Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Everest of Quilts (a personal tale)

I have completely finished the top of my Heron quilt (aka: The Big One).  If you haven't read about this specific headache of mine before now I will catch you up to speed; I promised a quilt to my mother which I had no idea how to start, never mind complete.  My last post was two weeks ago, at which time I made a phone call to my mother which went basically like this:

Me: "So do you care about the quilt being square?"
Mom: "Well..."
Me: "Do you want a proper size quilt or a square one!?!"
Mom: "I think I should say... proper size?"
Me: "Good." (insert crazy voice) "Cuz you know it's visually square." 

I had a wicked jog in the background which was causing me no end of frustration, and it seemed the more I "squared" the quilt, the weirder everything got.  I ended up just taking the bloody thing apart and fixing the jog (it really wasn't as hard as I'm portraying, but I have no friends here yet so I have to make my own drama).  Then I told my husband that unless he helped me make my quilt properly square he wasn't going to benefit from my services... of making dinner.  So anyhow, now I have a perfectly square background to work with.  Once you go square you won't ever go back... to... not square.  O.K, lame joke, but you know what I mean.  I'm not sure how other people would square their project like this but obviously I used painter's tape and a husband to do it.  So it was time to start the applique and, quite honestly, I was ready for something I knew I could do.  With both my husband and my father vying for the credit of coming up with the silhouette idea, I've decided just to take all the credit and say that the idea was brewing in my mind from the first. 

I did the applique using freezer paper cut-outs and turning the edges under (turn applique?).  It's stitched down using clear thread and a blanket type stitch.  The wind kinda blew the quilt a bit during the photo, and I couldn't push my husband any further into helping me, because taking a picture is soooo much work... I'll leave it at that, he's a pretty good sport. So you can imagine my elation of having the hard part over, or at least it seems that way when you finish the top... kind of like having a baby, it's so beauitful and wonderful.  Then it starts to cry, and you realize the work as just begun (I wonder if this quilt is enough for my mom?).  I have no idea how I'm going to quilt this, yet.  But before I get into that I need a border, or three.  My foray into the quilt shop left me reeling with consumer's remorse and abject terror that I was going to ruin my hard work with a terrible border choice.  At the same time, I ALWAYS feel this way so I just bit the bullet and tackled the borders.

96" x 84"

I'm pretty happy with the results of the quilt top.  I have my backing and batting ready to go so I can baste this behemoth whenever my courage returns.  Plus, I think I'm going to need some time to really think over what kind of designs I should quilt this thing in.  I need to keep in mind that the quilt is meant for a bed and so the quilting cannot be too dense, which is a shame because I would love to just quilt the hell out of this thing.    On a side note, I finished this little quilt for a friend's new little boy.  I'm also linking up to The Needle and Thread Network.


  1. Oh this is such a beautiful quilt! Despite the squaring up dramas (which gave me a bit of a chuckle - in the most sympathetic way of course!), it really is stunning! I bet your mum will just love it!!

  2. You've done an amazing job with your Heron quilt. I just love it. Great border choices.

  3. This is gorgeous! Your mom is very lucky to receive this. I have been following your progress. Thanks for sharing the whole process with us.

  4. Sam, your Heron quilt is amazing! I hope your going to enter it in a show or two. Can't wait to see your next quilt.

  5. Despite all the drama (hehe!) have done a great job! The borders are perfect, the colours really accent the quilt. I look forward to seeing how you quilt this one!

    (OK..this is my THIRD try at those dam word verification things....last time, and then I give up !!

  6. Your writing is as lovely as your quilt designing and appliqué! I can sympathize with the desire to quilt until that thing can stand upright in a corner.....but probably just quilting 1/4 inch away from all seams and around your motifs would be enough.
    And you'd be finished quite quickly to tackle your next project, can't wait to see it.

  7. Your quilt is a work of art. I must admit that the best thing about belonging to a quilt group is that there is always somebody there who has been there and done it before, so at least there is someone to sympathize, if they don't have the answer.
    I am glad it worked out for you.

  8. is stunning. I love it. Your mum is one lucky lady:)

  9. Ahhh, good for you. I love how your heron quilt turned out. Yes, lucky mom.

  10. That is HUMUNGOUS!!!!!!!!!!
    Beautiful work.
    : )
    ps - thanks for linking to TN&TN!

  11. I'm certainly not counselling against joining a quilt guild. You'll love the comeraderie and all the advice you'll have access to but... I predict you'll rise to the top of the creative ones immediately, the brave ones who try anything and let their inspiration lead them down new paths. I think this is your genius. You have a great future ahead. Make sure you keep this gift intact.

    I love your heron quilt. It's exquisite.

  12. Wow , this is incredible ,just love the colors and the appliques ,stunning! I also enjoy reading your posts ,I like your style of writing.

  13. It is a very stunning quilt. It has a stained glass quality to it with those colors. Your mom will love it!

  14. Lovely! Your writing is completely engaging and the silhouette heron is genius. Beautiful quilt, thanks for sharing the drama with us!

  15. I am totally in love with the pieced background! The silhouette looks so elegant against it. Great job, hope your Mom will love it! If not I can send you my Address :)))) thanks for sharing!

  16. Ok, So the Heron quilt is nice, but that is sure one lucky baby who got the other quilt. Bet him and his mom love it :) He's probably a really cute baby too :D