Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Can't Believe I Made This!

70 x 85
Double Wedding Ring
Hand Quilted
I started this in February 2013. 
I finished it last night. 




The Back Story:  Isabelle (a.k.a.  Izzy or Belle or Bellarina), one of my granddaughters,  is 9 years old now. Several times in the last few years she has told me I'm going to live at least long enough to attend her wedding. Maybe she knows something I don't know. I hope she's not getting married for a long, long time!

On January 14, 2013 a driver talking on a cell phone ran a red light and hit me broadside - $6,000 worth of damage to the car. I tried to turn out of the path of the collision and came about an inch from hitting another car head on. I was not hurt - just shook up a little. 

After that my granddaughter's words came back to me...that I would live long enough to attend her wedding.   That got me to thinking I should start on a wedding quilt for her, finish it and store it away. That way...if I'm not able to attend her wedding I will be there in spirit.

Over the years Isabelle's favorite colors have switched between red and purple.  So, the color palette for her quilt that I chose was red, purple and blue. The idea to use yellow for the background came from a comment someone left on one of my blog posts when I was showing off my arches at the beginning of the process. 

Izzy's paternal grandmother passed away in June 2013 at the age of 58 which made me more aware than ever of my own mortality and has seemed to make more urgent my need to leave something of myself behind. 




My eyes aren't always functioning properly so I see a few arches where the fabrics are wrong side up or a couple of arches where a wrong piece of fabric was used. 
That shows it was made by me and that I'm not perfect. It also shows that little imperfections do not take away from overall beauty. 

This is my first experience with plain old-fashioned hand quilting. I learned a lot - how to bury knots, the "rocking motion", how to use a thimble, what thimble I liked best, how to make smaller and smaller stitches. I was frustrated many times but determined to overcome all the challenges. 



I now have to figure out how I'm going to store it away until a very special wedding day. 

I'm not anxious for my grandkids to grow up and get married. It may be stored away for a very long time. 

I can't get any good photos of the hand quilting. I used templates on several sections. 



 After a washing the quilt is so crinkly soft. 

A nickname we have for Isabelle is Bellerina - she loves to sing and dance.  I found this 1930s reproduction Ballerina fabric and just had to include it in her quilt for a little fun. 


I can't believe I made this.
It was a lot of work but all worth it for a very special person. 

I have two more grandchildren. Hmmmm.....

If I have any stitching time today, Slow Stitching Sunday, I'll probably be trying to catch up on my crazy quilting projects.  

Slow Stitching? 
Join the virtual sewing bee - Slow Stitching Sunday - at Kathy's Quilts. 


25 comments:

Vic in NH said...

Your Ballerina quilt is magnificent! Thank you for sharing the journey of its creation.

Ellen said...

You have made an absolutely gorgeous quilt. I like that there are some slight imperfections as it shows that it is hand made and not factory produced. Many years from now when your granddaughter is looking at each patch she will know that every stitch was made with love.

Debra said...

a magical mix of color and sentiment.

newsurfiegirl said...

What a beautiful and special gift! What a work of art and love. Congratulations on the finish.

Julierose said...

This is such a lovely piece of work! the hand quilting makes it even more precious...loving it...hugs, Julierose

Deanna W said...

Yes we all think we will live forever..Hooray for you and thinking ahead. This is a great story. As for storing it...make a matching set of pillowcases and store the quilt in it. It will breath and maybe include a note so someone will know what to do if the day arrives and you can't be there.

Prima Donna said...

I love this quilt and the sentiment behind it. The reversed fabrics just shows the love you have for her inside and out. So special.

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I have enjoyed seeing this quilt's progress over time and wow...it really in something!!!! Congratulations on a stunning quilt and finish! Love love love it! :)

Quilter Kathy said...

Spectacular! An amazing gift of love. You can be so proud of this accomplishment!

Julianne said...

Oh it is lovely! She is one lucky little lady!

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

What a LUCKY granddaughter! I know that feeling, I am feeling the same way about my pickle dish blocks each time I make one. They are fun! I love the fabrics you chose, just perfect!

susan nieuwoudt said...

Just love this quilt and its story. Mmmm got me thinking maybe l should do something like this for the 3 grandsons.

Wendy said...

Such a beautiful finish! Your granddaughter will cherish this quilt when she comes to own it on her special day...I pray you live a long and happy life and will be able to be there on her big day to personally give her this quilt that you have lovingly labored over...

Nina Dias said...

What a wonderful gift and will use it with joy! That moment when you realize your happy and proud face of your grandmother! Congratulations for the good work!
Nina

Deb A said...

Wow! That quilt is beautiful and she is going to cherish it because it was made by you, especially for her. All I see is a perfect quilt. Great job.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I do understand your thoughts re having to store it away for a long time . . . I would want to look at and fondle this beauty every single day! Congratulations on a fabulous accomplishment!

Lea said...

Oh what a beautiful quilt that Isabelle will treasure always. Congratulations on you're first hand quilted quilt. Depending on what size it is you could roll the quilt wrapped in acid free paper (or clean white sheet) and put it in a tube so it doesn't crease. Or you could fold the quilt (protect it with acid free paper or clean white sheet) but if you do remember to refold it every few months so it doesn't get permanent crease marks. If the quilt is stored on a wooden shelf oils from the wood could get onto the quilt and cause stains. The acid free paper or white sheet will help protect the quilt.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

That quilt is fabulous ... and what a treasure it will be for Isabelle and her future husband (very future, right?).

Terri said...

Your quilt is amazing! Love the story, too. So glad you made it through the accident.
Hugs

joe tulips said...

I am so impressed with the hand quilting and it is done!!! Beautiful. Storing it? Hmm...
Roll it? Re-roll every year, then you get to look at it. Or on a bed, under another quilt or blanket so it isn't seen?
1 down, 2 more to go.

littleorphanskein said...

Excellent job! This is something she will treasure.

Renee said...

What a lovely work of love. I have no doubt it will be treasured for years and years to come.

Marci said...

Beautiful! Your granddaughter will love it, it will feel like hugs from Grandma.

scraphappy said...

What a lovely quilt with an even nicer story! You should print a copy of your post to go with the quilt so that you will remember it many years from now at the wedding.

zainylainy said...

I think the person that told you to use the yellow background was a genius! I love it. I too am going to make a quilt for each of my grandchildren. My son likes to hog all my quilts, so it will be like pulling teeth to keep him away from them!