When we decided to remodel the Airstream bedroom by removing the queen bed and putting in custom beds for the kids, I knew finding a comforter or blanket the right size would be difficult if not impossible. Sheets we could probably manage (and we did), but I wanted something special for the kids to help get them excited for this huge change in our life. After talking with a good college friend, I learned that her mom had recently taken over and was now running a quilt shop in nearby American Fork, Utah. Totally slammed for time between returning to Utah from our 6 month test run and leaving for our southern Utah sanity trip (not to mention selling everything we owned and remodeling in between) I still decided that I had time to make quilts. I’m so glad I did.
The Sewing Basket in American Fork is one of those house turned retail places and it is lovely. Quaint, homey, and I fell in love the instant I walked through the door. Dona, the owner, was expecting us and she ushered us right in to look around. The only experience I have with quilting is squares (see? I don’t even know the “real” word for it), but I knew that took a lot of time and I kind of wanted something easier. In her cutting room, she had a strip quilt hanging near the door and I thought to myself “I could totally do this, and FAST). She readily agreed and showed the kids around the shop to pick out their fabrics before she went to find me a pattern.
I loved how she arranged fabrics in the shop by theme – it was super easy to pick out a group of fabrics that all went together. We added a few from other places, but mostly we grabbed six or seven we liked from the same shelf. Cara wanted blue, Andrew orange, and Rachel (the ever indecisive one) had no idea. Another quilt hanging on the wall was a mix of purples and light gray and Rachel fell in love with it as soon as she saw it. We added a few bright pinks for some more color and we were set!
The best part? I had to do zero math. I HATE walking into places like JoAnn’s and they ask me how much fabric I need? Ummmm…. I don’t know? I usually wing whatever sewing project I’m doing and rarely use a pattern so its hard to determine what I really need. Dona was great. She pulled out the pattern (for a baby sized quilt), adjusted proportionally, asked me which fabrics were my favorites out of every set (so they’d get the largest strips) and proceeded to cut and organize. Hallelujah. I left with 3 stacks of cut fabric ready to be sewn together and written instructions informing me of the order in which to sew them.
I enlisted the help of my mother who came down for two days straight to help me sew. It was a whirlwind. We squared each strip and then proceeded to sew them together. She even brought her machine so her and Andrew worked on his, while Rachel and I sewed hers. Unfortunately, Andrew loves to sew really FAST (and grandma kept up with him) and we eventually burnt out her machine completely. 🙁
By the time Monday rolled around we had all three tops sewed and ready to go. I purchased Andrew’s minky & elephant fabric (he simply couldn’t live without elephants on the back) from Broadbent’s in Lehi (only because the Sewing basket didn’t have it – but they totally looked and even called about ordering it in!). We showed back up at the Sewing Basket Monday morning and somehow both girls agreed to just have minky on the back of theirs and a cute fabric to bind it (instead of a more complicated pattern). That meant I was done! Dona squared up my fronts, we picked out the minky color for the back, the patterns they wanted quilted, fabric for the binding and that was it! She did all the measuring and cutting for the minky and the batting (which I never actually saw) and we walked out the door. Easiest process ever!
About two weeks into our Southern Utah trip, I heard from my friend that our quilts were done and bound (totally paid Dona to do it – it was the LAST thing I wanted to do now or ever) and ready to be picked up! The day after we got home we went to the quilt shop and the kids were so excited to see their new quilts!
I definitely would not have been able to pull this off without all of their help! I’m so grateful it came together so well and we absolutely LOVE having this quilts in the Airstream! They are truly beautiful and I know my kids will cherish them for a long time to come!