When Jennifer Fulton, The Inquiring Quilter, said she was going to be doing a Quilt Along with her Stepping Stones pattern back in February, I said COUNT.ME.IN. I had a friend’s birthday coming up and I wanted to make a quilt for her, so the timing couldn’t have been better. (I actually made two quilts during the QAL, but next week I will talk about quilt #2.)
One of my dearest and bestest friends (after Mister, of course), is Ana. She is a wonderful woman I met after moving to Lake Havasu City and I started working at Walmart. She made the job SO FUN (and believe-you-me that is EVERYTHING when you’re working THAT job), and she taught me a lot when I started working in the Money Center and then again at the Customer Service counter. I left Walmart about a year later, and the only thing I missed after leaving was Ana.
Fast forward four years. We kept in touch through Facebook and bumping into each other at church and around town, but one morning while I was lazing about and still in my pajamas I got a phone call from Ana. She wanted to know if I would come work with her and her mom in the Lab at a local dermatologist’s office. Mister and I had some discussion about it, and two hours later I told her yes. To make a long story VERY short, I no longer work at the dermatology office but my time spent working with Ana and her mom were the absolute best of my entire working life. We three were an amazing team and I learned a lot from the two of them.
As far as this quilt goes, Ana LOVES pink. I asked her mom if there were any colors other than pink I could put into a quilt for her and the response went something like, “Pink, pink, pink, and more pink.” I think I covered it with this quilt. I pulled all of the pink solids and prints from my stash and chose the best that worked well together. I had more solids than prints at first, but then raided my Tula stash to help fill out the prints.
It took me about a month to find the right backing for this quilt. I stumbled across a print, Heartfelt Hearts & Words by Peg Conley for Clothworks, on Fabric.com one evening and knew it was the perfect backing for my friend. It has the sweetest quotes all over it. The sentiments describe how I feel about her, so I took my inspiration for the title of this quilt from the fabric and named it “Heartfelt”. I also made a label and had it printed on an 8″ swatch by Spoonflower. I’ve already had devastating results printing my own, so I leave that to the professionals now.
I also found the right binding while shopping for the backing. I love a good stripey binding, and the varying pinks in the Summer Song 2 Stripe in Pink print were perfect! I really think it puts a nice frame around all the pinks in the quilt.
Since I was making two quilts at the same time and running up against a hard date to get the quilt to Ana, I chose to do an all-over swirls design for the quilting. I still have a ways to go on making my swirls pretty, but some turned out spectacularly well and others were “thank goodness my friend loves me so she won’t care” bad. I quilted this on my sit-down quilting machine, the Juki TL-2200 QVP-S. This machine absolutely loves Aurifil 40 weight thread and I had zero thread breaks with this quilt. I LOVE when everything flows smoothly, especially when I’m on a time-crunch!
I gave the quilt to my friend last Friday, a few days before her birthday, and I think she loves it. Happy Birthday, Sassafrass! I luvses you FOREVER! And for those of you who like quilt stats:
69″ x 80.5″
Stepping Stones by Jennifer Fulton
Various fabrics including Kona Cotton solids, Tula PInk, and Art Gallery Fabrics (Top)
Heartfelt Hearts & Words by Peg Conley for Clothworks (Backing)
Summer Song 2 Stripe in Pink by Zoe Pearn for Riley Blake Fabrics (Binding)
Warm & Natural
Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt 2530
Quilted with Aurifil 40 wt 2425
Binding stitched with Aurifil 40 wt 2530
Free-motion all over swirls
May 5, 2016