Grandma's quilt for her 82nd birthday

This is a very special quilt that my cousin Robin and I made for our grandma, who turned 82 on December 26, 2011.

Robin and I talked about what kind of quilt to make for our grandma, who is usually a very traditional quilter. Our quilting styles are more modern, and I struggled a bit deciding how to bring traditional and modern quilting styles together into something that I could be proud to have made and that my grandma would enjoy using.

In planning this quilt we decided that it would be fun to each make our own sides of the quilt without telling the other person what we were working on. I had no idea about Robin's choices regarding color palette, block design, or decisions about using a modern vs. traditional style.

I thought about our two quilt tops a lot in the months that we were piecing them together. Will the two sides work together? Will the colors clash? Are we making two very similar things and there won't be enough contrast between the two? Whose crazy idea was this to keep our quilt tops a secret from each other? (It was Robin's, I'm sure. She is the one who usually comes up with the crazy ideas, quilting or otherwise.) 
Robin's side of the lap quilt, bento box blocks
my side of the lap quilt, string pieced blocks
 In the end, our two quilt tops worked together very well. We both used blue and green fabrics, and my batiks have a hint of pink in a few of the fabrics, which works well with her pinks and reds. We quilted it using a light blue thread and a heart pattern, but we set the quilt up on a long arm quilting machine that I wasn't used to using, and to be honest, I did a poor job of quilting it. My hearts were more square than round, my points were more often loops. And so we decided the best thing to do would be to rip out all of the quilting and try again. Ripping out quilting thread on the 48 by 60 quilt took a couple of weeks and then we went back to the quilter's for round two. 

The second time around we chose a light pink thread and Robin quilted it using a free hand meandering pattern and it turned out very well. We squared it up, and realized that we needed to make a couple of repairs to Robin's side, you can read more about that on her blog

We chose one of Robin's Moda red fabrics for the binding to help bring some of Robin's red over to my side of the quilt. Robin pieced the binding together and I sewed it down to the quilt and made the label. 

quilt label includes a Margaret Kennedy quote about family
Robin, Grandma, Grandpa, and me on Christmas Eve


  1. What an awesome idea and quilt! I'm sure your Grandma will treasure it!

  2. what a lovely tribute! great work! I can't decide which side I like more. I love them both!