Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Drunk Love Quilt for Kayla

If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! I'm super excited to participate in Bloggers' Quilt Festival, the spring edition, hosted by Amy's Creative Side today. If you've never participated before, you simply must visit the Festival. It's a veritable treasure trove of quilty inspiration! The quilts range from monochromatic to bursting with color, from traditional to modern to art quilts, from beginners to experts, and it's a ton of fun to participate in.

MHC Drunk Love quilt - finished

I'm featuring my first charity quilt today for Bloggers' Quilt Festival. Last year, when I first began quilting and reading quilty blogs, I saw lots of mentions of Margaret's Hope Chest, and after a while, I finally followed some links to read more about the charity. They have given over 1,000 quilts away to needy children and families and accept unquilted quilt tops, quilt blocks, and completed quilts. Their Wrapped in Hope program appealed to me most, a program where quilters can sign up to make a birthday quilt for a child with a parent in prison. I picked Kayla, who would be turning 18 in April. The fact that she was turning 18 was what drew me to her - I thought to myself, here is a young woman beginning her journey into adulthood, without her father present in her life. I wanted to make something for her that would not only warm her on a cold night, but that would maybe fill her home with hope and love.

MHC Fabric Stack

I started with the information provided by her mother, that Kayla loved the color pink and ballet. After failing to find a single ballet-centered fabric that felt like it was for a child over the age of 8, I decided to stick with the color pink. I added a few other colors, lime and aqua, to give the quilt a bit more depth, and began hunting for a pattern. One day, while cleaning house and organizing my stacks and stacks of magazines, I came upon my seriously large stack of Martha Stewart Living magazines and remembered a quilt I saw in Martha Stewart Living a million years ago - a feature on Denyse Schmidt that showed off a one of her amazing quilts, Drunk Love in a Log Cabin. I remember thinking that quilting might just be kind of cool after seeing that quilt. I had Denyse's awesome book on my shelf, with has a variation on that pattern in it, but I decided to just wing it.

MHC Block #1

I cut the fabric into strips of various sizes, and went to town putting the blocks together. I was working at the same time on my Single Girl quilt, and the freedom of randomly piecing these blocks together after the tediousness of the Single Girl pattern was a much needed release.

MHC quilt blocks - done!

I wasn't sure at first how I wanted to put the blocks together - if I wanted to sash them to break them up a bit, or if I wanted to just put them all together. I put the blocks up on my design wall with some space between them to simulate sashing, and I just wasn't happy with it, so I skipped the sashing.

Close-up of finished MHC quilt top

For the quilting, I stuck with my old stand-by, a meandering stipple, in white thread. I like how it looks with this quilt, how it doesn't distract from the overall design of the blocks, but a small part of me wishes I had tried to outline quilt all of the blocks. Maybe next time I make a quilt like this, I'll give it a try.

Drunk love - another quilting close-up

Quilt Stats:
Size: 60" x 75"
Fabrics: Park Slope by Erin McMorris, June Bug by Alexander Henry, Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, Wild Garden by Dan Bennett, Flora & Fauna by Patty Young, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, Weekends by Erin McMorris, and Kona Peony for binding
Quilting: All-over meandering stipple in white thread

Margaret's Hope Chest's Wrapped in Love program is all filled up for 2011, but if you want to get involved, they do accept unfinished quilt tops, quilt blocks, and fabric donations as well as finished quilts. For more information on MHC, visit their blog or website.

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

MHC Drunk Love quilt flimsy finish

Thank you guys for all the awesome encouragement you shared on this quilt, it was so amazing to hear what you all had to say.  I'm so glad I kept going with this quilt because I am just in love with how it turned out.

This is going to be a hard one to give away, but I'm really excited to ship it off to Kayla.  After I quilt and bind it, that is.  The quilt top is totally finished, and I have all of the fabric for the backing and the binding.  I think that I'll be spending my first official FNSI quilting this quilt.  I am totally undecided on how I'm going to quilt this one, though, and I'm open to suggestion!

I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself making another drunk love quilt someday for my house - my husband  gave this quilt a pretty high compliment..."It would be really awesome if it weren't for all of the pink."  This quilt was really fun to put together, I loved the freedom of putting the pieces together in such a random and completely different kind of way.  I wasn't sure if my usually organized, rule-following self could enjoy a whole quilt like this, but I really did.  It was a perfect relief from my Single Girl quilt (which happens to be moving moving along again, btw).

I'm sharing this quilt top over at Sew Modern Monday hosted at Canoe Ridge Creations.  Hop on over to see some other modern fabric finishes and have an awesome day!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

You've just got to love a block with the word "drunk" in the title

Part of me wonders if the improv nature of these drunk love blocks would be easier for me if I were drunk...

The more I work on my hope chest quilt for Kayla, the more it feels like I'm not improv-ing enough.  I'm about 20 blocks into this quilt now, it's overtaking my design wall, and while I do definitely love it, I worry that it's too modern for someone I don't even know.  I'm trying not to be too wonky, for fear that someone outside of our little quilting world wouldn't necessarily understand that - I know my mother, for instance, doesn't get the whole wonky thing, she thinks it makes things look a bit shoddy and poorly made.  I disagree, but then again, I disagree with my mother about a lot of things.  ;)

Anyway, so this quilt is moving right along, which makes me happy.  I'm hoping to wrap the blocks up soon so I can get back to wrapping up the blocks for my Single Girl quilt.  I'm feeling pretty recharged and ready to climb that last mountain of curves for those blocks, before it becomes a total UFO.

Sidebar...have you ever been hesitant to cut into the last pieces of fabric for a quilt?  I always like to have extra fabric lying about for a quilt, and with this quilt,I'm using a couple of fabrics I've been hoarding for a while...namely one of my favorite prints from Erin McMorris's Park Slope.  That dark pink swirly print is the one I'm talking about.  I cut up the last of it this morning for this quilt, and it was awfully sad.  It took all I had in me to not hop online and order another half-yard of it from some place.  Are you like that,too, when you use up your favorite fabrics?  Do you rush out to replace them in your stash?

Have an awesome Friday everyone!  And don't forget, Friday Night Sew In is coming up on 3/18, the day before National Quilting Day, and I'm going to participate (officially) for the first time.  Come join in the fun, feed the family and then sew the night away!