*First I'd like to start with saying, I have never, ever, ever, ever, EVER made a quilt before! These quilts would not be possible without the help of my amazing in-laws! So a HUGE thank you to them!
With that said, I apologize for the following instructions. I have no clue as to the proper terminology of quilting so I will explain as best I can if you have any questions please ask.
We were lucky enough to take a trip this last January with one of my very best friends Melissa, her 5 children and husband. Last minute my in-laws were able to come with us too so we had 6 adults and 6 children. It was a year worth of planning, keeping secret from her children and unfortunate last minute changes. It was incredible, hectic, emotional and more fun then I could ever imagine! Of course the way we do things is last minute so about two weeks before we were to leave for Disney World we decided to make autograph books for all six children. While we were making them, I was trying to think of something that could be a little keepsake for us adults. I'd of course thought just autograph books for us too but I really wanted something more. Here's where my in-laws come in, they're huge quilters, they have made many beautiful quilts, go to shows and have their basement all set up for quilting, its incredible! I've never made and really never thought I'd be interested in making quilts, I can officially say I'm addicted :)
So I decided, eh why not make an autograph quilt!! Now this idea came around the one week mark before take off. So I hurried and bought some white 100% cotton and cut them into 8x8 squares. If I were to do this again, I would make sure to cut the squares bigger, probably 9x9 and I'd make sure to cut them better. I did a very sloppy job and that came back later to bite me in the butt. I divided them into two piles. I believe I cut 50 for each pack. I also had my husband cut two 9x9 squares of wood and used alligator clips to clip the fabric on all four sides. This worked great so the characters could sign easily without the fabric slipping around. It was a little hectic for us adults to keep up with switching the fabrics out quickly but we did good. I also picked up a pack of Fabric Sharpies.
Something that was really important to us was getting to see characters and getting pics and autographs. Now remember we had 6 autograph books plus two fabrics squares for EACH character to sign! I think the characters may have put restraining orders on us after all that torturous signing ;)
After we got home and settled down from our incredible week in paradise I couldn't wait to get started on our quilts! I took all the signed pieces to my in-laws and we got to work figuring out how to place it all together. Remember I had never made a quilt before so I really had no clue how I was going to piece it together.
We laid out all the signed pieces and counted out what we had, there were 22 for each quilt. After much deliberating and several times rearranging pieces we decided to make a border of signatures. We did 7 down and 6 across. Also we decided to put in thin black borders to help the white pop. Oh and before all this we squared up the pieces. They ended up having to be cut to 7.5x7.5 (This is where it got messed up because of my sloppy cutting)
See what I mean about a cool setup for quilting! This is a piece of fabric hanging on the wall that you can attach your pieces of your quilt so you can see how it's piecing together.
I'm hoping my pictures do the talking for me.
So apparently when you quilt you start from the inside and work out. Well because of the uniqueness of this quilt we had to work it a little differently. Yes I'm trying to shove the blame away from my poor planning and pretending it's the unique quilts fault.
After we were able to figure out our inside size we had to figure out what to do on the inside. My mother-in-law has an incredible sewing machine that embroiders and on it, it has several Disney characters! How fitting! We decided to use those to make a cute inside.
Again framed them with black to match the signatures.
Of course I wanted to have Disney World and the year on it so for the very center we cut a white piece and we carefully placed Jiminy, Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder so they could frame the letters and year. We didn't have the Disney font for the embroiderer so I just did these ones by hand with a black sharpie. A little extra back story, we chose Jiminy because he's my Father-in-laws favorite character and if it wasn't for him this trip wouldn't have happened so I thought it was important to have his favorite at the center of the quilt :) Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder happened to be the best fit in the space but worked out great cause they're some of the many favorites of Melissa's family.
We did the chevron sides to help give it a little extra too. Those didn't get to be on our quilt because our squares ended up having to be cut a little smaller so in a neat way each quilt is the same yet very different :)
After getting the center placed together we put a colorful border around it. The prints on the fabric are classic versions of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy. This fabric is directional fabric which proved to be a huge pain! Something I learned mid quilt. So if you decide to do this make sure you consciously decide if you want to mess with directional or not.
Now to attach the signatures with the center! So exciting watching it all come together!
I love huge blankets so I knew I wanted to make each very large so we added an additional border to the outside.
All done, ready to be set to the quilters!
Here it is after getting quilted and the binding put on.
Just got our quilt back today! Here it is, all finished!