A special young girl made a request of me.
She needed a twin-size quilt to coordinate with the color scheme of her newly remodeled bedroom. Her walls had been painted a lovely pink and brown, so the quilt just had to be pink and brown.
The request was made one year ago. We were in the beginning stages of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Quilts shops, along with many other businesses that were considered non-essential were closed. I had to rely on my own private fabric stash. I am sad to say that I had a low inventory of those two colors. I had plenty of fat quarters, but not a lot of fabric yardage. (Don’t know what a fat quarter is? See explanation and chart below article.)
I was quarantined in the house with plenty of time on my hands and glad to have something to keep my mind occupied. I gathered all the pink and brown fabric from my fabric storage room. Next, I needed a light fabric color to offset the darker colors. I searched and searched and finally found some light cream fabric with light tan specks.
Did I have batting in the storage room? I decided to worry about that later. After all, ‘tomorrow is another day’. (I’m just that kind of a person.)
I took the fabric to my sewing room and placed it on my hobby table. I could feel some anxiety creeping in. Would I have enough fabric to make anything resembling a twin-size quilt? More anxiety.
I needed an easy and enjoyable quilt pattern, one that I could follow while watching an old mystery or film noir movie.
I couldn’t find a pattern that I felt could be completed with the small amounts of fabric that I was able to find. I decided to design my own twin quilt. I remembered my laptop and fired it up. Let the designing begin!
I made the choice of the traditional nine-patch block and combined it with a plain square block and added a plain rectangular block on the bottom, which made an overall larger quilt block.
I had limited cream fabric, and I didn’t want to cut it up to make intricate blocks.
My thinking was that if I left that fabric intact and used it as larger square blocks, it would give me enough material to finish the quilt. I thought it would be a perfect way to show off the pretty quilting design. They have such wonderful quilting designs and thread colors that I am just as excited about choosing those as I am piecing the quilt blocks.
I went simple on the blocks, so I designed the quilt with on-point block settings to add some visual interest. I used to be intimidated by on-point settings, but I have learned they are quite doable.
(I will do a blog for quilts with on-point settings soon and leave an easy cutting chart on the Resources page.)
Piecing the quilt top kept my mind off the Pandemic for a few hours every day. I was happy to have something to do during this uncertain time.
Finally, it was finished.
The quilt top looked yummy to me, and I felt the special girl would think so, too. It reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream. You know, the ice cream with three different flavors. I remember as a kid eating the chocolate first, then, the strawberry, and last, the vanilla layer. It was the best experience!
Now, back to my batting search. I had quite a batting stash, but not quite enough to do the job. The wonderful person who does the longarm quilting for me assured me that she had just the batting on hand that I needed. As soon as the Pandemic was over, I could drop the quilt top and backing off to her, whenever that would be. Things were still so perplexing.
Backing! I had forgotten about backing fabric.
There is lots of yardage involved in the quilt backing. Would I have enough? And would I have enough of the right color? Back to the storage room.
I did not have enough fabric of the same color for the backing. I could try to find enough fabric to stitch together to make a backing, but I had used up all available pink, brown, tan, and cream. What to do?
Then, I spotted something. It was an expensive Italian cotton queen-size sheet set that I had never used. And guess what color it was? Yes, it was a beautiful cream color! It had a slight cream striping in it, which made it more splendid. I was overjoyed! The most horrible things were happening in the world, but I could still experience joy in this simple finding.
I cut the sheet to the correct size for the quilt backing. I pressed the quilt top and backing and carefully laid them aside waiting for the Covid-19 crisis to ease up, not knowing when that would be.
My little friend sent me a photo of her painting of the Coronavirus. She is a sweet little girl, and she painted the virus with a big smile on its face. It amazes me how children can find something positive about a bad situation. I knew she would be okay and overcome this.
Last thing to do was to pick the quilting design.
Decided to go with an overall floral design called Abigail.
About 30 days into the ‘stay-home’ order, I contacted my quilting friend. She was back to picking up and delivering items that needed quilting. We agreed to meet at the local grocery store parking lot with our masks on. I handed over my quarantine quilt to her, knowing that it was in safe keeping.
In a few weeks, I received a text that the quilt was finished and ready to be picked up. I am always excited to see the end result!
Once again, we met in the local grocery store parking lot with our masks on. She opened the back door to my vehicle and gently tossed the quilt in my backseat. I carefully rolled down my window and handed her a check, and yelled, “Thank you so much!” as I drove away.
After attaching the binding, I dropped the quilt off on the little girl’s front porch.
I sent her a text to let her know it was there. Due to social distancing, I waited by the sidewalk to watch her reaction. She flung open the front door and examined her new quilt. Her big smile and sparkling eyes said everything!
*A Printable Fat Quarter Cutting Diagram can be found on my Resources Page.