Monday, May 19, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival-Spring 2014

Life has been a bit busy here, and I wasn't sure I would be back in time to post and enter the festival this year. Happily, I am. I have given lots of thought to which quilt to post about. I decided to show the quilt I made a few years ago for my sister, Nina. I like sharing quilts that have a story, and this one certainly does.
 First of all, my sister lives in California and I live in North Carolina. She bought a quilt for her bed that she loved. But when it needed to be cleaned, she took it to the cleaners. When she got it back, all the fabrics were faded and she was crushed! I wish she had asked me how to clean it. So, I did what any quilter would do, I offered to make her a new one. This is a huge quilt. It is pictured on my bed here, which is a Queen. My sister has a King.
 I tried to make a quilt similar to what she had in style. The center had a similar checkerboard style piece. My  sister gave me a list of colors and the cash to buy fabrics. I photographed all the fabrics and emailed them to her for approval before I cut anything. I do not always prewash fabrics, but I did with these due to the deep colors in them.
 The original quilt had some vines and some flowers going all around it. I had never done this before, but I used this as the perfect time to give it a go. I made my bias tape for the vines and cut out hundreds of little leaves. I used a fusible web to attach them and then zigzagged around each leaf to secure it.
 This pattern came from a book, and I don't remember which one, unfortunately, but it is called Pomegranates and Pumpkins. These are also fused and zigzagged onto the quilt top.
 My sister wanted the quilt to be large enough to have overhang and also long enough to cover the pillows on the bed. I added more checkerboard to the top, and then a plain muslin to the top of that, to accomplish this. The outer border is more squares of muslin alternated with colors.
 There is a pumpkin appliqued on each corner of the quilt. This quilt is so large, that I didn't want to quilt the whole thing on my Bernina, which was brand new at the time. What  I did was to quilt it in pieces, and then attach the pieces to each other, carefully butting the batting up against each piece. Any overlap of batting makes for lumps in the finished quilt.
 I wish I could remember how long this quilt took me to make, but I think it was about 3-4 months of steady work. I don't think I worked on much else during this time period. All the fabrics were bought here at my LQS. I know it is hard to see, but they are tone on tone prints and a batik that I used in the applique.
 All the pictures were taken with my old camera, which has since died and been replaced. It was hard to get a shot of the whole thing and I wasn't blogging at the time I made this, so it never occurred to me to take it outside and take the pictures. Most of these I took to send to my sister to show her the progress on the quilt.
She paid for all the fabric, and the rest was a labor of love, plus a great learning experience for me. The white fabric is unbleached muslin. This quilt measured over 100 inches on each side, the largest quilt I have ever made. When my sister and her husband received the quilt, they could only say "Wow!" They loved it. Sadly, my sister has Alzheimer's now, and is in a home. But it warms my heart to know that this quilt gave her such joy and love for a few years.


  1. That's a wonderful quilt story, heart warming that you would put so much love and effort into a quilt for your sister. No doubt she felt that love every time she looked at the quilt.

  2. What a lovely quilt and story! Beautifully done! Bravo for your first time doing applique! Wow.

  3. Beautiful quilt!! What a lovely thing you did for your sister!!! Great job, and thank you for sharing!!

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  4. I am so... impressed with your applique. The colors and design are beautiful!

  5. I love this story and the quilt itself. If I have a chance soon, I will take some pictures of it for you outside.
    I assure you it still looks as bright & beautiful as it did when it first arrived.
    XO your other sister

  6. You did beautiful work!

    My prayers for your sister and your family.


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