Monday, June 11, 2012

Primary Days

Where does the time go?  Well, when you're swamped with 3 bouts of the stomach bug, a severe head cold, a special girl turning 8 and having her 8 of her friends spend the night, softball practices and games, the end of school and life in general--time flies right out the door to some deserted island somewhere where you have all of the time in the world!  ;)

So, we've been busy.  Such is life.  Emma caught a nasty stomach bug twice in 2 weeks which is so rampant around here right now that like a quarter of the elementary school missed most/all of the last week of school with it.  Em missed 3 of the 5 days and my baby girl HATES to miss school.  BUT, she was healthy for her birthday and she's better now, so we're all good.  And Oren had it in between Emma's rounds of it.  All the while I had a head cold that left me voiceless and tired.  Lucky Chris is the only one who managed to stay healthy.

BUT, I managed to get my primary quilt done and delivered to Oren's teacher and she loved it.  Wanna see it?

As a quick reminder (I posted about this quilt previously), I have a close relationship with Oren's kindergarten teacher as she was my mentor teacher years ago when I started teaching.  God brought us back together this year and Oren has had the best kindergarten experience I could ask for.  So, I wanted to give her a special gift.  I asked my Nubees girls to make blocks for me in red, blue and yellow and I sashed them up in a medium gray to neutralize all of the different versions of those colors.

Here are 12 of the 15 blocks I received from my Nubees buddies...forgive the inside pic, it rained for 3 days straight!  ;)

Then I just improv pieced the back in strips of said colors and put them together with the leftover 3 blocks I had.  I LOVE the back!  I mean, LOVE it.  I've never done much of this style of piecing because I've always been less that impressed with my results.  But, using these bigger chunks of fabric to fill the space...I am thrilled with the result.  Plus, I used fabrics that tie the front and back together along with special fabrics to me.  There are vintage fabrics from my Grandma in there as well as old favorites from around here.

When it came to quilting I ran into some issues...I THOUGHT I made the back to match the front, but as I started straight-line quilting around the blocks, I saw that they were not lining up.  So, I back tracked--yep, I ripped out 4 rows of stitching, took the whole thing apart and re-basted that baby.  And you know what, the same thing happened again.  So, I ran with it.  Sometimes perfection is found in finishing a gift and giving it that the person might feel loved more than every seam matching up, you know.  I used a matching gray thread to straight-line quilt a quarter-inch from each block both horizontally and vertically.  Then I just went crazy stitching one presser foot-width away in red, yellow and blue threads through the gray sashing.  And yes, there were places were the fabrics moved and bunched because of the hasty second basting.  I decided to just go with it and hope that washing and drying it would hide some of them.

These are the 3 blocks on the back in the middle of all of that improv piecing.

I will admit that while working I had serious doubt that this quilting would look okay.  There was quite a bit of puckering in certain places and I wasn't sure about the colored threads.  But, I decided that in modern art more is often better, so I wouldn't judge until I had ALL of the space filled in and then give it a critical eye.

I love how the color matched up in the intersections!

And by the time I was finished (only a couple of hours with breaks to deal with the sick one--straight-line quilting is awesome!) I decided that I really liked the colored quilting.  I went ahead and bound it in the gray because I already had strips cut and in my goal of staying more organized I'd already put my colored pieces away (yay for me!) and threw this baby in the washer and dryer.

All in all, I am happy with the results.  I, of course, wish that this quilt was pucker-free and that the backing had lined up like I planned.  But...I took chances, went with what life threw at me, and managed to make one of my favorite teachers cry tears of joy when she opened it.  I'd call that a success.

I'm linking this baby up with Megan for Sew Modern Monday and with Jennifer's awesome Summer Sewing Contest.

Ellison Lane Quilts


  1. This looks so great! I LOVE the quilting on this, I've been wanting to try some straight line quilting like this for a while now. Very nice work! :)

  2. What a great gift! Glad everyone is feeling better.

  3. The quilt is gorgeous! The colours are so bright and summery. Such an awesome gift =D

  4. I love all the straight line quilting in different colors! I'm following along now... : )

  5. Kelli, it turned out fabulous!! I love the colored quilting so much! I'm not a bit surprised she cried when you gave it to her. Hopefully everyone is all healed up at your house by now. We've been battling some crazy colds over here, but the stomach bug is so much nastier! And how crazy was the sleepover?


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