I’ve previously joked to Rachel that her post about this quilt would be so lovely and then mine would be:
When Rachel, my awesome friend who is also a quilter, told me she is having a baby I was like “yessssssss! quilt!!!!!” And then also, of course, I was very happy for her and her family. And no, I was not going to full bunny blast a charm pack for baby Buffalo. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!)
This past Mother’s Day I gifted myself Electric Quilt 8. I turned to this for baby Buffalo’s quilt and, while I still do not really understand how to use that software, it was helpful to try a few designs out. My inspiration was this “friendship” quilt my cousin had as a child. It was faces of little girls with my cousin and her friend’s names embroidered under the faces. (Megan, someday can you send me a picture of that quilt to post here?)
As Rachel says, our neighborhood is a wonderfully crazy place and I wanted this quilt to be something like a friendship quilt. I stumbled upon the “medallion” quilts on Electric Quilt 8 and that helped me decide to have one larger block in the middle with a square directly in the center, with different borders around that center. As Rachel says, the square is for our neighborhood, Regent Square, and I knew it would be green to represent the park next to our houses because that space is where we all gather and one of the reasons, I think, our street is so special. (Example, it was in that park at another kid’s birthday party that Rachel said she was pregnant with Walter and I was like, no way! I am also pregnant! And then our babies were born two weeks apart. Alas, that is not happening this time).
Anyways, back to the quilt. So then around the square-centered block I wanted there to be kids and then houses because that is Richmond Street in a nutshell. Or, I suppose, in a quilt.
I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a pattern for a kids quilt block, but I ended up using a foundation pieced pattern from Etsy.
I started sewing the kids blocks when we were on vacation in the Finger Lakes in August. This was basically my most perfect day–quilting by a lake while Nick entertained Louie on a jet ski. I spend a lot of time now trying to figure out how to make this day happen on a more regular basis.
Anyways, this is going to be the longest post ever. For the houses, I used this free pattern called “Village.” The tree corner blocks were a foundation pieced pattern I found in Electric Quilt 8. So, I made all of those blocks and then I still had no middle block! Originally, I did find a block in Electric Quilt 8 that I was planning to use but then for some reason I decided it would be better to not follow the plan and do something else? That made things…more difficult.
So I abandoned the quilting software for a moment and bought two books!
In one of these books I found a “pickle dish” block, which I thought would be a great center block! The issue was that the pattern in the book was too large for the center space I had to work with. I could have made more kids and house blocks and increased my center space, but I couldn’t do math well enough to figure out how that would work. Instead, I sent Nick to his office with this pattern and had him reduce the size on the copier to make it fit into my center space. Nick said only one person questioned him during this process, so it was all good!
The pickle dish block was fun to make, though time-consuming! I would like to try this block again sometime. But, this time it just did not come out looking great. When I laid out the quilt with the other blocks I really disliked it. I sent a picture to my mother, who is always so supportive, and she was like, that looks terrible. So then I decided to scrap that block and start over! It was just like an episode of Project Runway where someone decides to start a whole new look halfway through the episode! Nick was just yelling, “you’re getting rid of the pickle dick?!” It was a dramatic night.
Then I consulted google (I went from expensive quilting software to books to googling…) and found a “churn dash” block and started making that which was way simpler but I liked it way better! I felt like the simplicity didn’t distract as much from the other border blocks. I appliqued the little bunny in the square to be like a “you are here” thing for baby Buffalo. Hey baby, you are here right in the middle of this delightful chaos!
But then! after it was all sewn together, I sent another picture to my mother with the original pickle dish center laid on top and we were both like, “well that doesn’t look too bad!”
I still think I like the simpler, churn dash center, or maybe I am just telling myself that because I could not rip apart the quilt at that point. One day I am going to make a quilt just out of all of my rejected blocks and the pickle dick can be in the center of that quilt.
As with every quilt I make, I learned many things I would do differently next time. I could go on and on and on about all of those things, but I will just leave it at I was very glad to make a special quilt to welcome the new Wilson baby to our neighborhood! Sometimes Rachel comes over to my house to snuggle Wallace. I look forward to going to her house to snuggle that baby!
First of all, whoa! You put an animated GIF on the blog! You need to teach me how to do that. Second of all, I am blown away by all of the thought and effort that went into making this quilt. It’s amazing. And while the pickle dick block is really fancy and probably would have worked, I really like the simple churn dash block for the park with the bunny appliqué. It’s perfect. Finally, we need to make this “lake house / children occupied by dads while moms quilt” dream a reality. I’m thinking… lakeside sewing studio.
Xoxo thank you again
I wrote this post on my computer instead of my phone and that seemed to unlock many new blogging things that I couldn’t figure out before! I was trying to find out how to put in an emoji–specifically, the “exploding head” emoji. I couldn’t figure that out but stumbled upon this “ripping my eyes out” gif and that seemed to express the same sentiment.
And yes, we do need to make the lakeside sewing studio dream happen! I will never forget Sue, the grape farmer, and her beautiful art studio. And also her story about Abe Lincoln and Grace and the flower, which for some strange reason I keep thinking about. Maybe we should make a quilt for Sue and deliver it to her?
Ooooh a grape themed quilt? Maybe with some FMQed grape leaves. I think Sue would like that.
Amanda, I love this quilt! Regent Square is a wonderful neighborhood and your thoughtful creative design has captured its spirit perfectly. Baby Wilson is so lucky to be the recipient of this special quilt ❤️
Wallace is very photogenic by the way!