It drives me batty when another quilter, somewhere on social media, posts an unrecognizable corner of a project because he or she is doing some secret sewing and cannot reveal any more. (It’s not nice to tease!) Likewise, it’s hard when I’m the one doing the secret sewing. I often use Instagram in particular to bounce ideas off of other sewers. Doing so is not an option, however, when the future recipient keeps tabs on my projects via social media.
My quilty BFF, award-winning quilter Kim Soper, had a very special birthday this month. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do some—alas!—secret sewing for her.
Two years ago, I bought her five half-yards of Geninne’s Moody Blues from Cloud 9. (This line is now out of print, but you can see all the fabrics and an accompanying free quilt pattern on the Cloud 9 site.) Kim is crazy about Geninne’s bird illustrations, and I intended to gift the fabric to her as a bundle. At the time, though, she had just moved into a new house and still had a little one with her during the day. I decided that a gift of fabric would have saddled her with yet another project she didn’t have time to do.
So I held on to the cuts of Moody Blues, patiently waiting for an opportunity to start sewing with them. Then, this past summer, I started making my Birds in Blue quilt ...
My goal with the pattern selection was to use as much of the Moody Blues fabrics as I could without cutting the birds into too-small bits. The pattern I chose, by Cheryl Brickey and featured in an old issue of Quilty magazine, fit the bill perfectly. (Psst ... I sewed with another of Cheryl’s plus-sign patterns here.)
The hardest part of this project—aside from keeping it a secret!—was working with the limited palette. At one point over the summer, I had to put this quilt to the side to work on higher-priority projects. When I returned to it, I flipped out a little bit. When did I decide to make Kim an orange and blue quilt?! But I didn’t. I decided to make her a Moody Blues quilt, and in addition to the copious amount of blue in the collection, there is some high-contrast orange, which is how I decided to use Cotton Couture in clementine for the inner plus signs and why I went with the Essex Linen in steel for the background (I think the gray tones down the contrast of the complementary colors).
There is also some teal in the Moody Blues fabrics, but it appears sparingly. (See the picture, above.) So I gave teal its own spotlight on the back of the quilt. I’m thrilled with the Anna Maria Horner floral print, Lizzy House pearls, and chunks of teal in the piecing there.
So that’s the story how I kept some secret sewing under wraps for over two years. And I didn’t tease you once with an in-progress shot. You’re welcome! ; )
What’s your take on secret sewing? Let us all know in the comments.
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and Needle and Thread Thursday ...