Sunday, 19 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Highland Star, a quilt for Anne

The second quilt I'm entering in the Blogger's quilt festival is very different to any other quilt I've made for a couple of reasons.

The fabric would not be my normal choice and the process of making it stirred very different emotions than usual and I'd like to explain those differences.

We start with this man

This is my Uncle Eric.  He was a wonderful man, kind and gentle with never a bad word to say about anyone.  He loved his family, his friends and was always there for anyone who needed help.  Unfortunately a few years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and despite the best efforts of his doctors he died in September 2012.

Understandably my aunt, Anne, was devastated and I felt at a bit of a loss to know how to help.  We are a close family and as a child I was at boarding school as my parents were expatriates and during half-term holidays I would stay with Anne & Eric but I now live in Cambridgeshire, some distance away from the Scottish Highlands where my aunt lives.

So I asked my Mum if she thought Anne would like a quilt and I suggested I could use some of Eric's shirts.  Anne said she would so I got going.  I wanted to use a traditional quilt block and I found a tutorial by the fabulous Bonnie Hunter called Smokey Mountain Stars which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

It wasn't plain sailing as some of the shirts were polyester cotton blends and one was lyocell and as a result the fabric shifted much more than I was used to with quilting cottons but it all turned out well in the end.

I've made quilts for babies, for a wedding, for my kids, because I wanted to try something new or just because I loved the fabric and I've always enjoyed the process but the making of this quilt allowed me time and space to reflect on my uncle's life in a way that I don't think I would otherwise have done and for that I will always be grateful.

I called the quilt 'Highland Star' as everyone used to say that Eric was a true Highland gentleman.  I'll be delivering it this weekend when we are up in Scotland.  Hopefully my aunt will like it.

Quilt stats:
Name: Highland Star
Size: 56" by 64"
Quilting: Free motion loop by me
Fabric: Shirts and various Kona & Makower solids
Category: Throw quilt

Thanks for stopping by

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Starburst

Its that time of year again when quilting bloggers around the world show off their quilts and tell the stories behind them.

And as an added bonus this year Amy is letting us each enter two quilts which is great because I really wanted to show off my two most recent finishes, for different reasons.

My first quilt is Starburst

I follow Melissa of Happy Quilting and love her style so when she started the Starburst quilt along earlier this year I was very tempted to join in but held off as I had various other quilts I was trying to finish.

However halfway through I found out that one of my oldest friend was getting married (this coming Saturday) and that was all the excuse I needed.  I had several Juggling Summer prints that I had purchased and I felt they would suit my friend's style so I ordered some additional fabric and jumped in.  I chose the main backing print as a nod to the traditional double wedding ring pattern.

I love this quilt, so much so that it will be a big wrench to give it away.  I love the pattern and the fabric and I love how it represents how far I have come since I first started quilting.  It is definitely the best quilt I've made and while it is still far from perfect I am really happy with it.

I quilted it all over with a loopy free motion design.  I'm still a novice at FMQ so I stuck to the design I feel most confident with but I took my time and it was definitely an improvement on previous attempts, particularly as this is a big quilt at 82" by 82".

It is also the first quilt I've labelled.  I used a tutorial by KarrieLyne of Freckled Whimsy and I really like the subtlety of it.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Starburst
Size: 82" by 82"
Pieced and quilted by me
Fabrics: Juggling Summer by Zen Chic and Kona Iron
Category: Bed quilt 

Thanks so much for stopping by