A Quilt for Jess


My friend Jess lives in Brooklyn with her two adorable kids, and we’ve been online friends for years! She was lamenting that she had all these beautiful fabrics that she’d brought back from a trip to India, but never enough time to do something with them.


I’ve really been enjoying hand quilting the last few years, so I volunteered to make her fabrics up into a quilt! It seemed like a nice opportunity to put a quilt together without having buy all the materials (which can be a lot) and sometimes I like the act of making even more than the finished product.


She packed up all the fabrics and batting and mailed them up to me, with the understanding that it might take me awhile to get the quilt done. I was aiming for a year, but it took a little longer – about 17 months. Of course I didn’t work on it intensively, there were times when I would put it down for weeks. The top went pretty quickly because I did it on the machine – this strip piecing tutorial came in very handy. Each block is about 4.5″ square, finished.


I actually make the top a little too big the first time, so I just took a couple of strips off the side and bottom. I used one pieced strip down the middle of the back, and the others to make the striped binding.

The back is made up of width-of-fabric strips that I didn’t use for the top, with blues/greens on one side of the centre strip and pinks/yellows on the other. Once everything was pieced, I made my quilt sandwich and thread basted it together really well before I started hand quilting.


A Quilt for Jess
Time: March 2015-August 2016
Materials: Printed cotton fabrics from India, cotton batting
Techniques: Machine pieced, hand quilted, hand bound
Size: 80″ square

It’s not perfect, but I know it’ll be cherished for years to come!

a quilt sandwich

A little bit of progress on Jess’ quilt!

quilt back

I finished piecing the back – but I was coming up a bit short on fabric! It turns out I made the top rather bigger than the queen sized batting, so I ended up picking off a few columns of squares and using them for the back as well. I think it should be kind of nice feature.

quilt top

And then I managed to baste the quilt sandwich (backing, batting, top) on the living room floor by rolling them up and working a section at a time. It’s really big! Up next is the quilting, which I’m going to do by hand.

Have an excellent weekend!

sewing for jess

Awhile ago my friend Jess lamented on Twitter that she had all these lovely fabrics from her travels in India but no time to sew it up, what with two little ones! So I volunteered to take the fabric and turn it into a quilt for her (with the understanding that it might take a long time…).

There are quite a few different fabrics and different weights – some are pretty thin – so I decided to just do a simple patchwork top with strip piecing. I cut strips 6.5″ (the width of the quilting ruler) x width of fabric, mixed them all up and went for it.

This Postage Stamp tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts was great – I’ve always been a bit willy-nilly with my seam allowances but this time I was determined to do it Properly.

sewing for Jess!

My points actually mostly match!

sewing for Jess!

Alternating seam allowances!

sewing for Jess!

I sewed up a storm this weekend and finished the top, which is quite huge, for a queen sized bed. Next up I need to figure out what to do for the back – I’m thinking stripes rather than blocks.

Reading: Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer. It’s the third book in a trilogy and I’m really enjoying it! Fast and very mysterious.