Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival




Once again, Amy has organized a wonderful quilt show for us bloggers!  New visitors, Welcome to Annie's Quilt Orts.  I have been blogging for just over a year and the quilt I am going to show is one I made for my Australian friend Sue.  Though we originally met online through quilting, it was the commonalities in other parts of our lives that made us friends.  Sue came to the U.S. meet me and my family in 2001 and we have remained friends since.  Her life changed more than mine and eventually she found herself getting married again, to the soulmate she had been missing.  Jokingly, she asked if I fancied coming to the wedding and I knew the time had finally come for me to repay the visit.  I had always wanted to go to Australia!  After making my travel plans and plane reservations, sending off for my passport and making arrangements to take off work (I had 3 jobs at the time!), of course, I decided to make a quilt.  It had to be simple to suit Sue's modern tastes yet sparkling and lively enough to reflect the couple it would belong to and the gorgeous Queensland locale of their home.  And it had to be done in six weeks! 

The star pattern came from an old American Patchwork & Quilting magazine from 1999. I loved the two color idea but it just wasn't enough variety for me!  Then I found a fat quarter collection of Robert Kaufman hand-dyed batiks that I felt was perfect.  Cutting commenced with a template.  I am not the greatest cutter outer and luckily I found out early how poorly I was doing--epic fail with a test block!  If I had continued, every single point in the entire quilt would have gotten cut off when I joined the blocks.  So, recutting was started and then lots and lots of sewing...the blocks were 6" finished, fiddly things.  There was a lot of sliver trimming that took place but all my points came out well and the quilt had the variety of color I wanted.

The completed top got its sashing and became this:
The throw-sized quilt was completed in six weeks, even though I was sewing on the label in the car on the way to the airport!  It stayed with me through four airports and traveled thousands of miles and many, many hours to Port Douglas, Queensland, where I met Sue again and was introduced to her love and her family.  While we were on their gorgeous boat on the Coral Sea, anchored near the Great Barrier Reef, I presented the quilt to my dear friend Sue and her man Jon, and was overjoyed at the happy and surprised reaction.  They loved it and Sue said it would grace their cabin bedroom, as it contained all the colors of  the sea.  It truly does!
Taken in their backyard, poolside!

I love a pieced back! Simple wave quilting was done and a scrappy binding with leftovers from the batiks.  The quilt is named "Coral Sea for Two".  I will always treasure making this quilt and getting to deliver it in person in the great Down Under land of Oz. 

Lessons learned in this quilt:
  • Don't settle for fabric that's "okay".  Wait for the right ones to speak to you.
  • Make a test block EARLY in the cutting process!
  • Use value to your advantage.  The shades in this quilt are from palest blue to deepest blue-black, with aqua and some green thrown in.  Visually more interesting than a two fabric quilt I think.
  • Make a mistake work for you!  I cut the backing too small and improvised by sewing a bunch of strips and squares together to increase the length.  It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the quilt!
  • Remember to enjoy the process.  It's easy to get caught up in "get it done" instead of concentrating on how much love you are sewing with every stitch.
  • Finally, take lots of pictures of your gift with its recipients!  I didn't get any photos of Sue and Jon with the quilt and I am so sorry.
Thank you for visiting, please come again any time and see what I'm up to! 

46 comments:

Jan said...

This is a wonderful gift. I bet they'll treasure it forever. Your execution of the pattern and the back are outstanding.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Lovely Annie. You know I've seen this one before and it just gets better with every viewing.

(and theoretically I could visit the original if I wanted ...)

BaileyGirl5 said...

What a beautiful quilt and what a wonderful gift! I love the blues together. That's so great that you made a friend online and traveled so far to be at her wedding.

Joyful Quilter said...

What a great story, and a beautiful quilt.

Julie in the Barn said...

Great quilt, Annie, and a wonderful story to go with it!

The Calico Cat said...

Lovely quilt & story!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful. Love how it sparkles in the sunshine. Yes, sometimes I have to wait for the fabric to speak to me before I know the project is right.

*karendianne. said...

What a LOVELY quilt. I love the backing, too.

Miri said...

Lovely quilt...perfect name too-totally fits!

ROZ said...

That's a very interesting quilt. It speaks

Vivian said...

Beautiful story, beautiful quilt, beautiful friendship. I like your lessons learned list. I think we all learn something from most of the quilting projects we undertake, but we just don't realize it.
Great post, Annie.

Marie said...

It looks so clean and organized. it is beautiful

Kristen said...

Great quilt and story! I love those batik blues.

Me aka Supermom said...

love the back!

margaret
www.quiltsoflove.blogspot.com

Michele said...

What a great quilt! It really does seem to contain the sea in it, doesn't it? And I agree with you, both sides are equally lovely. Thanks for sharing the story with all of us!

Sherri said...

A gorgeous quilt...I'm really drawn to quilts with these colors because I love the ocean so much...what a wonderful story too!

Melissa C said...

Beautiful quilt. Love the fabrics and it truly looks like the sea.

Grams said...

A very pretty quilt Annie. I'm sure your friends from down under will treasure it always. As for the pictures of them with the quilt, get them to take a couple and email them to you. I sometimes forget to get a picture of a quilt I give as a gift and that is what I do.

Happy quilting
vail in tn

Notjustnat said...

Great quilt and cleverly pieced backing. Thanks for the tips too. Beautiful quilt for the BQF -
Hugs Nat

Alexis said...

The shades of blue with the white are so beautiful! What a treat that you got to hand deliver it. A great quilt with a great story- thanks for sharing!

SewCalGal said...

Absolutely beautiful. Stars just sparkle and twirl with delight!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Rafael's Mum said...

What a great story! and a lovely quilt too. I love those colours and they are indeed perfect for a boat! Thanks for sharing it with us.

julieQ said...

What a wonderful story of friendship! I really like this quilt, and the lessons learned are invaluable...thank you for sharing them.

Marit said...

Lovely, timeless quilt!

; )

Susan said...

Beautiful Quilt! Such a simple block led to this stunner. I piece a lot of my backs too. Great job and lucky friend

Carol said...

I love the variety of blues that you used. Makes it look very dynamic. The back is lovely.

Melinda said...

I love the word orts in your title. I have a tutorial for ort jar's on my blog and most people have no idea what ort means. I like the quilt a lot also.

Erin O. said...

What a great quilt. I really like the colors.

Pat said...

Your persistence really paid off. That is a lovely quilt and the colors really do sparkle. Enjoyed reading your story and your progress and what you learned from it all.

Shannon said...

LOVE it! Awesome quilt and design. Sew On!

Claudia said...

Lovely blues. I'm a sucker for batiks and this is a fun pattern.

Yvonne said...

I love the colors and the pattern. Beautiful.

Ariane said...

I love it. Such a beautiful quilt and story. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Klingbeil said...

Your quilt is truly a work of art, and I totally agree about enjoying the process, otherwise why bother?

belinda said...

What a wonderful quilt and story to go along with it!! This is really a great pattern and your color placements are perfect!!
Love your advice too...I need some of it to rub off on me!!

whatktmadenext said...

Beautiful quilt! I love the star block and the colours!

Sandra said...

What a great ocean quilt-I can almost feel the breeze and taste the salt air.
Come see my antique quilt entries:
http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com
http://starleyquilts.blogspot.com

zetor said...

What a great present!

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

It's a beautiful quilt, and an even more beautiful story. Aren't blog friends wonderful?

Kelli said...

This is gorgeous! I love blue quilts.

Eileen said...

great quilt and love the backing too. such a great story to go with it all. thanks for sharing

quiltmom said...

Really great quilt Annie- I really like blue and green together- they are such great sea colors.
The backing is terrific too- Thanks for sharing.
I love your list of lessons learned- quilting always is teaching me new things.
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
Anna
http://quiltmomsjourney.blogspot.com/

Karen said...

Great story! The pattern is so striking. The quilt is just beautiful.

Erin O. said...

Love the colors and the design. This is a great quilt; great story too!

libbyquilter said...

"Don't settle for fabric that's "okay". Wait for the right ones to speak to you."

now that really got my attention since i'm currently waiting for some "conversation" from a few fabric setting possibilities on my strawberry fields doll quilt . . . i think i hear voices from a couple of them but can't quite make it all out . . .

lol

:-)
libbyQ

syocom said...

Do you know the month you got the pattern from. (out of the 1999 magazine). It is truly an inspiring quilt you made. The colors are fabulous.