Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July Giveaway Month: Week 5

I can't believe it's the end of July already. And this is the last week of July giveaways!

But before I get to the winners I just want to tell you that I really enjoyed reading your comments from last week. I loved your stories about your family treasures. It's amazing how these things can be filled with so much meaning, that they can contain so many memories. Thank you so much for sharing them with me.

And now, the winners of last week's giveaway (drawn by a sleepy Ian) are as follows:

The apron goes to: Christine

and the table runner goes to: AdronsCatherine

Congratulations to you both! Emails are on their way.

So, I suppose you want to know what the final giveaway prize is, right? Well, here it is:

July 2009 quilt

Yes, it's a quilt! I wanted to make a quilt for this giveaway but gave up the idea because, knowing me, I'd never finish one in time. But then, I got obsessed while avoiding working on another project and ta-da! A quilt for you!

I know it's the middle of summer (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but quilts are fun all year round (picnics anyone?) and I really hope you like it. It was my first truly improvisational quilt. It's still very organized but I just made it up as I went along. It started with these bitty triangles:

July 2009 quilt

They're leftover from the ends of binding strips. They were all the same size and in colors that happened to work well together. I sat looking at them (avoiding my project) and thought: "I just can't stand it anymore, something needs to be done with those triangles." Once they were sewn together, I couldn't rest until I added the white and then I felt like adding matching fabric around that. Most of those strips were leftover from binding strips...which was nice because they were already all the same width (2.75"). This meant I didn't need to spend much time cutting fabric and the improv aspect hurried things along as well. It all fell together much faster than I expected.

July 2009 quilt

Fresh out of the dryer, the quilt measures approximately 47"x62". It's smaller than I hoped it would be but I was running low on fabric and I was sort of getting tired of making the blocks. I figured done was better than big. It's still big enough to curl up in, though.

And then when I was looking around for a backing fabric, I found this flannel print on etsy:

July 2009 quilt

It's Fleurish by Valori Wells and it's the softest flannel I've ever felt. The whole thing is bound with Sandi Henderson's Blossom Buds which I had just ordered days before starting the quilt which is the only reason I had enough for the binding. It sort of felt like this quilt was meant to be. And now maybe it's meant to be yours!

Comment below and I'll announce the winner next Wednesday. Just promise me you won't look too closely at my quilting, ok? I tried really hard to keep my stitches even but they're still far from perfect.

Also, if you feel like answering: do you like to quilt? I read many of your blogs and I know that some of you quilt and if you do, what's your favorite step in the quilting process? What keeps you going through the parts you find boring? If you don't quilt, why not? Ok, just kidding...if you don't quilt, do you like to sew? And if so, what do you like to sew?

My favorite parts of the process are: designing the quilt, picking out fabric and cutting the fabric. I also really like hand sewing the binding. The steps in the middle are sometimes sort of boring and usually time consuming which means I don't actually finish many of the quilts I start. Unfortunately, usually what keeps me going is taking a really long break somewhere in the middle (um...bento box) and then thinking "Hey, I could finish this in a few days if I tried" and then I get a second wind and finish! Also, the ability to do free motion quilting on my machine helps get me excited for the actual quilting part.

Also, I really enjoyed making this quilt (start to finish) so I think the key is more improvisational quilting. It was really freeing and I had so much fun designing as I went along.

Anyway, good luck to everyone and please don't feel shy about entering.