Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Thank you Amy for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  If I understand this correctly the idea is to share one of my quilts with the blogging community.

I've been thinking about this. To choose my favorite quilt....gosh, this is hard....I asked myself if my house was on fire and I could only save one quilt which would it be. Each time I asked my initial response was to save one of the quilts that have been gifted to me, or my boys, over the years. The quilts my mom made for my boys as each one was born into our family are very special to me. I would rescue them....for the sake of my children. The quilt that my parents gave me the first Christmas after 9/11 is another that comes to mind. The stock market had taken a dump (which is a very odd use of words for the stock market, but perhaps is appropriate) and money was tight. They, that would really be Mom, gave each of my siblings and I one of the quilts that Mom had been collecting,pre-quilting, in her dresser drawer. The quilt my local guild made for me as a gift for serving two years a guild president would be one to save as well. Yup, the quilts I most love are the ones that someone else made for me. Those are warmer than all of the others and, I am convinced, have a special cheering power that quilts I make for myself do not.


But the point of this festival is to share my work. (Dear Lord, Please help me choose rightly. I haven't a clue how.)

If you were to ask me I would never admit this out loud, however, I suspect I have a serious addiction to minis. (I love the Coopers, make mine red with a sun roof please. The roof is for my dog....she is kind of large. But I digress). Every pattern I see, every new fabric line seems to go through a filter in my head that evaluates it in a diminutive setting. I didn't start out loving these tiny quilts. When asked to join the now infamous DSQ group on flickr I thought it was pointless. I don't have a daughter. Neither myself, nor my sons play with dolls. What is the point of doll quilts? I'm here to tell you that I am a convert.

This is a drawing of my first mini.

Using EQ6, I designed my own pattern and printed off paper templates.  The theme for our swap was "Sing it, Read it,Watch it". Our creations were to be inspired by a favorite song, book, or movie. I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (For the record it is a fantastic book, a tad long, and a little over the top with bits of whale trivia, BUT it was a delight to read. It wasn't the dull tome that I expected, and I will forever be a fan of Mr. Melville's wicked sense of humor.)

I chose the Storm at Sea block and two color ways. Blues and golds for my prototype....chosen from my scrap bag and christened Starbuck after the first-mate of the Pequod....and blue and whites for my partner....this quilt I named The White Whale thinking that it might be just a little prophetic, but hoping it didn't.

Paper piecing can be a tedious process.  The task of cutting pieces the correct size is oft times a frustrating process  To combat this I developed a formula that has since served me well.  Measure the longest width and height add half an inch and cut rectangles for each bit in the pattern.

I love the way the back looks.  Everything is so neat and precise.  You don't often stop to look at the back of your work, let alone share it. .  You will get funny looks if you do.   However, I believe that it is the truest measure of a persons workmanship.  Examine the part of a project that your are not supposed to see to measure the care with which it is made.

One block completed.  You can see how helpful that paper really is.  The little yellow blocks are about a half inch square.  It wouldn't have looked this sweet without it.

It gave me goose bumps to see my finished Storm at Sea top.

This is a photo of the finished prototype of my mini.  You can't see it very well in this picture, but the quilting is old fashioned sailing ships on a stormy sea.  In my mind the quilting should complement the quilt, like a watermark, it should add dimensions to the vision expressed by the work without altering the initial effort.  Here is a look at the back after it was quilted.

Now, to do that all over again with the fabrics picked out for my partner.

The quilting for this version has fish on it....of course, what else could it be?!

And because documenting our work is important (hopefully it keeps minis from becoming oven mitts and pot holders) I added a special label.

These were the first of many.  I now have over 100 mini's in my collection.  No, I haven't started playing with dolls, but my walls are filled with color and memories and stories from all over the world.  I have gotten to try many new techniques and fabrics that otherwise I would not have.  A 15" square is an easy weekend project requiring very little investment, often completed completely with scraps.  I can say I've finished a Storm at Sea quilt, two even, and a Wedding Ring, and Reverse Applique and a dozen others.  I am officially hooked.

I hope you've enjoyed my little quilt.

Now go visit some of the other entrants back to the festival.


Lynne said...

Oh my! the amount if detail leaves me staggered!

Queenie Believe said...

Fabulous! Awesome attention to detail.
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Rachaeldaisy said...

These are so perfectly beautiful!! and so inspiring! It's hard to believe they're so small. Wonderful!!

Lonci said...

Wonderful, very spectacular quilt ,i like this very much:)

Editfolt said...

We here in Hungary this block called the stormy sea. I really like it.

The Thompsons said...

It's beautiful! I really like the quilting as well.

LynCC said...

Wow!!! I will some day get sucked into a mini, I'm sure :) These are gorgeous

Toni said...

They are both just stunning! I love seeing the backs, too. Also like how you match the quilting with the theme. Excellent!

Robin said...

Both quilts are just wonderful! And such a great story to go with them. Thank you so much for sharing!

Lyanna L. said...

Wow after reading this perhaps I should try to make a mini quilt! =) Good job!

Eileen said...

Wonderful and dynamic little piece. Just love it and all the detail. Both versions are nice, but like the original one best. Thanks for sharing and have a great day

Mary@QuiltGenius said...

That is so pretty and I just love the whale shaped tag on it!


Kit Lang said...

Lovely quilt - and love the label. :) Thanks for sharing!

Martha said...

So much beauty in such a small package...lovely...thank you for sharing.