My son loves community helpers - police, firemen, janitors, mailmen, construction workers - anyone who uses tools (or more likely awesome vehicles!) So it was easy to find a theme for a quilt for him. The pattern was a bit tougher - he's little yet, but I didn't want to make a quilt he'd only like for a year or two.
After taking Amy Gibson's free Craftsy 2012 BOM quilt along, I decided to join her Sugar Block Club. The black/red/white colour scheme was an easy match for the fireman theme, so I began by making 2 blocks each month in 2013.
While shopping at the annual Mary Maxim tent sale in Paris, Ontario, I saw this perfect Dalmation print and Had.To.Have.It. I brought it home and the reds were a close enough match for me! Yay!!
I kept thinking about how to make the blocks look more fire-themed. So I looged onto Craftsy and typed fire (or something like that) into the search engine. What a great idea!
I found this fire hydrant! Love this fire hydrant!! I made 4 blocks, each with different fabrics, to help unify the theme.
There was also a fire truck that I know my son would love, but that would have made the quilt too childish.
I really like the simplicity of this star block. It looks great with the more complicated paper pieced ones, yet perfectly at home in the quilt. I think the white fabric helps to embolden the star!
I wanted to really emphasize the hydrant/fire theme in the quilting. After a few minutes of doodling, I figured out how to draw a hydrant.
It took many days of doodling that hydrant in my mind before I was ready to try it on fabric!
I think that taking a few days to really confirm the design in my mind helped!
I LOVE this quilting!!
I used a new thread from Connecting Threads; it is called Essential Thread, redwork. My sewing machine does not like very many cotton threads - and it needs to be delinted every bobbin - but I like the effect of this thread on the front and back of the quilt.
I thought this kind of loose string would look like a fire hose, but it looks more like puddles of water. Not bad, but not quite what I was aiming for :)
And here's the whole quilt from the front!
I didn't think to fussy cut any of the dalmation fabric for blocks except that one! That's probably good because I barely had enough to make the filler blocks as it was!
Looking at it now, I wish I'd used more greys - but I don't own very many greys so I used what I had.
This quilt stayed as blocks until May of 2013 - that's when I picked up my local fair book and saw the category of pieced quilt top and since I had the blocks sitting there, it would be an easy "finish".
And this top won the category! Yay! My first First place ribbon for quilting. OK, so it wasn't quilted, but it was sorta there - right?
I was excited, and wanted to finish it, but didn't have enough red or black to make a backing - so it got set aside again...
Along rolls November 2014 - I just finished that month's ALYOF, and was looking for an easy goal for December. I had found an old tablecloth at a yard sale, in good shape, but faded on one corner. Jackpot!
My son loves his new quilt. Christmas morning, he saw the package, and thought it was clothes. When he unwrapped it, he started hugging and kissing it saying "I love it Mommy, I love it!" We got a picture of him, then he put it on the floor - still folded up - and wanted to unwrap more presents!
Yeah, he's cute!
Since so many bloggers show their quilty helpers, I thought I'd show you mine too. Ballast is a very smelly helper, and he sometimes makes much more of a mess of my cutting area than I do, but he's still my "little" helper.
This quilt makes my final finish for the fourth quarter goals I set back in October. Yay! Be sure to check out everyone's progress at the Littlest Thistle.....
My latest memory quilt was delivered last weekend, and it's a cute one!
A new applique technique this month really challenged my fabric folding ability!
Starry Night QAL January blocks complete! Our group made 12 blocks last week for our new quilt along :)
Mary is a local quilting friend who loves to piece, but gets bogged down during quilting. These are 2 of the quilts I machine quited for her this spring :)
Working with local schools has been very fun and the students are pushing me to design ever more interesting layouts from simple subunits. Take a look at the third quilt I helped to make this year!