Crafts, Quilting/Sewing

Heritage Quilt #1: Miss Lani ZJ

Back in 2020, I turned attention to sewing face masks and ended up collecting beautiful fabrics. It was also fun exploring and shopping at wonderful online fabric shops!

Well, like most things with me, one thing leads to another and sewing masks turned into sewing quilts. I created a t-shirt quilt from my old movie crew shirts and that came out well for a newbie quilter. I then decided I wanted to tackle something a little bigger.

I found some great patterns on stores like Connecting Threads, Missouri Star Quilt Company. I fell in LOVE with designer Riley Blake’s “Destination” Panels and started putting tother a plan. . .

Our goddaughter, Lani, was turning 15 in 2021. I thought it would be fun to create a quilt for her showcasing some of the places she’s lived, where she was born, her family ancestry and the place for which she was named. Here are some initial swatches for Lani’s “Heritage Quilt”.

The pieces came in from different stores so once they all arrived, I washed the fabric, ironed then starting measuring and cutting. Now, I’m terrible at measuring so I measured many many many times. I started by cutting out her name using a solid dark blue fabric and applique-ing it on top of the pretty turquoise swirl fabric.

I did the same for the squared versions of the Japan and Swiss flags – cutting out each shape, then sewing the pieces on the background color. And yes, they are two different shades of red. (Some of these images are from the final quilt. I didn’t take work-in-progress photos of each step unfortunately.)

Then I sewed the “Lani” section to the “Hawaii” section to form the top part, and the “Flag” Section to the “Hooray for Hollywood” for the bottom – with a light gray fabric in between for the sashing.

Another round of measuring for the backing fabric, then making the quilt top + batting + backing sandwich. I used fusible backing for the quilt and placed an ironing mat underneath the quilt so I could iron on the floor. I ended up using quilt pins anyway so I think I’ll just use non-fusible batting after these quilts.

Now, for the FUN part! Hand quilting! I first used fabric pens to mark the wave pattern on the quilt top. Then I tried using quilt hoops but ended up just making a 2 ft x 1 ft PVC frame which worked wonderfully! I was able to have one hand on top and one underneath the frame since it sat on my lap. I used HUGE binder clips to hold the fabric down, but later found nice PVC pipe clamps that worked better.

After 3-4 months of nightly hand quilting, I sewed the binding on to finish the quilt.

At the end of January 2022 (literally 2 days ago), I was finally able to give this quilt to Lani – just a couple weeks shy of her 16th birthday. It had been nearly 2 years since we last saw her and her brother (I’ll follow up with Kai’s Heritage Quilt next!).

Between the Hand-Painted Mermaid Skateboard my husband gifted her and the Heritage Quilt from me, it truly was a fun gift exchange – and a fabulous way to end the first month of the new year.


1 thought on “Heritage Quilt #1: Miss Lani ZJ”

  1. This is beautiful, Christina! So much love in all those stitches and I’m sure she’ll treasure it all her life. I am so not surprised that the quilting bug finally bit you.
    Jake did a fabulous job on that skateboard, too! Oh my goodness it’s gorgeous!
    I thought about you guys the other day when a customer came in wearing a Vikings jacket. 😉


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