Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Update: I've just found out that this pattern was designed by Suellen Wassem from Ohio.
The Stashbuster topic of the week is our favorite quilt - one we've made and/or own. This is an easy question for me - I know right away which one it is. I've shown it to you before but not for a LONG time. The hard question is why it's my favorite. I'm not really sure - I just know that it is.
In 1992 I started teaching quilting for Daisy Kingdom in Portland, Oregon. I also started working there in the Home Dec department. Very dangerous, as it was right next to the quilting department. When this pattern came in from Kindred Spirits I immediately fell in love. I asked them if I could make it up as a sample for the shop. They agreed - which meant that I picked the fabrics and they paid for them. I sure liked that! I thought I was picking fabrics similar to those in the picture on the pattern. The following year I got to see the original in the Kindred Spirits booth in Houston and theirs was nothing like mine!
I fussy cut some of the fabrics for the stars - you can see that if you enlarge the pictures. Elly Sienkiewicz had just come out with the first reproduction of the "fondue" fabric you see in Baltimore album quilts - fabric that shades from dark to light and/or from one color to another across the fabric. I used that in two of the stars - you can see it in the close-up of the blue star. On other stars I tried swirling the design or having it expand out from the center of the star. The colors of the quilt are very different from what most everyone was using in those days. I think that's one thing that appealed to me - I always liked to be a bit different from the crowd. This is a challenging block to piece, which I've always relished. It was pieced entirely by machine using my featherweight.
I love the quilting on this quilt also. I quilted it "to death" - probably about 1/2" apart all over the quilt. This was before the arthritis in my hands made hand quilting painful and difficult. The quilt talked to me as I went, telling me how it wanted to be quilted. I tried something new to me on the border, inspired by Gwen Marsden's book about hand quilting, and I liked it so well I've done it on several quilts since then.
I entered this in the only judged show I've ever entered and it won two ribbons! Two of the very few big ribbons I've ever won. It was judged first place in the small pieced category (though I don't think it's all that small!) and best pieced quilt in the show. You can't imagine how very excited I was when I turned the corner and saw those ribbons on my quilt!