for being a quilt Nazi. We've decided to try another collaboration in the future, but with a better time-table and more compromise from yours truly. I think we can do it! :)


For the quilting, I just needed a fast, all over design. I chose to use an Aztec groovy board--gives it a crazy zig-zag look. But the best part of course, is that it was done in a couple of hours. I went with a solid navy blue binding and the back is a coral stripe that I found on clearance.



I took it to Utah with me for the wedding! I had hoped to find a good spot for a quilt picture, and believe it or not, I was actually looking for a wagon wheel to use as a photo prop. I hit the jackpot with this one right around the corner from my sister-in-law's house! Old wood, piles of junk, a no trespassing sign and...an old rusty wheel! Perfect for a quilt photo. Love it when that happens!

12 comments:

  1. it's lovely! I really like the colour scheme though I never would have thought I was a fan of coral.

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  2. Beautiful, Coral is the fashion colour of this summer ! This easy pattern and the colour combo gives the quilt a glow of elegance.

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  3. MY goodness! My heart goes out to Allison. Yet, here she is ready to do it again? Allison, are you sure?! This would have been enough to cure me of any future collaboration with you! hahaha I don't know if the flamingo threw up, I think it just plain exploded. LoL What a great description...just cracks me up. But the quilt looks great and I love the nice blending of the prints and smattering of the navy.

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  4. I had a great chuckle reading about the collaboration efforts! It is so typical and I found it very appealing that you told the truth about you part in the whole thing! The end result is great, the bride is lovely, and I hope Allison is forgiving!

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  5. How brave of you tto admit to control issues. i am happy that you and your sister are ok in the end. The quilt is beautiful and I know the beautiful bride loves it.

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  6. I love this quilt! The colors look great!

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  7. Oh, what a story! The most important thing is everything worked out at the end, and Juli loves her new quilt! It looks beautiful!

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  8. Wow that is some tale attached to that quilt. It did turn out beautiful and I'm sure she will cherish it.

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  9. First, the bride is beautiful! I love the tiny cap sleeve on her dress and her bouquet is sweet. So you are the middle sister? We have that in common and I totally understand the whole tale! I just saw that Camelot fabric at a Northern Michigan local quilt shop this afternoon. It really is nice. Your quilt came out beautiful and on time and everyone is still on speaking terms! "All's well that ends well."

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  11. Haha! I love this post. :) Sooo many memories of sibling non-harmony. ;D Big kudos to Allison for being up to trying again, and kudos to you for going back to the table with the intention of making it work. I love that of you guys from this story. Love the quilt that you made! Super pretty coloring in the end, and a remarkable 3-D effect!

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  12. Another lovely quilt. Big blocks sure make a statement ; )

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