Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grandma's Quilt is Done!

And here are the pics to prove it! Pic #1 is the whole quilt in one shot.

It all started here, with the center panel of the quilt. Look close enough and you'll see a little scene with pagodas and cute little paths and bridges. You can see the quilting stitches in this pic. Since I started quilting with this part of the quilt, the stitching here is at its most dense.

Here's a little bit wider of a view, with the center panel and levels of fabric surrounding it. I'm really happy with the fabrics I found for this quilt. They were so wonderful to work with, and exactly the perfect ones for the quilt giftee.

Speaking of those beautiful fabrics, check out these:

I bought them at a quilt festival in November. I spent quilt a lot of time with these fabrics, even before I started stitching. I tried out the fabrics against each other to figure out what would be the best configuration to piece the quilt top. This quilt was a good lesson in the fact that you can never really buy too much fabric, but you can buy too little. I thought I bought plenty of fabric at the festival, but once I started piecing, it turned out that I still needed more to fill out the design.

Now check out this dragon fabric. It is gorgeous, and I think it was my favorite of the whole quilt. It works so well next to the red and green tree fabric.

The green fabric I used pulled a lot of the fabrics together, and the gold flecks in it were perfect against the bamboo fabric. This pic is a perfect showcase of all that stitching that drove me crazy with this quilt.

Speaking of that bamboo fabric, now we've made it out to the edges of the quilt. I love this bamboo fabric. Also note the binding at the edge of the was stitched on by hand; I still have the remnants of calluses to prove it. I love the way these bindings turn out, but they are the one bit of the project that must be finished by hand.

Finally, we're at the end of our quilt story.

And the big moment...

A happy Grandma!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Catching Up

So, another quilt finished. The quilt for Charles's grandma was completed and handed off last week. It was only a couple months late...

Finishing this quilt brought so many emotions to the surface. Chief among them is relief. I feel as though this project, more than any other in my brief history as a quilter, held me hostage. So much went wrong, I had such a short time-frame, and the knowledge that I had missed the deadline for the first time ever was tough. Even more devastating was the problems I had in actually quilting the piece, the most ambitious quilting job I have tackled yet. I definitely bit off more than I could chew, and was heartbroken when it yielded results I didn't like.

I took a break from the quilt after Christmas, and the break had a mind of itself. Time stretched on, and I was stuck. I wanted to be quilting, but I couldn't move on to another project, and I had to screw up the courage to finish this one. It was the hardest thing I've done as a quilter to dive back in, not once, but twice, into working on this quilt.

In the end, of course, the quilt was beautiful. But, by the time I finished quilting the dang thing, there was little more to feel than relief. And now that it's completely finished and I have no projects on my immediate agenda, I feel free. Free to dream, free to play. And free to know that for now, and for a long time to come, there are no big humongoid quilts to finish.

So, now is the time for rest and for posting photos. I have some pics of the Christmas Inchies I made at the end of the year, and a ton of pics of the Grandma quilt. I will be posting them shortly.

For now, peace.