|Just a peek!!|
I'm so glad you've stopped by to see my entry into this fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival! I haven't actually committed to the Process Pledge, but I'd like to share a little bit of the process I went through to create this quilt.
First of all, let me tell you a little bit about why I quilt. (Hang in there - there's lots of pictures to come!) About a year ago, a group of women from my church met to make a quilt for a young friend who very unexpectedly found out that she had cancer and had to have radical surgery. We had never made a quilt before, but it was what we felt led to do. Now flash forward to today - we have made 47 quilts since then, all of them distributed to people with serious medical problems, or in distressing life situations, and also to newborns in our church.
The quilt I want to share with you is one that I made recently for a young woman who was also facing devastating surgery. She had conquered lymphoma at age 17, but after some difficult times in her life had just about reached the end of her rope. She made good decisions and started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, only to find out that she had a possible return of her cancer and needed to have surgery. Needless to say, this took all the wind out of her sails. She was a member of the Bible study group I was leading, and I knew a little about her - she is very contemporary, likes whimsy (she has eyelashes for her Volkswagon Beetle!) and trended toward vibrant earth tones in her clothing.
Artistic design is not my forte - but I knew where to start looking for inspiration! I headed off to Flickr to see what I could find. I bookmarked many pictures, but this is the one that stuck in my mind... So I dragged out the design journal and started sketching. (Again, not my strong suit!) With a vague idea in my mind, I went to check out my stash to see what fabrics I had available to use. I found several earth tone fabrics to use, paired with some lovely saturated jewel tones. For the base fabric for the quilt top, I found a piece of 72" wide Irish linen that came from my grandmother's fabric stash. I cut out circles in various sizes from each of the fabrics I chose for the appliques, and located some strips of deep green in my scrap bin.
Then my granddaughter and I got busy. We spread out the linen on my bed, grabbed those fabric pieces and started arranging them on the linen. (Let me tell you, this was quite an experience with a nearly-3-year-old!) We layered some of the circles, cut "snowflake" type designs in some, and this is the design we ended up with...
|My "design bed"!|
With this rough beginning in hand, I solicited the advice of a friend whose design skills far exceed mine. Collaboration is a wonderful thing! I slimmed down the stems, making them slightly curvy, and appliqued the design to the linen.
|Loopy hearts stitched on this flower....|
|Click pic to see|
detail up close!
Next came the quilting process. First thing was the flowers and stems. Each flower has free motion quilting in it, and it was a great way to try out lots of different designs.
|Echo quilting and flower designs!|
On the back of the quilt, those quilting designs echo the design of backing fabric I chose - which was totally unexpected but wonderful! The stems have long organic lines quilted up and down them.
Then I moved on to the background quilting. My inspiration piece had lovely echo quilting around the flowers, and that's where I started. (I did learn that the echo quilting is much easier to do as free motion quilting - I started out with a walking foot, and that did not work well at all!)
|Fiddlehead fern design -|
I wish I'd had better light for these pics!
Once I had done the echo quilting, I had large areas that were unquilted on either side of the design, and also above it. What to use to fill in the space? Well, on the sides I did a "fiddlehead fern" design - long stems up about halfway, with spirals at the top.
Once that was done, I turned to the top of the quilt. I really felt that this needed a sunburst, so I fiddled with where to work it in. On paper, I sketched it in at the top corner, but really didn't like the way it made the design look - a little too stretched.
|I'm glad there was a sun on my quilt -|
There was not much available for these pics!
Then I tried the design in the center top, and that worked. But it still left a lot of blank space at the top, so back came the swirlies! This time they hopefully represent wind and clouds - at least that was my intention - but they give the quilt a beautiful texture. Of course, by the time I was done, I was making swirlies in my sleep!!
The back of the quilt is rather plain, compared to most of my quilts. I just couldn't come up with a design that I liked in coordination with the front! I did find a great mandala print fabric that coordinated with the colors, and amazingly coordinated with the reverse image of the quilting, too! Panels with Bible verses written on them were appliqued down the center of the quilt as an added touch.
So here, in all it's glory, is Not Your Grandmother's Flower Garden......
|My little photography assistant has her garden boots on!!|
(And on a happy note, the recipient of this quilt had a very good result from her surgery, and the tests came back showing that her cancer had not returned as feared. God is good, all the time!!!)
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my entry in the Bloggers Quilt Festival! I hope you take time to visit many more of the wonderful entries there - so much beautiful work to see!!
PS - if you are looking for the winners of my birthday giveaway, check here!