I'm sure by now you all know that I don't need much of an excuse to make a quilt. And, although I have yet to make a quilt for our kitchen or dining room (don't laugh, it could happen!), the family room redo was just waiting for one to seal the deal. You may remember that I had originally decided to do Denyse Schmidt's Hills n Hollers pattern for our bedroom. But thinking and pondering a little more made me realize that there was too much solid space in this pattern and it wasn't quite what that room needs (I'm actually pondering a postage stamp quilt, but, that's getting off subject...).
I love this pattern. LOVE. Its modern, its colorful (but not too), and it really shows off the quilting stitches beautifully, (I used figure eights or loop d loop stitch). Denyse Schmidt patterns look free form and improvisational, but the instructions and pattern pieces are quite precise, so if you're intimidated by the idea of this kind of quilt, get one of her patterns and let her walk you through the steps (I got mine at Pink Chalk Fabrics). The hills (or surfboards as the ladies at the quilt shop called them) are hand appliqued on. Let me explain. You cut a scant seam allowance around the hill, then using a handsewing needle, you turn back that seam allowance as you applique each hill on.
Sounded doable, at least to me. I applique, I get it.
I appliqued a three of them. It took me most of a day. Let me rephrase. I took a really long time to do just a few hills. I just couldn't get the hang of it, or maybe I just didn't want to. I thought about what my options were.
1. Hand applique each hill on (approx. 96) as the pattern required.
2. Trim each hill and topstitch it down instead of applique.
3. Use fusible webbing and attach each hill really well and hope the quilting would help hold everything in place.
I went with option 3. You see, I really have no patience, although I love the look of the hand applique (no topstitching lines). Denyse, forgive me, but I cheated, big time. I fused all of these onto the quilt as well as I could, closed my eyes and looked away as I held out my arms holding the quilt top, gave it to the long arm quilter, and ran.
And you know what? It actually worked! I will have to make a few repairs here and there around the edges with additional fusible webbing, but the hills stayed secure through the wash cycle. And even better, I have a finished quilt. I really don't know if I would have finished it handstitching them all on.
I used several of Denyse's Hope Valley prints in the oranges, grays ad pinks because I love that entire line, but I mixed in several other prints and a couple of solids too. I backed it with a blue flat sheet (I do this with most of my quilts because it saves money and washes well). I used Carolina Chambray in a natural color for the background. I also used that for the binding, only adding in a couple of prints randomly.
The Modern Quilt Guild is asking all of its members what modern quilting means to them. As I was making this, I figured out what it means to me...finding a new way to make something traditional, using new tools and new techniques that were not around historically.
There's a great interview with Denyse at Sew Mama Sew. Oh, and don't forget to enter the drawing for one of the beautiful handmade creatures from Bird and Little Bird, you have until Friday.