Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Long Time Coming

I've had this quilt finished for a month and a half, though I've neither sent it to the recipient nor blogged about it (I'm even sitting on it as I write). I have, however, brought it to one BMQG meeting...and that counts for something, right? The colors are difficult to capture, but they are most accurate in the photo below.

I made this little quilt for a dear friend, who was the first in our group of friends to get married and is now the first to have a baby. She is deeply religious and traditional, and I tried to make something that reflected her life and family.

The quilt is based on the Amish quilting tradition in several ways. The first and most obvious is the geometry and color patterning. As in many Amish quilts, nothing is random. What looks like a tossed-down array of triangles is actually very deliberately and evenly laid out, which you can see if you study the first and last photos in this post.

The second is the quilting. When I initially set out to quilt this (my first quilt on my new machine, btw), I tried to draw in lines with chalk so my triple-quilted triangles would look somewhat even. I had to use chalk because teal is the one color that the water-soluble pens I use to quilt will not wash out of.

The first few lines got erased when this quilt traveled with me to the NEMQG retreat, and I decided not to reapply them. The Amish have a concept that nothing is perfect except God, and this concept extends into their quilt-making. Their quilts may look perfect in books, but there is always at least one thing (albeit small) deliberately "wrong" with the quilt. I chose to keep my quilting lines organic to reflect this.

One major departure from the Amish quilting tradition was the addition of written words to this quilt. My friend is a big romantic...even her wedding invitation had an entire page of quotations about love (and yes, they were very cheesy, as befits a wedding invitation!). I quilted a few lines from an e.e. cummings poem into her quilt in a triangular pattern to echo the geometry in the quilt. The "love" you see above is the first word of the poem, and it is in a chartreuse triangle in the top-middle of the quilt. I placed all of the words in the chartreuse triangles, and I free-motion quilted all of them on there. I didn't use transfer paper or anything like that.

I backed the quilt in one color, FSDS Chamois. I used KF Shot Cotton in Sprout and Sky, Moda Crossweaves in Flamingo, Bella Solids in Teal, and Kona in Violet (I think? I don't have my color card with me right now) and another shade of Kona blue-green. I think I'm careless when it comes to recording my color choices when I use Kona because I know I have the color card, but it's never near me when I need it...

All in all, I love this quilt because I love what it illustrates about quilting: the ability to make a completely personalized gift for someone you love. What could be better than that?


  1. it came out great! I love the quilting! how did you like your new machine? now send it off already!!!

  2. Beautiful quilt and beautiful post! I miss you Monet!