Yes you read it right?
Hi faithful readers of Sew We Quilt ( @Stash Manicure), I'm Mama Spark of Mama Spark's World. A great BIG thank you to Madame Samm for inviting me to share with you today. Ok, so here's the Reader's Digest condensed version of who I am. Wife of almost 28 years, mama to three wonderful children, 2 daughters and a son, scientist by day, avid quilter by night. Also herder of 5 cats and one dog. I think that about sums it up. Want to know more? Stop over and visit me. Now on to my topic.
I was a relatively new blogger in 2008 when I discovered Leanne Beasley's blog. You know her, right? Amazing Aussie designer. She had done a quilt she called the 365 Day Challenge quilt. I was intrigued. At the time, many people around the web were participating. I decided to jump in with both feet! There is a tutorial over at Leanne's blog with photos. I on the other hand have no individual pictures but you will enjoy hers, which she had given me permission to use here to show you all!!
You will be making a quilt that you write on, like a journal or your blog EVERY DAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! Yes, you read that correctly every day for an entire year. I know what you're thinking. "Mama Spark, why would I want to do that?" I say why not? It was an amazing way to chronicle a year of my life. Ok, pipe down, I hear you asking, "What would I write about every day?" Whatever you want. I wrote about events of the day, or things I wanted my children to know about or current events or the weather, but what you write is totally up to you. You could just draw a picture! It was challenging but worth it when it was all finished. My eldest daughter said, "Now you have to make 2 more so we will each have a year of your life!"
Alright, "How do I do this?" I hear you ask? You are sure chatty today!! The supply list is pretty simple.
-Lots of light colored fabric scraps! You could use all one color family, or like me just mostly creams but including some pale colored fabrics for interest. If you want it to look more like an actual journal you could stay with lots of creams and off whites.
- Freezer paper.
- Permanent fabric marker(s). I used several colors, but I liked black the best.
- Rotary Cutter, ruler, and mat.
- Sewing machine with a 1/4" sewing foot
_You will need approximated 5 1/2 yards for the back of the quilt
You need to begin by cutting LOTS of 4 1/2" strips.
You can either iron the freezer paper on before you cut or you can do it as you need it to write on the squares later. I did mine later, but you could do it now and that might be easier.
160 - 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces
80 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces
80 - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces
48 - 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces
I made ziploc bags labeled with each size so I could keep them straight and used post-it notes to keep track on how many I had as I was cutting, but you might have another method. I just hate counting and re-counting!
Now you will divide these into groups to sew into vertical columns as follows:
This equals one column and you will end up with 16 of these columns for the quilt.
10 - 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces
5 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces
5 - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces
3 - 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces
Since there will be 16 columns, you may want to make these up and either pin the columns together or bag them so you know what you have to sew together to make all your columns the same size. You will take all the pieces for one column and sew them together randomly (using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, of course). Best to just do random, no seam matching later when you sew your columns together! Once you have all your columns sewn you can store them any way you like. I kind of rolled mine together and put in a plastic bag for sake keeping. I would take one column out at a time to write on.
Ahh now for the fun part, the writing! Don't be afraid of your own hand writing, it will look great! Don't forget to leave a 1/4" area all around for joining the strips together. You will want to iron the freezer paper on the wrong side of one individual square to help stabilize the fabric for writing. The same piece of freezer paper can be re-used multiple times before you need to cut another one. Don't sew the columns together yet though. It is kind of nice to have the columns by themselves to do the writing. This makes the project portable. If you happen to go out of town or something you can just pack that column and take it with you! Pretty handy huh?
Once you have 2 columns finished you can sew them together. Just keep sewing the newest column to the previously sewn together columns until you are done. I waited and did mine all at the end. It's pretty cool to see them all come together.
Now I will show you mine! Here are days 1 and 365. The beginning and the end.
Next up are some shots from the middle of the year:
Here is my finished quilt. You can see that I decided to use a flannel for the back that I thought reflected me. It has both cats and quilt blocks on it. Purrr-fect wouldn't you agree?
I am so very excited to be able to share this quilt with all of you! I had a lot of fun doing it and you will too. I often thought it might make a great gift for a new bride or for a baby shower gift. They could chronicle the first year of marriage or part of a pregnancy and the birth and part of the first year of the baby's life. It would be a great gift for someone going off to college or graduating from college and beginning a new job.
The possibilities are limited only by what you can imagine! So are you up to the challenge?
Oh my gosh, I almost forgot, if you are interested in making a 365 day challenge quilt for yourself or a loved one I have a great way to get you started. I will be hosting a giveaway over on my blog for a Moda BELLA SOLIDS Natural Layer Cake. Leave a comment here and then pop on over to Mama Spark's World and see what you need to do to enter to win! Thanks for letting me share a little bit of your day too !! If you have any questions I would be happy to help you!!