Quilt Festival: Fall 2010 Edition

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

Quilt Market is in Houston, and Amy is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival again. I debated what quilt to post. I narrowed my choices down to 2 quilts from the past 6 months or so, but remained uncertain. They're such different options, and I learned a lot while making both. In the end, I chose to feature my DQS9 Mini:

Sifting through the DQS9 Flickr files, I really admired (and favorited -- not really a word, but I'll work with it) a lot of bird quilts. Quite handily, so did my partner. But I had done very little applique work, and felt totally out of my comfort zone even as I wanted to pursue this new type of quilt.

When I sit at my desk and stare out the window, a tree branch pokes into my line of vision. In late August, there were a couple of red birds (cardinals?) who hung out on that branch, and they served as the immediate inspiration for this quilt.

My quilting has grown over the years, from fearful stitching-in-the-ditch to more confident, intentionally showing lines, to free-motion swirls and more. But once I had the background and all the applique in place, I had to figure out how to quilt this little one. How to tell a story or really make an image with quilting. I plunged into the challenge, selecting a bright green thread for the grass. I felt good while sitting at my sewing machine, but felt a little queasy when I was done. Was it overwhelming? Maybe a bit. That's when I added the tiny pink "flower" squares. Ultimately I added tiny seed beads on top of the flowers (one per square) and now love this section of the quilt. But I had some scary moments of "holy shit, did I just ruin this" along the way.
I've started to incorporate labels into the quilt backs I make, and this version is my best yet. The label is the back. The fabric around the white square represents the fabrics I used on the front, and the white bird here was the pattern piece for the pink bird on the front. This mini flew off to Utah in August, where it happily resides (Jeannette tells a great story about it, go check it out!).


Linda October 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM  

Your quilt is so pretty. I really like how you quilted it too, I'm still in the fearful stitch-in-the-ditch stage. :)

hazel October 29, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

That is so eye-catching and unusual--I can see why your partner loved it!


felicity October 29, 2010 at 5:13 PM  

Totally awesome. I love the little patch of flowers - everything about it. The bird motif is beautiful, and one of my favourites (as evidenced by my Flickr Favourites file too). Thanks for sharing!

AnnieO October 30, 2010 at 2:13 AM  

That quilt has three wows: wow for the perspective on the background, wow for the bright pink on the bird and flowers, and wow for the green grass and inventive quilting. Love it! Thanks for sharing your quilt's story :)

{Leila}Where the Orchids Grow October 30, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

I love bird quilts too!
Your label is fab!

Sandra October 30, 2010 at 8:00 AM  

What a fun doll quilt. I too have been likely birds on quilts, although mine are on antique quilts. Check out my antique quilt blog to see a few (also have a schoolhouse quilt in the festival and miniature on my art quilt blog.

Micki October 31, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

It is so pretty! I love the bird!

Carol October 31, 2010 at 3:51 PM  

Mini quilt swaps are so much fun. Love BOTH stories about the quilt :)
Way to go with getting super creative with the label.

Angie October 31, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

Cute quilt - I like how you incorporated the quilt label on the back.

by Daisy November 1, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

i had never seen anything like this, i'm speachless (and that doesn't happen often, let me tell you)

Rachaeldaisy November 5, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

This is soo soo so gorgeous!! What a special quilt! So much thought has gone into it.

Kit Lang November 7, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

I have a thing for birds lately, so I especially love this! :)

Eileen December 13, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

what a fun and interesting quilt. love reading your story and the quilting is such a great addition to it. those little flowers are perfect. thanks for sharing and have a great day

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