Monday, February 28, 2011

Finished Tree quilt

Yay! It's done, with time to spare! It will be hard to part with this baby.

I made this quilt to be auctioned off as a fundraiser at my 3 year old daughter's upcoming preschool Art Show. They have had different paintings and quilts auctioned off in the past and each year the students are represented on the piece. She goes to a wonderful Montessori preschool with about 65 kids, so I was a bit limited...larger things like hand prints or pictures wouldn't fit. The logo for the school has a tree on it, so I decided that was the ticket!

I had each child write their name on a leaf. I then raw edge appliqued the leaves to a tree on a piece of linen, along with some apples for the teachers ;)

I wrote the child's name on the leaf as well (for the younger kids), and added their age. I love how the raw edges of the leaves frayed up a bit after a washing, and will continue to do so!
I had a few leaves falling from the tree, with some spiral quilting, and more scattered on the ground.

Even the school resident pet, Oreo the rabbit, is represented on the quilt! I gave you a closer look at him here. A heart with the school initials was "carved" into the tree trunk.

I sashed this puppy with a thin line of espresso brown solid, and quilted some free motion loops here in matching thread. The outer border is a Moda Basic Grey green dot, which I quilted in a meandering pattern using white thread. Since the tree was so busy, I wanted the sashing and quilting to be more subdued and not distract from the Main Event.
In the center portion of the quilt, I actually added the leaves and apples as the final step, so the applique step provided the quilting as well! High Five for efficiency! This was also a smart decision as it took a while, between colds and vacations, to get the leaves in from all the kids, and I would never have finished in time otherwise! The rabbit and tree stump were appliqued with turned edges (which were then top stitched), so I quilted "bark" on the trunk afterwards. Wish I had used a contrasting thread as the knots and such are pretty groovy but are hard to see.

For the back, I chose Patti Young's Andalucia Mod Dots, which were perfect in color and design for continuing the leaf motif! Found it on "clearance" at my local Fabricland for $10/m (regular price $22/m- as IF!!). I added a couple small stripes with brown again for consistency with the front and to breakup the busy fabric. It was a great backing choice to hide all the different quilting on the front, plus such a happy, child-friendly pattern!

The binding is a bright orange with leaves on it, from my stash from the LQS. I decided to give Rita's tutorial a go and attempt some machine binding. I could write a novel about what I learned (translate: screwed up) during this process, but again the busy fabric of the sashing/binding/backing fabrics saved my hiney and I think none will be the wiser about its imperfections aside from me.
This is the first time I have made a quilt for someone who is not friends and family, and who actually paid money for it! This didn't hit me until I was in the trenches with the binding....I am hoping the (many) imperfections will be embraced as "adding character"! Also, I am glad that the format of the auction is not bids, but rather tickets that are hopefully the quilt will bring in lots of money for the school in ticket sales while the actual winner will not have paid more than $20 for their ticket. Who can complain at that price, right? :-)

Quilt stats:

Materials: cotton (assorted prints from stash from Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Moda, etc; Moda Basic Grey Eva, Patty Young Mod Dots) and linen
Finished size: approx 60" by 70"- a generous lap quilt
Designed by: Me
Special Techniques: raw edged and turned applique
Quilted by : Me
Quilting pattern: loops, meandering, and applique through 3 layers
Binding: machine
Keeping it Real (a special section to confess all of my screw-ups!):
-I cut my backing too small, and in a couple spots it was smaller than the quilt top. I meant to trim back the top during the squaring up process to fix it but I guess I missed a small area, so initially the binding didn't cover all the batting on the back. Had to take off the binding and pull it farther back and restitch.
-When I did the machine binding, I missed about 20 small sections (an inch or less each) in the back that I had to go back and resew. Frequent pinning was a necessity, and by the last strip I had it down.
-My first pen I bought to have the kids write names bled in the fabric; Ms. Karen saved the day with a dollar store marker which washed up much better, though there was some marginal bleeding/fading.
-I have MUCH to learn about turned applique....

All in all it was a great experience, and to benefit a great school!
Linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday- go check them out!


Sara @ Sew Sweetness said...

Cute!! That backing is perfect, I love how your quilt turned out!

Little Island Quilting said...

Well done - it's a really great thing to do and I am sure will be well-loved by its new owner

randi said...

this is a lovely lovely quilt! great work! i love the details you added to represent the school and the kids.

Katie B said...

This is such a great idea! I hope you bought some tickets so you have a chance to win it yourself!

Elizabeth Dackson said...

Oh, Kristie, this is so pretty! I love this!! I can't wait to hear how the auction turns out, and I love Katie's idea to buy a few tickets yourself so you can have a chance to win too :)

Lindsay Conner said...

I love this idea so much--and your quilt turned out great! I might have to steal this idea on a smaller scale and make a bag or pillow with the names of children in an after-school program I volunteer for. Would be great for our silent auction fundraiser!

Lee said...

This is so beautiful, and I just love this idea! Thanks for sharing. My daughter's preschool auction is in a few weeks, so there's no way I'm doing it for this year, but it's in mind for the future!

felicity said...

I love everything about this quilt so much. SO MUCH. My daughter's also 3 and in a Montessori Preschool - I am going to offer to make one for next year's fundraiser.

Bree said...

It turned out great, what a wonderful idea!

Megan said...

This is SO great Kristie! Wonderful finish! :) Thanks for linking up to {Sew} Modern Monday!

Mary Jo said...

Wow! This is amazing. The details that link back to the school make it extra special.

Rebecca Waddell said...

Fabulous! Love it!

Teje said...

Hello! How I enjoy watching you tree quilt! I love the creative and crafty way you have made it! The tree with all the leaves and apples is so beautiful! All the fabrics are wonderfu till the orange binding!
Sunny wishes!

Anonymous said...

Have loved watching this quilt come together. It is just wonderful! Great job! It has inspired me to do something similar for an end-of-year gift for a 3rd grade teacher. What should I do? You are so creative.

Dianne said...

What a wonderful idea, and you've put it together just beautifully! I may have to steal this idea for a (much smaller) version as an end-of-the-year gift for my daughter's preschool teacher! (p.s. I LOVE your 'keeping it real' section ... it really gives this novice hope!)

Anonymous said...

Love this quilt - looks like a labor of love. Love the effect of the raw edge applique.

Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi said...

your quilt is beautiful, what a great idea to have all the children write their names, I have been looking for some way to do a name quilt for children and never came up with something that nice and clever!
I am also a huge fan of Montessori preschool!

Anonymous said...

I love this! I think I may do something similar for my daughter's classroom! I can't believe I never found your blog before today; I love it!

Anonymous said...

My son's 6th grade teacher has re-fueled his love of school and learning, and for that I couldn't be more greatful. I tink I may undertake this project for her, as this is her first year (and will likely be the first of many) teaching at his school and would be a good memory for her, as well. Thank you for the inspiration!