What would you do if you received an email message to members of your family that Niece was expecting identical twins?
Of course, that same day, you'd email the female members of your family asking if they wanted to join in a group quilt for the twins. Er, two group quilts.
But being a sensitive person, you'd title your message, "Read Niece's Message First." You'd want the good news to come from Niece, but you would be so excited that you'd want the plotting and scheming to begin right away. So that is what I did.
Since we were all busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations, we decided to delay active production until after the holidays. By then we'd probably know the gender of the babies and we could choose fabric to suit them. And at Christmas, three of the five of the family plotters and schemers would be able to shop for fabric together.
During our Christmas holiday together time, three of us picked out quilt fabric. We chose a floral print in two colorways--yellow and orange. These would be our focus fabrics. Then we picked out some blue, red, yellow and white to go with it. The green was added a bit later. We laundered, pressed, and cut our fabric so each of our five participants would have plenty of fabric to choose from. The fabric was then sent on to the participants.
Our only plan was to have two sampler quilts with 12 nine-inch blocks. Each participant could choose her own blocks and colors, as long as the yellow focus fabric was in all the blocks for one quilt and the orange focus fabric was in all the blocks for the other quilt. Many of us used Block Party by Marsha McCloskey as our reference book. We've used it before, and it works well for group quilts.
I was the only experienced quilter with no real job so I volunteered to assemble and quilt the quilts. The quilts were finished in late April, a couple of weeks after the girls were born.
If you look at the quilts, you will see that some of us made the same block twice in different colorways, and others of us made entirely different blocks for each quilt. That's one of the things that makes this sort of project fun. These are the sixth and seventh quilts that various groups of family members have made for this generation.
The quilts were delivered in early June to the adorable babies and their tired, but amazing, parents. One great-aunt got to hold them both at the same time.