Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival Entry - Spring 2014

I wasn't sure I'd finish this project in time to make the festival but luckily I made it!  The festival is being hosted by the wonderful woman who pioneered this festival six years ago,  Martingale author Amy Ellis.  This will be the fourth time I've had something ready to actually enter in the festival but I always make sure to view the entries because you get to see so many great projects and find great new blogs to follow and inspire you.

My entry this time is my "Sweet Land of Liberty" wall hanging which fits in the Small Quilts category.

This is the full on finished shot but here's another one so you can see the quilting detail:

The Basics:   
 My quilt finished at 34" x 39" to fit the space I want to hang it in and to best utilize the fussy cut print I used for the center.  It is based on the "Liberty Hall" pattern from the Summer 2008 "Easy Quilts" magazine issue and was designed by Jill Reid (who I was sorry to hear just passed away recently).  I recently saw this same pattern featured in the new "Best of Fons & Porter - Patriotic Quilts" book published by Leisure Arts.  The quilt was designed to be 54" x 63" so I had to adjust my block, header and letter sizes accordingly.  All the fabric used is from stash.  It is layered with wool batting (I used leftovers from another project) to help make the center motifs "pouf" up:

You can stop here if you like and if so follow this link back to the Small Quilts page of the Festival so you can check out the rest of the projects being displayed and thank you for visiting!  However, if you are interested in a little "process" blogging, feel free to continue on!    

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The Process Details:  

Every quilt has a story and made a journey to its completion and this one is no exception.  The journey for this quilt started back in 2002 when I first started quilting.  Right off the bat I liked red, white and blue quilts so part of my very first fabric order was a "Lady Liberty Half Yard Sampler" from a Quilts & Other Comforts catalog.  There were the obligatory red, white and blue prints in the sampler but also this one (which I've since learned was from the "Peace & Plenty- Quilts For A Cure" line):

 At the time, I didn't know what I might use the print for but much later I saw the "Liberty Hall" pattern in "Easy Quilts" magazine.

The original quilt used a printed panel for the center but I just knew my "Liberty" print would make a great substitution.  When we moved a few years ago, I realized I now also had a good spot for this wall hanging and decided last June that it was finally time to make it.  Over time, I had collected many R/W/B fabrics.  One in particular was the Brown and Red Stripe with Stars print used in the header of the quilt which as soon as I saw it, thought it was perfect for this project since it would allow me to eliminate the appliqued stars in the header in the pattern.  I was able to pull everything else I needed also from stash.  When it came time to add the letters in the header, I wanted something different and decided to fussy cut them from the cream stripes in this Anna Griffin fabric leftover from another project from four years ago:

with this result:

Unfortunately, once I got the top and backing done and layered, it sat around for a long while since I had a lot of  older UFOs that I was also trying to eliminate.  Having gotten many done in the last six months, I was finally ready to vanquish this one as well.  I had recently purchased some straight and curved rulers for quilting (based on this review) which I used on another recent project and thought I would use a lot on this project as well.  But I actually only used the curved ruler to free motion quilt the spines of the feathers and only used the straight ruler to help guide the walking foot when I was stitching over the plain fabric squares and rectangles (when I quilted over the nine-patches I just eyeballed it from corner to corner).  The hardest quilting was the close stippling done around the center "panel" motifs (as seen in the picture in "the Basics" section).  It was a lot of stops and starts since the backgrounds around all the elements weren't always connected.  

I added the red border between the header and the body of the quilt and around the center "panel" because I felt they needed the extra separation after I began laying out the blocks on my design wall.  But because I had already worked out all the adjusted measurements, I couldn't add in a traditional skinny border since it would throw everything off.  So what you see is just a thin strip of fabric folded in half (wrong sides together) and stitched between the seams.  The curved corners in the center "panel" was from a circle, faced and cut into quarters and also inserted into the seam. What you see finishes to a little less than 1/4" so as not to cover up too much of the print details.

In the end, it should also be noted that the center print inspired the name change for the quilt from what it was called in the pattern.  All the "bountiful" motifs in the print reminded me of the second verse of the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee".  I was disappointed that I wasn't able to use all the motifs from the print in the front of the quilt but I was able to incorporate the ones I couldn't use into the label area on the back of the quilt.

 I am also very happy to have finished this since it was also on my 2nd Quarter Finish-A-Long list.

If you've stayed with me this long, I thank you very much for looking back with me on the journey of this quilt.  I hope you enjoyed the visit and hope you enjoy all the rest of the Quilt Festival entries!!


Anonymous said...

I love this piece. Everything about it is just wonderful.

CitricSugar said...

Beautiful detail work!

SarahZ said...

This is wonderful!! I love little 9 patches and the quilting is just beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing the details!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Visiting from Val's Tuesday Archives linky! Your Liberty wall hanging is wonderful! I bet you enjoy displaying it every year!

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Perfect post to rejuvenate this week at Tuesday Archives. It's always fun to look back at past projects.

Angie in SoCal said...

This is great, Vivian. I think I'll put it on my bucket list cuz I think I have another patriotic medallion I can use in place of Lady Liberty - had only one of those. Thanks so much for sharing.