Where to begin.
Well there are previous posts about this quilt here (and somewhere else on my blog but I can't find it and it's not that important so on I go).
It was a pattern that I have no idea why I bought at the time other than I thought 'I could do that'.
Like a lot of things in life: clothes, shoes, boyfriends; I look back and think 'What on earth was I on at the time.'
So this pattern got put to one side until a clear-out a few years ago, when I couldn't decide whether to chuck it or keep it.
No idea why but I decided to keep it and slowly work my way through it. The plus side was it used up an awful lot of scraps, even the teeny weeny ones. The flip side was it was bone-crushingly boring but also slightly addictive. I wanted to throw the towel in soooo many times but I just couldn't. It would have meant giving up and I don't give up very easily.
So I gave myself mental milestones.
You're a third of the way there now
Your're half-way now, it would be a waste of the fabric you've already used if you gave up
It's a really good way to get rid of some of those everso not to your taste fabric remnants the mother-in-law gave you from way back when and you can still look her in the eye and say you used them
Look, you're three quarters of the way there now...wasn't so tortuous was it?
Now you've paper-pieced all the parts you just have to sew them together
Really it's not so bad is it?
These mental milestones were played out over two and a half years of on and off until I finally had this. It still took me a week though to remove all the paper from the back and I left little trails of it round the house and even sat at a meeting at work and then glanced down to see I had tiny bits of paper stuck to my trousers.
While I was glad I had finished it, I felt completely deflated. I knew there would be another mountain to climb if I was going to quilt it with the justice I felt it deserved. I was so ambivalent towards it I would have shoved it under my sewing machine and mindless meandered all over it just to be done.
So I did something I have never done before, I packed it off roughly 4,836 miles (I know that because I've just Googled it) to the amazingly talented long-arm quilter that is Krista where she worked her magic on it.
It then hung in an exhibition of her work on Vashon Island...you can see it on her blog...before beginning its long journey back to me, where it arrived this week.
I don't think there are enough superlatives for me to describe the outstandingly amazing job she has done on it.
The texture that she has brought to the quilt is just jaw-droppingly drooling.
She very politely described my quilt as 'an extreme fabric diary'...
...which is what it was. If I look at the shot above, I see the subtle star centres which is how I thought I was going to make the whole quilt, with lots of gentle, floral fabrics. I even recognise the blue floral as a Laura Ashley dress I wore to a wedding 20 years ago.
But as time went on, I completely forgot what I should be doing with this quilt and my colour choices became more random.
So that by the time I got to paper-piecing the fans (far right in the shot below) I was consumed by 'press-on-itus', only thought of value and not colour, such was the desire to just get to the finish.
But for all my stop-start, what-am-I-doing meetings with this quilt, Krista has managed to marry it all together with her quilting.
If you look at the back you can see how beautiful it is.
It was pointed out to me that someone had pinned the quilt top on Pinterest with the comment "This is gorgeous, but all those sharp, precision-pieced points would show up even better against a background with more contrast, like solid gray, black, or white."
Possibly true. But I didn't come to this quilt with a laid out plan that I carried through from beginning to end. I started this quilt the same reason I start every quilt I make:
Because for so many reasons, I just love the whole process of quilting.
Because I discover something new about myself and my love for quilting each time.
Because I can always see the beginning but don't necessarily need to plan ahead for the ending.
My quilts are all just an expression of who I am and the journey I took to get there.
|Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and At the End of the Hallway|