Wednesday, November 3, 2010

balloons, balloons everywhere!

Do you ever work on a custom item that's ..... how to say..... not exactly your style?

But that you are adjusting your style to make something really special for someone?
That's my current project in a nutshell.

It's for my dad.  I wanted to do a quilt for him.  And I wanted it to have hot air balloons because he crews a hot air balloon every year and loves it.  It's very special to him.
And months ago, I found this fabric.  And the balloons pictured are representations of actual balloons that he has seen.  So I bought a few yards of it and put it away.

I don't really do brights all that much.
and I was scared of this project!

Well, Christmas is coming.  
So one day a friend and I got together to sew.  I plopped the yardage on the table. 
"whatcha going to do with that?"
absolutely no idea.  Help me.
So we went through our stashes and pulled out fabrics that reflected the bright colors of the balloons and the sky.  
Those became the blocks in the middle.
I cut up blocks in the balloon fabric to make the filmstrip sashing.
And then I realized that I needed a bit more length and had a metric ton of balloons left....
so I added the top and bottom rows of balloons.

and THEN I realized that when I trimmed up the quilt, 
IF it wasn't square, 
those boxy balloons were going to tell on me.

So I added another row of black.

So I think I'm really going to like it better when it's quilted.
I'm quilting it in black thread, so I think it will need a solid black backing 
since black quilting has been the death of me before... 
remind me to tell you about that one sometime......

And I'm going to bind it in the harlequin fabric.  
Well, that is IF my friend still has any in her closet!


  1. Your father will simply love this quilt....sooo amazing and fun.

  2. i actually like it a lot (as i'm sure your dad will to), and i usually don't like black. and anyone can definetely get your idea of the "photograph film" look.

  3. Love it! And rather than going solid black on the back, I would suggest some of the cute mostly black fabrics that have bright multi-clor small designs, like stars, musical notes, hearts, cats, even the multi-color stripe. (I found and bought many of them at Joann's, I confess). They "read" black but have a bit more pop than solid black and I think would be forgiving of any quilting "variations".
    I actually like the black as I think it makes colors pop, and I'm using a similar window frame design to showcase some Beatles fabrics and bright tie-dyed batiks. (A project I'm eager to get back to but have bogged down with creating a king-sized backing for a completed block of the month quilt, and I ran short of my planned backing fabric when I expanded it to king size. It's a southwestern theme, and I've expanded it by creating an 18" French braid strip and a 12" saw tooth strip, using fabrics left over from the front. Maybe it will come together this weekend.

  4. Stopping by from Fabric Tuesday. What an awesome quilt. I really love it!!!
    Take care
    carla louise

  5. What a nice gift for your dad. It turned out great! Thanks for linking up to fabric tuesday!