While Jordan and I took a six week trip down to Key West, Florida this winter, we managed to dodge 24″ worth of snow back in Baltimore. I also finished a UFO quilt and sewed an entirely new one. Turns out I can finish quilts when I’m not distracted by garment sewing (I don’t like sewing garments away from my sewing room).
The Hold Tight Quilt is a whimsical balloon theme quilt from Sharon Holland Designs. It’s a gift for good friends who got married in 2019 and had a sweet baby boy in 2020. They declined wedding gifts and never registered for baby gifts. So I wanted to make them something they’d enjoy for years and was more than “stuff”. I’ve now gifted two baby quilts and I’ve tried to make them larger than crib, so the family or baby could keep using later in life.
I love this one so much, that I want to make one for us. You know. For all those picnics we go on 😂 (Me, refusing to have quilts with nowhere to be in my house).
The fabric is the Adventure Coordinates Fat Quarter Bundle from Robert Kaufman that coordinates with Elizabeth Hartman’s “Adventure” fabric line. Elizabeth Hartman is the designer of the last quilt I sewed, the Fancy Fox II.
My friend Mary chose my fabric for me since I’m not an active quilter and selecting like this is just too much choice for me. I didn’t have any issues with the curvy bits, it’s really just like setting in a dozen sleeves. Nor more than three pins per curve — if I bothered using pins at all.
This was also my first time using acrylic quilt templates that the same Mary made for me. They definitely sped up the the cutting process and I was far more accurate that I was making the Single Girl Quilt (my first curvy quilt ten years and counting ago).
I also learned with the Fancy Fox II quilt that I really really dislike the quilting, but love piecing. So I sent this off to Michelle at Quilts Made With Love in Kentucky for finishing. She did… y’all. It’s amazing. Someone on Instagram tipped me off to her after I posted I was hoarding quilt tops while looking for an African-American long arm quilter. I started following her work and was head over heels. I’m so happy to elevate and patronize minority owned businesses. Her work is beautiful, she is an excellent communicator and got the two quilts I sent back to me super fast.
We chose this sleek cloud motif to continue the sense of movement of the balloons.
I got what I consider to be a rude comment about my quilt on Instagram that I’d like to talk about here. Not for you all to tell me this person is a jerk, or tell me to let it roll off my back — trust me, I am over it now. But I do want to talk about how words hurt and how our helpful critiques and suggestions can stop people from sharing.
If you look closely at my seams, most of them are not all perfectly matched. I chose not to square up my blocks when sewing because I didn’t want to. I was out of town, I didn’t have clear templates to make sure each block was accurate and I just wanted to get this six months too late quilt sewn and off to the long arm quilter. So yes. I am aware my seams aren’t perfect.
I posted a FINISHED quilt top on my Instagram stories and got a DM where the seam below was circled in red and a message attached said, “Isn’t this going to bother you?”
I’ve been sewing for 30 years. I usually know when something is right or wrong. Nothing I sew is perfect, which is one reason I don’t sew for money. I am not a quilt instructor, I am not entering this in the county fair. I’m making a quilt for a friend to give as a gift. This comment wasn’t meant to help me. It was meant to shame me. All that comment did was get me to spend a week feeling bad that maybe strangers on the internet thought I thought it was perfect, when I know full well it already wasn’t. Maybe the person I was sewing this for would notice and discard the quilt as Happy Hands At Home or think if I cared more, I would have done a better job. Totally silly, right? But that’s what this comment did.
I think I’m generally open to helpful comments and tips. But this was just mean. So, I say this… often you’ll tell me I’m being hard on myself when I start a post telling you everything that is wrong with my project. I am in fact protecting myself from everyone who wants to tell me first.
I’m probably speaking to the choir here, but might I suggest we criticize people the old fashioned way? Take a screenshot, talk behind my back, and tell a friend. Don’t tell the maker.
I did get the cutest photo of the baby and mom with the Hold Tight Quilt. I feel awkward posting photos of kids on the internet, and felt even odder asking if it was okay. So if you see me, ask and I’ll happily share 😄.
** Seriously, you don’t have to tell me that person is a jerk. I know it.