Michelle's Freebird Squares Quilt

Here's a quilt my sister-in-law Michelle and I made. While I was in Arizona she asked me if I could whip up a small accent quilt for one of her friends as a gift. Since she told me she wanted it to be smaller than a crib size, I figured it wouldn't be a problem. We looked online for some inspiration, mocked up several quilts in EQ and somehow that small quilt turned into a queen-sized quilt...

Luckily Michelle already knew what fabric she wanted to use so we didn't have to waste any time picking out fabric. This quilt used one jelly roll of Freebird (by Momo for Moda) and a tiny bit of yardage, plus a lot of white. The inspiration for the quilt came from this Freebird Framed Patchwork Quilt by Carlene Westberg Designs that we found in a google image search. Michelle really liked the pattern, but charm packs were scarce since the line is a couple years old...and we didn't want to have to buy a ton of yardage we didn't need just for the squares. Michelle came up with the idea to make the 4 patch in the center of the white blocks using the extra from the jelly roll strips. Brilliant.

Michelle is a "doer". She gets more done than anyone I know. So even though she has six kids (three of which are triplets under one year) she decided that she wanted to piece the top before I left AZ and then I could take it home with me and quilt it. So I gave her cutting instructions, and then asked her about the quilt every time I talked to her (which probably drove her crazy). By Christmas she had all the blocks done, but things are always crazy around Christmas, so we didn't think she'd have time to finish the rest before I left. I was planning on just taking it home with me to finish piecing it. My family and I spent Christmas with Michelle at her house. On the morning of the 26th, I woke up early with the urge to work on a quilt--so we laid the blocks out on her living room floor and arranged them. Michelle stacked the blocks in order and brought them to the sewing machine--I sewed and she ironed and pinned and we finished it up in a couple of hours! Nothing like a little tag-team piecing! 

Since I had a small queue of tops to quilt when I got back home I decided to do this one quickly with a pantograph. Michelle wanted some floral quilting, but I couldn't find a pantograph that I really wanted to use...so I broke out quiltCAD and just made my own. It turned out well I think.

The back is this great brown floral (love it). And we decided to bind it in one of the large multi-prints in the line since it gives it a slightly scrappy look without actually having to piece a scrappy binding.

Once the quilt was done, I sent it to Michelle. And then I bugged her for a couple of weeks to take a picture of herself with the quilt before she gave it away to her friend. She was nice enough to humor me. I had so much fun working on this quilt...usually I am a solo quilter--but this one reminded me how fun it is to work on quilts with friends! Let's make another one soon, eh Michelle? ;)

Cute Michelle with her quilt