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While working on the quilt for my brother, I took photos of the process to share.  However, I feel like I should tell you that I don’t really consider myself a quilter.  I love quilts and I admire those who create them, but making these pretty blankets requires precision and accuracy that brings out the perfectionist in me and I quickly unravel.  So I refuse to let myself go there.  I get it as close as I can and keep moving.  If you are a quilter, this post may drive you nuts.  My points and lines aren’t spot on and much of what I did, I made up as I went along.  This is not a “how-to”, just a bit more of the story.

For Mike’s quilt, I had no real design plan.  I knew I wanted to alternate a square of old fabric with a square of new fabric, but beyond that, I was still really unsure when I began. So once I had decided on the particular MODA fabric I was going to use, I picked up a fat quarter of each and started with that.

I then took a deep breath and cut up my brothers quilt.  There’s nothing so scary as cutting up another person’s dearly held possession.

Each set of squares needed to be evened up to begin with.  Many of the original pieces did not line up well and I was hoping to have a good base to start from.  I was able to cut 5″ squares from both the old and new fabrics to work with.

Once I had all the squares ready to go, I started playing around with them… laying them out in different configurations until I got a pattern that I really liked.

Then it was time to put it all together before part of it got knocked off the table forcing me to start over.  You know… weirder things have happened.

I carefully machine stitched the squares into long rows.

Once those were done, I pretended they were straight and stitched them together into one large quilt top.

To anchor the busyness of the squares, I decided to frame it all in with a border of the dark blue fabric that I pulled off the back of the old quilt.

And then it was just a matter of finishing it off with a larger border and backing in the MODA fabrics.  This required another trip to the quilt shop for more fabric since the fat quarters were all used up with the quilt top.

Once it was all together, I machine quilted along the same seam lines as the old quilt squares.  The result is that the new squares were broken up into quarters similar to the old set.  I think this helped everything blend together nicely.

The only thing that would’ve made me happier with the final outcome is if I could have delivered it to Mike in person.  But let’s face it… that’s just as much about getting to see my goofy brother as it is about returning this blanket with it’s crazy long history.

In the height of this busy season, have you taken on any new sewing projects?  Do you plan out every design or do you like to see how inspiration hits you?  What projects do you know really stretch your creative or technical limitations?