This is the first quilt I have ever made for my husband’s brother, my brother-in-law. I’ve been in the family for almost 28 years and I’m not sure why it took me so long! I didn’t know it, but apparently this is his first handmade quilt, ever. I know lots of people don’t have hand-made quilts, I realize that. Don’t get me wrong, but my mother-in-law was one of the most beautiful quilters ever. She had an eye for color and the consistency of her stitches was impeccable. I was just surprised she had never made him one before her back gave out. But it could be that she took to making kiddie quilts. I know our house ended with quite a few of those!
For this one I used low-volume scraps for the trees (working through my scrap baskets!) and Pepper Cory’s shot cotton, in charcoal, for the background and in Carbon, for the binding. I adore quilting with these Peppered Cottons. They have an understated shimmer because the warp (lengthwise threads) are one color and the weft (side-to-side threads) are another. They are sturdier than some shot cottons I’ve dealt with making them a breeze to work with. They feel like a lovely chambray. I handled this project a lot and I still love the fabrics I chose. It is quilted freehand, no markings, no hoop, just lap-quilted in echoing rows roughly 1/4″ apart. The trees themselves, I quilted 1/4″ away from each seam. I think the dense background quilting caused the trees to pop exactly how I wanted. The horizontal tree quilting reminds me of growth lines and tames the trees just right.
I briefly talked about this quilt having a voile back when I started the quilting. I’ll have to gather the progress pictures and show you the craziness that went into this one! I have learned something from every quilt I have made and it is funny how so many of those lessons came together into this one. Or were repeated in it, at least.
I love how the all the hand-quilting shows on the back. I can’t decide which side I prefer!
And with the sun shining through it, it looks like stained glass. I used Robert Kaufman’s Veronica Voile, in Stone for the back and Quilter’s Dream for the batting, making it a very light and snuggly quilt.
“Freestyle Birch Trees”
A Sewfrench Original
Peppered Cottons with Low Volume scraps
Heavily hand quilted
48″ x 60″
“I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree~
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
― Robert Frost