Leopard Print Quilt

We left Las Vegas at the end of March. My initial plan was to stay until the end of the school year so my daughter didn't have to switch schools in the middle of the year, but it just didn't make sense financially. So we put our house on the market, packed up our stuff, and as soon as school let out for Spring Break, we left. Of course this messed up my time-table for making a quilt for my daughter's 1st grade teacher. I should have had 2 more months! Her teacher was fabulous --so sweet to the kids. She would hug them every morning in the line and called them "her little love bugs." I loved her. My daughter loved her. She had to have a quilt! So here it is:

Her teacher loves animal prints and the color pink. The original plan was to use lots of animal print fabrics in black and white and pink and put it into some sort of amazing design. So I bought a boat-load of different animal print fabrics. However, on my truncated time-table, I couldn't make them work. I just wasn't loving anything I came up with. This happens to me all the time, but usually I'm not on a crazy deadline so I just let it marinate until the right idea pops up. Unfortunately, I did not have that luxury this time. So I had to scrap it and come up with a new idea, that sadly, did not end up using any of the fabric I bought! But don't worry, those animal prints are now residing comfortably in my stash, waiting for their turn. :)

So somehow, after staring at a gazillion leopard print fabric swatches online, it finally occurred to me to just make a giant leopard print quilt. YES! My daughter had also told me she wanted hearts on it somewhere, so I made one of the spots look like a heart. And then I realized how much some of the spots look like hearts anyway, so I threw in a few more. And I didn't reinvent the wheel on this design...I just found a picture of a leopard print that I liked online, pasted the picture into Inkscape (of course) and used the paint bucket to fill in the shapes so I could edit them and move them around until I liked it.

This quilt is appliqued (using fusible web and a blanket stitch) on a big piece of white fabric- it's 58" x 72" finished. All the spots were cut out on a Silhouette Cameo - this made it so fast and much easier than my usual applique method of printing and tracing and ironing and cutting. And since I design it all on the computer first anyway, it is easy to set up the cuts. I am loving that little machine! The fabrics I ended up using were Crosshatch Sketch in charcoal and lipstick by Timeless Treasures. I almost used solids, but decided a little bit of texture couldn't hurt. 

I backed it in matching pink minky at the request of my daughter and quilted it using a great pantograph called Zebra Stripes. I was worried about mixing the leopard print quilt design with the zebra quilting, but I think it turned out ok. I love the way the quilting looks on the back!

I made a label for this one...nothing too great, but I did get to use some of those animal print fabrics after all! I asked my daughter what she wanted me to put on the label and she told me she thought it should say "you are a gem!" So that was added. I used the pink sketch fabric from the front for the binding. Then I took it downtown to the Smith Center with my cute friend Christine for a little photo shoot! The colored backdrop is a fantastic outdoor sculpture called "Pipe Dream". Love it! It looks so cool at night too! 

Oh, and last but not least, some BIG news...I have finally gotten myself an instagram account! I know, I am so slow on the technological trends! Anyway, feel free to follow along if you like (the name is ahhhquilting). Now you may be able to see some quilts in progress, fabric I'm loving---whatever! I am planning to post there in between posting finished quilts here-- and a bit more frequently than I post here ...which shouldn't be hard! Hope everyone is having a quilty summer! :-)