Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Sunset over Prague" - A Finished Mini Quilt

-Blog format and header under construction - will be fixed soon!-

Sooooo, I had this idea in my mind since pretty much last June, when I got back from my 2.5 week study abroad trip to Central Europe... and saw that I had taken this picture in Prague, on the Charles Bridge (by the way, literally the most beautiful place I've ever been):

And this picture, also taken from the Charles Bridge (you can see Prague Castle again - the biggest castle in the world!):

These pictures had the making of a good quilt (or mini quilt). I just felt it. Look at those colors! In addition, I knew there was only one way I could thank my professor for all she had done for me throughout my college career (we geek out about crafting all the time and I'm currently finishing a quilt she started).
Mission: Make a mini quilt of Prague for professor
Time Frame until graduation (as of June 2011): 11 months (plenty of time right?!?)

Life got in the way, and I finished other projects (including some commission t-shirt quilts last summer, which always take much more time than I originally map out) (one of the quilts was actually for said professor's daughter). The very last thing I needed was another project (I try to tell myself that these days and it doesn't work :) )
September: School starts. I live at school. Machine quilting is out.
December: I move back home to start student teaching, and finish up all my Christmas sewing (which lasted until after Christmas).
January: Student teaching starts and life as I know it ends. I'm lucky if I have an hour in the week to sew.
Time frame: 4 months left (still plenty of time, right?)

May 4: All student teaching and college work is finished!

May 11: Graduation (whoops). Couldn't bring a present even if I wanted to, so that bought me some extra time.
And now we get to May 26 - our planned party to watch Eurovision (if you don't know what Eurovision is, it's like American Idol for European countries and it is fantastic). I knew this baby had to get done.

The night before, on May 25: Here's what was done so far (pieced sky and water, and some applique, and my first try at pebble quilting - forgive the bad cell phone photo quality):

I watched The Help (so good!) with my mom and sister, while simultaneously cutting out small pieces of fabric for applique...
May 26: Spend day at quilt store with friend, trying to finish.
3 hours later: finish hand sewing binding and label two minutes before shop closed.

I wanted to take some pictures in sunlight (or in least in better natural light) before I wrapped it up, but the weather was really dreary.

30 minutes later... arrive at former professor's house! WHEW!

Here's the main inspiration picture again (now you can compare to the picture of the mini quilt):

This was supposed to look like you were walking down the bridge, toward the other side. I'm not very good with perspective but after some careful measurement/ruler work, I'm happy with the way this turned out! In addition, you can see that the real Charles Bridge is lined with many statues, but I went for the more abstract feel and made those two brown "blobs" (as my sister called them). It would be too much work to actually make those things out of fabric, and I really like the more abstract feel for elements such as those.

I used green buttons abstractly as trees. The hill on the left side of the picture is called Petrin Hill (which we climbed on the trip) and there is a tower that resembles the Eiffel Tower at the top). I also stitched some little fish into the sea and free motion quilted the waves. (Here are a couple of pictures from our perspective on top of Petrin Hill):

In the picture of the castle (near the top of this post) you can see that there was a small cafe, so I fussy cut some umbrellas from a (Timeless Treasures?) NYC fabric I had a fat quarter of. I also fussy cut the boat because I kept seeing boats on either side of the bridge...

I used lots of scraps (including from fabric she had given me herself)! In addition, the hand embroidery at the bottom says "Praha," which is the Czech name for the city.

I'm very proud of this quilt - I tried some new things (pebbling [if that's a word], hand embroidery with embroidery floss), and made something for my favorite (ex)professor!


  1. I am really crushing on the umbrellas,the boat and the hand embroidery! You pulled it altogether and it came out terrific!!

  2. I really see the view you took with the picture! Trying new things is how you learn! Nice Jess!

  3. Congratulations on finishing your course of study.....i see your profile now says "teacher". Well done.

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who apparently has time management issues and races at the last minute. Your mini and my regular quilt could have had a procrastination date. If they'd had enough time. Ahhh. My dad's bad jokes are really starting to rub off on me haha.

  5. I see you are moving into art quilting now. Good on you.

  6. Great finish. That hand embroidery is indeed an extra special touch.


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