Grandma’s Quilt

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

Before Christmas I had the honor of making a quilt for my Grandma. She’s 98 years old and just moved into assisted living. Of course she has always been very frugal and has had the same bedspread on her bed since, well, for as long as I can remember. When my mom and aunts mentioned about getting her a new quilt for her bed I of course was on it! Quilts are such a meaningful gift, they take many hours to make and are filled with love from both the maker and the recipient.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

The whole process was so fun. I brought a few books and patterns to show my Grandma and she picked out the Side Braid quilt pattern by my friend Jeni Baker. I was tickled she chose it. We took the measurements from her existing bedspread, it’s a very large quilt for a twin size bed (80″ wide by 100″ tall). She likes it to drape to the floor and cover her pillow, so I adapted Jeni’s pattern. (I should note that the pictures of the quilt are on my own bed, I didn’t feel like I should traumatize my Grandma with my crazy photo antics!) My aunt and I went to my local quilt shop and with a fabric swatch from my Grandma’s couch, we went to work on picking out fabrics. It really was fun and challenging, and I think we hit just the right spot.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

When talking with my Grandma, she told me that when she retired (she was the postmaster in her town) she considered a few different hobbies to pursue in her new found free time. She said she thought about quilting, but ultimately decided to pursue Rosemaling. What?? you say. Well, if you’re not familiar with Rosemaling it’s a lovely folk art style of painting originating in Norway. My Grandma is Norwegian and there are quite a few Norwegians living in our area. She had a group of friends who regularly get together to work on their paintings and projects. A couple years ago, one of my cousins put together an art display at a local shop featuring my Grandma’s pieces. I photographed each piece and we put up a little tumblr account. It’s pretty fun seeing my Grandma’s projects on her own site and it also ended up being a good way to share her work with relatives that didn’t live locally. Funny though how she almost picked quilting for her hobby.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

The quilt was a labor of love. But it was different in that I couldn’t and didn’t want to stop working on it. I knew that there was a possibility that I had just enough time to make the quilt top and send it off to my friend Christina (Sometimes Crafter) for her amazing quilting and still get it finished in time for Christmas. It wasn’t even an option for me, when we first talked about the quilt, I knew right away that Christina would be the perfect fit to put her artistic touch on the quilt. She beautifully quilted her freehand feathers in an all over pattern. It’s even more gorgeous in real life.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

It might seem ironic that I made my Grandma a quilt, usually I suppose it’s the other way around. But I feel really lucky that I could make her this quilt for her bed. It’s something she uses everyday and will keep her snuggly and warm. I felt grateful that she allowed me to make it for her.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

Pattern: Side Braid Quilt (Mini Braid) by Jeni Baker, adapted to 80″ x 100″
Quilting: Christina Lane (Sometimes Crafter)
Fabrics: about half are from the Downton Abbey collection
by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics, along with many others
Batting: Quilters Dream Wool Batting

my family

My husband and kids and I had a fun little winter hike to get these outdoor shots. Such a great day to be outside!

Winter Berries in WI by Anna Graham


Quilting From Every Angle

It’s quilting fever over here! Now that the weather here is finally back to it’s fairly cold November self, of course I’ve been thinking quilts. I was so happy that Nancy asked me to join in on a blog tour for her new book Quilting From Every Angle. I’ve followed Nancy‘s work (@owensolivia on instagram) for quite a while and really admire how she has a lovely distinct style. And when I found out she was writing a book, that makes it even more fun! I love seeing a large chunk of work from an artist, and a book is the perfect showcase.


I had several of the quilts bookmarked and I really enjoyed reading about the inspiration from each one as well as the opening chapters on technique. There are so many unique designs that range from fairly straightforward to more complicated and challenging. I really enjoyed all the thorough diagrams within the instructions, there are many for each pattern, so it’s really nice to have a visual to go along with the written instructions.

Finally settled on the Colorblock quilt. I can’t even tell you how many fabric pulls I did! So many! But that’s the fun part for me anyway. This is the one I finally settled on and am really happy with the results. I can totally see myself making more for baby gifts and I think it’ll be fun to explore more color options, too! I love that this is a fairly classic design with a fun twist. I think if I were to make it again I would choose more solids/semi-solids for the majority of the quilt, but I really like these colors. Can’t wait to quilt this one up, it’s always a fun transformation.


I think I might just have to try the Sequoia quilt from the book next. Probably another opportunity to do some fabric shopping!

p.s. There’s a bit of errata, so stop by Nancy’s website for updates before cutting. 🙂

Fabrics: Cotton + Steel (Melody Miller’s Picnic and Alexia Abegg’s Paper Bandana), Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine, shot cotton, mystery chambray I pulled from deep within my stash.

Be sure to follow along with the rest of the Quilting From Every Angle tour to see what all these talented people came up with (I’m excited to see them, too!):
11/10- Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts
11/11- Hillary Goodwin of Entropy Always Wins
11/12- Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles
11/13- Anna Graham of Noodlehead (yay!)
11/16- Rachel McCormack of Wooden Spoon Quilts
11/17- Tara Larson of Rad & Happy 
11/18- Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
11/19- Holly Hughes of Holly Gets Quilty
11/20- Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
11/23- Pat Bravo of Pat Bravo Fabric Design and Jesse Maloney of Art School Dropout
11/24- Astrid Slagle of Red Red Completely Red
11/25- Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely
11/26- Christopher Thompson of The Tattooed Quilter
11/27- Spoonflower

And if you’re still reading, I’m giving away a DIGITAL copy of the book! How awesome is that?!


To Enter to wind a DIGITAL copy of Quilting From Every Angle:

  • Please leave a comment. One per person please. Just for fun, tell me what sewing projects you’re working on for Christmas?
  • Open to anyone with a valid email address.
  • Giveaway closes Sunday, November 15th at 10 AM CST. This giveaway is now closed, thank you to all who entered!

Vast Quilt



It’s done! And it’s Vast. This is the Vast quilt pattern from my friend Jeni‘s new book Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle. I was so excited to receive her book. She’s so smart and put together her book beautifully.



I love the 12 quilt patterns, each one just as beautiful as the last. But then, Jeni offers so much more. The book is divided into sections and each section has a sort of ‘workshop’ type portion that goes into depth about elements of that particular section. I think new quilters will really appreciate her in-depth coverage of half-square triangles and can grow and be extremely comfortable making some of their first quilts. Of course seasoned quilters can also expect awesome information on how to take their quilts to the next level.



From the tiny peek I saw of Vast when Jeni showed me last spring, I waited patiently to give it a try myself. I love that this quilt uses huge blocks! Seeing the large expanses of some of my favorite fabrics is the best! This color palette really speaks to me. I love neutral and the slightly masculine feeling these colors give. Vast will be living on my bed! And I’m happy to have a little change of colors in there. I used Quilters Dream wool batting again and really love how it makes the whole quilt feel. It’s light and cozy. I backed it with one of my most favorite prints by Sarah Watson.


For the quilting I tried something a little different. I quilted it in four sections with straight lines that turn at a 90-degree angle at the center. I’m not super crazy how it quilted up. I did end up blocking the quilt because there was a slight bulge in the center. I don’t feel like it’s a super big deal, especially since it’s for me, but I don’t think I’ll do quilting like that again. I suppose that’s why I usually start in the center and work my way out to the edges? I’ll have to think about it a bit more.

Pattern: Vast from Patchwork Essentials by Jeni Baker
Fabrics: Cotton + Steel (Alexia Abegg), Lotta Jansdotter, Carolyn Friedlander, Leah Duncan