Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilt Festival! My featured quilt...

The quilt I'm going to showcase is probably not my best work, nor my favourite.  But it represents a point in my life that I'm very excited about - the time that I took control and found something completely "selfish" and all about me.  

I'll start with the beginning.  I took a beginner class in quilting and completed a rail fence quilt, in colours to match my home decor - browns, reds, some greens.. earthy homey colours.  
Beautiful, but it just wasn't my thing.   I loved the class because it taught me all of the basics such as straightening fabric, cutting tips, mathematical tips, basting, binding, etc.   I recommend anyone to take a beginner course just for that head start.    I found the quilt boring though. And I think it's the fabrics that totally uninspired me.    

After discovering the plethora of fabrics online, initially through ebay, I purchased a few charm packs and strip sets in a bunch of modern colours, modern designs.  Ones that excited, inspired and motivated me to get started.  This is where my featured quilt comes into play.

I saw an online tutorial for a disappearing 9 patch and went with it.   I pieced together, and improvised my way along until I used up all of my fabric and I had a square quilt top done.  And alas, it was too small and needed more fabric.   
 Taking it to my local quilt shop, the owner there helped me choose the turquoise, green and brown borders to highlight the inside blocks.   What was really motivating is that she had never seen a quilt done in these colours before and she just loved it.   So much in fact, that when I returned to the store about a month later,   lo and behold a  quilt with the same colour combinations on display there!  Coincidence or not.. I don't know, but I'll make it my story. 

The quilt is simple - it shows my first stipple around the border, and I did straight echo stitching around the outer blocks.    The cotton chenille was a pain to work with - the fluff was everywhere - in my nose, upstairs, in my clothes...but I love the texture it gives.

This quilt is my favourite, not because of the fabrics or the pattern or the final effect, but more of a personal one.   It represents a turning point for myself personally - finally finding something that was my joy (aside from husband, kids and family of course) that was all about me...not pleasing for someone else, or benefitting someone else, but all about me.  Becoming a wife and mother is one of the most incredible gifts I've been given in my life, but in the process I've lost a bit of myself and my own interests in trying to juggle my "roles".  Quilting is something only I know how to do in this house, I get to choose the fabrics and patterns, I get to splurge and have a little shopping guilt.  I no longer hide behind my passion and call myself jokingly "granny Andrea" with that little bit of embarassment because I like to quilt.  Now, when I quilt, I am Andrea.  I love to quilt.  I am a quilter.    

This quilt represents the time when quilting became my passion, and it marks the beginning of my quilting joy and journey, of me living my life a little more for myself.   *remember to click on the photos for more detail 



and of course, you may be thinking...well, if this isn't her favourite quilt, which one is? 
It's this one. It made me feel like a real quilter.  The blocks were super simple, the colours totally fun and bold, and the machine quilting is what I'm so very proud of.  

55 comments:

  1. I love the quilt, and especially the story. We all begin somewhere.

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  2. Love the quilt! Great story about finding a passion for quilting.

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  3. That chenille border looks incredible. I love your blog and have been reading it for a little while now. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Great story, and I truly love that "Plain Spoken" quilt at the bottom!

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  5. Amazing story. It is so wonderful to have something you truly enjoy and can express yourself with as "me time." (And, I really love your "Plain Spoken" quilt -- the colors are awesome...I have that one on my list!)

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  6. http://www.snipandsnail.com9:22 AM

    these are gorgeous.

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  7. What an important quilt, starting you on such a great journey!

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  8. Wow Andrea! This is first of all a wonderful story of your journey to have something to call your own! I understand how you feel and feel the same way about my quilting and other creative pursuits! I love blue and brown together so I think your quilt is awesome and also the very colourful quilt in the final picture is beautiful! Have a great day! Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog :)
    Beth

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  9. great quilt.
    {and story.}

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  10. Wonderful Quilts. I love the brown and turquoise. Great Work!

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  11. Love the story! You have a gift with words as well as with a needle. I like both of your quilts!

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  12. the time that I took control and found something completely "selfish" and all about me. I love this line - I think so many of us could say the same thing. I know it's true for me - my creative therapy! And boy do I need it :)

    I love your quilt and all that it represents - thank you for sharing your quilt and yourself!

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  13. I just love the colours you chose. It's an eye opener type quilt. Very pretty.

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  14. Love them both!!!!
    Especially the colours on the second one.

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  15. I am soo glad that you found the words to represent how you feel...because I feel the same about my life and quilting. Finally - something that is all about me! Even though my quilts are often for others. Your first quilt is beautiful and you should be extremely proud. I understand that it is not your fav because our tastes change over time...but each and every quilt is a 'moment' in time in our lives!

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  16. I love the brown fabric you picked for the border. It adds so much dimension to the quilt.

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  17. That turquoise border really makes the quilt. Good for you that you did something for yourself. Why is it that as Moms, we all have such a hard time allowing ourselves to do this? Keep creating beautiful things for you and your family.

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  18. Wonderful story Andrea. Kind of got me chocked up...which doesn't happen often. The colors of the quilt are a beautiful combination. I laughed though because the picture of it bein held up surprised me, it looked bigger in the previuos pictures until I saw the hands.

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  19. I lllove your story! If only more people would allow themselves the freedom of finding their passion. Oh yea and your quilts are great too!

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  20. Your quilts are great - you could totally make an improv quilt :)

    Maybe I'll post a tutorial on my site soon.

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  21. Donna8:53 PM

    THANK YOU!!! I so needed to read your story. I've let my hobby become a job, making quilts for others and enjoying my joyful creativity less and less...

    That said, I loved your colors for the first and the second is simply stunning. Thanks again!

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  22. Love that chenille border. Who'd a thunk?

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  23. Love the turquoise and brown. Really effective.

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  24. I love your quilt and after seeing it have decided to do the disappearing nine patch I have planned for the summer with borders. Thanks for the inspiration

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  25. oh, i love it!! the colors are so striking!!

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  26. What beautiful quilts! And I love the story! I feel that way sometimes (a bit lost) but I started learning to sew and my good friend who got me my first machine taught a beginner's quilting class. I love it!

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  27. I love it. It's beautiful.

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  28. Keep the passion! Your quilts are great

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  29. It is good to be 'selfish' with some things. I love the colors in your disappearing nine patch.

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  30. Love the colours. My colours. I love blues and browns. Love the quilt. The fabrics, the texture and the quilting! Great job. I think starting to quilt can really be a life-buoy! It definitely is to me!

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  31. I love the quilt and especially the story. I understand about losing some of yourself in the family role. Quilting plays a similar part in my life. Now I'm totally addicted! Beautiful quilts.

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  32. I love the blue colours that you used...I am addicted to quilting too!
    Micki

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  33. I love the bottom quilt with it's simple design and warm colors. I also loved reading your tip about turning the sewing machine perpendicular to your body. I've got to try that.

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  34. I have to admit that from the first pics it was looking too busy, but once you put the boarders on it calmed down a bit and it was perfect. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding me that you have to wait for the complete picture.

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  35. Reading your story is the exact reason why I want to start to quilt. I have decided as I browse thru the quilts here, I am going to contact a local quilt shop for classes. Both of your quilts are amazing. But most of all, thanks for the inspiration to learn this trade.

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  36. I love them both. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  37. Both quilts are wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It really touched a chord with me. There really is something special and important about finding that thing that is yours. Mine is quilting too. :)

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  38. I love the colours and its good to see the loosing of your creativity.

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  39. "I am Andrea. I love to quilt. I am a quilter."

    THAT brought tears to my eyes, because your story could well be that of so many other quilters. The quilt is lovely (though I will remember what you said about the chenille!), and the story even more so. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  40. both are awesome!

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  41. love your quilts, and your stitchwork is amazing. I think I will have to try to switch it up.

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  42. I would have been hard put to choose, also, but congratulations on finding your niche!

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  43. I love the story of your first quilt. And particularly love the picture of the other quilt. It is gorgeous!

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  44. I love both of your quilts. The first one is such an interesting color combination and so bright and bold. Your second quilt is wonderful in it's use of color for such a simple design and your quilting is great!

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  45. That chenille border may have been a real pain to work with, but it really adds something special to the quilt. A fascinating quilt.

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  46. I like your quilts very much! I know what you mean about discovering your passion and re-owning a part of your life. I think it is a balance we all seek. I love the colors you chose in your first quilt, the brown and turquoise, and the fabrics are so exciting! Your favorite quilt--WOW. The colors are awesome. Just beautiful!

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  47. These are both great quilts. The chenille makes the top one truly unique.

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  48. Great quilt, great story!

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  49. Beautiful quilt and great first time quilting story!

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  50. I love your quilt. You did a great job. Colors are very cheerful. Thanks for sharing.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  51. You have a great eye for colour that obviously comes naturally!

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  52. okay so here I am looking at your quilt instead of writing or sewing... but what a treat it was1

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  53. Noooooooooooooooo, not another project that looks interesting....

    Love your use of colours...

    S

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