Monday, May 16, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2011

Amy's Creative Side

I remember last Spring when the Bloggers Quilt Festival rolled around. I was in awe of all of the amazing quilters I discovered and the beautiful quilts that they shared. I so wanted to be a part of the fun, but didn't have much to show at that time. So I waited for the day when I could participate. Then last Fall I felt confident enough to join in the fun and share the quilt I made for Ruthie and Mike. I am very excited to be joining in the fun again. This time I want to share a quilt that many of you have seen in various stages on my blog but I haven't revealed the final product because I was waiting for the right time. Say hello to Marc's Quilt.

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When I started quilting last year one of the first things I did was try to seek out a VQB to join so I could start to work on my block skills and meet other quilters. I was rather impatient and was having trouble finding a bee that had room so I took it upon myself, along with two fellow quilters in a similar predicament, to become a Bee Mama and start the Sewn Together Bee on Flickr. Originally I had a month in the fall, close to when my wedding date was supposed to be but when one of our other members was struggling to get ready for her month I volunteered to trade with her.

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My (now) sweet and adorable husband was constantly complaining that I spent so much time making things for other people and I never made anything for him. That led me to decide to have my fellow quilters in the Sewn Together Bee help me to create something just for him. Now, my husband is very particular when it comes to design so I was sure to let him in on the process. I showed him a couple blocks that I though he might like and he picked the Circle Block over on the Block Party Blog. He also joined me on a run to a LQS to pick out some fabrics. I wanted it to be manly and something he really loved so I let him go crazy. And crazy he did.

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He immediately gravitated to the Moda wood grain fabric and I about died. I didn't know how I could use that as the basis and inspiration for an entire quilt. I have to admit that I thought it was U-G-L-Y. But he loved it - with a capital "L" so I started designing around the wood grain. I started pulling orange, yellow, blue and brown fabrics for the stripes. I wanted to keep the complementing fabrics earthy and masculine. I also pulled some Kona solids to break up the patterns. I sent out my packages to all the Bee participants with plenty of variety. My instructions to them were simple: Have fun with the stripes, I only asked that they run parallel or perpendicular to the wood grain (not at a diagonal). I asked for two 12.5" (unfinished) blocks each if possible. And I gave them a link to the Block Party Tutorial as a reference. In return I got some amazing blocks back.

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Once I had collected all of the blocks I started playing with a layout on my design wall. I had reserved making my own blocks until I had all the others back. I only got one block back that went perpendicular to the grain so I decided to make two more to compliment it and I put those three blocks on the diagonal in the center of the quilt. After that, the quilt came together easily. My husband wanted the wood grain fabric that he loved so much as the quilt back and the binding so one disappeared into the other.

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Since Marc loves clean, modern lines, I kept it simple while quilting. I stitched in the ditch along each seam and I traced each circle as well. This is going to be our beach blanket for all the concerts at the Santa Monica Pier so I also added special feature on the back: a pocket in each corner. The pockets are fastened with Velcro so we can store keys or whatnot in each or we can put a rock on sand in them to help the quilt from flying away if it's windy. I machine basted the pockets down in each corner and then sewed them in when I bound the quilt.

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After working on Marc's Quilt for almost a year I have actually fallen in love with it, and not just because I was making it for someone I love. I have embraced the retro 70's look of the wood grain fabric. I love the blues, browns, oranges and yellows in the stripes. This quilt is one-of-a-kind and I think it's fun and whimsical in a very masculine way. And I love circles! Always have. Always will. It's also the largest quilt I have quilted to date. I no longer think this quilt is U-G-L-Y... I think it's awesome. And my husband thinks it's awesome and that's all that matters.

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Thanks to Amy for hosting the 2011 Spring Bloggers Quilt Festival. Thank you to my readers who offered their support and insight while I was making this quilt. Thank you to my husband who had the creative vision to inspire this quilt. But most of all thank you to every one of my fellow stitchers in the Sewn Together Bee who helped me make this quilt; April, Sorrel, Mandy, Anna, Flaun, Amy, Kim, Rick, Paula, Mary & Kristan - I love sewing with you all!

51 comments:

  1. How wonderful! This is a gorgeous and unusual quilt, and I am so happy to shared this story with the rest of us, Hollie! You and Marc obviously make a great team!
    Greeting from Valentina in Cyprus

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  2. Hi Hollie, your quilt is so unusual. I love the way the colours blend together. For a masculine quilt it is very pretty :)

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  3. Cool! I love the circle blocks.

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  4. It's a fabulous quilt. I LOVE the wood grain fabric! It looks awesome with the crazy circles. :) And what a superb idea to put the corner pockets. I've got to make us a beach quilt with those pockets!

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  5. What a fabulous quilt! I LOVE the wood grain fabric. Looks great with the crazy circles! And what a superb idea to put the corner pockets in. I've got to make us a beach quilt with those pockets.

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  6. I hope you love the wood grain fabric now that you've seen it put together with your other fabulous colors. Great idea about the pockets. Have many happy memories with it!

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  7. I love this quilt and the wood-grain backing!!! How sweet of you to make something for your husband. I may have to borrow a few ideas from this one if that's okay. ;)

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  8. Hollie, This is great! It's always more of a challenge to come up with a guy quilt and you certainly succeeded. I like those pockets, great idea!

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  9. Love the woodgrain fabric and the colour combo is perfect!

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  10. I love your quilt, and your corner pockets, and your story!

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  11. It's wonderful, Hollie! Your husband chose his fabrics well and you did an amazing job with the quilt!!

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  12. I love it. I love the story behind it, especially. What a special blanket for you and your hubby! And the idea of the corner pockets is brilliant! Will have to give that a try :-)

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  13. This is so cool, Hollie! Love the brown wood fabric and circles!

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  14. love this. I just started a circle quilt. I hope you'll follow me to see how it progresses.

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  15. I just love those circle blocks!!! And the fabric :) It's just amazing!!! You did a great job for your hubby!!!xo

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  16. I agree with you and think your quilt is gorgeous! I love the circles and the wood fabric.

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  17. I'm a circle fan too. I've got a tutorial on my blog for making circles.
    What a lovely manly man quilt!

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  18. What a unique quilt. I love the fact that so much thought went into the entire process!

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  19. Love your quilt (I have a thing for circles), the colours and the story behind. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Love this quilt. Love the idea of pockets!

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  21. That is a great husband quilt. You did a great job. Circles are not easy.

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  22. love this man quilt! awesome! linked back to you on my most recent post :)

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  23. Love the design of this quilt, and the pockets? Genius! I'm going to have to try that!

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  24. This is gorgeous. very nice fabric choices.

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  25. Beautiful quilt and I LOVE the backing fabric, it is awesome!

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  26. The woodgrain fabric is so wonderful. I think I need to search some out and make a quilt for my huband who works with wood. Love the quilt.

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  27. I would've thought the wood grain was awful, too, but put it all together...and I love it. The colors are great and I like the circles a lot.

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  28. Awesome quilt Hollie! LOL at the wood grain comment!!!!

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  29. Very cool quilt and I love the pocket idea!

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  30. What a great quilt, especially for a man. I love the circles. Circles are not easy and you did a great job with them. Well done!

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  31. Marc's Quilt is such a great example of a manly quilt... sometimes it can be really hard to craft for men in a way that they'll love. You've obviously figured it out :)

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  32. I am so in love with this quilt - your hubby has a great eye! I love the retro/modern feel to it, the colors are just wonderful and those pockets are brilliant - what a gorgeous quilt!

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  33. Wow, this is a great quilt! I really like the unexpectedness of the 3 circles that have the horizontal lines, in direct opposition to the other 22. Nicely done!

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  34. This quilt is AWESOME!! I really love the colors - they are perfect for a man's quilt. My favorite part is the corner pockets. I have never seen that before, and I think it is ingenious! Thanks for sharing. It is really nice!!!!

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  35. Sweet story, and quite an eye catching quilt. Funny how much husband's love the quilts we make just for them. Mine has a bit of a soft spot over his, not that he'd ever admit it...

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  36. I too love the colors of this quilt. Wonderful story, too!

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  37. Great quilt - love the colors! Wonderful story too.

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  38. What a COOL quilt! I love the circles, colors, and the pocket option is FAB! Thanks for sharing! It's a GREAT quilt!

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  39. Fantastic use of that woodgrain fabric! And I love the stripey circles!

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  40. This is very very nice! Thank you for the nice comment on my blogpost for the festival. When I was in my 20's I lived in LA. I thought Venice was the coolest place ever. Then crime set in there...I wonder if it came back to being cool again. Nice to see your great blog!

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  41. It is a great quilt! I love how when we push ourselves to work with something we don't like, or that is out of our normal comfort zone, we so very often end up liking it! I can definitely see how this quilt could fall into that area. Enjoy using this quilt for a long time!

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  42. Great quilt! I finally got around to making a quilt for my hubby last year but he had to wait a lot longer than yours! I love the pocket idea.

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  43. Beautiful projects and photos on your blog. Your talent shows!

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  44. What a neat quilt, with an even neater background story! Great job!

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  45. It's totally wonderful, I love any circular designs and this one has a great story too.

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  46. I think this is fantastic! Like you I would never have been drawn to the woodgrain fabric but it realy works with the colours in the circles. Looks great! :)

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  47. This is a great way to collect such a good variation in blocks. They have come together well. Your quilt looks great!

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  48. I love that you use the word "retro" when describing this quilt. I've been struggling with what exactly the word means but now I see it. So interesting how you worked with your hubby's choice to make such a fabulous quilt. I would have found that fabric ugly too, handed it without other complements. Great quilt!

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  49. Hi
    thank you so much for your nice comment.
    I think I'll send it to Japan tomorrow. Hopefully it will arrive
    soon & certainly ;o)
    Hugs
    Manuela

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  50. This is such a nice man quilt. Well done. I really like the idea of the 'pockets' on the back. I may have to borrow that idea for a picnic quilt I'm working on.

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