(Disclosure for new followers: This is free motion ruler work and non-computerized quilting.)
I'm so happy to finally be able to share this quilt with you. The is an original design by Dawn Gerber. She did an amazing job creating this fabulous quilt and her applique is perfect! It was a pleasure and a challenge to work on this quilt. Here is Dawn's own words on her original design:
"Yes, the quilt is an original design. My Great Aunt Amy, a Pennsylvania Dutch farmers’s wife, had the most extraordinary combination vegetable/ flower garden. A beautifully arranged vase of flowers always graced her kitchen table from spring through autumn. Unfortunately, I’m lacking the artistic ability to translate my memories into realistic fabric flowers. Therefore, I tried to make them the bright, happy splash of color I remember. Great Aunt Amy, like her flowers, seemed to always be laughing. Hence, the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote.
She would place her surplus vegetables by the roadside to sell. She didn’t have the time or inclination to just sit, so she would place some money with her vegetables if change was needed. On a few occasions, the money and vegetables would disappear. Great Aunt Amy’s response: “If they’re hungry, they are welcome to it. If they are thieves, that’s their problem, not mine. I wish them well.” A great life philosophy.
I surrounded each vase with an octagon in honor of the stop sign. When leaving my gym in the morning, there is a two stop sign intersection that many see / feel as a four way stop. After yet another exercise in defensive driving, I started to plan how to join my blocks. The question, “Do you see an octagonal stop sign here?”was still looping through my brain. By the time I was finished with my first octagon, I was over the stop sign thing. Now they are just a special frame for Great Aunt Amy’s flowers."
Now I can talk about my part of this beautiful quilt. This picture shows the quilting detail a little better. I loved that I basically had a blank canvas to play on. The quilting inspiration came as I was up close and personal with the quilt while it was on the frames. I did not plan anything ahead of the quilt, but I did have a picture of the quilt so I could reference the layout while it was on the frames.
I wanted to show you the "before" on the flower blocks. I used 2 layers of batting to help make the texture pop. In this case I used 100% cotton and 80/20 cotton/poly blend.
As you can see I did a lot of pebbling. This created the perfect textured background for the flower blocks. The background on the flower blocks was divided by 2 different fabrics and the seams were pressed open. The way I quilted this made it so I didn't have to stitch in the ditch, which is difficult when seams are pressed open. Going in between the appliqued flowers was time consuming, but worth the effort.
Each one of the blocks created a line that I could follow and divide to make a bit of a quilting sash detail. The on-point squares created the perfect setting for feathers motifs and worked well with the other feather motifs in the quilt top. I used my QuickMark ruler and my A1 ruler for my marking and straight stitching. I used my favorite disappearing purple marker for all the marked lines.
The detail is just so fun and amazing. I had so much fun connecting each one of the quilting elements together with each advance of the quilt.
I used Glide 60 wt thread for the top and bottom threads. I really like the 60 wt thread now, it's my new favorite weight of thread because it's the perfect thickness for detail, not too thin and not too thick. It hides well in the fabric too.
The corners as well as the outside border was so much fun. It definitely took the most time, but was totally worth it.
This shows the border design a little better as I was finishing off the quilt.
My goal for this quilt was to play in the background while enhancing the applique work. Everything about this quilt works together and I am so proud to have been a part of it.
Well, there you go! I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures and enjoying my journey of this beautiful quilt. Every quilt that I quilt is another link on my creative journey, I give my absolute best to each one and I hope that the next quilt will be even better!
For my friends in Canada, I will be heading back to Sparrow Quilt Co. this October. All the info is at the link here.