The Quilted Life with Carolyn — quilting with triangles


Why I Quilt - Episode 3 2

Oh you guys… I’m so excited for this week’s post! It is about a lot of people I love, and I can’t wait for you to love them as much as I do!

This week, we’re doing episode 3 of the “Why I Quilt” series - and we are featuring Nancy the Quilting Goddess and some of the quilts she has made for my babies!

Nancy and my daughter, Ellen

Meet Nancy the Quilting Goddess herself! She is my mother-in-law, and my own personal quilting guru - and she taught me almost everything I know about quilting. I never even needed a YouTube tutorial for any new skills, because Nancy is a seemingly endless well of knowledge.

Nancy has 9 grandchildren - 4 biological and 5 step. She makes quilts for all of them, usually (at least) one at birth, and then increasing sizes as they get older and become larger themselves.

My two babies, Lewis (turning 4 in April) and Ellen (cruising towards 1.5 years old), are biological grandchildren numbers 2 and 4 in the birth order, 7 and 9 in the overall count, and they have a handful of gorgeous Nancy-Originals to call their own.

Since Lewis is older, we’ll start with him (sorry, Ellen.). He currently has two Nancy-Originals. The first is pictured below, and was his baby quilt, although even at nearly-4-years-old, it still gets plenty of love!

Nancy made this one for Lewis in these colors because his bedroom colors were navy blue, orange, and red. It matched the “theme” perfectly!

But my favorite, favorite part of this quilt is the backing. It is all the Portland bridges, which have a special significance to me and my husband Kyle, namely that Kyle proposed to me on one of the bridges as we were walking to a Portland Trail Blazer game.

The fabric has double significance, because the fabric designer is a local designer (Violet Craft), whom I have met in person. She even gifted me a Portland Bridges pillow after I saw the one she had on display at a local quilt show and, rather embarrassingly, I cried (I was pregnant, hormones were running rampant, and I couldn’t help myself!).

Lewis’s second quilt was a team effort from Nancy and her colleagues at work. They have a rather unofficial quilting guild at their office, and they make quilts for babies of family members and babies of employees together. Lewis’s is on the larger-end of the baby-size quilt, so it has been great for snuggling even as he has gotten larger himself. And the trucks are, not surprisingly, a huge hit with our sweet little boy!

Ellen got her baby quilt from Nancy at her baby shower. You’ll notice that the color scheme is similar to Lewis’s baby quilt, and I bet you can guess why! Ellen took over some of Lewis’s furniture, and the crib was navy blue, so that color carried through to her room as well. Her overall color scheme was navy blue, pink, and gold. As always, Nancy came through with the perfect quilt!

Ellen got a big girl quilt for her 1st birthday, pictured below. It also fits the same color scheme, even with some iridescent elements! So fancy, Nancy!

You may even recognize the pattern - Nancy did a supersized version of the same pattern I made for Lochlan (featured in my last post). Isn’t it cool to see it in a totally different color scheme?!

This quilt, to be honest, has not been used much by Ellen. That’s not to say it hasn’t gotten use, though! I use it every. single. day. when I put Ellen to bed. I sit in the chair and cover myself up in that quilt while I sing to Ellen and she drifts off.

Nancy’s quilts are (and will be!) a huge part of my children’s lives. They’re woven into our day-to-day activities. They go to daycare with the kids, they are part of bedtime, we lay them out for picnics in the living room, and we snuggle with them on the couch. It’s like Nancy is there with us, showing us her love, every day.

My babies are so lucky to have a Grammy like Nancy the Quilting Goddess. Not just because she makes them such amazing blankets, but because she loves them so much. I think it is safe to say that her grandchildren are why Nancy the Quilting Goddess quilts!

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

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.

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