Some of you may remember back in October 2011 that my sister, Paula, came out to visit me in California. During that visit, we put together two lap sized quilts – one for me, and one for her. These quilts were made up of blocks we had both made over the course of a year. This idea was born during the weeks I spent in New Hampshire following my sister’s surgery for colon cancer.
We were inspired to make a collaborative quilt (actually TWO quilts) using the book by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran called Collaborative Quilting: Talking it Over. We established some “rules” for our block construction: they had to be a size divisible by three (to make construction of the final quilts easier), we had to use bright colors, and the blocks needed to be liberated trees, stars, and houses (or a combination of those images).
During the year we spent making blocks, we did not share what we were doing…which made it REALLY fun when we got together and started putting everything together. As much as we were alike, we discovered we were also different. I saw houses and trees differently than how Paula saw houses and trees. Our choice of fabric varied wildly. We also found that in putting together our quilts, we had a different vision of how blocks went together. The result was two very individual quilts even though they used blocks made by each of us. This week I finally finished the quilting of my quilt (Paula is still working on hers). All photos below are clickable for a larger image.
The finished size of this lap quilt is a generous 53″ X 67″. Much of the quilt is constructed with scraps. The blocks are all different sizes…so in putting them together, Paula and I had to create “filler blocks” which included rectangles of fabric as well as some pinwheel type blocks. If you look carefully, you can see that there is a letter “P’ and a letter “W” in the quilt…which is, of course, our initials!
The back of this quilt is pieced. Both Paula and I made letter blocks to spell out sisters on our quilt backs. We also made a large star block (I made Paula’s and she made mine) for the back.
The label is hand embroidered and “framed” using some colorful ribbon.
Here are some more photos of the quilt draped:
I quilted this quilt by doing a very free-form outlining of the houses and trees, and using a meandering stipple over the rest of the quilt (except for the borders which I straight line quilted). I am still working on my free motion quilting skills, so the quilting is not perfect – but I liked how it mimicked the folk artsy feel of the quilt.
I used a variety of fabrics for the border, including a Kaffe Fassett orange stripe and a Kaffe Fassett flower print. I bound the quilt with a Kaffe Fassett purple stripe.
In the end, I have a fun, happy, very bright quilt which I treasure because my sister and I made it together. This was a fantastic experience. I promise to post photos of Paula’s quilt when she finishes it. Until then, here is a shot of it in progress last October:
We are already planning our next collaborative effort!