Every year for Christmas on the mister's side, we draw names for a gift exchange. Each grandchild gives to another grandchild and then the adult children/siblings give to each other. Last year, we had the mister's sister and I made her this Color Beads quilt. I decided then that I want to make a quilt for each adult whose name(s) we draw. So this year, we had the mister's twin brother and his wife for Christmas. As an extended family, we've set a limited dollar amount for gifts, but a friend was getting rid of some fabric that just happened to be the perfect colors for my sister-in-law, so I was able to make both my brother- and sister-in-law quilts.
First up, my brother-in-law. He's really smart. Like super high IQ and even back in high school, I remember him liking chess. I wanted to use a charm pack of this Cloud 9 fabric that we got at Sewing Summit, but since there weren't very many charms, I added some charms of Kona white and gave it a chess/checker board feel by alternating the print fabric and the white charms. To keep within our dollar limit, I offset the center patchwork with a bright blue sheet that I had on-hand as the border.
I backed it with a fleece throw that I got Black Friday shopping. I also wanted to experiment a little since I'd never used this as a backing before. I didn't add any batting and it really gave this quilt more of a blanket feel to it.
For my sister-in-law, I used these various purple, green, and cream fabrics to make large 16" finished string blocks. I played around with the layout and liked this one the best.
I added batting to her quilt and while it made the quilt really heavy during the quilting process, I prefer the added weight. It made it feel like the quilt had substance while my brother-in-law's felt a bit flimsier.
I also used her quilt to practice some new free-motion quilting techniques. I did a different design in each block. Some turned out great. Others a little meh. I used the same fleece throw for the backing and it really shows off the quilting nicely.
In the border, I quilted these big loops. I really liked how the border turned out.
In this block, I free-motion quilted a bunch of words about family and love as well as her full name and the names of her husband and kids. This was a first for me, and I was really pleased with the result. (Since the quilting showed up so much better on the back, that's what the picture is of. Unfortunately, the writing is in reverse.)
In this block, I did a little pebble quilting, basing the size of the pebbles on the width of the strips I was quilting. I really like the varying sizes all together on the diagonal like this.
Both quilts were well-received. It will be fun to continue this tradition next year with another set of siblings-in-law. Hopefully the mister's remaining brother and sister are okay getting quilts from us for the next couple years.