Sometimes you need to make a quilt as a gift and you need to make it quickly. If it's a "Group Project", you need a block everyone can be successful with--no Mariner's Compasses or Feathered Stars.
Recently, the Sunday Sew and Sews (a group of quilters who meet monthly) decided to make a quilt for one of our members who is dealing with cancer treatment. In just a few minutes of brainstorming, a plan was hatched and here is the result:
Tiny Star Block Tutorial. With the instructions already available to everyone on that blog, it was decided all 12 of us would make 6 blocks, using blue and white--turns out, blue is our friend's favorite color.
When I worked on the layout, I determined there should be 80 blocks so I made extras. Then a few others made extras and the quilt was 10 rows of 9 blocks, each block finishing at 4.5". The inner border is 3" finished and the outer border 5.5" finished.
This block is great for groups because the star points do not go to the outside edge, very forgiving. Each person just had to make their blocks 5" unfinished. I joined the stars into rows, added two borders, then basted, quilted and bound it.
Each person was asked to sign one of their blocks and I centered the signature blocks in the middle so we can all hold our friend close as she uses the quilt. I used one block as a label and placed it in the center--telling her the quilt was made just for her with love from the Sunday Sew and Sews and the date.
The quilting was fun. I used white thread to stitch loop-de-loops all around each block. I started with Microquilter thread, a 100 wt. polyester thread from Superior. About half way through it was breaking frequently so I changed to Glide, a 40 wt. polyester. That worked very well and I was able to zip along with those fun loops:
In the light print inner border I used the white Glide thread for wishbone quilting, another free motion quilting design I really like and am getting better at--remember, practice makes perfect.
The outer border was also fun--blue Glide thread with swirls, leaves, a few hearts and flowers, and more loop-de-loops to fill in the areas that needed more stitching:
My favorite batting is Quilter's Dream Cotton, Request weight. When the quilt was finished I washed it--the binding was a dark blue batik and those can bleed. The Color Catcher was only slightly gray after washing so that was good. The quilt measured 57" x 61" before washing and 54" x 58" after washing and drying. It had that nice, cuddly, soft. slightly wrinkly, old-timey feeling. She loved it--perfect for a nap.
Gift quilts don't have to be elaborate or take months to make to be a special gift to a special person. Three years ago I wrote about another quick quilt made for a relative: Snuggly Cuddly Strippy Quilt--a really fast quilt to make.
So jump right in and make a gift quilt when one is needed--it will be loved more than you know. Plus, what else are you saving all that fabric for???