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Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Facets of Friendship

October 9, 2009

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 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2009 14:16

    This is gorgeous! And I love the detailed ‘how to’. I am going to put your design on my ‘to do ‘ list!

    • October 10, 2009 08:12

      Thanks very much! Putting it on your “to do” list is a great compliment. :)

  2. October 9, 2009 16:40

    I love quilts like this, It is beautiful!

    • October 12, 2009 14:30

      Scrap quilts are some of my favorites, too. Thanks for commenting!

  3. October 9, 2009 18:49

    I love scrap quilts and this one is very appealing!

  4. October 9, 2009 20:35

    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!

    • October 10, 2009 08:11

      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!


  5. October 10, 2009 04:35

    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.

    • October 10, 2009 08:10

      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. ;)


  6. October 10, 2009 07:06

    Beautiful quilt and so nice that you have continued your friendship even though far apart.

    • October 10, 2009 08:09

      Thanks so much! It was lovely to be able to put the meaning of our friendship into fabrics.


  7. October 10, 2009 08:11

    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 :)

    • October 10, 2009 08:13

      Oh, please do! I think it’s a great way to gift a quilt. :D

  8. October 10, 2009 21:07

    This quilt is incredible! Truly a work of art. I’m sure your friend is honored by your gift.

    • October 11, 2009 11:22

      Thank you so much! I know it means a lot to her, and that makes it even more special to me.

  9. October 11, 2009 08:22

    What a fabulous gift, and I love the cheeky teaser photos!

    • October 11, 2009 11:23

      Thank you. :)

      I love a good tease, especially on a big gift!

  10. October 11, 2009 10:31

    What a fabulous gift for you friend. This is a really beautiful quilt.

  11. October 11, 2009 11:03

    What a good friend and a beautiful gift! The contrasts are striking!

    • October 11, 2009 11:24

      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.

  12. Kelli permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:22

    Love the scrappiness! What a beautiful gift.

    • October 12, 2009 14:30

      Scrappiness is one of my favorite ways to quilt! Glad you like it. :)

  13. October 11, 2009 14:46

    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.

  14. October 11, 2009 17:45

    What a special birthday present, great job on the quilt, I love it! Want to know when my birthday is? LOL

    • October 15, 2009 15:52

      This is a once in a couple of decades quilt, hehe! Glad you like it. :)

  15. October 12, 2009 10:25

    What a gorgeous quilt! That is such a beautiful way to show off scrap fabric. Lovely job!

  16. October 13, 2009 05:52

    Beautiful quilt. Thanks for the story and how you did it. It’s great to have a friend like that. She’ll be blown away.

  17. October 13, 2009 08:48

    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.

    • October 15, 2009 15:53

      She’s one of the constants in my life and I treasure her. Now if I could only have her closer!

  18. penny g permalink
    October 13, 2009 08:58

    Very pretty and a special reminder of a wonderful friend.

  19. October 13, 2009 13:13

    What a generous gift. It turned out great! She must have been thrilled!

    • October 15, 2009 15:53

      Oh, she was! I think I might have left her a little bit speechless, too!

  20. October 13, 2009 22:04

    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.

    • October 15, 2009 15:55

      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. :)

  21. October 14, 2009 09:13

    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.


    • October 15, 2009 15:56

      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.

  22. October 14, 2009 12:07

    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.

    • October 15, 2009 15:57

      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!

  23. October 14, 2009 14:33

    Beautiful quilt! I love the colors. I’m trying to work my way through the quilt festival. So many lovely quilts to look at!

    • October 15, 2009 15:57

      Thank you!

      I’m also trying to work my way through all the quilts and I still have a looong way to go!

  24. October 15, 2009 11:36

    I’ve got to start making the coordinating pillowcases… This is a detailed and lovely project!

    • October 15, 2009 15:58

      Thanks so much! The pillowcases have been a wonderful touch that the recipients really enjoy. :)

  25. Becky permalink
    November 3, 2009 10:01

    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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