I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summertime Quilt - a Finish ~ Bitty Quilt - a Beginning

Happy Friday!  It's finished, it's finished! Summertime, The Quilt, is finished. Yay! Pop the champagne, guys, this baby is finito. [sigh of relief.]

I am thrilled and relieved to be able to say I have sewed the last stitch on this project. I can now fold her up and let her rest in the quilt cupboard for awhile .

I think this is the most detailed, labor intensive quilt I have made so far. I began it in April of 2015. It was a project of the seasons, four issues, in Primitive Quilts and Projects, actually called Spring Break by Jan Patek. (I changed the name because, to me, it looked like it was inspired by a hot summer day---and ''Spring Break'' kind of reeked of puking frat boys' drunken reveling and wet t-shirt contests in Cancun, lol.) This is a photo from the magazine.

I liked the design because it combined piecework with Patek's usual applique motifs.

I also loved the animals and giant sunflower above the house.

Kitty, my feral friend.

Mo the Pug [tweaked from Patek's possible golden retreiver].

I changed the colors from the mostly yellow of the original design. I didn't make a color board for this quilt but my color inspiration was "Raspberries, blueberries, and lemonade", for a clear lemon yellow, pinky-rose, and indigo palette.

As always there are things to learn--what I saw as white shirting tiny prints, blue and cream toile, or blue and white picnic plaid all look dull grey from a distance. I struggle with value; these should have been whiter or bluer.

And of course I changed things! Here is the pattern border:

Instead of [to me] repetitive dot berries, I used brilliantly colored, mostly rose, a few red and yellow, yoyos made by my friend Sue McQuade. We did an etsy shop swap, so fun. She encouraged me to use a variety of fabrics, and I am so happy with the results. The brilliant Kaffee Fassett prints worked especially well. (I ran out of the royal blue picnic plaid and had to sub a black section  into two  borders. Can't even tell when all the appliques are on, so that's okay.)

To me these are zinnias, the sweet standard of a summer cottage garden.

Next I eliminated the small stars in the border swags and added birds.

And more of the funny vine flowers. Inspired by heirloom morning glories.

Sue made lots of yoyos so I used many more than called for and they're my favorite part of this quilt.

Referencing birds---a summer day must have songbirds!---I used this pretty chintz-like print in the large squares border.

Interestingly very similar finches appear on my antique English chintzware pitcher set.  Quite a find!

And here is an unexpected hole in the antique black on white sprig muslin. Instead of removing the section, I patched it with a butterfly from that same bird print.

Here is the butterfly on the pitcher, c. 1830-50?

An inner border is also a bird toile in blue and cream.

Big sawtooths ---in the raspberry colors of the rosettes---in the border, beautiful quilting by Lori Cangemi of Quilter's Imagination. Lori is listed on eBay and on FB.

Backing is a vintage sheet with delightful pansies. You can see the beautiful quilting again here.

The filling of this quilt was an experiment. I used cotton flannel instead of batting, mostly because I thought the thinner material would make it easier to sew on the approx 80 rosettes, the beadings, the buttons etc, which had to be done after the piece was quilted, bound, washed. In the end the rosettes were tedious but not difficult to sew.

You can see the quilt is very large! It weighs a ton. The flannel was very heavy for all that it was thinner. I think actually heavier in weight than a nice thin cotton batting would have been. It made a crisp but not soft or drapey quilt. I probably would only use flannel again for something that maybe was foundation pieced, if at all. [Price is similar to batting.]

So: begun April 2015. Completed August 2017. Not a labor of love though I don't hate it as much as I did for awhile.


When one quilt is finished a new one must begin. This is a Minick and Simpson small crib quilt called Bitty's Quilt, referred to here, in future as Bitty.

The palette was simply the threads I picked up for the applique, shades of blues. It's small enough that if I make a mistake in the fabrics I can redo as needed.

I would love to hand quilt this project, but that's a long ways in the future as this is Mo and my summer afternoon sewing hour project now.

Meteor showers Friday and Saturday! Take a look?

Here are  the wonderful succulent gardens made for Kel's husband by a friend. Very cool! A motorcycle part [ Kel says ''cylinder head"]. And a cute and tiny cowboy boot. I guess anything can be a garden accent, how fun! I'll move the pics to my truck garden post but I wanted you all to see them. Inspiration!



gone to the beach...