Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Freestyle Birch Trees by SewfrenchThis 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!

Freestyle Birch Trees by Sewfrench

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.

Freestyle Birch Trees by SewfrenchI 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.

Freestyle Birch Trees by Sewfrench

I love how the all the hand-quilting shows on the back. I can’t decide which side I prefer!

Freestyle Birch Trees by Sewfrench 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 by Sewfrench

“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

Linking up with:
Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
LAFF

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This entry was posted in 2014 completes, Christmas, Design, fabric, Gifts, Nature, Quilting, Sewing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Everyone Deserves a Quilt

  1. I love your design… manly quilts are the best! And the hand quilting, just wow, wow, wow

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mindy says:

    Wow…you have started me thinking. My brother-in-law is having some health issues at the moment. What a great way to show him we care. I just might have to make him an easier quilt so I can get it to him quickly. Or perhaps look through my finished quilts and send him one of them. I will definitely give this serious consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. paxami says:

    Beatiful ! Seeing the sun shine through was unusual, one doesn’t expect that or the use of voile as backing. I read your post on that–very interesting both on the thread and fabric. Lovely gift, I’m sure he is so pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Terri Ann says:

    I love how it looks like these trees are swaying in the wind. Both your piecing and quilting are just perfect in this quilt. That photo with the sun shining through is so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jayne says:

    Gorgeous! I’m sure your BIL will forever love this quilt! I love Peppered Cottons, such beautiful colors! Just simply beautiful quilting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. knitnkwilt says:

    That is beautiful! The strippy branches make perfect birch trees. Did you piece the curvy one in a curve, or did it have enough give that you could mold it as you sewed? I’ll look into Pepper shots–I’ve avoided shot cottons because they seem so sheer and I don’t want to take time to back them all. Glad to hear there is a heavier version out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ruthann says:

    Beautiful! I am glad you included some other colors besides white, grey and black in your trees. When you look at birch bark it has many other soft colors in it. Wonderful quilt!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mtetar says:

    Amazing work of art. Be Blessef, Mtetar

    Liked by 1 person

  9. claire93 says:

    oh this is gorgeous – I love the trees

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Dutch says:

    Beautiful! Very effective photography too! Linda

    Like

  11. Alycia says:

    Oh that is just beautiful! I bet you made his whole Year

    Like

  12. This looks amazing! I can’t believe all of that hand quilting, it must have taken *such* a long time! Congratulations on a wonderful finish. I’m sure your brother-in-law loves it!

    Like

  13. Laura says:

    That’s gorgeous. I don’t know how long that hand quilting took you but my, it’s impressive!

    Like

  14. Nicely done, especially love the quilting!

    Hillary

    Like

  15. JanineMarie says:

    Beautiful. I love the hand quilting on the Peppered Cotton! I just used a bit of Peppered Cotton in a quilt and really liked it, but I was machine quilting. It’s good to know that it hand quilts well, too. I’m sure your brother-in-law will treasure this quilt.

    Like

  16. Kat says:

    Gorgeous! I love the low volume trees.

    Like

  17. Kathy says:

    Your quilting is perfect for this quilt. Just lovely.

    Like

  18. Carol says:

    I love this quilt! I like other birch tree quilts I have seen, but especially like the low volume fabrics in this one. Very nice.

    Like

  19. terryaskeartquilts says:

    I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. lswanekam says:

    I have made small blocks (10″) using scraps for strings of tree trunks. How do you make these long trunks do the curve? Do you paper piece the scraps on a curved shape? It is just fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sewfrench says:

      No paper piecing.
      I drew approximate lines where, and how, I wanted my trees, on the background fabric, and starting with only one in the center. I laid my 6 foot long pieced truck fabric on top of the background and cut through both layers to form one edge of the tree. I then stitched the background piece to the whole piece of pieced fabric. I then layed it back down. Layed the remaining side, of the background piece, on top of my newly formed truck, and cut through both layers to form the second side of the tree. Stitched that together and now I have one tree in my quilt and leftover trunk fabric (or not some strips were only 4″ wide). I am sure that makes little sense without pictures. I will have to see if I can come up with photos to document it! My trunk strips were all between 1/2″ and 2″ wide, they bend and stretch easily.

      Like

  21. Vicki says:

    Just lovely. A graceful design and beautiful stitching. What a lucky man. Is there much difference hand quilting through voile as opposed to a normal cotton?

    Like

    • sewfrench says:

      Hi, Vicki!
      Yes, voile is different than regular quilting cotton in that it is very fine. Similar to a lawn or batiste. Suitable for blouses or heirloom sewing, sometimes nearly sheer curtains.

      Like

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