Many years ago my siblings and myself decided to stop buying gifts for each other. Instead, someone had the bright idea (?) that we, being the creative family we are, should create just one, very special gift, per year. Sister #1 created an Excel spreadsheet with all 6, of us kids names, down the side and with the years listed across the top. Find your name, follow it across to the current year and see who you have. You have the whole year to prepare. Some years I’ve not needed it all and some like this year I needed every spare bit of it!
I drew my older brother. Round two.
First time he got a Queen sized, hand quilted, neutral colored quilt with a variety of different stars. Wish I had photographed it….
An extremely creative person, in his own right, who has never shied from admiring my quilting. I’ve heard him say, more than once, that he’d love to have a wall hanging. But I knew it had to be more than that. It had to be an awesome wall hanging.
I just hope I met and exceeded he and my SIL’s expectations.
It all started with a photo I saw on the web from a Quilt Show. It wasn’t this pic, but a similar one, with no branding attached to it. Just someone’s random shot of the show. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it. I could find no one who had actually made it. It took me weeks to figure out who made it, and how it was made. By then, I found that a pattern had been created which I thought would make it so much easier. But I was mistaken…. It wasn’t easy, no way, no how.
I created a take off of Zen Chic’s White Labyrinth. Brigitte Heitland is a brilliant German fabric and quilt designer. You’ve seen my Bubbles quilt? That is a take off on an original Brigitte drawing, redrawn by Daughter A.
Anyway…. I quickly picked my fabric. That was the easy part. I *love* these Kona colors.
Immediately, I was struggling with my OCD. The pattern directed me to cut the fabric in one order, I needed to do it in another. So I reordered my A, B, C…..X, Y, Z. pieces to better work in my head. One of the reasons mine is different from the original, is that there was originally a pattern snafu. It’s not a biggie, unless you ordered up special fabric, in small quantities, just as the pattern suggested. Once you’ve cut your random colored strips for the front, you probably won’t have what you need for the final big block on the back. So I ended up with a 25%, of the back block, on the front.
That’s the difference no seam allowances make! It was a perfect 25% smaller. I can’t imagine having made it any other way, now that it’s finished. For other quilters, contemplating making this quilt, the only other tip I have is to learn to *see* the difference between the 4 blocks before you get started. Just another of my issues!
With a gazillion small pieces I knew it had to be put together before the grandkids arrived in late summer. There would be no time for playing then. By June it was on the *design wall* at the cottage. Design wall is really a joke. It’s a long, super high ceilinged hallway, upstairs, that I’ve sacrificed the drywall in enchange for a creative space. Straight pins line the wall, about 7 feet up. Step stool below. I can hang just about all my strips, for any quilt, in that space. Here they are still, just blocks, being rearranged. Constantly.
Once the final layout was decided upon, with a little help from my friends, I worried over, tried different methods/patterns of quilting and finally decided I needed to follow the design as it was laid before me. It then made many, many roads trips, quilting as I rode, before I finally finished it up, just a week or so ago. It is so heavily quilted it went from about 60″ square to, I believe, 56″, after I washed it. I know many don’t wash wall hangings, but I was looking for that crinkly look that comes with heavily hand quilted, well-loved quilts. The heavy quilting shows up nicely in this shot.
It worked. I love it.
I hope they do, too.
Hopefully they’ll send me a pic when it’s in its final place!
Merry Christmas to you all!