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Let bandanas inspire your next quilt

Several summers ago, when I was in college, my mom and I started this bandana quilt together. I don't remember where our inspiration for this quilt came but I do remember looking around different stores for bandanas that were just the right colors. I'm pretty sure we ended up buying the bandanas for this quilt for little over a buck a piece at Walmart.



This is one of my favorite quilts because my mom and I worked on it together. So many times we sat in the dining room sewing our own projects, but this quilt was a total joint effort. Making a quilt with someone else, especially when that someone else is your mom, gives it extra special value.



In the true Taylor women fashion, we didn't have a pattern. We got out the graph paper and figured it out. Our quilt top used just 16 bandanas. For each of the four big blocks, there is one bandana for the center, one cut in four triangles for the inner corners, and two cut in two triangles for the outer corners. Bandanas are NOT exact and you will need to square them up. There were one or two bandanas we didn't use because they were too off-center.



Now this may or may not come as a surprise to you, but we didn't finish it while I was still in college. I moved out and it got put in a box in the basement. When I was visiting home a few months ago, my mom had water in her basement so we went down there to clean things up and we came across this box! It's amazing how easily you can forget about projects started long ago. I don't know about you but I've got a crazy ton of started projects.


We decided that the quilting should be free motion all over. When I sat down to start the quilting however, I made the quilting pretty tight together. While I totally love how it looks finished, I do have to say that in retrospect I would have quilted a little farther apart. It took hours and hours to quilt this large quilt on my standard sewing machine...but I did it!



Since the project was so large, it really forced me to be creative with my free-motion quilting. I found myself experimenting with different types of flowers, ornate paisley and simple paisleys, swirls, and swirls with petals. The further along in the project I got, the more confident my shapes became.



It feels so good to have this quilt finished! We topped it off with a handmade label that says:


"Things are better when they're done together"


I couldn't think of a better sentiment for us, and future Taylor women, to remember when they use this quilt.


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