A Swiss Cross Quilt for Annalise, the process

Phew! Now that the quilt has been received, I can finally blog about it! Followers of my blog will know that my oldest son Liam has just finished his first year studying trombone at Vandebilt University. The main reason he chose Vandy is because of the amazing Jeremy Wilson who is the trombone professor there, here’s a picture of Liam surrounded by Jeremy on the left, little brother Logan behind and dad Andrew on the right from last summer when he moved into college:


When visiting last August when we moved Liam into school, Jeremy sheepishly told me that at some point in the next 4 years he’d like to have us over to his house for a meal when his mother-in-law was around, as she was a fan of my work and follower of my blog! Such a small world, but indeed I will be delighted to meet his mother-in-law! In a short amount of time I discovered that Jeremy’s wife Kristi is a fantastic photographer. She does group and individual portraits of the whole studio at the start of every school year, so she took this fantastic shot of Liam:


And some great group portraits, including this hilarious one:


She and I now follow each other on Instagram and Facebook, and I’ve enjoyed seeing slices of her life with her 2 growing boys, and following her pregnancy with a little girl! I am SO appreciative of all the time Jeremy has spent with Liam with such wonderful guidance, that I knew I wanted to make their little girl a quilt, and before I even had time to stress about what kind of pattern to use, Kristi commented on one of my early Instagram pics about my Scrappy Swiss Cross Quilt “this would make a great baby quilt” that I knew I’d found the pattern!!!! Double bonus, I get to keep working in this pattern I’m really loving right now!

The last decision was color! Now, I know I couldn’t go wrong with a bright rainbow against grey, but I wondered if Kristi may be into something more “girly” and pastel. Lo and behold, my questions were answered when she posted a picture of this darling mobile her mom made a couple of months ago:

Annalise mobile

That sealed the deal – I’d do a pastel-ish rainbow (1% DOS/OWG) of colors and use neutral grey at a DOS of 2% for the background, and I’d dye the fabric so there was a minimum of visual texture. I’d also dye some tee shirts for Annalise’s big brothers, so they would have something to open in the package as well. (I swear, the hardest part of this whole project was guessing what size they were from a couple of pictures on social media! I surely hope I guessed right, my boys are so huge now that the shirts look incredibly small to me!!!)

After dyeing the fabric, I had to wait until I got finished with the show a couple weekends ago; Annalise was born May 6 so I really wanted to get it done! Here are some process snapshots:





Once the blocks were done, I then tried out a bunch of layouts, snapping a quick picture of each one along the way (no color correction or anything, so the grey background changed hues along with the light), here are all my trial layouts:


before I landed on this final one:


In the next post I’ll show you the final quilt, hold on!