Sunday, May 18, 2014

BQF: Home, A Finished Quilt

This is my second entry into the Spring 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival. You can see my first entry here!

After months of hemming and hawing, I finally finished "Home" and I'm entering it into the Original Design category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

 The backing is a rainbow of many Botanics scraps with some sketch and nature prints, Ty Pennington prints, and even a chunk of Anna Maria Horner needleworks on the right/middle!

This quilt started as a challenge with Rebecca; we both had some Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander, and we both wanted to use it pretty much immediately. Our quilts were based on a picture, and they came out so totally different - you can see what Rebecca made here! This is the picture I was inspired by:


"Home" is the name I settled on; in the end, it just made sense. When I started writing this post, I was listening to the song "Home," by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I've always loved the line "home is wherever I'm with you." It made me think about how Mike and I have been living on our own now for almost two years and how much we've changed since we met in high school 8 years ago (we were just laughing about this recently, too).

Since Mike is an integral part of my quilting (picking threads out of my hair, bringing me milkshakes for fuel, making essential design and color decisions, and photographing many pictures), it felt right to think of our life together and name this quilt. Trees, especially all those blooming right now, make me feel calm and peaceful, and so does my life with my husband. That's how the title came about (just for laughs, here are some rejected titles that my brain thought were good at one point: Kaleidoscopic Forest, Timber [not inspired by the song], Prism Forest... okay, you get the idea!).

The quilt really stretched my nearly non-existent improv reflexes. I drew a picture in my sketchbook and just went with it. It took a couple of weeks to get the layout and branches just right. If you scroll down this post, you'll see a couple of up-close pictures of the background - a conglomeration of all my low-volume fabrics. You can also see the progression pictures on this post. Above is when I laid out Botanics in color order (with solids and shot cottons) to start out!

 The quilting was so much fun. The trees are quilted with a coordinating Aurifil or Connecting Threads color, and the woodgrain was more circular and knotted (as a tree would be). In the low volume background, I quilted more long, free-flowing woodgrain shapes, to give the illusion that there is a forest behind the trees. The bottom gray and black trunks are quilted in a back-and-forth zigzag, to contrast all the swirls. The top part is quilted in large spirals for the wind (I have a special technique for doing this that I will write a tutorial for if there is interest!).

 I decided to combine everyone's suggestions on Instagram and bind it in scrappy black with a little bit of gray, plus a strip of rainbow in one corner. This is totally my favorite part of the quilt:

The bottom parts of the trunks were estimated and not equally measured on purpose. I wanted to make it a little off-balance. I did, however, have a happy accident: this was the first time ALL FOUR of my binding corner came out PERFECT. I've been practicing using Ashley's tutorial and finally, that teensy part has worked out! I am seriously ecstatic!!

^ I swear it's really not that small - it's 64 x 80"!!

 A shot with the real trees. I wanted to get a picture while holding it up, but it was too windy!

This quilt will definitely be around for a while - I want to hang it in our bedroom. You can see more about "Home" here, here, and here.

 Photoshoot Outtakes:

 See? Wind!

Past Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries:

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  1. Love your interpretation of the trees in improv! Great job.

  2. It turned out so great! It's a shame you can't enter in 2 categories with the same quilt, because I totally think this could be in the art category too. And props for finishing - mine still has to be quilted lol.

  3. What a great entry Jessica! Fab quilt and great photos.

  4. Wow! That's an amazing quilt!
    Congrats on creating a really great pattern- you're such a talented artist.
    And as usual, the quilting is beautiful :)

  5. Great quilt! I love what you did with the quilting - and that you get milkshakes. Very jealous about that. :D

  6. Lovely! And your quilting is amazing. Truly a work of art!

  7. Looove it! The colors worked out so nicely together, and I love how each tree has the grey bottom. Your quilting looks awesome.

  8. well done Jess. This is so amazing. I have loved watching your creativity with this one :-)

  9. So pretty! I love the significance of the name too. The quilting is beautiful, and I'd love to know your special technique for the wind look.

  10. Beautifully done!! And a wonderful story to go with your quilt :) I'd say your improv skills are doing just fine! and that quilting!! Awesome!

  11. Love your design process for this one and great result as always, highlighted by your quilting - great outtake pics too :D

  12. Thanks for sharing! This quilt reminds me of those dancing balloon men!!!

  13. such a beautiful quilt! I love the improv-y-ness (not a word, but should be!)

  14. What a lot of thought has gone into it, well done!

  15. Congratulations! This is such a beautiful quilt. I love the story behind it. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  16. What a great quilt - I love it! Also, love the story behind it. You and your husband sound a lot like me and mine. He's constantly picking threads off me, snapping quilty pics for me and helping with design issues when I get stuck or overwhelmed. Husbands are pretty awesome, aren't they? Anyway, good luck with the quilt festival contest and thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

  17. Oh, hooray! I love quilts with a story. And that song Home is super rad too. Lovely work, and your quilting looks fierce! :)

  18. I like that part of the binding, too.

  19. I like your quilting the most. It adds lovely texture! Well done.


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