Friday, December 30, 2016

Merry Christmas to Me

Gift giving is my thing. I love brainstorming gift ideas, consulting with the future recipient’s cohorts, and executing the purchase. It’s all the better when the occasion calls for something handmade.

There’s an inherent risk with giving a gift, though, especially when that gift is something I’ve made myself. Will the recipient like it? Will my investment of time and effort be worth it?

There’s one recipient in my life, however, whose gifts I always nail. And that person is me. For example, I adore my Christmas present to me ...

You can’t tell, but I had the bright idea to do a photo shoot in the
middle of a nor'easter.

I started piecing this beauty, my Outlined Plus quilt, back in January 2016. I knew all along it was for me, so after completing the first set of blocks, I set it aside and worked on other higher-priority projects.

I chose this particular pattern, by Meadow Mist Designs, because I knew it was the perfect opportunity to showcase my stash of Mon Ami, a collection by Basic Grey. (I “earned” this fabric by avoiding Halloween candy last year. For real. Read about it here.) The back features some PB&J, also by Basic Grey, that I scored in 2015.

In addition to PB&J, there’s a bunch of Grunge on the back, too.

I initially took a purist approach to choosing the fabric for this project and wanted to use something from Basic Grey for the binding as well, but nothing in my stash worked. Luckily, I had a floral Moda print from forever ago sitting around, and its super-gray undertones matched the BG palette perfectly.

On its own this particular block is not my thing, but I love how it looks
in the overall quilt.

I’m proud to say that three big-girl decisions went into creating Outlined Plus:

1. After making 20 blocks, I realized that I didn’t like the original color scheme and changed course. I ended up ditching 4 blocks. Two of them were handed off to another quilter; the others were “unsewn” and reused in blocks with the updated palette.

2. I had the entire collection of Mon Ami in fat quarters for this project, and there were a lot of scraps once I had finished piecing the top. I put those scraps to use immediately. A bunch went into Chelsea’s giraffe quilt. Others went to a fellow Basic Grey lover. I have less than a fat quarter of Mon Ami in my scrap bin now!

3. Instead of quilting this project myself, I handed it off to a friend for quilting. This quilt is made up of strong 90-degree angles; my straight-line quilting wouldn’t have done the design any justice. The Baptist fan quilting I chose fit the bill perfectly.

The grays, blues, and reds in Mon Ami are soooo nice.

When my husband saw this finished quilt, he asked who it was for, and I told him it was for me. He made some smart-aleck comment about having enough quilts in the house. For a fleeting moment, I thought he may be right. Then reason set in ... Too many quilts? Not possible!

So, did you give yourself anything over the holidays? (I know I’m not the only one.)

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday ...

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  1. What a perfect and thoughtful gift... no one could deserve it more;-) You're not the only one but mine rarely get finished in time... hope you had a wonderful, warm holiday!

  2. I love your present to yourself, it's wonderful! I am hoarding my Mon Ami, thank you very much! Great pattern, great fabric, and the baptist fan quilting looks incredible. Nice!

  3. Well deserved! I'm glad to see others struggle with Big Girl decisions, too. I make sure my Amazon Wish List is full of things I REALLY want and then order what I don't get.

  4. This is absolutely gorgeous! As a fellow Basic Grey lover, I would have definitely also kept this for myself.

  5. Lovely Michelle! This quilt pattern is on my list for 2017. It will be a gift for the maker too :)

    Happy New Year!

  6. He's wrong, definitely wrong - there's no such thing as too many quilts and one that pretty is not meant to be given away.

  7. Thanks for the shout out, Michelle! Your quilts are always a joy to quilt! Beautifully pieced!

  8. You can never have too many quilts! Love your outlined plusses! I allowed myself to buy fabrics for a new quilt project. We never do Christmas presents, we always buy something to celebrate the New Year!

  9. There can only be too many quilts in a house when you can't get into the house (or maybe just a few less than that)! What a lovely finish and gift to yourself. I'm so glad you listened to your inner voice and audited the fabrics and colors you wanted in the top.

  10. You just happen to know the recipient really well and know what she likes! You should be proud since you got it exactly right! And the quilting is stunning. Lovely quilt!
    Happy New Year!

  11. The perfect gift in my opinion!! I mean really, there are never too many quilts!!

  12. It's the perfect gift, and I have to admit I'm just a little bit envious. :) Too many quilts??? That just doesn't compute!

  13. It's a beautiful gift for yourself - and no, you can never have too many quilts. Merry Christmas to you, indeed!

  14. Love the quilt and your whole post made me laugh. Every time there was a reference back I smiled -- it's like because this whole project started in January it served as the culmination and lookback of the whole year. Congrats on a great finish, and so happy you are keeping it for you! You are so generous with all of your finishes. You deserve to keep this great one all for you!


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