Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - A Quilt Story

Amy's Creative Side
My apologies to those of you who have heard allllll about this quilt already and to those of you who aren't all that interested in quilts. You might want to stop reading here.

On the other hand, welcome to those of you who have come here as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis. I hope you like this quilt story. You probably haven't been here before. I should tell you that as much as I wish this were a quilting blog, it's not. Not yet, at least. So far it's been an icky breast cancer experience blog with a little bit of quilting recently thrown in.

Anyway, about this quilt. My Mom and I made it as a wedding gift for my nephew Josh and his bride Noelene. They were married last month and I was doing the last bit of stitching the morning before the wedding.

Click on any photo if you wish to see a larger image.
The quilt was made using the Geese in the Park pattern that can be found at the Moda Bake Shop where it was made using Kate Spain's Central Park fabrics. The back is something Mom and I put together on our own. For the quilt we used a mix of fabrics from various designers that I had recently acquired and that, to my mind, serendipitously look quite lovely together. We added some additional Art Gallery fabric yardage for the back and the binding. I really like the bright pink binding.

The bride and groom are both pilots and live in Canada so ... "flying geese" seemed like an especially appropriate design element. To further personalize the quilt, I added some camouflaged appliques on the back of the quilt.

The elephant represents South Africa where Noelene is from and where her parents live.

There are two airplanes, one for each. The rabbit is because they were married in the year of the rabbit. My husband claims that he STILL can't find the rabbit. Can you? Can you see the mostly orange airplane in this photo and the turquoise one in the photo below? I imagine that someday small children will enjoy looking for these hidden bits.

The polar bear represents both the great Canadian north where Josh and Noelene live and work ... in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ... and it represents White Bear, Saskatchewan where Josh's parents farm. The farm is 100 years old this year and it was settled by my grandfather.

We added a label made from a handkerchief that has shamrocks embroidered on it. We knew Josh would appreciate a nod to his Irish heritage.

Confessions. I didn't do ANY machine stitching. Mom did all of that. She's a machine stitching genius!

I chose the pattern and fabrics, cut the fabric and stitched the appliques by hand. This is the first quilt I've made in over 20 years and I didn't do any machine work on the previous one either. Mom is an experienced seamstress so that's been her department. This was the first time I really used rotary cutting tools, so everything was a learning experience for me. Good thing the appliques are camouflaged so my shabby work doesn't show up too much. I did get better as I went.

Because time was of the essence, we hired Tara Patterson who lives in Kyle, Saskatchewan, to do long arm quilting. Tara based the quilting pattern on the trees and leaves in the print used on the back of the quilt and she used a variegated thread in mostly a turquoise colour. She put the binding on for us, too. We were very happy with her design decisions and work. Given more time, I think I would like to hand quilt. I'd also like to learn to free motion quilt. I think I'll need a class for that. Before all of that, though, I really MUST start doing my own machine stitching. I seem machine phobic and much more comfortable with hand stitching  (think yoyo's and straight applique).  I'll be getting acquainted with my machine soon ... honest. I have to do something with all the leftover fabric from this quilt.

I probably should have measured the finished quilt. I can say it looks quite nice on a queen sized bed. This is the quilt top before the final border was added.

Most importantly, I think Josh and Noelene like it and they know it was made with love in every stitch.

Note directly from Noelene: "Actually, we don't really like our quilt...we LOVE it! We've been showing it to everyone that comes over. It's very special to be given something that was made just for us and I love the extra layers of meaning in the pattern and appliques."

Thanks for visiting and for reading my quilt story. I'm really a beginner at this but for years I've been dreaming about making quilts ... have studied quilts ... admired quilts ... read about techniques ... and now it's finally time to start making them. I look forward to making more.  I'm very grateful to the online quilting community for all the encouragement, instruction, and inspiration.

Now ... go back to the Blogger's Quilt Festival and check out more quilts!
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  1. Your colour choice was fabulous! Good luck with your journey to good health!

  2. I love the brights with the white! And I'm a sucker for a colorful binding, something I rarely do. Love the camouflaged *I spy* idea!

  3. What a wonderful wedding present!
    Viele Grüße

  4. Heather, your gift is beautiful and thoughtful. I would love to learn to quilt some day. Well done.
    Hugs, Bridget

  5. It's lovely. Such a wonderful, happy, special gift. Good luck with your fight against breast cancer. I am a survivor too.

  6. This is beautiful! I made this pattern too - wasn't it fun? Yours is really, really nice.

  7. Actually, we don't really like our quilt...we LOVE it! We've been showing it to everyone that comes over.
    It's very special to be given something that was made just for us and I love the extra layers of meaning in the pattern and appliques.

  8. What a lovely quilt, and how great that you and your mother's skills complement each other so brilliantly.

  9. Lovely quilt and the what a wonderful gift. I love a quilt that has special representation in it. Thanks for sharing your story, it warmed my heart.

  10. very beautiful! And so sweet too!

  11. Very beautiful quilt! and thanks for sharing photos of the lucky recipients! I love seeing the lucky owners.

  12. What a gorgeous quilt, beautiful collaboration between mom and daughter, and a loving, extra-special gift for a young couple!

    Best of luck to you as you travel your journey. I wish you a return to robust health!

  13. Looking at your quilt - maybe I need to study more and sew less. Your quilt is so bright, colorful, meaningful and exquisite.

  14. It's a beautiful quilt...a spectacular gift.

  15. wonderfully beautiful quilt and how fun to have your mom working on this with you. quilting is great. your little appliques are just precious and love the symbolism for each of them. good luck in your stuggle with cancer. i've had a couple scares, but can't know what you have been through--will send good thoughts your way, though. thanks so much for sharing and have a great day!

  16. What a great gift! It is fabulous.

  17. What a fantastic quilt for a wedding gift. I love that you made it together with your mother. Great fabrics and design!

  18. That is a beautiful quilt and yes, I saw the rabbit! (@ least I think I did.) I love you were able to make it with your mom and I hope that "icky breast cancer experience" falls behind you quickly.

  19. Great team work on this beautiful quilt!


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