Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Midsummer" - A Finished Quilt

A year after it was pieced, my lantern quilt is finally done!

All smiles over here!

 I was so inspired by the movie Tangled last year! I played with 5 different lantern block designs to put together a calming quilt, using a jelly roll of Kate Spain's Good Fortune fabric. I chose Kona Purple as the background to mirror the night sky. This quilt reminds me of calm and breezy summer nights with my family.

I had a lot of trouble getting the purple to show up in its correct shade. This is the best attempt, sadly. However, some of the individual blocks below are more accurate!

As for the name, did you fellow US citizens know (I didn't know much until I researched) that Midsummer is a huge celebration/tradition in Europe? I've read about it in literature but I didn't realize its prevalence. Also, did you know that just like during the best scene in Tangled (come on, you know the one), places like Poland and Thailand actually release lanterns into the sky?!? Kind of dangerous and seemingly environmentally unfriendly, but spellbindingly beautiful. I can't stop watching this video! I wish that I had seen something like this in Poland when I visited there, but alas, it wasn't yet Midsummer.

Quilting was a difficult decision as always this time. Originally, I thought of doing an all-over design because this quilt is not meant to be quilted heavily (couch use).  After listening to Barbara Persing's lecture last year, I always consider the use of my quilts before I quilt them. However, those lanterns were begging to be individually quilted (and I knew I would regret it if I didn't do it). So, I compromised: individual quilting for the lanterns, and an all-over pattern of falling leaves and loops in the background. It's supposed to look like the lanterns are rising while the leaves fall. :) I quilted it using purple Aurifil in the background, and gray for the lanterns.

This purple one is my favorite of them all!

I found that jelly roll strips (cut down from 2.5" to 2.25", my normal binding size) acted as the perfect scrappy binding. Now, looking at the pictures, I really see how the lighter, brighter colors frame the dark background. I loved Good Fortune when I bought the jelly roll, and I still do (but not quite as much now that I've worked with it for so long). Does anyone else fall a little bit out of love with fabrics once you've stared at them for too many hours?

The backing is made from a large piece of Good Fortune found at Burkholder's Fabrics earlier this year and more yardage/strips from the line. You can never have enough purple in this house. I even left the selvage in because I cannot get over those fans. See them peeking through? :)

I may be selling this quilt, but I'm still deciding. My mom wants it for her living room and I'm tempted to give it to her just to keep it in the family. :D

You can read more about this quilt here (when I finished the top) and you can see the Lantern-A-Long posts from last summer here.

Linking up a little late to Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF! The weather here was not favorable for quilt picture-taking until after our Fourth of July BBQ (and by the way, Happy Independence Day!).

 *This quilt is on my Finish-A-Long List, Quarter 2 list! I'm linking up there as well.* 

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  1. I'm glad you finished it; I always find the quilting decision a difficult one too.

  2. Tangled is still one of the fav movies to watch in our girlie house :-) Congrats on your finish!

  3. Great quilt - and wonderful quilting! You are very talented. I am in New Zealand and we are in the middle of winter. We celebrate Matariki which is about the rising of the same-named constellation - also called Pleiades (I think?). Not so warm to be outside though, but good weather for quilts. :-)

  4. That is really cool! The fabric line was a great choice for the lanterns - well done! I love those lantern ceremonies too (have only seen on video though). I am from NZ too - my pupils have just been learning about Matariki - the Maori New Year - the rise of the star constellation Pleiades signals the middle of winter and that the kumara (sweet potato) crop is due to be planted. Have a great summer!

  5. I definitely see that Tangled scene in the quilt! The purple was a great choice as a background!

  6. You look so happy in that first photo! That video is so neat, totally adding that to my bucket list. I love the colors and fabrics of this quilt. The quilting blends in so much, I wish I could see it in person!

  7. Congratulations, your quilt looks wonderful, and so does the backing!

  8. Very nice! I love what a story is behind it and nice that you quilted each lantern separately. I almost always defer to mom. ;-)

  9. Beautiful quilt! I love that you are in a picture with your quilt. I think more of us Quilters should do that too!

  10. I love the large piece on the back -- gorgeous! And of course the whole quilt is just lovely. Tangled was a really good film, too -- so enjoyable.

    I think you should give it to your mom. You know she'll love it and feel like she's getting a hug from you when she uses it. Plus, then you get to see it and enjoy it over the years, too. Can you tell I'm a mom? ;)

    I don't think I've ever gotten tired of a fabric when working with it, but maybe I have and I've blocked out the memory.

  11. Beautiful quilt with such vibrant colours!

  12. It looks great! I remember when you started this one. As far as the purple goes it is your white balance and color temperature that are iff on your camera. They are photographing too cool making them appear blue. I used to have this problem all the time! Play with camera settings for white balanceor pop the picture in a photo edit program (picasa is free and works) and play with the temperature/warmth/white balance until it looks perfect. I hope this helps!

  13. Yay for a finish after working on a long-term project. That's a good feeling! I agree that it's tough to have too much purple around -- at least that's what my stash is telling me.

  14. Boo, Google ate my first comment. I love the quilting! The scattered leaves in the negative space, and the individual motifs in the lanterns is so perfect :) I have to admit that this one didn't really grab me when it was coming together, but the finished product is stunning! This is so "you" I can't believe you are even thinking about letting it leave your house, lol. Hopefully it sticks around for a little bit so I can see it in person :) :) :)

  15. Congrats on your finishes! We don't celebrate in Scotland really, but then we don't need to release lanterns, it doesn't actually get properly dark in mid summer :o) Right enough, that means it barely gets light in mid winter, but let's gloss over that...

  16. Congrats on your finish, Jess! Seeing this done reminds me that I've been following you since when you started it : ) You were the first blogger I regularly followed, so it's nice to see the evolution and have the anniversary reminder. Love the scrappy binding next to the purple!


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