On “commission”

Kim or Matt related , Quilting & sewing July 16th, 2013

In addition to my recent garment sewing kick (and I have a finished dress that’s just awaiting photography, so stay tuned), I’ve been doing some quilting this summer. Actually, I got a head start on summer quilting thanks to a “commission” (there was no money involved) — my principal retired this year, and the VP organizing her party thought she’d like a quilt.

Mary closeup

Since I didn’t get much lead time (“So. . . how long does it take you to whip out a quilt?” my VP wanted to know, two weeks before the party), I decided to keep it simple. I bought a charm pack in colors that theoretically match my principal’s RV, and gave the staff cream solid fabric, taped off into five inch squares. It’s not really to my taste, but I still thought it came out well. And thus ends “commission” number one.

(There’s no full quilt shot because I didn’t manage any decent photos. But if you want a bad one. . . here you go.)

“Commission” number two should probably have come first, because I accepted it about a year ago. Jen wanted a quilt to display Aiden’s special baby clothes, which I was happy to do (and to be fair to me, I did warn her it would probably take forever). I was a little apprehensive about starting it, because I didn’t want to make any mistakes with irreplaceable special clothes, but once I did start, it pretty much flew by. And I love it.


Ohmygoodness, where to start? I had two major challenges with this quilt. For starters, not everything was t-shirt material, which is pretty easy to work with. There were a few (adorable) fleecy outfits, and a few with fasteners through the main motif. On top of that, all the clothing pieces were different sizes and shapes.

I finally decided to use each piece as a base and fill out around it with coordinating stash fabric; each block finished at 12″ square. That solved the size and shape problem, and also meant that I could place zippers and fleece in the center of the block, and not have to deal with it when I joined blocks together. (That was a good decision. Sewing over zippers is a bear. Not just any bear, either. A very angry bear who just had his fish stolen.)

I’m especially proud of the vampire block and the fleecy lion block (brown striped background), because both came from onesies with super-cute feet. The vampires are, well, vampires, and the lion onesie said “Mommy’s mane man” on the soles. I appliqued both on a background piece to make them easier to include in the quilt, and I’m so glad I did; it’s a nice touch and keeps the blocks from looking too angular.

Those aren’t my favorite blocks, though. I put my favorites in the center: the lion block and the Mario block.

Mario block

The green mushroom is from a onesie Matt and I bought Aiden, as a Christmas present, I think. The fire flower and red mushroom are pieces I made to 1) match; and 2) fill out the block. (Thank goodness for 8-bit, and that’s all I have to say about that.)

lion block

I love the symmetry (thematic and visual) the blue elephant brings to this block; it’s fussy cut from a fabric I’ve had in stash for years (I think I made shorts out of it when I was in college. . . or maybe high school?), and I’m a big fan of bright primary colors. I’m also super happy to have found a deserving home for these elephants.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m enormously pleased with myself, so I hope Jen and Andrew are just as happy. And Aiden, of course, but personally, I think Aiden is going to prefer the other half of his birthday present:

birthday rawr

One Response to “On “commission””

  1. Corrieon 17 Jul 2013 at 9:44 am

    Kim, those are AMAZING! I love the baby blanket. I’ve kept just a handful of my favorite outfits, thinking I would someday make them into a “quiet” book, but all my kids will be long past the stage of needing a quiet book by the time I get around to it. Maybe I will take up quilt-making by then and can make something for my grandkids. I can hope…

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