Most of my projects are completely original designs, imagined by me then drawn up in EQ7 software, then machine pieced, appliqued (if needed), and quilted all on my little Janome Magnolia 7318. I fit quilting in & around my life --- I'm a homeschooling mom to three boys, ages 16, 12 and 8 --- but then, who doesn't?! Quilting is my sanity saver, hobby, favorite pass time, creative outlet, etc.
Enough about me, though; on to my Blogger's Quilt Festival entry quilt! I entered this quilt in the Bed Quilt Category; voting runs November 1 - 7, so be sure and go back and vote for my quilt next week if you enjoy this post :)
|You & I: The Q-H Bond|
blue-to-red color change quilt
twin sized, original design
machine pieced, machine (domestic) quilted
This quilt, titled "You & I: The Q-H Bond" was a gift for my husband. Just as I finished the quilt for our youngest son, we found out that we will soon move back to the United States after six years of living in Brazil. Unfortunately, my husband will have to travel back & forth, back & forth, back & forth, spending two weeks in the US and then two weeks in Brazil, until the transition is complete and the replacement is properly trained. This schedule could last up to a full year, though we hope not.
Immediately, I wanted to make him a quilt. He'll be renting a room from friends, and I felt very strongly that his home away from home should have its own quilt, so he could sleep under something I made, could feel that he has a little piece of me, of us, with him even while he's away. Sappy, I know. I can't help it.
Then I obsessed. For ages. This quilt needed to be perfect. Stunning. Masculine. Something he would *LOVE* and not just like okay. Finally I enlisted his help, and he said he'd like a quilt that "faded from blue to red." Egads. Does he not realize how much purple is between red & blue on the color wheel?! How would I make that masculine???? I was not thrilled.
I headed to a little quilt shop and wandered for ages looking for just the right "masculine purple" fabric. Ha! I think the shop owner thought I was nuts, but I did finally find it --- a Ricky Tims Rhapsodie Coloree in red/blue. Perfect! From there I found the rest, choosing to go light blue to red-orange. The YLI variegated thread to quilt with was the perfect extra touch.
|the fabrics & thread|
|the EQ7 drawing; my road map for piecing the quilt|
Border chain fades from light, medium, dark, medium, light;
1 strand in blues, the other in the reds, traveling around the quilt
I chose an elongated chain for the border, as a stylized DNA strand; one side blues, the other reds, to represent him & me, me & him, "you & I," intertwining our lives, as "two become one" in marriage. And because he's a chemist, who once upon a time wrote me a poem that likened him & me, me & him, "you & I" to a basic molecular bond, the C-H bond, the building block of life. Only we were the Q-H bond. Such is what happens when chemists decide to write poetry, but it was sweet, we were young, and I still treasure that imagery and wanted to honor it by including it in this quilt for him.
|the quilt top, ready for the border|
Piecing the border, as genius an idea as it was, gave me fits. I always forget to pay attention to things like placement and what-not, and with these little bits I chain pieced, assembly-line assembled, and then discovered that one block per side is mirror-image of the rest, which means I ripped out a LOT of seams. Seventeen total in this quilt, all of those in the border. Egads. You can see below where I pieced one wrong; I made a lot of these sorts of mistakes on the 1st side of the border.
|oops. Notice that the "red" is sewn on wrong on the corners|
that 4-patch unit had to be taken off, then taken apart and resewn in reverse
before being reattached correctly. Oops.
|and now, with the border on, but not trimmed yet|
For the back, recycled denim, made from various bits & pieces of discarded jeans once worn by each member of our family.
|the back, fading from dark to light as it moves top to bottom|
completely pieced from our old jeans
|ripped "knee" detail, with reverse applique patch|
|half a pocket, by his request|
Jeans, because we're frugal. Denim, because he wanted to leave out the batting as it will be summer in Brazil when he begins his travel schedule, and because I feared just cotton would be too thin without any batting at all. Our jeans, so that he can carry each one of us with him and be tangibly reminded of home, every single night. Like I said, I'm sappy. I can't help it.
|the quilting, from the back -- vertical double-helix lines throughout the quilt,|
with over-sized double helix lines following the colored chain of the border, in both directions
|close-up of the double helix quilting on the front|
I left the border intentionally plain, per his request. I did follow the colored chain and quilt over that to stabilize the border some, but the black is left empty for contrast. The label was printed on fabric, then machine appliqued, and the binding was done by machine.
|the label, created in Word, printed on fabric, machine appliqued|
(the same blue from the lightest side; color is off in the photo)
I hope you love this quilt as much as I do. It's my favorite quilt so far; I really think it's my best yet. I hope you agree!