Saturday, December 22, 2012


Today my mom celebrates a milestone birthday, and my sister and I collaborated on a quilt for the occasion.  Since Mom reads our blogs we posted most of our pictures along the way on Instagram with the hashtag "giftformom".  Our Mom has always been so supportive and encouraging of whatever we do, but when it comes to quilting, she is our number one fan!  As such, Michelle and I thought she would get a kick out of a quilt the two of us made together.  Happy Birthday Mom!!!!

ready for wrapping
I did post pictures of the great granny squares as I was making them, but it's not unusual (it's practically the norm) for me to work on multiple projects at a time with no projected end date or purpose in sight.  I wasn't worried about giving anything away at that point.

test block and OMQG block of the month
If memory serves me correctly (which in my case is a huge "if"), the collaborative quilt idea was born this summer at the Gruber's retreat.  During the weekend in between sewing, shopping, chatting, eating, etc. the topic was discussed and advice solicited.  Michelle and I blame credit Doris with the granny square block idea.

Mixing it up with some non-Serenade prints
Once home I found Lori's tutorial for the great granny square block.  This block was ideal for several reasons:  Mom recently became a great granny, and more importantly the block used precuts, and each block is 12" so it served double duty for a guild block of the month when it was my month to choose ;-)

My first three blocks
After more than a few phone calls, the decision was made to use Kate Spain Serenade and Kona White for the blocks.  A few more phone calls between Michelle and I and decisions were made on number of blocks, sashing, division of labor and deadlines.  Keep in mind the recipient and quilt makers live in three different states!

My ten blocks
My sister and I talk quite a bit on the phone and never lack for something to talk about.  However, for the last five months or so, I wondered what we ever talked about before making this quilt because that is ALL we discussed!  Neither one of us wanted to disappoint the other (Mom would love it no matter what) so we really took our time in cutting, piecing and assembling our blocks.  For this reason alone, making this quilt was a good experience for me.  I learned so much (wow, pinning really does help!) and my quarter inch seam never looked so good!

Basted in Florida
Michelle mailed me her ten blocks already sashed and assembled in five rows and two columns.  The plan was for me to add my five rows and two columns side by side next to hers.  However,  even though we had played around and debated the layout, I didn't like the arrangement.  Luckily for me procrastination can sometimes be an advantage I had not sashed my blocks yet.  After tweaking the layout again, I sashed my blocks, joined a column of five blocks to either side of Michelle's section, added sashing, borders, and voila the quilt top was finished!

Quilted in Georgia
Next up:  determine the backing and binding fabric, thread color and quilt design.  With a huge sense of relief to me, Michelle agreed to do the quilting.  In exchange, I pieced the quilt back, basted the quilt sandwich, mailed the quilt to Michelle and promised to do the binding and label.  So once, again the quilt was headed to Georgia.  Tag, you're it!

The handoff
Needless to say, my Thanksgiving wasn't as stressful as Michelle's.  Let me tell you, though, that girl can crank out the quilting ;-)  She is a perfectionist as well, so I had no doubt that she would quilt it beautifully.

Great Granny Square quilt
After Thanksgiving I picked up the quilted top from Michelle in Georgia and brought it home to Florida to bind and label.  I followed Amanda's suggestion of attaching the binding and THEN trimming the batting.  Great idea!  It was so much easier.  What a good feeling to finally put the finished quilt in the mail to Mom in Mississippi!

Michelle's beautiful stippling
Before shipping it off, I did a quick photo shoot.  Of course the day was dreary, and I didn't have any assistants, but I got a few decent shots.  It would have been comical if anyone had seen me as I pushed the self-timer button, ran across the pool deck with the quilt, all while hoping not to fall in the pool (see The Walking Quilted photo)!

Completed in Florida
The quilt arrived safely, and as expected, Mom loves it!!!  Now that she is quilting, the discussion of her quilt and our process has taken on a life of its own new meaning ;-)  I was promised a picture of the birthday girl with her quilt and will share that when I receive it.

Quilt safely arrived in Mississippi
Michelle and I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt for our mom.  In spite of the worrying (which is what we do), we had such a good time planning, discussing, scheming, stewing and chatting about the quilt and envisioning how excited our Mom would be when she opened her quilt gift.  I just wish all three of us could be together today!

I am sure I have left out bits of information (like the fact that our mom made her first quilt while we were making one for her), but hopefully Michelle will remember what I forgot.  Head over and read her blog post about the Great Granny Square quilt!

The Walking Quilted
Quilt Stats:  finished size 58"x72"; pattern used: great granny square blocks; pieced by me and Michelle; quilted by Michelle; fabric used Kate Spain Serenade and Kona White for the top, Rock n Romance by Pat Bravo (Rebel Cheri Whispers) for the backing, Kate Spain Fandango for the binding.

Happy birthday Mom!  We love you!

To everyone else, thanks for letting me share the process of this quilt.  If you've made it this far, I commend you.  Linking up with Amanda's finish it Friday.  Safe travels and happy holidays to everyone,


  1. How much fun was this???? I am going to miss our hashtags...#giftformom, #greatgrannysquare, #underpressure (my favorite...haha) and #wedidgood. I think we did a great job keeping this one under wraps ;-)))))

  2. What a beauty! You gals did a great job!

  3. What a beautiful quilt! A wonderful together project!

  4. Your quilt is beautiful! I can imagine that your mom is thrilled!

  5. What an awesome labor of love! I know she is cherishing it to pieces! Beautiful story about a lovely quilt from two amazing women!

  6. Beautiful quilt. I truly enjoyed reading it's story.

  7. Great gift ladies. I too will miss your hash tag!!

  8. What a wonderful journey and such a special gift for mum. Love the quilt, you both sis fntastic job.

  9. What a fun story and wonderful gift!
    Happy holidays to you, René!

  10. Your Mom is going to love this quilt. What a treasure and it is just exquisite. I hope you and ALL of your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  11. What a gorgeous quilt and such a special story of how it was made, thanks for sharing, have a fantastic Christmas!

  12. Awesome! And, seriously, your Mom started quilting too?!? A little jealous.

  13. How wonderful that you and your sister talk on the phone so often, and that you share a love of quilting too! The quilt is fabulous, but even better, it's wonderful how you made it a joint project for your mother. It's a great story and a beautiful testament of the love you share. Count your blessings. You have something special that some of us do not. Well done!

  14. This is so wonderful and extra special because you two shared the project… Love it!

    Have a very merry Christmas!

  15. It's a beautiful finish!!!! Congrats on you and Michelle on such a great quilt/gift for your mom. It's really fantastic! Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!

    Thanks for linking up to finish it up Friday!

  16. What a GREAT gift to your mother! You both did a wonderful job on it.

  17. I saw Michelle's post about this. I totally love that you guys did this for her, and I think it is so neat how it traveled back and forth. I bet your mom loved it!