Sunday, March 1, 2009

Labor(s) of Love

I finally told Mariko what I was making for her birthday, so I can now share it with you all. I'm excellent at keeping secrets, but not so much when they are surprises as gifts from me. Plus I knew it's going to be quite some time before this will be completed.

Some background first. When Mariko was a little girl, I used to make her a special dress for her birthday each year. The night before her birthday, after she'd gone to sleep, I would hand the new outfit on the doorknob to her room so it would be her first gift of the day. I made other clothes for her throughout the years, and always saved the fabric remnants. From the start, I had planned that someday when she was grown, I would be able to make a special quilt for her.

Someday has come.

First, I needed to find a quilt I could make from scraps, but also knew that I would need to buy some new fabrics for larger sections, borders and backing. I decided to make a queen sized quilt. Next I went through boxes and boxes of my fabric remnants to find the fabrics used for her outfits, then cleaned them thoroughly. I'd moved several times since she was a little girl, so they weren't all in one place. I remembered I had a few sheets of printable fabric, so I chose a few photos to print on them. A trip to the fabric store for the rest of the fabric I needed, some batting, and thread, and I was ready to begin cutting, piecing and sewing the quilt top. After 2 weeks, I was ready to put the quilt top together with batting and backing.


A closer look at some of the squares DSC08635

The fabrics to the right, left and below this photo of Mariko are remnants from the dress in the picture.

I had such fun reminiscing while putting this together.

I printed out some fabric squares of the birthday cakes I'd made for her over the years.

Originally I was planning to tie the quilt together, but then decided I would rather hand-quilt it, and add some design stitching to the triangles. One of her cakes gave me the idea for this detail.

Happy Birthday Mariko!
Mariko & me