Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

This Cake Is Really Good

Dear Ann,
For several years, I have had this image in my head, and on my bulletin board:
japanesequilt.jpg
I really wanted to make a quilt like this for Carrie. It just seemed like the right quilt for the girl. The problem was, at the start of my quilting career (for lack of a better word), I had zero stash. This is a quilt that takes deep stash. I could not see any repeated fabrics in the photo. (At least not any obvious ones. The thought occurred to me that maybe this quilt was made from a single crazy fabric — a fabric that you could buy a couple of yards of and be done with it–that was just cut up into strips and sewn back together. Will somebody please make a fabric like that?)
Having no choice but to do what must be done, I put my PayPal to the grindstone, and Carrie and I started to buy quarter yards and half yards of fabrics we liked. I started to gather “found” fabrics–dish towels and bags–that had printing or images on them. Friends sweetly sent me precious bits of this and that. I kept studying the picture in the book, trying to figure out what the heck made this mess of fabric look so cool to me. As the fabric came in, I sewed blocks together. I put the project aside for months at a time. Finally all the blocks were done. I squared them up. I stacked them up. Eventually I sewed the blocks into strips and the strips into the top. Eventually I pieced the backing, from a new sheet and bits of old sheets. (We can’t ever get rid of old sheets. We are sentimental. Crib sheets? Are you CRAZY? We would never throw away a crib sheet.) Eventually I sent it to the machine quilter, and eventually it came back. I sewed on the binding–immediately. The hour was at hand.
Today was The Day. The day I put a flower in water and put the vase on the bed. Flowers on beds is something done only in Japanese Quilt Book Land, as far as I know. Here it is, proof of something about me, but I don’t know what:
carriesquiltflipped.jpg
[Thank you, my foto-flipping friend.]
(Note: I didn’t make the log cabin cushion. Lisa Congdon made it, back when she was making cushions.)
That’s really all I have to say about this quilt. It means a lot to me. Carrie likes it a lot. It has taught her patience, or at least how to ask politely how a project is coming along.
Here’s how it looks in Real Life Land, sans floral embellishment:
carriesbed.jpg
This year I’m working on that Mini Quilt Wall above the headboard. It’s kinda thin, for a quilter’s daughter.
Thanks for special fabrics to:
japanesequiltcarriecristina.jpg
Cristina,
carriesquiltmaggie.jpg
Maggi
japanesequiltcarriecake.jpg
Jan
japanesequiltcarrie4.jpg
Heidi
Sources (of endless shopping pleasure and friendly, prompt service, inspiration and advice):
Cia’s Palette
Purl Soho
My next quilt will be smaller.
Love,
Kay

Tags:

144 Comments

144 Comments

  1. Oh, Kay! As we say around here, that quilt is fab-lee-us! I am sure that Carrie will treasure it forever, even when she is of that age where mom-made stuff is usually sniffed at. Bravo to you for sticking with it.

  2. Stunning! MUST learn to quilt . . .

  3. it’s gorgeous.
    I want one.

  4. A perfectly made bed is the star in a minimalist bedroom. What sweet slumber! Do I smell sod house?

  5. Oh! The picture of Cassie’s bed with the quilt on it, and the quilted pillows, and the start to a charming mini-quilt wall… I’ve started to tear up a bit.

  6. Oh, please tell me where you got the I love cake fabric!! It’s wonderful and I must have some!

  7. Wow. What a beautiful, special quilt. I want one for my bed! (Sans vase.)

  8. What a lovely testament to patience, persistence, recycling, and beauty. Bravo!

  9. so you’re why i got all those uber nice scrap books of fabric at purl soho. the quilt is absolutely beautiful and carrie is one lucky girl.
    i’m building the fabric stash of scraps but i’m scared to piece together. i think i just need to go into book-off (used japanese books, some of the crafts) and find some deep inspiration. thank you.

  10. Well done!
    Now please stop inspiring me. I really don’t have time to return to quilting. Thank you. xo

  11. Beautiful. Gorgeous.
    You want stash? I got stash! Mostly Civil War reproductions and 30’s fabrics. Happy to share.

  12. OMG–that quilt is fabulous!! You are just too full of quilty goodness lately, I can’t take it :)

  13. Wow! This quilt is amazing. Such visual interest! You could look at it a thousand times and always notice something new.

  14. You are a goddess and Carrie is a lucky girl!

  15. You are a goddess and Carrie is a lucky girl!

  16. You make me want to quilt, and I really don’t plan to quilt ever. Lucky Carrie. In a culture of moms who buy stuff, you are The Mom Who Makes Stuff.

  17. Just beautiful.

  18. Let Carrie know that her patience could have been tried much longer.
    When I was eight, my mother began a Lone Star quilt for me, all purples and pinks and greens (my favorites). She hand quilts — it’s her favorite part. I received it for my sixteenth birthday.
    It’s probably my most favorite possession, but dang if it didn’t take forEVER!

  19. Oh Mah God! That is the cutest, most wonderful quilt! Your daughter is so lucky.

  20. Beautiful quilt…and it does my heart good to hear one of my knitting teachers also calling herself a quilter.
    I’ve got to get off this computer and go knit or quilt or something!

  21. Breathtaking, Kay. Truly.

  22. That’s a really nice quilt! My Mom made me a quilt when I left for college…and maybe that’s something you’ll want to do for your kids…It’s a really nice reminder of my Mom & home that I see on my bed everyday.

  23. That’s a really nice quilt! My Mom made me a quilt when I left for college…and maybe that’s something you’ll want to do for your kids…It’s a really nice reminder of my Mom & home that I see on my bed everyday.

  24. What a lovely gift for your lovely daughter. Maybe some day she will place it on her daughter’s bed…
    Diane

  25. I’m glad she loves it. I do, but I know I’ll never make one!

  26. Beautiful quilt Kay, I know Carrie must LOVE it! Wonderful favorite choices! That’s part of the fun, collecting certain fabrics, then you have enough and the fun continues. Mine always remember when I made them something, and those are their favorite things. She will remember all the time waiting, and watching you work, and it will truly be a special thing for her….I am glad I made all the quilts for my girls….now they get knit hats etc. I think my next batch of quilts will be for grandkids…

  27. I am utterly speechless.
    Fingers are getting itchy to quilt…

  28. How lovely, I am having a tense day today, and having logged on here and seen this I feel much better! I can’t get my blocks to come out the same size when I do quilts (I say ‘quilts’ even though I have only done 1…) Is there a secret other than more practise?

  29. Beautifully done! Lucky Carrie!

  30. awwww.
    When she is having a teenaged moment, she will be sleeping under something full of love.

  31. Absolutely Beautiful! Your daughter is a lucky girl. Congratulations.

  32. Brilliant! Love it. Must get off computer and onto the sewing machine. Now where did I leave it after I finished that last Halloween costume?

  33. Beautiful quilt! Very Kay-ee.

  34. Just beautiful. First you make me want to get back into knitting, now you make me want to get back into quilting. Nah, I’ll just read about them. All your stuff is so much better…

  35. Really really nice!

  36. Wow Kay, those are the biggest blocks I’ve ever seen in a quilt. Are they 24 inches or what?
    Carolyn in NC

  37. all I can say is WOW JUST WOW!!

  38. Splendid. You are so inspiring.

  39. lovely and so full of love

  40. You captured the essence but made it your (and Carrie’s) own. Nicely done!

  41. STUNNING!!!

  42. Spectacular! Surely Carrie won’t entertain thoughts of going away to college someday with this gorgeous reason to stay put in her quilt-perfect bedroom.

  43. Oh.My.God. I absolutely love that quilt!
    Consider yourself an enabler. After seeing several beautiful quilts on here, that one pushed me over the edge. Do you have any recommendations for books or websites for fledgling quilters?

  44. Oh.My.God. I absolutely love that quilt!
    Consider yourself an enabler. After seeing several beautiful quilts on here, that one pushed me over the edge. Do you have any recommendations for books or websites for fledgling quilters?

  45. Carrie must feel wrapped in love. It’s beautiful. How did you teach her (or did she learn) to ask patiently?

  46. One of the best, happiest quilts I have ever seen.

  47. Your quilt is absolutely HEART-WARMING and I am sure that your lucky Carrie will always LOVE it! She is so fortunate to have such a talented Mom! I visited Purl Patchwork for the first time last Friday and was smitten…such a fun place and so many unique fabrics! Congratulations on a labor of love, beautifully done!!

  48. Fantastic!

  49. Oh, it’s GREAT! Just great. I especially covet the cake fabric. So Japanese, but so all-American too.
    Nice to get a glimpse of your other quilts in context as well.
    Quilt on! You are on to something.

  50. Very nice quilt. And thanks for the links–cool fabrics.

  51. Most. Awesome.
    My dear daughter’s quilt has been basted since her 2nd birthday. (She’s 6. I don’t know where the time goes.) She’s so far past the asking politely part that she’s just stopped asking, which breaks my heart.
    Maybe I should look into this “send it out to have it quilted business….

  52. Wonderful Kay. Where did the original inspirational photo come from?

  53. I’m new to knitting and sewing but I do know quite a bit about Photoshop. Flipping an image is a two step process. Under the Image Menu, go to the Rotate Canvass option, then choose Flip Image Horizontally. It’s that quick.
    GORGEOUS QUILT by the way!

  54. I’m new to knitting and sewing but I do know quite a bit about Photoshop. Flipping an image is a two step process. Under the Image Menu, go to the Rotate Canvass option, then choose Flip Image Horizontally. It’s that quick.
    GORGEOUS QUILT by the way!

  55. I’m new to knitting and sewing but I do know quite a bit about Photoshop. Flipping an image is a two step process. Under the Image Menu, go to the Rotate Canvass option, then choose Flip Image Horizontally. It’s that quick.
    GORGEOUS QUILT by the way!

  56. Oh good-there is another demented soul who still has the crib sheets(and I mean that in the nicest way). I knew I liked you. You HAVE to eat a piece of cake(carefully…) on the quilt square with that fab fabric. Retro cake-like yellow with kooky frosting or even Red Devil. Yum!

  57. Yup, it’s fabulous! So glad you’ve caught that quilting bug but good! Your quilter did a great job – I love the pattern she chose! I know Carrie will treasure this…forever. Way to go!

  58. Gorgeous!

  59. That quilt is amazing! A work of art!

  60. I am in the midst of starting a quilt, spurned on by reading this blog all week. It is so lovely.
    Very nice work!

  61. I am in the midst of starting a quilt, spurned on by reading this blog all week. It is so lovely.
    Very nice work!

  62. Fantastic! I love the wabi-sabi-ness of it.

  63. I love it!! quilting is the one craft I haven’t tackled. this delicious quilt is giving all kinds of ideas that my checkbook would prefer I not know. good job.

  64. I love it!! quilting is the one craft I haven’t tackled. this delicious quilt is giving me all kinds of ideas that my checkbook would prefer I not know. good job.

  65. It’s fantabulous.

  66. Standing ovation from here. Wowie.

  67. So wonderful, so perfect! Carrie will treasure this forever. Ya done good!

  68. The quilt is gorgeous. I like the one at the bottom of the bed, too.
    In the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (you probably know this) there is an alphabet quilt, a fabulous thing, that says the quilter began it for her first son when he was a baby, and finished it when he was 42.

  69. Oh Kay! That is breathtakingly gorgeous.

  70. It’s fabulous, Kay! Well done. Carrie is a very lucky girl and that mini quilt wall looks pretty good so far. Can’t wait to see what you do, quiltwise, next!

  71. That quilt is beautiful.
    I want to quilt but I’m scared of cutting fabric. No, I don’t know why, but I always think “It’s a perfectly good piece of fabric, you can only ruin it by cutting” so I don’t cut fabric and consequently hardly ever sew…
    For custom fabric, check out spoonflower (http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome)! You can upload your own design and have them print it for you.

  72. Fun fun fun quilt! Love it!

  73. Wow. Just Wow.

  74. Aiyee! Wonderful, wonderful quilt! (Any quilt that’s finished gets at least one star from me, though.) I’m in Japan right now, on the hunt for more odd and irresistable fabrics. Your quilt will be in the back of my mind as I browse the bolts.

  75. WOW! You’ve re-kindled that “need to have” spirit in me! IT is fantastic! I live in NJ & the ONLY quiltting shop I am aware of… sadly closed shortly after
    i had taken a 1st projects class. THis is exactly the type of project I was “aspiring” towards. IT is an heirloom! Great work and thank you so very much for sharing!

  76. I love the quilt! So many times I’m inspired by a photo and say, hey I’d love to make that…but you did it! I have so much material hanging around, maybe it’s time to put together a quilt? As always, you inspire me.

  77. It’s utterly divine! The flower was pure photographic genius.

  78. That is an amazing quilt. My socks have been knocked into the next county.

  79. Beautiful. You have such a particular way with color.

  80. Wow, Kay–it’s beautiful. I’ve been wanting to learn how to sew for the past couple of years. This may have just pushed me over the edge…. Lucky Carrie!

  81. This is fantastic, Kay!

  82. Carrie will treasure this forever. A quilt made with mom carries many memories and a lot of love.
    Great job.Beautiful quilt.

  83. It’s amazing! Worth all that work, I’m sure. And enough to make me think about taking up quilting.

  84. Carrie’s quilt and your photos are even better than your inspiration photo! I am moved and inspired by the beauty of it and the story behind the quilt and fabrics. Thank you for sharing just the heartwarming thing I needed on this horribly frigid day here in the Midwest.

  85. You did a fabulous job (and I recognize a fabric or two in there..!). How cool – and what a neat thing to hand down in Carrie’s family some day.
    (((hugs)))

  86. Awesome quilt!! I’ve been saying for the past three months that I’m going to try my hand at making a quilt (my mom is The Master, so I’ve got good back-up), but I think this post may nudge me into actually putting hands to fabric. (Speaking of fabric, I am in love with that “et souris” fabric that Maggi has given you…) Anyway, kudos!

  87. Kay,
    I love your quilt!
    The contributions make it all the more special.
    I have yet to sew a stitch on my first quilt though I think I like the arrangement so far.
    The fabrics are 6″ squares cut from my MIL’s clothing. My SIL did all of the cutting and made small quilts for all of the grandchildren. She then made a special quilt for her own bed (king size) with the same fabrics but added small bits of the embroidery, lace and crochet pieces my MIL made over the years. All quilts have a tie belonging to my FIL appliqued onto the quilt backing and a quilt label cut from a set of hand painted stamped blocks MIL did but never got around to sewing together. All very special and sentimental and definitely no two alike. :)

  88. Stunning! You have to love a project that takes some figuring out. Makes you grow as a person, or some business like that.

  89. That is gorgeous! I love all the fun patterns and fabric. What a hoot!

  90. I just finished my small log cabin cushion after over 2 years. And this quilt just put me to complete shame :O). This quilt is beyond words… …

  91. Beautiful! Quite an accomplishment.
    My quilting jones is getting stronger. I’ve been making curtains with squares of fabric for my son and that pile of leftovers is calling to me.

  92. I am all inspired now! That is one suh-weet quilt. And the fabric is just so!
    Lucky lucky girl.

  93. Oh, Kay, this is just beautiful. Suitably heirloomy, for one thing, and Carrie will carry (so original, I know!) it around with her–sleepover to dorm room to apartment–for many many years to come. I should know; my mom made me a going-away-to-college quilt years ago, and even now, no couch-loafing session is the same without it. It’s such a great gift, the Mom Quilt (not to be associated, of course, with Mom Jeans).
    Lovely.

  94. What a very lucky girl! I am so impressed by how beautiful it has turned out. Great job to you.

  95. Kay, you are an amazingly talented fiber artist. It wouldn’t matter what new craft you determined to try. The quilt is gorgeous. In your head is a work of genius.

  96. Absolutely fabulous. As usual, I’m truly inspired by your artistry and creativity. Bravo!

  97. Kay, that quilt for Carrie is…just….so wonderful. Words fail.

  98. That quilt is simply fabulous! I love it.

  99. So beautiful – esp those bits of black – and the scraps with text! oh my! I love the photo styling!

  100. So pretty! But where is the machine quilter???

  101. Carrie’s quilt is SO MUCH BETTER. The other quilt although nice looks fake or plasticy (i dunno how or why). Nice job.

  102. Wow, that could really make me start quilting. It’s a work of art.

  103. I have no words for how very special that quilt is only to say you have created an heirloom which will be appreciated for years to come. I love how you noted the peeps that added to the beauty.
    How very blessed your daughter must feel.

  104. Stunning – crave worthy – an original and ‘sure-to-be loved for generations’ heirloom. Kudos!

  105. Excellent! Congratulations! I know how much it means to you, and I’m so glad you’re happy with it.

  106. It is so special and beautiful I have no words!

  107. Seriously? That quilt is freakin’ amazing. What an heirloom you have created. Your daughter must be thrilled.

  108. Wow! What a great quilt and a great story. I am vicariously reveling in your creative perseverance and your daughter’s appreciation.

  109. Kay – BRAVA! Your quilt collaboration with Carrie is just great!
    Your long ago post about this quilt inspired me to collect fabric with text and interesting graphics. It’s been really challenging to find this type of fabric! Lucky you to have so many generous friends who shared fabric with you. Carrie’s completed quilt shows me that it can be done.
    Good work! What’s your next quilting inspiration??

  110. Kay – BRAVA! Your quilt collaboration with Carrie is just great!
    Your long ago post about this quilt inspired me to collect fabric with text and interesting graphics. It’s been really challenging to find this type of fabric! Lucky you to have so many generous friends who shared fabric with you. Carrie’s completed quilt shows me that it can be done.
    Good work! What’s your next quilting inspiration??

  111. Lovely interpretation you did there! Well worth all your effort. And what fun to have all the little bits of special fabrics from friends plus picking out fabrics together with Carrie for her quilt.

  112. Can you share which book this beauty is printed in?

  113. Can you share which book this beauty is printed in?

  114. Can you share which book this beauty is printed in?

  115. OK I am afraid I’m going to sound like I’m sucking up to you or something, but I LOVE that quilt. Like it much much better than the one in the magazine. You’re has more personality and true warmth, if you know what I mean.

  116. kay-your quilt is a work of art. carrie is one lucky girl and you are one wonderful mom! xo

  117. what teachable moments for carrie…..the very first being patience. an heirloom for her hope chest! isn’t it fun to know origins of many of the scraps. on to doll quilts next!

  118. Lovely, lovely. Do you pick a design for the machine quilting or do you let the quilter chose? I have a very old quilt top that I am going to have machine quilted. I am very afraid. My mother pieced the top in the 40s with material from my dresses. It is “The little Dutch girl”, probably from a newspaper pattern. Because of arthritis I can’t sew any more so I don’t have much choice. I can still knit however. Thanks for letting us into your lives. I really, really, really enjoy reading this blog.

  119. Lovely, lovely. Do you pick a design for the machine quilting or do you let the quilter chose? I have a very old quilt top that I am going to have machine quilted. I am very afraid. My mother pieced the top in the 40s with material from my dresses. It is “The little Dutch girl”, probably from a newspaper pattern. Because of arthritis I can’t sew any more so I don’t have much choice. I can still knit however. Thanks for letting us into your lives. I really, really, really enjoy reading this blog.

  120. Sorry about the double post. Too tired at the end of the day.

  121. Bravo! What a beautiful heirloom to give to your daughter! Is her room always that neat???

  122. Bravo! What a beautiful heirloom to give to your daughter! Is her room always that neat???

  123. I like yours better. I’m glad you had the picture for inspiration and all but I like what you did with it. Very creative and what a treasure for your daughter. I love what your machine quilter did with it as well. I am just getting ready to play with my new sewing machine (ok, it’s been mostly sitting in a box for 3 years but I’ve been busy)that has the snazzy free form quilting features. Thanks to your inspirational blogs showing all your finished items, I have joined the club of finishing what I can before some other shiny object captures my attention so I am currently on a roll. Now I see Ann has cleared her desk…… Great.

  124. It’s January 16th–how is it that I missed this post??
    SUCH a nice quilt, with a great story behind it! (I live for quilt stories…)
    May Carrie always use it in good health.
    LoveDiane

  125. WOW!!!! That quilt is gorgeous. Congratulations!

  126. lovely! every so often i would wonder how this quilt was coming along – it’s worth every minute of time you spent on it. (and it’s a little misty-making to think of you and carrie having the quilt project to share. so sweet.)

  127. No font is large enough, or exclamation point pointy enough: that is fantastic!!!
    You are a Denyse Schmidt fan, as am I. She makes the fabric of your dreams—it already looks like a quilt: (I’ll make my name the link)
    http://www.dsquilts.com/fabric_and_patterns.asp?PageID=77&ImageID=272

  128. Holy Cannoli is that every beautiful. Wow. I love that I can see some of Sophia’s quilt pieces in here. Carrie must be so warm and cuddly under there!

  129. OMG!! That is Fabulous! I think every kid should have a quilt made by their mom, I know that my three treasure theirs and I am not that good of a quilt maker. Yours is very pretty!

  130. Your quilt is absolutely perfect! I love it! and of course it makes me want to make one too.
    How does one find someone to quilt it for you? And is it very expensive?

  131. I love it!!!!

  132. Dear Kay, I hope you still see this comment. You must, must, must go to the Blue Sky Alpacas site and look at the lace trimmed tablecloths. The way they are placed on the table makes them look like a quilt and the styling is pure 1930’s. I think the colors and look are right up your alley.

  133. What a wonderful quilt! I used to quilt. Now I knit. Oh, to be able to do both! I just don’t seem to have enough time or energy. Keep up the quilting and knitting and blogging. I love it.
    tp

  134. you are such an instigator!!!! now i have yet another hobby to start! as if knitting isnt enough. i love the quilt – it’s beautiful

  135. Lovely, lovely quilt…It will be treasured forever. Back in the day (ahem, 1960’s and 70’s) my mom made my own clothes. Remember when that was actually cheaper to do than to buy? Anyway, my great aunt made me a quilt out of the leftover scraps from the clothes that my mom made. I can still look at that quilt and remember the outfits that the fabric came from…a favorite blouse, a cute jumper, you name it. It’s wild – mom was really into Hawaiian prints for a while, plus, after all, it was the 60’s and 70’s!
    Quilts do hold memories, and they hold them well!

  136. Well! I just realized how nasty my above reference to liking your quilt better sounded! As if you were in a contest with the inspirational quilt in the book. I apologize. I was captivated by the whimsy of yours I guess. Not being a competitive person, I didn’t mean to sound that way. On a better note, your closeup photos of the quilt have me itching to continue on with one of my own quilts that have been waiting patiently. I can almost feel the softness of the cotton!

  137. Fabu!

  138. I LOVE your quilt-and would love a piece of the fabric that says I love cake!!!!
    I shop on-line at Cia’s Palette and purlsoho also. They are both great.

  139. I LOVE your quilt-and would love a piece of the fabric that says I love cake!!!!
    I shop on-line at Cia’s Palette and purlsoho also. They are both great.

  140. I LOVE your quilt-and would love a piece of the fabric that says I love cake!!!!
    I shop on-line at Cia’s Palette and purlsoho also. They are both great.

  141. I LOVE your quilt-and would love a piece of the fabric that says I love cake!!!!
    I shop on-line at Cia’s Palette and purlsoho also. They are both great.

  142. I love looking at quilts as much as I like making ‘em!

  143. I’ve been dreaming about a version of this quilt since I got that book a couple years ago. Your version is SO FANTASTIC. Can I ask how big your blocks ended up being? I’m thinking about the scale for my own.

  144. Somewhat off subject, but check out the quilt for sale at the Columbus Ave Housing Works:
    http://www.shophousingworks.com/lot.cfm?lotID=30399