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.
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.
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!
collecting the scraps (teaser #1)
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.
The back pieced…with the paper still on
chain piecing the neutral border
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!