Trying to figure out what to gift our parents for Christmas is always troublesome. Trying to get something useful and thoughtful is alway a brain busters.
For Christmas 2019. The perfect idea came into my inbox August 2019 from the Cute Little Fabric Shop. It was a new collection of fabric from Riley Blake National Parks. In an instant I knew that I should make something from this fabric for my parents. I forwarded the email off to my sister, Sam.
Our Dad and Step-Mom RV in the summer and go visit the National Parks. Through their travels they have sent my kids post cards which has inspired a love of National Parks in our family.
In the email I floated the idea that we work on a quilt together. Both my sister and I sew. I had made one other quilt before. I was familiar with the process.
This also checked many of the things I try to accomplish in gift giving:
Something they wouldn't get for themselves
I figured this was something that they could use while they travel in their RV or use it at home. My intentions were to do something couch quilt size.
Sam had the idea to make a queen-sized quilt. The thought of doing something that large felt a little overwhelming to me. However my sister gave me the panel side which made it faster to assemble.
Before I go getting ahead of myself there is one catch to this story. My sister and I live in two separate countries. I live in the USA in Virginia. Sam currently resides on Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Anything we would have to ship would require us to build in an additional 2 week shipping time.
My sister and I set out to design each of our sides and calculate our yardage using an excellent spreadsheet. Setting the cell size to 1"x1" to represent 1 square inch of fabric we plan out the quilt. What else would you expect an engineer and former accountant to use?
We calculated all the fabric we need and ordered. Fabric came rather quickly and I was able to ship my fabric off Sam. In two weeks time she had her fabric.
Both of us armed with fabric started with the task of cutting and piecing together our sides of the quilt.
My sides pieced together rather quickly. I was surprised I was able to get it done as quickly as I did given how busy work, kids activities, is in the late fall.
November started and I asked my sister "Have you finished your side yet?" Sam's response "Well, I really haven't started on it."
I knew we were going to be cutting it close but I still had hope that the quilt would be finished and wrapped for Christmas.
My husband, kids, and I decided to go to Texas for Christmas to see my parents which only shortened the amount of time my sister had to finish her half.
Our intention was to have a finished quilt by Christmas. But life happens.
My sister had sent the quilt Thankgiving weekend. I thought I would atleadst have her half of the quilt to be able to show them what we were working on for them.
There was no despair. In traditional Caitlin fashion I came up with a plan B. I made them a pillow out of scraps so they would have something they can keep. I felt bad wrapping up my side and then saying well I need that back.
Alas international mail didn't cooperate. Sam's side of the quilt arrived in the evening the day we left.
After we returned from our Christmas trip to Texas I adding the quilt take and extra fabric to the back for it to get machine quilted.
I sent the quilt off to my local quilt shop to be machined, Serendipity Quilt Studio
I picked up the quilt from Serendipity and brought it home. After I brought it home I let it sit there for a while. Then COVID-19 hit and life got turned upside down. Since I have been shutdown I have been able to do the projects that have been on my list.
I spent time watching the first season of Game of Thrones with my husband trimming the quilt and doing the binding by hand. This beautiful quilt is now done.