Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fresh Flowers

I'm excited to finally be able to share this quilt with you.  I've been diligently pecking away over here, but it was a surprise so I was sworn to secrecy.

My daughter requested a quilt for her good friend Melanie's 18th birthday.  She specifically chose these exact fabrics to match Melanie's room months and months ago.  Too bad I didn't actually purchase the fabrics back then because it was a bit of a scramble to find what I needed over the internet.  (I know, Hannah.  You warned me.)  I'm really glad that Wendy and my Mom talked me into the yellow background.  It is Kona Buttercup and it works really well with the colors in this line.

The pattern is from the book Scrap Basket Sensations.

I tried something new.  I used a variegated thread, a first for me. I also tried to teach myself the art of free motion flowers in all the yellow portions.  The thing about trying something new is that invariably it isn't going to be perfect right away.  It's always difficult to have imperfections on a quilt, especially one that you give away.  But I think I would get bored too easily if I weren't always pushing myself to learn something new.  I will however note that mistakes show up a bit more readily in variegated thread!

Melanie is a bird lover, so when I spied this Robert Kaufman fat quarter at the LQS I snatched it right up.  The colors worked beautifully, and those who know Melanie will completely understand why birds cropped up on the back of her flower quilt.

I hand embroidered a label.  The verse for this project comes from Song of Solomon.


My favorite thing about this quilt isn't the quilt at all, but the little accessory that was born during a fit of insomnia last week which led me to putter quietly in my scrap pile.  My sewing machine is in my bedroom and out of consideration for Mr. Eight-to-Five I refrain from running it all night long, even though I tend to be a bit of a creative night owl.  However, by the gentle glow of a small lamp, one can quietly rotary cut and shuffle snippits of fabric around while remaining quiet as a church mouse. 

My first pillow.  Ever.
So THIS is what all the fuss is about.  They are really fun to make.
I embroidered the owl to mimic the fabric on the quilt back.  I offset that block in my layout to achieve a contemporary look.  I then machine quilted each section of the pillow using a different technique.  For instance, I pebble quilted along every single polka dot on the outer borders.  It's so much fun to try new things on such a small project.

I fiddled around a little and figured out how to make an envelope backing.

A matched set.  All future scraps are now destined to become matching pillows.  :-)

Bound in a colorful floral print.  The line (which has mostly disappeared from retailers by now) is Fresh Flowers for Moda by Deb Strain.

The birthday girl was here for dinner Friday night and I could finally let my secret out.

My daughter is now in college in Tennessee, and was really sad to miss Melanie's birthday for the first time since the girls were two years old.

So we solved that.  We skyped with Hannah while Melanie opened her present.
A very modern and high tech birthday.

With an old fashioned, quilted twist.

Happy 18th, Melanie.
And many more.


  1. That was a beautiful quilt and pillow you made.The colours have so vibrant and appropriate for a young lady and I just love the little embroidery in the pillow..Well done.

  2. The quilt and pillow are adorable, I love red and yellow together. Your free motion is PERFECT! You are so brave using a rotary cutter when you can't sleep. I am a night owl also, but I don't dare use anything sharp.

  3. Perfect!!I love the colors and THAT owl is so adorable! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

  4. Brooke, The quilt is so bright and cheerful, it is just beautiful. I love the pattern you used and I think your free motion quilting is wonderful. Skype is such a delightful way to share special occasions with family. We were using it today so that my oldest grandson, away in the Air Force, could join us for his younger brothers 18th birthday party. It is so much fun to share and laugh with them as we celebrate. Boy, communication has certainly changed since my hubby was in Vietnam and we had to either write letters or send the old 'reel to reel' tape recordings, LOL.
    I came to your blog by way of a comment you left on Kelly's Charming Chatter post today. I just wanted to tell you that your quote from Corrie Ten Boom is one of my favorites. I have read 'The Hiding Place' several times and also her book 'Tramp For the Lord'. A very inspirational and wise woman. Hugs...

  5. Hello, Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are very talented to make all those lovely quilts and home school your children. I never seem to find the time to sew, but I'm determined now the girls are away to make time for quilting.

  6. Hi Brooke,
    I have just found your lovely blog, it is so lobvely and your quilt is just beautiful.Your owl is great as well, i amm looking forward to reading your inspirational blog,

  7. Hi Brooke, thanks for popping over to my blog and your kind comments... your blog is equally lovely, what a gorgeous quilt and cushion, I love them! Jenny x

  8. What a heartfelt gift. LOVE your label -- if I only liked to embroider...

    I love Kim's book and your quilt and quilting are awesome.

  9. So vibrant and cheerful! blessings,Kathleen

  10. Hello Brooke What an absolutely gorgeous quilt, I so love the design and the colours and the flowery quilting. The pillow is just lovely too, so inspired. Thank you for popping over to my blog, it means I have discovered yours now and I'm so glad!
    Helen x

  11. Oh Brooke - I loved this post! What a beautiful quilt - and the lable is so wonderful! And, the pillow to boot! Plus your lovely sense of humor just warms my heart! Happy belated B-Day to Melanie!

  12. What an adorable quilt and coordinating pillow! Really wonderful. And for such a special occasion. "Mom, you did good!" is what my own mother would have said to me if I'd don't something like that. You can be very proud of yourself, Brooke.

  13. Hi Brooke,

    WOW! You have amazed me with your quilt, pillow and extras! I love what you did with Fresh Flowers and am honored that you chose my fabric for such a special gift. What a fortunate friend to receive this treasure!
    Can't wait to see what you create next!