Friday, April 3, 2015

Twin House Quilts

Once upon a time Debbie Grifka of Esch Quilts posted a Moda Bake Shop tutorial for this quilt:

It's called Neighborhood Charm and is such a great modern baby quilt. I love the bold graphic design and the movement of the negative space.

Some time later,  both my parents and my sister Michelle were moving. And while moving is a common occurrence in my life, the rest of my family is fairly stationary so it was kind of a big deal. Since I was far away in Turkey and couldn't help with the packing/unpacking or the extensive remodel that my sister's new house required, I decided to turn this cute baby quilt into two twin-size matching quilts (doesn't that make them twin twins?).

My graph paper and I got to work extending Debbie's little neighborhood of houses into a whole suburb.  And then armed with a handful of Moda's Juggling Summer charm packs, I started building houses.

Putting the white corners on each charm results in some waste triangles. But with an extra seam I found I could create tiny one inch HSTs which I pieced together to make a border.
And after making rows and rows and rows of houses with carefully spaced empty lot white squares -
I got them both put together. They are identical except for the color of border and what I quilted in the empty squares. My sister's had a deep purple border and I stitched a picket fence and flowers in the empty space.
My parents' had a rust red border and I quilted trees into those blank spaces. I don't have as detailed a picture of that one but hopefully you can see them well enough here:
Hmm... hard to see because this shot was taken after a washing but I tried several different types of trees.

Here's Helga (my Viking) quilting away on Michelle's:

I waited until our family reunion instead of sending them in the mail just because I wanted to see them open them. (That is pretty much the best part of giving away a quilt, right?)  So here are the twin twins:

For the backs I used some wonderful Turkish fabric I had picked up in my final fabric shopping spree. Turkish fabric is 90 inches wide and makes amazing backing. Right before I left I found several fabrics with English text on them.
The text is more visible in these label shots:

I used some pre-printed quilt labels I had ordered and just a raw edge applique before quilting. I'm not super happy with the result and in the future will attach a finished edge label after quilting.  My sister's is called, "Keep Calm and Re-model On," and my parents' is "Hearth and Home."

I have never made the same quilt twice. And I'm not sure I will again but I'm glad I did it this way - both at the same time. And that I quilted both the negative space and the borders uniquely for each quilt.

After our fun family reunion, both quilts went home to their new houses - to live happily ever after.


  1. Your family members will love these! I love that the blocks resemble houses.
    I didn't know that your fabric comes in 90 WOF. Wow, that is just awesome. Here in the Netherlands, the fabric is 140 to 150 cm wide. The quilt shops have the backing fabrics that are wider.
    Is the fabric in Turkey expensive? Here regular solid cotton, comes at a price cheaper than quilting cottons solids, but the quality is just not right. They often bleach a lot when left in the sun and they bleed, even after prewashing.
    Quilting cotton here costs 16 to 24 euros the meter, so much more expensive than in the US.
    Love your bike fabric!!!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Esther! The fabric in Turkey was also of lower quality than the good quilting fabric you can get here in the states. I mostly just used it for backing fabrics. It's much less expensive, when I left Turkey in September of 2013 it ran about 7-12 US dollars per meter. But of course you were getting twice as much fabric for that price. I wrote a couple of posts about the experience of shopping for fabric in Turkey which you might enjoy. Thanks for visiting my blog today!

  2. oh my goodness! what a beautiful pair of twin quilts. such nice gifts! you did a great job on the quilting as well!!!

    thanks for linking up to finish it up Friday!

    1. Amanda, thanks for stopping by! I thought you of all people would appreciate the tiny scrap HSTs that I turned into a border since you excel at using even the tiniest scraps.

  3. Your quilts are lovely. I especially love the quilting in the "empty lots."