13 Aug Sister Side Braid Quilt
My beautiful Mom celebrated a big birthday in June. I won’t embarrass her and state the number but I will tell you that she looks at least 10 years younger than her birth certificate claims she is. I chalk it up to amazing genes, her aversion to exercise, her sense of humor, eating artichokes, and staying out of the sun. I hope I look as good as she does when I’m her age.
My younger sister, Colleen (also known as Boo), and I wanted to make sure we did something special for her big day. My mom made each of us a quilt when we were younger (there are 4 of us) and it’s still something I use on a daily basis. We thought we should return the favor. We pictured her snuggling on the couch wrapped in her handmade quilt and knew it would make a perfect gift. We just had to get started!
I had purchased Jeni Baker’s Side Braid Quilt from Sewn Studio a few months back. I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought it, but liked the simplicity of the pattern. The finished size is 60″ x 78″ so my sister and I thought this would make a nice sized lap quilt for my mom. The construction of the quilt would also allow us to work on it together fairly easily.
My mom’s favorite colors are green and blue so we decided to use the Twilight Palette from Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander line of fabrics. I bought a fat quarter bundle of Wee Wander coordinating solids from Westwood Acres to go along with what I already had. If you haven’t seen this line, it’s beautiful. Sarah Jane also has some lovely prints in her shop.
I laid out the quilt, tried to subdue the urge to make it “perfect,” and used Wonder clips to organize the rows. There are 26 rows in the small braid quilt so I didn’t want to lose track.
My sister and I set up dates to watch The Bachelorette, drink wine, and sew the quilt. It was a pretty perfect combination in our opinions. I set up two machines in my living room with a front-row view of our guilty pleasure. I also pulled my ironing board out there so we wouldn’t miss any of the trashy action. Please excuse the paint chips, rain boots, stereo box, and other random clutter in the room. I could pretend that this isn’t how it normally looks but I’m a terrible liar.
Little did we know that these two men (Josh and Nick) we captured above during the first episode would show up in the final one.
Our productivity may have been better had we not been watching 26 men vying for Andi’s heart, but it was worth it. After all, Chris claimed this was the “most dramatic season in Bachelorette history.” I believe he says this every season, but it keeps me watching!
We worked through the quilt, row by row, and got excited when we saw it coming together.
The back of the quilt top was as beautiful as the front with all of the pressed seams.
More rows, more wine, more sobbing boys going home in limos, and we finally finished the top:
I mentioned earlier that my house is not conducive to making a quilt sandwich, but Colleen and I made the best of it. We shoved my furniture and rug to the side and straddled anything left in our way in order to get it done. As Dory would say, “Just keep pinning, pinning, pinning.”
Kind of a hot mess, but we did it!
We used Meandering in Seafoam for the back of the quilt, which is also from the Wee Wander collection. And it’s green and blue so we figured we couldn’t go wrong.
I quilted straight lines 1/4″ away from each seam to keep it looking clean. And honestly because that’s all I’ve ever done! Did I mention this was my sister’s first quilt and only my second large-ish one? So please excuse my non-technical quilting terms throughout this post!
I still haven’t found the best setup for quilting and here is how I look most of the time: shoulders shrugged, quilt thrown over any body part I can manage, and tables set up in front of my machine and to the left of it (not pictured). Does any one have any tricks they use to make quilting easier?
For the binding, I chose Nature Walk fabric in Twilight I attempted to do a somewhat scrappy binding and throw in the Green colorway of this same fabric. It ended up in the bottom right hand corner. Can you spot it? I’m not sure if I like this decision or not but it was fun to try.
We were giddy when the quilt was done and couldn’t wait to show my mom. My husband made a really cute video that compiled all of the pictures he took while we were making the quilt. We showed it to my mom on her birthday before showing her the actual quilt. It was definitely worth all of the love, time, and Bachelorette-watching we put into it. And it was extra special to make it with my sister. I’m hoping I didn’t scare her away from quilt making and she’ll make one with me again. Boo, you in?
Here are some final pictures my husband took of Colleen and I with our first sister quilt:
Happy Birthday Beautiful Mama! I hope this quilt brings you comfort when we aren’t with you. Love you infinity.