Monday, June 10, 2013

Collaborative Party Quilting

I know I shared some photos yesterday of the day I have been waiting for to share the love.  It was the day where I could show my love for my DIL and how grateful I am that she is carrying my grandson. This will be my first grandchild.  I have been sewing for weeks getting ready for the baby shower and that explains my lack of quilting blog posts.  I feel like I have been vamping, but I didn't want to show too much because I wanted Olivia to have some surprises. 
 
Now that I have had some time to rest and recoup I can share a few more details. 3 of Olivia's friends, my other DIL and I made the shower together. It was a book theme and we asked for children's books instead of a card.  It was the start of quite a library.   I took responsibility for the party favors and I volunteered to do a "craft" instead of playing baby shower games. 
Can you tell that games are not my thing?
Party favors using Mother Goose themed fabric made with a little help from my friends
 
The craft - I wanted to make a collaborative quilt with everyone's participation for the new baby. This meant that all the guests were to create a block and then sign it.  So I had to come up with a theme.  Several danced through my brain.  Olivia's sister actually came up with the one I used - FISH!  My son loves to fish and had many fish tanks growing up. 
This would acknowledge his presence in the process!
 
I designed fish body parts that were interchangeable so each fish would be unique. 

 
 Think Mr. Potato Head.
I prepped a bunch of different fabric to be fusible, cut them out, removed the release paper and organized them by body type.
 
I made a sample and  a direction list for the guests to follow.  I wanted it to be fun, friendly and fool-proof. A few of the women were my quilting friends and they were great helpers.   It turned out that it was not that hard to get everyone to participate and I heard very little whining.
 Creativity was in the air.  
 
I had labels to be filled out for each block.  I wanted the signature to stand out instead of blending into the background. Although I have used Pigma pens for years, I think they are a little hard for non-quilters to use for writing on fabric.  There just isn't a good flow.  So I did some experimentation, which included a trip through the washing machine and dryer and settled on using Gel pens.  Heat setting with a dry iron made them permanent.  The writing flows smoothly and they come in a bunch of colors.
 
I provided some fabric for practicing and had lots of extra labels for any mistakes.  I left the release paper on for stability while writing.

 
As the blocks went up on my design wall, excitement grew.  Each fish was cuter than the next. 





 
 And I even saw some of the women rearranging the blocks. That made me feel good.
 
And most importantly, the mother to be just loved it
and created her own block with her hubby, my son. 
 
I can't wait to start blanket stitching these fishy blocks. I have 2 months to finish before the arrival of Baby Lynch and machine applique is one of my favorite things to do. It's certainly  a lot more fun than playing baby shower games.
 
In the next few days, I'll share some of my gifts that I made, with some tutorials. 
 Then I'll get back to my quilts.
 
 
 
 

30 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea Cheryl - well done!

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  2. An absolutely dynamite idea! When the quilt is done, I hope you write this up for one of the magazines - it's worth sharing.

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  3. What a great idea. What size background did you use?

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  4. What a great idea and the results are spectacular! Yarngoddess is right. Send it to a magazine.

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  5. How creative and what fun for the guests! Well done.

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  6. Wonderful idea.I agree with Norma, send it to a magazine.

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  7. Those are really fun, love all the different fish and fabrics.
    I have been collecting fish patterns from fat cat BOM, then I can make something similar.

    Debbie

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  8. What a wonderful idea! The quilt will be beautiful...and what fun. This might be a good idea for a program at a guild too. I belong to a VERY traditional guild; this exercise might get their creative juices flowing.

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  9. An absolutely fabulous idea! Can't wait to see the finished quitl.

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  10. Absolutely brilliant! I just love how each fish is so different.

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  11. This is a great idea and can be tailored to any theme! Great job and so fun!

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  12. Nothing short of brilliant! I want to borrow this idea!!! It would be a great birthday party activity!!! Thank you for a fantastic idea!

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  13. What a cute and creative idea for a baby quilt! The fish are charming and colorful! Lucky baby.

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  14. Gorgeous fish and what a creative idea.

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  15. Gorgeous fish blocks and what a creative idea. Love it and am envious I didn't think of something like this for our grand children

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  16. What an awesome idea! Now I have another reason I can't wait until my daughter or daughter-in-law gets pregnant!

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  17. What a terrific idea! Got everyone involved & such a productive & practical result! That is just awesome! I know it took a whole lotta pre-work, but gosh, it's so worth it, and the ladies came up with THE cutest arrangement! Hooray for the modern version of a quilting bee!

    I can just imagine the continued joy & smiles that quilt is gonna bring for many years to come!

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  18. Cheryl, what a great idea! I will be saving this idea for my future grand-babies! Love it!

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  19. This is absolutely darling! Congratulations on the anticipated arrival of your new grandson.

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  20. How fun! Such a great idea and the results are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing the finished baby quilt.

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  21. That's absolutely brilliant! Mind if I link to it from this week's Let's Make Baby Quilts post?

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  22. It was a great idea and all the ladies seemed to enjoy creating their own fish! It is going to be a cool quilt.

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  23. What a fabulous idea!! What a whale of an idea! :)

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  24. I would love to do something similar for a bridal shower... what could I use for the picture to replace the fish???? I would make a table runner with placemats or a wall hanging... any suggestions???

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  25. I would like to borrow your idea for a bridal shower... any suggestions for the theme instead of fish.... I would make a table runner with placemats or a wall haning.... thanks

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  26. Love it!
    You are so creative.
    How do you think of all these ideas?

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  27. What an incredibly creative and loving gift for your DIL! The fish are fabulous as were the presentation of books and food.

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  28. Wow!!! What a great idea! The fish are so precious!
    I love the shapes and fabrics/colors!
    Cheryl, you are amazingly creative! Love your idea!
    I bet everyone had a great time -- way more fun than games.
    And they all have a part in this precious quilt for
    a very special baby!!! I can't wait to see the appliqued fish
    and finished quilt!!!

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  29. Love love love this collaborative quilt idea! And WAY better than shower games too! So cute!

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