Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Facets of Friendship

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for another Blogger’s Quilt Festival!  It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was writing up a my post for the Spring Festival!

Jewells' birthday quilt!
Facets of Friendship, 2008

Last year, my best friend, Jewells, of Julia Makes Stuff, had a big birthday.  It was one of those lovely, once-in-a-decade numbers that seem ever so daunting when we’re staring them in the face.

She and I have been friends since college.  In some ways, we’re polar opposites, but in all the ways that count, we’re not.  The older we get, the more in common we seem to have.  Jewells has been there for me through some crazy times in my life.  She knew me before I started dating my husband of 15 years, before I had kids or a college degree.  She stood up for me at my wedding and has been more like a sister to me than anything.  The only thing I would change about our relationship is the geographic distance between us.

jen & jewells
Jen & Jewells in 2007

To celebrate the big birthday and all the years we’ve been friends, I designed a quilt for her called Facets of Friendship.  In it, I used only scrap fabrics from other projects I’d done.  I wanted her to have a little piece of (almost!) everything I’ve made over the last decade and a half, just like she’d been woven in and out of my life over that time.

The quilt is inspired by a quilt top I found in a thrift store.  It was completely hand pieced and unfinished, with a couple of blocks coming apart at the seams when I found it.  I made my own version of the Four Pointed Star/Arkansas Snowflake pattern (paper pieced, of course!) in order to fill in those couple of damaged blocks.  Those couple of blocks spawned the idea that to make an entire quilt for Jewells with that same paper pieced pattern.

Arkansas Snowflake Quilt
The Thrift Store quilt that inspired Facets of Friendship

Over the course of several months, I shared lots of teaser photos, trying to not give more of a clue than I could.  I wanted her to know I was working on something big for her, because, in my opinion, anticipation is one of the best parts of life!

Pile of Fabric
collecting the scraps (teaser #1)

all the quarters pieced (close up)

all the quarters pieced…close up! (this was teaser #2)

I also took photos of the process, so I could share them with her once the quilt was finished and in her hands.

arranging the quarters into blocks…with Marie’s help

The back pieced…with the paper still on

chain piecing the neutral border

the top pieced

Jewells' birthday quilt, all wrapped up
My favorite way to gift a quilt – in a coordinating pillow case.

Jewells’ birthday is coming up next week on October 16.  Her gift this year is not quite so exciting as last year, but she is still my best friend, so I guess that’s okay!

If you’re reading this, I’d love for you to take a minute to tell my best friend Happy Birthday over on her blog!

49 thoughts on “Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Facets of Friendship

  1. Jewells

    Wow. I can’t believe you picked my quilt of all the wonderful things you make to post… I am so touched… I still sleep under this quilt every night knowing my best friend made it just for me and that it contains pieces of all the other things she’s sewn over the last few years… it makes the miles not seem so far… *sniffs* You’re the bestest evar!

    1. ofenjen Post author

      Just knowing that you get it and understand why I made it for you is what matters to me. There’s a lot of love in there!


  2. Pam Scoville

    Hi Jen – Jewell’s quilt is beautiful! I just love with scrap quilts. No matter how you put them together they always turn out wonderful and no two are the same.

    Oh! Loved the Molly Wesley performance on TTMT.

    1. ofenjen Post author

      Thanks, Pam! I’m a big fan of scrap quilts, too. There’s always so much to see when you look at them! This one is very special to me!

      Ha! Glad you enjoyed Molly on TTMT. ;)


  3. sibylle

    Wow, that looks amazing!
    If I may I am going to “steal” your idea of gifting in a coordinated pilllow, that is such an awesome idea!!!
    Cheers from Australia :)

    1. ofenjen Post author

      Thank you! Choosing the fabric was definitely fun, especially with the amount of scraps I have. I did a bit of fussy cutting, too, and have some special blocks that work in the state we both lived in when we met and some other things like that.

  4. Rene'

    Such an amazing quilt!!! I know your friend loves it … who wouldn’t. It is absolutely beautiful. I love the story and the teaser photos you showed earlier. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Ruth Anne Olson

    It’s a blessing to have a good friend. Both of you are very lucky. The quilt is beautiful, and how lovely that you used fabrics from projects you created over the years of your friendship.

  6. Anna( quiltmom)

    What a great treasure you have created for your friend- I love all the special ways you made it unique for her- just like your relationship. We all need to have those special people in our lives.
    I especially like that you create a special pillowcase to wrap your quilt. I will have to think about that for my next new gifted quilt.
    I also think it was very interesting how you converted an old pattern to paper piecing thus making it possible to machine piece it.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. ofenjen Post author

      I love old patterns, but hand piecing just isn’t my thing. I love taking photos of hand pieced quilts and then figuring out how to make it work in paper piecing. It’s “my thing” and that makes it all the more fun!

      The pillowcases have been a huge hit, and I almost always gift them that way now. :)

  7. SewCalGal

    Cheerful quilt. You did a great job. I love scrap quilts and I love your fabrics, colors & design. Inspirational. Now I want to try to find a copy of this pattern and make one for myself!

    Thanks for sharing your story, quilt & participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.


    1. ofenjen Post author

      Thanks! The paper pieced version of this exact block is linked in this post, but it’s not an uncommon pattern. There are some wonderful variations, my favorite being Spiderweb.

  8. Michelle

    I am in such awe of this quilt. I have not worked on too many scrappy quilts and I love this one so much. Thank you for all of the pictures and what a wonderful friend you are.

    1. ofenjen Post author

      Scraps are one of my favorite ways to start a quilt. I love taking all the little leftovers of other projects that might have been thrown away otherwise and then turning them into something new!

      It was my pleasure sharing, thank you for visiting!

  9. Becky

    Jen –
    This is Dragongoddess from LJ (wasn’t sure if you’d automatically recognize the email. Do you use a pattern for your pillowcase? I’d like to make one for a quilt I’m gifting for Christmas, and was also thinking perhaps individualized pillowcases for the girls’ night sleepover might be a good Idea.

    I printed off the pattern for this block to do the tutorial, as this month’s block for guild is paper pieced (flying geese, so has about 20 pieces) and I wanted to try something a little easier first. I’ll let you know how it goes!


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