Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky Me!

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, Check Plus by Cheryl Brickey and featured in an old issue of Quilty magazine, fit the bill perfectly. (Psst ... The pattern is also available separately here. Also: 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 ...

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  1. I would say that secret sewing pays my bills, but I don't earn enough to say that. But it is a very important aspect of what I do. I try very hard to have multiple projects going on at once so I don't have to tease much, but it's hard not to share when you are working on something and excited about it. I'm proud and amazed you kept this awesome secret for 2 years and what a beautiful, thoughtful, amazing gift for Kim. <3

  2. You're so sneaky and such a great friend! And oh man, my projects have been so sneaky lately I can't even share a snippet. Haha. What was Kim's reaction? She's just a lovely gal.

    Honestly, in this age of curated pics and so much advertising, I'll welcome snippets of projects any day. :) It's fun to stir the pot and share excitement but I also totally get the tease factor.

  3. Oh my, I love love your version of Check Plus!! Combining the prints with the essex linen and red little plus signs is fabulous!!

  4. This is gorgeous. Great job and fantastic gift. I love giving and seeing sneak peaks. It is just how things go when we are making a gift for someone or a project in conjunction with a company or pattern designer. I am seeing a lot of them around the holidays as people are making gifts.

  5. You are sneaky in the BEST KIND OF WAY! I love this quilt so much, and the fact that you've been planning it for two years speaks volumes to the kind, generous, thoughtful person that you are. I feel so grateful to have you as my friend, and I am so lucky to own this beautiful gift to celebrate my new status as a woman in her FORTIES! I am forever thankful, my dear friend!

  6. I'm not above being a bit of a tease when it comes to secret sewing, but I usually keep it under wraps. What a good friend you are and you have created such a special gift!

  7. I also enjoy a good teaser;-) What a gorgeous gift!!! I love the addition of grey linen and Clementine is the perfect pop to really make it shine.

  8. Wow...such a striking quilt. The colours and prints are wonderful. And a great pattern.

  9. It looks soooo good! I love those fabrics, too.

  10. Congrats on being able to keep a secret! I know what you mean about sneak peeks and teases, but honestly, I'm always impressed by how people can share something that looks really neat without revealing what it is. Anyway, your idea to give the quilt instead of the fabric is just really sweet.

  11. What a special gift! I really love the background on this with the prints, it works so well. Now I just have to get Kim to bring it to show and share so I can see it in person!

  12. Wow, what a beautiful quilt! I love the blue and orange combination, and they set off so nicely with the gray Essex linen. Love the quilting too, the double line crosshatch is beautiful!


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