Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Christmas Quilt

Here is one of the queen sized bed quilts that I completed and gave as a Christmas present this year to my parents. This was started last spring/summer, sat in a box for a bit while I scratched my head over whether I really liked it or not, and then had it finished this fall. The heart blocks came pretty close to becoming two Project Linus quilts in July. Here it is modeled on my 4-posted bed, just for the taking of a few picture.

I sent it here to be hand quilted by the Amish. I just knew I would never get it finished in this decade, let alone before Christmas. There's just something about a hand-quilted quilt. They are far softer than the machine quilted cousin, and it will undoubtedly increase in value, rather than just being like a pretty comforter. Fortunately, the Amish service did a wonderful job, and it was safely returned to me on December 3rd.
This was a great learning experience with quilters, especialy the Amish. To them, quilts are utilitarian, rather than a show piece in a bedroom. They mark with lighter fabrics #2 pencils, which I found immensely hard to get out of the quilt top. When I contacted them about this, they were not so concerned.."Just erase them", they told me. I bought an art gum eraser. It didn't really work. I used a stain stick and against my preference to washing, I washed the quilt. And dried it. Marks came out of all but 3 of the yellow fabrics. I then scrubbed the marks with a toothbrush and a solution of 1C water, 2T alcohol and a couple teaspoons of oxyclean. Talk about a pain in the butt! I then washed it again. Most (not all) of the marks are gone. I really did not want to give a quilt that was already shrunk up and wrinkly; it's just not my preference.
When I came home, I added heart quilting in some of the squares.
The back is actually pale yellow, and shows the quilting off nicely. The sashings have very small feathers. Talk about a real quilting job! The quilt's borders have large feathers too. Much of the rest of the quilt squares are just stitched in the ditch. The Amish just did not want to sew more creatively with the multitude of seams in the heart blocks. ... I really wanted feathered hearts.
After it was sent back, I endeavored to make pillow shams. Yes, in just 3 weeks. I am most definitely nuts. They are simple in design, but are completely hand quilted to mimic the quilt. No, my hand quilting is not as fine as that of the Amish, but then. A week before Christmas, I decided that the shams needed a punch of color (the Kaffe Fassett/Philip Jacobs Grandiose Turquoise) - the heart appliqued on the top of the sham. This was ordered a day before an ice storm hit the northeast (ordered from Portsmouth Fabric Co.). It arrived just a couple days before Christmas. I thought that this choice of accent fabric was just perfect to tie into the small accents of this fabric that are in the heart blocks (see picture above).


Vicki W said...

Glad you brought this one out to finish - it's beautiful!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I love it!!! The shams are a brilliant idea - got to try that! Definately good that it is all done because it sure looks great.
Cheers! - Evelyn

jovaliquilts said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Really, this is just a stunning quilt. I seem to love everything you make!