Monday, July 30, 2007


The neverending quilt has come to an end. I made a big push last week and dedicated every free minute to getting this quilt done. While working on the quilt I had a million things running through my head that I would like to mention about this quilt here on my blog. Right now all I really want to say about it is "Done". But, if I don't go into it now, I never will.

First I want to talk about the inspirations for this quilt. Back about 5 months ago I fell in love with the Freshcut line by Heather Baily. So pretty. Pretty colors. Pretty designs mixed together with cool designs and I just really wanted to make something with this fabric. Lucky for me, I was pregnant with a little girl. What better reason to make a quilt? I couldn't decide (because I had pregnancy brain) which colorway to order, so I got the whole line in fat quarters.

This meant I needed a quilt that would be sort of scrappy. I perused many quilt books, magazines, web sites trying to decide on a pattern. Let's just say now that pregnancy brain held up the flow of this quilt at many points. Finally, I choose Marquee from The Modern Quilt Workshop. I have no memory of why this seemed like the right pattern to go with.
When I had it all pieced, I felt like all those empty white squares needed to be filled with stuff. So, started trying to come up with some applique designs. I did okay on my own for a few of them, and then I came across the amazing Geninne's Art Blog, which inspired several of the designs as well. At the time that I did this I didn't think one way or the other about it. I looked at her drawings and made them into applique designs. Since then I have read on other peoples blogs about how protective they are about people replicating their work. I feel like my end results are quite removed from her work. Nonetheless, I hope I did not cross the line.

Once I decided on all the applique designs, I traced them onto fusible web, adhered them to fabric, ironed them all down to the quilt top and started to stitch around the edges. Nope. I didn't like the way that was coming out at all. I pulled them all off and re-did everything as freezer paper applique. This way all the applique is sewn on by hand and I like the result much better.

I wanted to include her name or initials on the quilt, so I did one square with embroidery. No worries that I don't know how to embroider at all. The name came out all crooked, so I added a flower motif to balance things out a little.
So far, so good. Then it was time to quilt this quilt. I did not have the patience to hand quilt like I think would have been best. Instead, I stuck it under my machine and plowed forward. The quilting is probably my least favorite part of the quilt. I did all the quilting with my free motion foot. This was very hard to do. Don't ever be fooled by people who make free motion quilting look easy, or say things like "it's just like drawing with my sewing machine". It is hard and frustrating. Of course, practice makes perfect (or at least better in my case). The quilting right in the middle, and most obvious, is terrible, while the quilting as I moved toward the sides is much better. Oh well.

At one point while I was working on this quilt Betsy looked at it and gasped "oh! That's so cutieful Mama". In the end, I will agree with her that it is "cutieful". It has a lot of special meaning to me and hopefully to Tess someday. I think it will look nice as a wall hanging over her crib if you stand back and blur your eyes at it a little bit so the mistakes aren't too glaring.


Felicia said...

It's very beautiful :)

janet clare said...

But it is exactly like drawing with your sewing machine (on small pieces - never a whole quilt). I keep meaning to learn how to quilt as you go, as I suspect this could be the answer to all my quilting problems.
The quilt is very cutieful.

Amber said...

This is beautiful (and cutieful). No one but you will ever know the flaws or mistakes but I can tell you looking at it from my computer all I see is the love you put it together with - truly a beautiful quilt! Great job!!

meg said...

Jenna, this quilt is beautiful!! It's definitely a treasure.

dramyolsen said...

Your mother in law Kathy sent me your blog-Your quilt is beautiful (and your children are too!) Those "flaws" are what make hand made things so special! (you can buy a "perfect" quilt any day!!) I hope you are all well I know you are BUSSSSSYYYYY! :) P.S. That baby is ADORABLE.

Rae said...

It is darling. You will be glad you persevered many years later. Love those babies to pieces, they grow up too soon.

jude said...

pretty quilt, and thanks for the link. i love your enthusiasm for quilting.