Last year for Christmas I gave my youngest sister-in-law this Star Log Cabin, done in scrappy green and purple.
The quilting was a nightmare. I wanted to sew around all the stars, but this was before I got my Bernina sewing machine. I had no idea what free-motion quilting was. Or that you even needed a spring-loaded foot! I ended up stitching diagonally from star to star, but I would "skip" over the stars so I wouldn't mar them. Then I set out to hand sew all the stars so they would "pop". Eh, I got 4 done. They took me an hour each!! I wasn't so aware of the importance of ironing fabrics in certain directions or colors to help reduce the bulk. My husband had insisted that I also use the highest loft batting to make it "nice and thick". Top of it all? Fleece for the backing. Did I also mention that I never hand sewed before, aside from whip stitching bindings?
Rocking the needle was completely out - I would need fingers of steel for that. It was stab down, pull the thread through some, then blindly stab back up - it was a good stitch when I could get it to stab in the right spot by the 4th try! I was also crazy enough to measure my stitches... 4-6 stitches per inch, depending where the seam allowance bulk was. I spent the first half of 2005 trying to sew a star every Sunday I was there. I probably have 9 or 10 stars done... a year later. I'm just tempted to "borrow" the darn thing and use my free-motion foot to finish the rest of the stars!
The good news is that Emily sleeps with it EVERY single night. That's one well used and loved quilt. Purple is her favorite color and green is my favorite, so it was a nice visual quilt for me to piece. And the best part? All the log strips needed to be 2" wide - got a head start on the Pineapple Blossom quilt without even knowing it! :)
Erin, the almost last sister-in-law also got a quilt that Christmas too.
Erin hopes to be in the Peace Corps someday and really wants to go to Africa. So hence the "Jungle Pathways" quilt. The original pattern is call "Lilac Pathways". The fabric is all themed on Africa. The black has orange leopards. There's "sand" fabric, blue and green (sky and water), red and orange batik with gold crackles (fire?) and also a jungle animal print. Honestly the print was too large for this quilt, but it really fitted in! I also love the border on this one - took a lot of thinking on how I could make it work out, since only every other line did the animals go the same direction. It worked up amazingly fast and I just stitched-in-the-ditch - nice and easy! And Erin sleeps with it every single night too. :)