Friday, 21 November 2014

A long time coming

It has taken me what seems like ages to finish quilting this quilt.



Granted I kind of went off the quilting boil for a while.

Like completely off.

The summer was so lovely my quilting mojo totally disappeared.

I stopped reading quilt blogs and magazines and replaced it with other types of reading.

I read books that made me cry. A lot.

And books that had me fanning myself. A lot.

Ok, an awful lot.

And generally I took a complete step back from quilting world.

As the weeks went by and the weather turned from summer, to autumn, to  I-can't-remember-the-last-day-it-didn't-rain, I started thinking about the room at the top of the house again and whether I fancied venturing in there. I told myself I'd get excited again when Anna Marie Horner released a new line - which she did. I would sell my right kidney for any AMH stuff (well, not strictly true, I only have one anyway so slight exaggeration), especially as I thought Pretty Potent was her best collection ever. And then Honor Roll came out and (sorry AMH) for the first time ever I didn't rush to buy it.

It was at that point, with not even my AMH enthusiasm barometer working, that I did wonder if my passion for all things quilty had permanently dried up.

I hadn't missed the incessant call to purchase this line of fabric or that latest gadget.
I hadn't missed book blog tours.
I hadn't missed being told what I must have or use
I hadn't missed the whole commercialism that seems to have taken over and shaped much of quilty blog world in the past few years

However, I've missed creating for the sake of being creative.
I've missed interacting with other like-minded individuals and so I have re-emerged into quilt world.



I have slowly, slowly been quilting the above quilt.





I used so many different threads, it almost became a crash course in which threads my machine liked and which it didn't.


I used just about every brand you can think of, including a thread from a collection from my husband's aunt who passed away ten years ago.

With an Aurifil 40wt in my bobbin, the thread which hands down quilted the most beautifully, was this one.



It's a Sulky 40wt. I'm not sure what line it's from but it produces a lovely shimmer to the quilting.

I've slightly darkened this image up so you can hopefully see the glean that comes off the thread.



All the other threads I used played fine, it was just for me, the Sulky 40wt was the stand-out star of the whole long process.

With so much stop starting as I changed threads, there were an awful lot of threads to bury once I finished quilting. I think I underestimated just how long it would take.



Then it was on to binding.


And finally it was done.



On the down side, the image doesn't really capture the wonderful texture the quilt has from being quilted so densely.

On the plus side, I don't think the image captures the rain pouring down as I took this picture.



I have no doubt my opinions will change but just for the moment, it's my most favourite quilt.



So what's next?

Well as you can imagine, with a blog as prestigious as this one, I am inundated with requests to collaborate on all sorts of things.  I was particularly thrilled to receive this email.



Not wishing to dilute the authenticity and integrity of my blog, after much soul-searching I've decided to decline this intriguing offer.

Sorry Paul.

Meanwhile, now I am emerging from my quilt funk, I have ideas a plenty for more quilts, as well as a pile of Soy Amado quilt blocks (hello Canada, I haven't forgotten you) that need sorting out.

I am back.

I think.

28 comments:

  1. Oh, I totally understand how quilter can become lazy during the summer. And I know how hard it is to get back on the 'right' track.
    Your quilt is gorgeous and I'm not surprised that you love it:)))

    PS. My favorite AMH collection is probably Good Folks (can't wait for the reprint), but Pretty Potent rocks too. I bought immediately Honor Roll (yes, I'm AMH addict) and some of the prints I already love and I know that I will love the rest soon (I had before such situation once or twice with AMH prints, maybe you have it now?).

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  2. Hurray! I'm with you on the commercialism, to the point where I have made efforts NOT to buy whatever seems to be cool at the time. I love your latest quilt, welcome back.

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  3. Although I'm not a AMH fan at all I do so love your quilt! It is beautiful!

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  4. I love your quilt and especially your quilting. I do agree that the more colours you have the more threads to bury. Sometimes I do a few as I go to reduce the time focused on that one chore at the end but not always. I'm trying to find my personal balance between commercialism and creating, knowing about products and new stuff and using what I have. I personally like a bit of all of it, but each of us has to find our own balance. I'm glad you are quilting again but being outdoors and reading great books is a wonderful way to spend your time too.

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  5. Love "Not wishing to dilute the authenticity...". :)
    I got in a real quilting funk this summer. I actually thought I might have "gotten over" quilting - which would have been ironic having just finished the book. Now I am trying to figure out how to get home repairs and quilting done. I think it is one or the other - or a little bit of both but not as much of either as I would like.

    Love your quilt! It must have taken forever to quilt. I can't wait to see what you make next. While I fully support taking a break, I missed your "authentic" posts.

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  6. Absolutely beautiful quilt! I love AMH too and have to admit I'm hankering after the bow print from honor roll. I have issues with sulky, after using it on my sons quilt (which admitted has had lots of use, love and washes) the thread has broken in lots of places. I'm going to have to re quilt it :( I didn't quilt it heavily though so I hope yours holds up better than is. Nice to see you back :)

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  7. hahahahahaha! If you are *very* good you may also interview me. Love the quilting - such wonderful texture! Good to see you back :-)

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  8. Loved reading about your immersion in thread comparison. Your quilt is gorgeous and I'm betting even better with a one on one to see/feel the texture! There's an interesting book by Ginger Hendrix http://www.gingerhendrix.com/ called 'Time To Make'. All about the reasons why it's good for us to 'make' for no other reason than to please ourselves. I love the blog world, but sometimes I think putting ourselves out there for people to see/comment/critique/judge or even just be aware of what we are making (or not making) can take a little bit away from our joy of making. Coming to your blog and seeing your beautiful quilts is always a highlight for me though, so of course I'm thrilled to see you back.:)

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  9. Sulky threads are from G├╝termann ...

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  10. I so appreciate your sentiments about commercialism. Some how it takes away just a little from the pleasure of creatiing followed by the joy of giving when I'm bombarded with - buy this - try that - and be this way in the world or your quilts won't be kool! I love your quilt it is so very very kool! It's a labour of love and your creativivty combined with the offerings of others! Thanks for you blog and this great post! I'm glad you are finding your way back!!! :-)

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  11. Sometimes a break is just what is needed. Love your finish and I'm with you, being around like minded and creative people is the best. Nice to see you back and I'm sure that you'll soon be humming along and find the right balance for you.

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  12. Beautiful quilt Alison - I've missed reading your funny quips but think it's a great idea to come and go as you please!

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  13. You saucy minx! But the quilt is sumptuous! No wonder it is a favourite! Why I am surprised you decided to let Paul down - he must be so disappointed

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  14. Nice to see you Alison! And your beautiful quilt ;-). Crafting and blogging should be for your own pleasure - to come and go as you please. The great thing about fabric is that it doesn't go off!

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  15. Poor Paul, I hope he enjoyed reading about your awesome quilts though!

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  16. Your post has me laughing, ha ha. I am so glad that I just saw your post because a couple hours ago I was randomly thinking about you and how I hadn't seen anything from you in a while, so you and your beautiful quilts were missed :) But it is nice to have a break, I have been taking a bit of one myself. This quilt is amazing, thanks for sharing :)

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  17. It's good to see you back with your beautiful quilt. I think I got a bit addicted to your posts during the summer, but I have been through cold turkey. I am strong. I can take you or leave you now hahaha!! And all this time you've been holed up reading racy novels. But seriously, I do respect the way you toe your own path in this quilty world and you do make such gorgeous quilts. I'd rather you didn't stop :)

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  18. I think it would have to be an incredibly amazing quilt to knock that one off the favourite spot, it's stunning. Glad you're back!

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  19. Your quilt is very arresting. The colors make me stop and look...and look more, and examine all the blocks and color combinations and fabrics. It is truly beautiful and, not surprisingly after seeing your summer reading list, it is passionate with no hold-backs, no restrictions. It goes it's own way :). You are not beholden to keep putting out new material constantly for a greedy audience, which even if comprised of the best and nicest people, could make you run yourself into the ground trying to bring more and more to them. Creative people need a break and you don't need to apologize for it. We do hope that you are able to keep creating because you have a unique and beautiful voice. If you are nice enough to spend your time and energy creating a blog to where we get to see behind the curtain and catch a glimpse of how you work, we are grateful. Magistra13 at yahoo dot com
    Beth

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  20. I love this quilt so much. Great job! (And I also thought Pretty Potent was amazing, btw).

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  21. Its nice to have you back, but I'm glad you had a good break too :-) It is a beautiful quilt - but I am with you on the AMH Honor Roll - it is just not making me want to buy it! I am still hanging out for some Pretty Potent though! Maybe in the sales!

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  22. Good to have you back! Beautiful quilt! And thanks for writing such a thought provoking post. :)

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  23. It is so good to see you back!! I was, frankly, a little concerned that you had burned yourself out with the Soy Amado quilts. That was such an enormous undertaking!! You are so talented, it would be a real loss to have you disappear. Your lovely quilt today is testimony to that. As to the commercialism, I have to agree. I haven't been quilting that many years, just five, and have never really gotten caught up in the 'must haves'. Honestly, I follow blogs through bloglovin' and tend to mark blogs as read as soon as there is a giveaway or a book tour involved - and if it happens too often I will unfollow some blogs. Enough is enough!! But I'm very glad to see you again.

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  24. This is probably my most favorite quilt from the blogosphere yet! Excellent job!

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  25. Sometimes a break is necessary to recharge, love the new quilt & can see why it's your favourite!

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  26. It's lovely to have you back and your quilt is just so beautiful. I love everything about it, including all those thread colour changes, you should be proud and I hope you treasure it forever. Alas, poor Paul being rejected by you like that...let's hope he can get over it!!

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  27. I love that quilt!!! I'm glad you had a break after all those fabulous Soy Amado quilts, even though it also meant having a break from your blog - I missed you! I agree about the commercialisation, etc. but I just let it go over my head (I don't usually read those posts, what's the point in looking at lots of lovely things you can't have and don't really need?!).

    It's lovely to have you back xx

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