Thursday, April 23, 2009

1st Annual Virtual Quilt Festival

Welcome to all who are coming from Amy's site to another entry in the Virtual Quilt Festival! Amy (innovator that she is) at the Park City Girl blog came up with wonderful idea to host a quilt festival for all the quilting bloggers out there. And if you've gotten all the way down the list to me, you know there are ALOT of quilters blogging (or is it bloggers quilting??). Although the title of this post says that it is the first annual festival, I saw on one of her more recent posts that this might become a bi-annual (Fall, Spring) event from here on which would be cool. If you need to link back to her site to access other entries click the button above.
My entry for favorite quilt (right now and the first of my 2008 finishes to be showcased) is this one:
It's called " "Flannel" Point of No Return" . Why is it my favorite? First because it's made of flannel! If a handmade quilt is a hug, a flannel quilt is a double hug! This quilt is as cuddly as it gets. I made it to be a couch quilt (something for the kids to snuggle under while watching TV) but it hasn't left my bed since I finished it. I've heard that a flannel back is also good for keeping your quilt from slipping off the bed so it's utilitarian and cozy!

The second reason this is a favorite is that all the plaid fabrics used here were FREE! When I started quilting back in 2002, I read a tip on the Worldwide Quilting Page that if you were a new quilter, needing to build your stash of fabric cheap and lived in a city with a garment district, you might be able to get fabric that was being discarded by cutting rooms for free. My DH is a UPS driver who at that time delivered in Manhattan (NYC) and was often assigned to the garment district. I asked him to keep a look out for fabric being discarded and his instructions were that as long as it wasn't suit fabric (something I knew he could identify) he was to bring it home and I'd figure out if I could use it. One day he came home with a giant black garbage bag full of fabric cuts and these beauties were one of the treasures I found in it. They were probably fabric samples since they were all uniformly sized to about a fat quarter, mostly (what I thought were) flannels and a few in straight cottons. At that time I didn't know you could make a quilt in flannel but I had read that plaids were really useful in quilting and thought the range of colors were too good to let go.
Maybe a few months later, I saw an episode of the "Simply Quilts" TV show on HGTV (it was still on then and what got me started with quilting) and Sandy Bonsib gave tips from her book on quilting with flannel. Now I knew these fabrics could definitely go into a quilt. A year later I purchased a back issue of the April '93 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (the first issue, I believe). The original "Point of No Return" quilt pattern was in it, designed by Country Threads of cotton plaids in reds, greys and blues with a cream background and a red plaid back. I immedately knew this was where these fabrics would be used.
It was another year later when I stumbled upon a flannel fabric sale at a Joann craft store and was able to get the cream flannel and the backing "flannel" for (wait for it) $2.99 a yard! Snapped them up and thought I'd get right to work on it. Instead I cut out ALL the pieces for the blocks (A LOT of triangles), made a few and then put it aside in favor of other projects. Then last year, wanting to fulfill a personal "one quilt finish a month" challenge, I dug all these out, intent on finishing the quilt and did so! Now I am a big fan of flannel backs and while not all projects will get one I've currently got two more quilts in the works that will have them.
 
The reason why "flannel" is in quotes is that the only real flannel fabric in this quilt is the cream background. Ms. Bonsib's advice for binding was to use a regular cotton fabric because flannel fabric is stretchy. When I finally went to buy my binding fabric, I really wanted to have flannel right down to the binding. I found a plaid that I liked that was listed as a "brushed cotton" something I thought I had never used before but figured it might work well with flannel. When it came in the mail, I realized that ALL the plaids AND the backing fabric were also brushed cottons: a flannel texture on front and a regular, flat cotton weave on back. Who knew? But I had already named the quilt so I just added the quotes to keep me honest!
 
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the festival!

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17 comments:

Zonnah said...

What a great way to add to your stash! The quilt is beautiful.

Serena said...

This quilt feels so cozy....and has an old fashioned feel to it...Great work!! I know what it's like to put things aside for a long time.

scrappy quilter said...

I love the quilt and I love how you added to your stash. Great job on both.

Quilt Rat said...

Great story and WOW I love that quilt. You have done an outstanding job. Enjoy this most wonderful festival

jacquie said...

great story and fun quilt. next time i'm in nyc i'm going cruising for garbage bags full of fabric!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow what a great way to start a stash. Your quilt is fabulous.

Ozquilter said...

Great quilt, great story

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Great quilt! who doesn't love free fabric!! thanks for sharing :)

AnnieO said...

It's a great thing to succeed at getting what you love into an entire quilt! I like plaids too and also use flannel on the back of my quilts a lot. It's so cozy but not too heavy, has a nice drape, and is sooo soft. Congratulations on your finish after such a long wait.

stitchinpenny said...

What a beautiful quilts.

SewCalGal said...

You are very talented. Beautiful quilt. Great use of color & design.

Thank you for sharing!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Lisa D. said...

Love your quilt with that surprising flannel back. Very cool.

Mary L. said...

Terrific quilt and story!

Vicki said...

What a cool story. That is another quilt block I'd like to try someday. I really like the colors you used.

Mary-Kay said...

I love your "flannel" quilt. It looks so warm and cozy. I find that the flannel quilts in my house are the ones that are used the most.

Laura said...

Great quilt! I'm wondering how the flannel is wearing. I've only used flannel on the back of quilts.

Valerie Reynolds said...

I agree a flannel quilt is a double hug. I was cuddled under the one I made my husband...thinking I need to make me one of these!! Thanks for rejuinvating your plaidy goodness at Tuesday Archives Viv!:)