My absolute favorite quilt that I have finished in the past six months is my second entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy @Amy’s Creative Side this fall: I am entering the Love Letters Quilt into the Scrappy Quilt Category. (I hope my regular readers don’t mind that I post about this quilt again so soon.)
When I was notified that I had been accepted into the Stash Bee in Hive 2 this year, I knew what my design inspiration for my month was going to be: the envelopes from the notes, love letters, and cards that my husband has given me over the years. As you can see from a sample of the envelopes in the image above, the envelopes are handmade and typically made from maps or other found / recycled materials.
When I wrote the Love Letters Block tutorial in June, I hoped I would be able to put together a beautiful and meaningful quilt to gift to my husband, and my bee mates and friends did not disappoint.
My husband loves to be the first to pull a quilt out of the dryer and pet its soft (and warm) crinkly, cuddly goodness for the first time. The day I finished his Love Letters quilt, when he called to let me know he was on his way home from work (about a 30 minute commute away), I put the quilt in the dryer, poured a large cup of orange juice (his favorite beverage), and set the juice and a love letter I made for him tucked inside a handmade envelope made out of a coloring page we colored together on top of the dryer. Trust me, he knew immediately what was happening when he walked in the door.
Since the day he received the quilt, it has been used almost every night. In fact, as I type up this post, he is sitting in his rocking chair, reading a book, snuggled under the quilt.
Including myself, 14 people contributed to the creation of this quilt. The blocks were all made using fabric from our stash in one of four requested colors (blue, teal, orange or gray), giving the quilt a very scrappy but cohesive look. When I was piecing the quilt top, one envelope rotated on me. I did not notice the rotation until the top was pieced, and my husband, bee mates, and I all decided we like its quirkiness, so I left it rotated.
The back of the quilt is just as fantastic as the top. I had made 8 blocks myself, but I only needed to use 5 of my blocks to piece the top, which finished at 64.5-inches wide by 80.5-inches long. With 3 left over blocks, the grouping of 4 smaller blocks sent by Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe, and a handful of extra HSTs and triangles also sent along by my bee mates, it was quick and fun to put together a pieced backing, which just adds to the scrappy nature of the quilt!
I did not keep the creation of this quilt a secret from my husband. Instead, knowing it was for him, we collaborated together on occasion about the quilt. Per my husband’s request, I quilted with a dense back and forth line across the quilt. I also chose to quilt in “love notes” inside of each envelope: words that describe my husband or a short phrase that has a special meaning between us.
I know first hand how wonderful it can feel when someone you love, trust, or respect tells you kind and true things about yourself. I am so glad I quilted in some long lasting thoughts and loving energy into the quilt for my husband, and I hope he feels these loving thoughts when he uses the quilt.
I used 50wt Aurifil 2620 (stainless steel) to quilt and bind the quilt. We auditioned several thread choices and colors, and my husband liked the stainless steel the best. It doesn’t hurt that he spends his days at work designing parts out of stainless steel for prototype aircraft…
- Finished Flimsy: 64.5-inches wide by 80.5-inches long
- After Quilting / Binding: 64-inches wide by 78-inches long (3% shrinkage)
- After First Wash: 60-inches wide by 74-inches long (8% shrinkage)
About a week after he received the quilt, my husband left another note for me to find when I woke up on our bathroom mirror. Dry erase markers work great on mirrors and are easy to clean! #ShareTheLove