Dish Towel Dash Quilt

Here's one more quilt from last year! Whew! Almost forgot about this one! 

I made this one for Kezia, a friend of my sister-in-law...I guess now she's my friend too...what can I's easy to make friends when you're a quilter! ;) Anyway, Kezia called me during the summer of 2012 to chat about a quilt she wanted to make for her husband. She discovered I was a quilter after I helped my sister-in-law make a couple quilts (this quilt and this quilt). So we talked a bit and she explained that she wanted to make a quilt for her husband using some old embroidered dish towels that had been his grandmothers. I gave her a few ideas for using the dish towels and suggested some manly fabric lines. At one point she asked me if I would just make the quilt for her but of course I told her NO! (I was trying to practice just saying no). At that point I really had no time or desire to make a quilt for someone I barely knew.  


So then last summer, we went up to Utah to visit my sister-in-law. Of course while were there, I met Kezia. She is the funniest girl...and one night we ended up at her house, rifling through her fabric stash and looking through the bag of grandmas old dish towels. Initially, I thought of making some kind of circle quilt that showcased the different towels. However, once I saw them all, I decided that less was definitely more. There were so many different embroidery designs: clowns, cats holding spoons, salt and pepper shakers with faces...honestly some of them were a little scary! And they were all different color themes too...pastels, brights, etc. I just didn't think there was any way they would all look good together. So in the end, we picked out 2 similar towels that matched well with a stack of fat quarters from Kezia's stash. And somehow, I left Kezia's house with the fabric and towels in a bag, and another item on my long list of quilts to make. :)

I didn't really have a design in mind for this, so I stashed the fabric for several months and waited for it to come to me. Eventually it did. :) I decided to use a lot of white with just a bit of color--to mimic the idea of a dish towel. And I thought the colored dashes would be reminiscent of hand stitching, with the solid lines drawing attention to the embroidery designs. I was kind of excited about it. I asked Kezia if she wanted to see the design before I made the quilt--just to be sure she liked it, but she said she wanted to be surprised. People are way too trusting! :) 

I had told Kezia that I would try to get it done in time for Christmas, but no promises. Of course I waited until the last minute. I think it took me 3 days from start to finish, which was a good surprise. Since every quilt I make is usually new and different, I never know how long a particular quilt will take to make. Luckily this one was pretty fast to piece, and I only hit one snag...I tried to use the fabrics we had chosen, but the prints were a little too big to use for the I ended up using all different fabrics--fortunately, I had perfect tone on tone fabrics in the same colors that read more solid! I was a little scared to cut the towels apart--didn't want to mess them up--so I measured them several times and put some lightweight fusible interfacing on the back to give them a little more stability before I cut the embroidery designs out. It worked out well. 

The back is blue minky, as requested by Kezia, and the quilting is a pantograph called Pipeline. I was worried it wouldn't look very good since I am not the steadiest quilter...but the lines turned out surprisingly straighter than I thought they would, so...expectations exceeded! 

I heard there might have been a few tears when it was opened on Christmas...hopefully they were happy tears because they liked the quilt...and not tears because the towels had been cut up! :)