Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FINISHED...with one week to spare...

...and I will NEVER box myself into a corner like this again, lol.  Next Christmas my aunt is getting a quilt.  It will be started January 1, 2014, lol.

Here is a brief trip through the process with lots and lots of pictures.........


In case this is the first time you are reading my blog...a little back history.  My mom is a chocoholic!  Big Time!  For my entire young life my mom's breakfast consisted of a cup of tea and a Hershey's Chocolate Bar.  I had to eat yucky cereal, but she reveled in her favorite food first thing in the morning, lol.  Also, my mom's nickname since childhood is "Tootsie".  Kind of appropriate, huh?  Months and months ago I saw something that mentioned the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's" and I thought to myself, "It ought to be Breakfast at Tootsie's and then it could be all about chocolate."  And so, an idea was born.

For a month or two I searched ebay and every online fabric shop I frequent looking for "chocolate" fabric.  My Dear Hubby took me to Lancaster, PA for a day and drove me from shop to shop as I purchased a few yards here, a few yards there.  I knew what I wanted..."chocolate", but a tiny bit more sophisticated than a typical "kid" fabric.  I also knew that I wanted to incorporate machine embroidery into the quilt.  I went online to my favorite pattern shops and found just what I was looking for.  Time to begin putting my ideas to the test.


I knew I wanted to make a Dresden quilt for mom, but I had one problem...I had never made a Dresden block before.  So, I pulled out some scrap fabric and tackled my first Dresden. 


I used my finished block to make a pillow...which I showed to mom.  She LOVED it.  First phase completed!


I began making Dresdens and while searching machine embroidery sites I came across the most perfect pattern...a woman munching on candy with the saying "Chocolate..It's not just for breakfast anymore!"  It couldn't be more perfect.  








I finally narrowed the fabric selections down to five different material Dresdens.  I used three of the materials twice to make 8 Dresdens and the central square for the main embroidery.  The plan was coming together!


I chose beige as the background fabric for the Dresdens.  It would pick up the beige in the candy and also match the beige in the quilt I made my Dad last Christmas.  Since they would be used in the same room I wanted them to coordinate a bit.  I also found four smaller embroideries to use as cornerstones of the border.  


I finally finished sewing together my eight Dresdens and even put quarter Dresdens around the central embroidery.  It was just too "blah" without any other materials surrounding it. 


I was pretty happy with the quilt so far, but it was "square" and I really wanted a rectangular quilt.  I seemed to remember spotting a cupcake "border" embroidery pattern on one of the sites I frequented, and I was sure it would make an adorable border, if I could just FIND it.  A bit of searching produced the pattern and I was one step closer to the quilt vision in my head.  


The finished border added to the length...and to the charm.  I was loving it more and more every day!


It was pretty obvious that the quilt needed a "darker" border to set off the lightness of the quilt and also showcase the individual desserts embroidered on the corners.  


I machine quilted the blocks (amid some crises...which is a WHOLE other story!) and added a deep pink border for contrast. 





The pink REALLY played well with the desserts!


When I looked at the back of the quilt, the center of each Dresden was blank...and BORING!  Another quick search online and I found the perfect quilting for the center of each block!


The central block was still a bit blah...so I made a 1/2" binding strip and followed the outline of the quarter Dresdens....better...but now TOO pink!  I went to JoAnn's looking for some type of "candy" trim to break up the pink.  I know.  I know.  Just because I WANT "candy" trim doesn't mean they have it, lol!  When I spotted this mini pompom trim my mouth began to water and visions of Malted Milk Balls filled my head.   Mmmmmm.....YUM!  PERFECT!  Now I just had to sew it all on...by hand!  


Much better, don't you think?




So here it is...FINISHED...in all of it's glory!  I am so THRILLED with the way it turned out.  This is without a doubt the hardest, most detailed and most themed quilt I have ever made...but I love every square inch of it.  Are there "mistakes"?  Sure, lots of them.  But this quilt encompassed an awful lot of sewing and quilting "firsts" for me and I am thrilled with the progress I have made in the one year since I made my dad's quilt.  





I even took a picture of the back...for posterity's sake.  


All tied up and ready to wrap.  I told my Dear Hubby that I should have named it "Blood, Sweat and Tears" instead of "Breakfast At Tootsie's".  There is an awful lot of love, along with quite a bit of DNA (complements of my blood, sweat and tears), in this quilt and I am sure it will remain my favorite for many years to come.  

I think we are going to need lots of Kleenex on Christmas morning...

18 comments:

  1. It's just a wonderful quilt, Lin. I have been enjoying your quilting story this year. Your Mom is going to just love it. Have a great Christmas. RedRobin

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    1. Thank you, RR! I can't wait for Christmas!

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  2. You did good Lin. Your Mom is going to love it. Remember the box of tissues !!!

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you, Jackie! Thankfully I have LOTS of tissues, lol.

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  3. A.MA.ZING!!! Oh, to be a fly on your wall on Christmas morning. I think you need someone to video the big event!!

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    1. Hmmmm....I wonder if my son still has his old camcorder...or maybe he could video it on his phone? Thanks for the idea! I will talk to him about it!

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  4. This is so beautiful and my goodness the work!! Your mom will love it! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. Thank you, Connie! Life is too short to wish time away, but oh how I wish it was Christmas morning. I can't wait to give it to her!

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  5. Visiting you from Sew Many Ways, what an amazing christmas present. WOW I am so impressed

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  6. That is so awesome ! I love every "bite" of it . I made my Mom my first hand sewn,hand quilted quilt. I too can"t wait to give it too her. I too have the blood ,sweat, and puppy fur into mine. Most of my sewing/ quilting time was spent trying to convince my Boston terrier I really needed my lap to sew whereas this was her "seat" it was quite a struggle . Merry Christmas !
    ~Karen

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  7. Poor little thing...Mom's attention was focused elsewhere! I'm sure your mom will adore every stitch you put into her quilt. Hurry Up Christmas! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Lin

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  8. Its so gorgeous , Lin and the row of brown pom-poms is Too Cute. Its is so personal and I love it EVEN more as it coordinates with your dads quilt ; ) You should video the moment, it will be a Forever Family Memory.

    Merry Christmas !

    Rinty X

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    1. Oh, Rinty, thank you so much! I will ask Jus if he will video it for me! Of course my mom has popped in to visit three times this week! I don't want to see her. I am SO afraid I am going to slip and mention the quilt! I almost did today. Someone stole my American Express number and spent $1550.41 on basketball tickets! I filed a report with our police and they found the computer IP address of the person who bought the tickets and are going to get a search warrant for the computer used in the theft. The officer called today to ask if I used my card in a particular town. I told him the name of a sewing machine store in that town where I bought some of the fabric for mom's quilt...and then I almost said the same to my mom when I was telling her what the police said! I can't tell you how many times I have almost slipped! By the way...your Christmas gift will be late, lol. It will get there, though!

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  9. Wow ... wow... and WOW! That is an incredible quilt. I think you should enter it in a contest, provided your mom will part with it for a bit, LOL! Well done!

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  10. Thank you! Lol, mom will never part with it...I'm sure. I couldn't enter it into a contest because my quilting and piecing aren't proficient enough. But with practice I will eventually get there. Now for design? Maybe. Actually, designing is my favorite part of the quilt...coming up with the idea and then pulling together all of the "little things" that make a cohesive theme.

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