60'' x 75''
A true labour of love and joy is finished! Almost a year to the date of starting my first major hand appliqué project the last stitches went in the binding and the last threads were buried. This is the Alturas pattern from Carolyn Friedlander. And when I started it I thought I would only make 9 blocks in an attempt to simply say that I tried hand appliqué!
I never got bored making these blocks. They were the perfect on the go project for me. Small, very portable, and easy to both prep and finish. Once I realized I was going to go beyond my original intention of a pillow it was easy to get caught up in the process. From picking fabrics to prepping the appliqué, from receiving fabric donations to round out the combinations to all the places they went with me. They always kept my attention. I must admit, I was a little bit sad when I finished them.
I'm not sad that I've finished the quilt, though. It makes me smile. There are so many memories in this quilt. Really, I should just call it 2014. And so many more will come in its enjoyment.
Initially, I thought the binding would be a coral print to bring out the colours of the appliqué. But when I put it up against the quilt I found that my eye was drawn out to the binding, not in to the appliqué. So I picked a pretty, but much more subtle fabric from my stash for the binding. This is a great print from Violet Craft's Brambleberry Ridge line with Michael Miller.
The binding does tie together the few bits of yellow I decided to add to the quilt. Just enough.
The quilting was super simple. While I'm not opposed to quilting over my hand stitching on all that appliqué, I wanted to go easy on the quilting with this one. It would be soft no matter what because of the Quilter's Dream batting, but I really wanted to emphasize the appliqué with minimal quilting. So I went in the ditch on all the patchwork. Around the borders I added additional lines. And each Alturas appliqué has a bar tack in the centre. Nothing fancy.
Let me tell you this though - that was a lot of threads to bury from 72 bar tacks!
Well now I think I will give this quilt away to a friend. This quilt was entirely about the making of it. Almost all of my joy and pleasure in this quilt is already there. Sometimes you get so excited to finish a quilt, the excitement builds and builds to a giddy little dance when you are done. This was different. I enjoyed all the appliqué, all the making so much that the finished quilt is not as exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love it! But my heart is already IN the quilt, I don't need to be under it to feel the love.
It's funny. I always talk about how Improv is about the process. Starting without much more than an inkling of where it might end up. While I started this quilt with little intention of a finished product, I never would have figured that appliqué, for me, would be ALL about the process. Seems silly, in retrospect, because slowing down in order to appliqué inherently makes it about the process. I just never clued into that before.
I sure am happy I've got that now.