The Quilted Life with Carolyn — quilting for beginners


Why I Quilt - Episode 2 0

Aloha! Welcome to my second personal “Why I Quilt” post.

This one is another fun one, because it features quilts for two kiddos! You may recognize them from some earlier posts, but when they showed up before, you didn’t get to see who the recipients were.

The mother of the family, Shalyce, is a dear friend of mine that I met through an online mommy-meet-up group for working mothers in our city. We hit it off right away, and we filled a friendship-void for each other. We’ve never looked back!

Once our kids and husbands met, we discovered that our friendship wasn’t just going to be a mom’s-night-out situation - we had new friends for the whole family! Both our husbands are named Kyle and love to golf, and our older kiddos got along great. At the time, the second batch of babies were just a glimmer in our eyes...

The two special kids who received these quilts are two sweet brothers who are the same ages as my own kids. Killian, the older brother, is 2 days younger than my son Lewis. And Lochlan, the younger brother, is 9 days older than my daughter Ellen. Shalyce and I didn’t know each other when we were pregnant with Killian and Lewis, but we had so much fun going through our second pregnancies together!

Killian, sleeping with his quilt

The quilt for Killian was a big-boy quilt, which I made for his big-boy bed for his big-boy 2nd birthday. I was told that his bedroom would be transitioning to a dinosaur theme, so I took that and ran with it!

My son, Lewis, testing out the quilt for his buddy, Killian

I had so much fun making this quilt, but, similarly to the triangle quilt in my last post I felt like it was too wild and busy when I “finished” the top. Not to worry though - my tried-and-true add-a-border trick solved that problem lickety split!

Lochlan’s quilt was a bit trickier for me. First off, I was pregnant on modified bed rest, working full time, had a toddler, and had 4 (!) other baby quilts in-progress for other expectant mothers. So finding the time and energy was a definite hurdle. But keeping babies warm is something I find joy in, so in the end, time and energy were found!

The second, smaller hurdle was that I always find it challenging to make baby quilts when I don’t know the sex of the baby. But Shalyce gave me a great starting point with the nursery theme - Wizard of Oz! So I was able to get over that hurdle pretty quickly.

I went with an abstract interpretation of the theme - you can see the obvious reference to Dorothy, the rainbow, and the poppies, but I also used the green fabric to reference the Emerald City, the cream/orange/brown fabric to reference the lion/scarecrow, the gold fabric to reference the yellow brick road, and the grey background to reference the tin man.

I kept the poppies fabric to a minimum because it was the most obviously feminine fabric, but I did absolutely want to include it, because Shalyce’s sister was making her some crib sheets using the same fabric. How fun to match!

Lochlan snoozing with his quilt and matching sheets

The quilt was gifted at Shalyce’s baby shower, and it ultimately featured in Lochlan’s monthly pictures as well as a smash-cake photo shoot for his first birthday!

Lochlan at 6 months old with his quilt


Lochlan's smash cake with his quilt. Photo by Lindsey Wiatt Photography

As always, it is so special to gift quilts to people I love - and Killian and Lochlan definitely fall into that category. The bonus of giving quilts to the children of friends is that I also feel like I am showing the friends that I love them too! And showing people my love is why I quilt!

Next week I will write a “Why I Quilt” feature on behalf of Nancy the Quilting Goddess… but even though it is about Nancy’s quilts, it is still quite personal because you will get to see a couple Quilter’s Mart babies - my precious Lewis and Ellen!!

If you want to submit your own project to be featured on Instagram and Facebook, and to have a chance to win some prizes, click here to learn how.

Why I Quilt - Episode 1 1

Hi there and Happy New Year! As much as possible, we here at Quilter’s Mart took the last couple of weeks off for the holidays. That means it has been a while since you last heard from me here on the blog!

But I’m back, and I’m excited to be a part of kicking off the “Why I Quilt” campaign! And it is about to get personal, because I am going to share a few posts about why I quilt.

The idea behind the campaign is to share your quilts along with the recipients. I would bet that you, like me, gift quite a few of your creations. I can’t wait to see who you share your quilts with, but you don’t have to wait a second longer to see who I share mine with!

Meet Brittany (and her bump!). And oh look! It’s me, too! Brittany and I have been best friends since I was 12 years old. We lived right around the corner from each other as teenagers, swam on the swim team together, and played water polo together. We even won a few state championships during our time in the pool!

When I lived in Sweden, Brittany came to visit me (twice!), and we traveled to Spain and France together as well. We were in each other’s weddings, and being her matron of honor was truly an honor.

As you saw in the picture above, Brittany is expecting a baby. I am so excited to be Auntie Carolyn to her little bundle of joy. Part of my (self-imposed) duties as Auntie Carolyn is, of course, to make a quilt.

Because Brittany and her husband Chad decided to leave the sex of the baby a surprise until the birth-day, the quilt needed to be gender-neutral. I thought the second batch of triangles from the triangles series would be perfect for them. So this post doubles as a reveal of the finished quilt that all you readers helped me design. Check out the final product below!

Thank you so much, readers, for picking the pinwheel design! I love how it turned out! As you can see, I added some borders to the quilt. Once the pinwheels were all assembled, the quilt just felt too darn small!

But in addition to making the quilt bigger, the borders served another purpose - to anchor the quilt. The pinwheels alone felt pretty busy and made me feel almost dizzy when I looked at them. Putting the border around the outside calmed things down visually, and I couldn’t be happier with the effect.

The backing I chose was a super soft flannel. I wish there was a way for you to reach through your screen to pet the back of this quilt, because I literally cannot describe how soft this flannel feels. I think we would have to invent some new words in order to accurately convey it!

I used Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ longarm, Lenni, to do my quilting. And because I was up against a deadline (the baby shower!), I wanted the quilting to be simple and quick. Funky and quirky definitely fits my style, so I went with wobbly, somewhat parallel lines. I think it looks infinitely cooler than the description sounds.

Brittany lives in Colorado and is due to have her baby in February. A winter baby in snowy Colorado deserves a nice warm quilt, and I think this one fits the bill perfectly. I had so much fun making this quilt for my best friend’s baby, and I just can’t wait to meet him/her! (S)he will be here before we know it!

Brittany and her sweet baby are just two of the reasons why I quilt!

Stay tuned for next week’s “Why I Quilt” feature - spoiler alert… it’s another personal share from me!

If you want to submit your own project to be featured on Instagram and Facebook, and to have a chance to win some prizes, click here to learn how!
60 Day Money Back Guarantee