In my last post I explained that my radio silence over the last month or so has been mainly due to the fact that I've been working like a dog on a special quilt for a couple who are getting married this weekend.
This couple met at university, and in fact, they met in my lab, where they volunteered for a couple of years and did their Honours thesis research. I have been lucky to come to know some very special young men and women in my role as a professor, and it's a wonderful blessing for me to see these two take this step together. As I wrote in the card I included with the quilt, I feel a bit like the mother of both the bride and the groom, if that is possible in a way that isn't too weird!
I chose the colours for the quilt from the wedding invitation: blues and yellows, and I threw in some gray and black for a bit of added sophistication.
The background is Essex linen/cotton blend in ivory. The pattern is a traditional one called Ocean Waves and it's made from 8" blocks, and it finishes about 64" x 70".
I made a little label for the back, with their names and my name and the date of the the wedding. The binding was scrappy, made from some of the 2 1/2" strips that I had leftover from using those Marti Michell templates.
Because the bride-to-be told me straight up that she can't resist surprise busting and she already knew that I was making her a quilt of some description, I had to maintain some element of surprise by limiting any progress shots and keeping the quilt off the blog. But
Purolator's online tracking showed me that the quilt has been delivered to her family home, the bride just phoned me to say how much she loved it so I think it's safe to share it now.
I cannot tell a lie - this quilt really put me through the wringer. It called for 888 HST units. I started out using Marti Michell's templates because I didn't want to make the HST units and then trim to size, but that meant cutting 2 1/2" strips and then using that template to cut each triangle. And if you layer too many strips, you start to lose precision. Cut, cut, cut for hours on end. And the template had those blunted corners so that you could match everything up, so those little tiny cuts had to be made, too. It practically killed me.
I am well acquainted with the phenomenon of falling out of love with a quilt during the process of construction. It happens with just about every quilt I make. Somewhere in the middle of it, I start wondering what I had been thinking, and inevitably I begin to feel dissatisfaction with the colour scheme or block choice creeping in. I am experienced enough to know, however, that this misery vanishes like a puff of smoke once the finished quilt comes out of the washer/dryer. Surprisingly, though, I never wanted to break up with this quilt, and by the time it was finished I was nearly heartbroken that I had to send it off to a new home.
In fact, this quilt was single-handedly responsible for me busting the bank and buying a Sizzix Big Shot Pro. I had made about half the units I needed and could see carpal tunnel syndrome on the horizon. After I ordered the BSP online, I had serious buyer's remorse until about ten seconds after I unpacked it. I cut the rest of the triangles I needed in 20 minutes. Woo hoo! I also ordered the Accuquilt Winding Ways die, since Accuquilt dies are compatible with Sizzix products (but not the reverse) and I'd always wanted to make that block. Here's a photo of my test blocks - can't wait to make a proper project using that die!