I always knew that one day I’d get into quilting. I didn’t know how it would happen. Because truthfully, the idea of cutting fabric into little pieces and then sewing them back together into crazier formations sounded…too tedious? or unnecessary? to my design brain.
And then quarantine happened.
And we started sewing masks, and masks, and more masks.
And in a weird way, I really enjoyed the monotony and simplicity of sewing hundreds of masks. I liked knowing that whenever I had a few minutes (in between homeschooling and kid life), I could pop into the studio and make a mask or two. I could pick up right where I left off without having to overthink it or remember where I was. And for someone who thrives on feeling productive, this was the perfect kind of pick-me-up.
DUDE. If productivity was a love-language, I’d check that box.
Of course all projects need at break. And after a lot of mask making, I took advice from my friend Amy — who said she was balancing time between service sewing and sanity sewing. I definitely needed some sanity sewing. So I decided to make a quilt!
I spotted this really fun star quilt that my friend Christina was making and her photos just drew me in. Ooooo. That. Is. So. Pretty.
And that was it. A shift happened in me.
Suddenly all I wanted to do was cut fabric and make a quilt!
I wanted to make quilt stars!
And I wanted to make them right now, like the scene from When Harry Met Sally:
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
I don’t know if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this quilt….maybe I did? But I wanted the quilting life to start now! Geez guys. Didn’t know I could feel so passionately about quilting. Haah.
So I grabbed the OFFSET STAR QUILT PATTERN (which is FREE!) from Meghan of Then Came June. And you know what’s really funny….during quarantine, Meghan (who is a hard core quilter) took up garment sewing! It was like a Freaky Friday pandemic switch when I saw that she made a shirt, while I was sewing her quilt pattern. I love what this time has done to us.
And I had the perfect Fabric to use!
This is my new fabric collection with FIGO FABRICS. Sorry I’ve shared more about it on Instagram than here on the blog. It’s a retro, throw-back collection with butterscotch yellow and 70s vibes, inspired by my grandma’s house growing up. You can see all the designs on the FIGO site. And you can purchase them online and in local quilt shops. Just do an search for “Dana Willard Butterscotch” and you’ll see different shops pop up.
Here are some shops that carry Butterscotch:
Hawthorne Supply Co
So I started quilting! And piecing things together. I learned to make Flying Geese, the anatomy of a STAR, how to line up and nest seams together.
I discovered that never-ending puzzle of arranging the quilt blocks and realizing that one block just isn’t fitting quite right.
I developed (very small bits) of patience when my iron broke, and I waited for another one to arrive so I could finish my quilt top….and patience again when I decided to take photos in a low-light office building because the wood paneling on the walls was so perfect. But you know, low light = potentially blurry pics. Make it work moments!
And I learned which steps of the quilting process I love most. Clara took this pic of me the day I started cutting out fabric and I’m laughing at the pic after it (when I’m binding the quilt) because I’m wearing the same shirt! Haha. That’s quarantine for you.
I would say that this moment is my favorite—hand sewing the binding in place. I love that peaceful feeling of sitting with a project, no machines attached…especially if I can sit outside. This is my favorite time of day in the evening, sitting by the pool while Casey wrestles in the water with the kids and I can watch from the sidelines. This moment makes me want to sew another quilt!
Here you go! The finished quilt!
Oh my gosh, I love this quilt so much. There are flaws and puckers here or there, which gives it personality, right? That’s what I love about a handmade item.
For the quilting on top, I planned to do a diamond grid but once I’d sewn lines in one direction, I loved how it looked with the stars. Almost like they were moving—shooting stars? So I left it at that.
And let’s not forget about the backing. The mid-century chair print from BUTTERSCOTCH! Large scale prints are perfect for the back of a quilt. It’s like two quilts in one. I’m not sure which side I like better??
And then comes a bitter-sweet ending to the quilt story. A few weeks after taking these photos, and sharing the My Heart is Heavy post, I decided to participate in a fundraiser to support Black Lives. I wanted to give something to the cause that was meaningful and personal. I scanned my closet for things I’d made in the past. And then I walked into our front room where I’d placed this star quilt on our couch (it matches our living room so well) and knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to donate my quilt.
I admit, it was hard to give this sweet quilt away! Especially since it represents so much emotion from the quarantine months. And yet that’s why I wanted to share it with someone else. I’m happy to look at these photos and remember this moment in time.
And I guess this just means it’s time to make another quilt! Yay!