In honor of National Quilting Month, I'm FINALLY sharing a project that I started in the fall of 2016. Not long after we moved to South Carolina, the girls moved from cribs to big kid beds (which is a whole other blog post that you should definitely check out if you haven't already!). In my family there is a long history of quilt making and gifting - each of the 8 grandchildren have a quilt made by my grandmother, and both my sister and I have a quilt made by my mother, so to help myself with the transition of my babies becoming big kids, I decided to make the each of the girls their own quilt from me. Husband and I spent quite a bit of time picking out the perfect quilt and finally settled on Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest.
Fabric is important to me - I really enjoy the process of picking the perfect fabric for each quilt/project, so I decided that rather than use the fabrics recommended in the pattern, I would pick my own fabrics for the quilts. I used a lot of Cotton + Steel, Cloud 9, and Kona cottons - 99% of which came from Fabric.com. These weren't my first quilts...buuuuut at that point I could still count the number I'd completed on one hand ;) Ignorance, as they say, is bliss, and I was super psyched to get cracking at it. Needless to say, this project was much more involved then I realized it would be when I started it - figuring out the fabrics alone, much less keeping them in order, cutting, and sorting them - for two full twin size quilts - was MUCH more work than I realized it would be.
I learned a lot about the importance of being precise with your seams, not pressing too aggressively, and most of all reading the directions first... J was on TDY (temporary duty assignment) a lot over that next year so when he was traveling, I would use my nights to work on the various blocks. It was a lot of chain piecing, a lot of ironing, and a lot of ripping too :)
I was very lucky because once I finished all the blocks and couldn't possibly imagine sewing them together into the final quilt top, my mom stepped in and did a tremendous amount of work squaring my blocks up so that they would connect nicely to the strips and result in an accurately sized quilt. She's very gracious about it, but it was definitely the worst part of the whole project. She also used a local long arm quilter who did an absolutely beautiful job quilting an overall design, so I was very thankful for that as well. All in all, I did really enjoy the process - all 12 months of it! I learned a ton and I was really pleased with the outcome. The girls love the quilts too, which is pretty much all I wanted anyway :)
I used the same fabrics for both quilts, but the backing and bindings are reversed but corresponding for each quilt so they are just slightly different.
Below are some pics of how it came together and some close ups of my favorite blocks (where you'll see all the work that my mom put into squaring them for me!).