How I did it: I have been working with Wanda S. for many years. I had intended to make a quilt for her but was having trouble getting inspiration, mainly because I knew so little about her and her interests.
Perhaps a year or so ago Wanda wore an outfit to work that looked stunning on her: a bright pink sweater with narrow white stripes at the neck and waist, a heathered gray cardigan and black pants. I decided to make a quilt based on the outfit. I even borrowed the pink sweater from Wanda under the pretense that I wanted to find a similar pink. Little did she know I was making a quilt for her.
I found a few pink and white striped fabrics, buying various lengths without having a design in mind. I also found a mottled gray that reminded me of the cardigan.
When it came time to get serious about making the quilt I designed a quilt with Electric Quilt, using several blocks that related to the theme or to Wanda: Stripes and Nine, Roman Stripe, Wandering Star (a play on Wanda's name) and Beacon Lights (a wanderer needs a beacon now and then).
When it came to coloring in the quilt design, I tried to play up the stripe and the mottled gray. The results show off those fabrics well.
I named the quilt A Study in Stripes, probably influenced by watching Sherlock Holmes on PBS (A Study in Pink, which was originally A Study in Scarlet).
At my request, Wanda brought the outfit to work today so I could take a photo. I showed her the quilt,and explained all the blocks. Then I told her that the quilt was hers. She was so surprised. Although she had known about the quilt for a while, she had no idea it was for her. She assumed it was for co-worker Judy B., who will retire tomorrow. It was so fun to surprise Wanda.
Lessons & tips: I had two fabrics that I wanted to show off. I played with the placement of fabric in Electric Quilt to be sure they were prominent.
It took me 2 weeks.
It made me Happy