Monday, September 5, 2011

It's been finished for a few days now..

..since 31 August to be precise. I began it on 11th June 2011. Just under 3 months it took to make this king sized Dresden Plate quilt for my sister. I watched all six seasons of LOST in the making of this quilt. That is a lot of LOST. How I miss Sawyer!

It measures 98" x 98" so I hope like crazy it is big enough for her bed. I didn't get her to measure it as I really wanted it to be a surprise. We have a large queen sized and it's way too big for our bed :( I don't think it'll be dropping to the floor or anything crazy but I hope they can use it as a bedspread.
A labour of love that's for sure.
Why? Why did a novice like me think it would be a good idea to tackle something so ambitious as this quilt?
I have no training. Aside from a bit of sewing at school when I was a kid and mostly supervised by my Mum (who is a super-crafty person by the way) I have picked up a lot of this quilty business from the web. Not having any ideas about how things "should" be done I am breaking no rules and so go about my sewing happily oblivious. I am certain there are easier, more fabric conserving, better methods but I am working it out. The process is important of course, but if at the end of your efforts you have something beautiful and warm and snuggly who really cares how it was achieved?

I used this fantastic tutorial to make the Dresden Plates. I made the initial one so I'd have an idea of how long it was going to take me to make each one, then I sent a pic to my sis to be 100% that this is what she meant. Yep!

Back to the why.
After making both my Mum and little sis quilts for their birthdays in May I kind of expected my other sister to ask for one. I felt ready to tackle something a little bigger than the lap quilts I had already made. I had no idea she would ask for a king sized Dresden Plate quilt. This is how it went down back in June;
Me " What would you like for your birthday?"
She "Ooooh a king sized quilt for my bed"
Me " OK. Any ideas about what you'd like?"
She innocently "Mmmmm, those ones where the love hearts (??!!) all join up and make a flower"
Me (gulp , feeling of dread as I realize I think she means Dresden Plate, a king size!Really!)"Alrighty, maybe you should have a look on the net and send me some pics of what you like"
She "OK"

Minutes after this conversation I got a text that simply read, "I think it's called Dresden Plate."

I'll try and get some snaps of the whole quilt when I have another pair of hands. I really didn't want it sliding off into the dirt. That would have been rubbish. In many of the photos I am very busy ensuring this doesn't happen.
As I said in a previous post, I really only bought the cream background fabric and the batting especially for this quilt. All the petal fabrics are scraps, fat quarters or pretty little bits I've been hoarding for years. The binding fabric is something I picked up at the local craft shop on sale, and just because a red check is cute. The backing, all 11m of it, cost me a couple of bucks in a second hand shop in Newtown years ago.

I am so very proud of this quilt. I do have a habit of embarking on huge, ambitious projects like this ( hexie madness is just another one!) and because I am so unsure of myself, my skills, my patience I don't go out and spend a fortune on fabrics and make the 'ultimate' quilt. I kid myself that it is a practice quilt. Yep, a 25 Dresden Plate, king sized PRACTICE quilt. It would be beautiful in all the stunning 'designer' fabrics I am coveting online but this is a quilt from the heart. Made of scraps that my Mum had hoarded for years before I pinched them. My sister will recognize many of these fabrics. There is one petal of my favourite all time material. it's a navy Liberty of London, I think cherries, I had enough for one lonely petal, but it's in there! And let's be real, quilts originally were about using what was on hand, old blankets, jackets, curtains, whatever.

I am now ready to make an 'ultimate' quilt. I have a birthday coming up and have spent hours agonising and drooling over the pretty bundles that are available. I have purchased some Amy Butler, a lot of Amy Butler (Daisy chain and lotus lines) actually, and some Heather Bailey Popgarden and Bijoux. I have got on this particular wagon a bit late I think as many of the prints I love (and everyone else obviously loved) are available in scant quantities. But I am on it now, so next time I see something I love I will snatch it up.

The goal for the rest of this week is to piece together the rest of the orange-grey-blue quilt for my hubby and get it ready for sandwiching and quilting by the end of the weekend. Meanwhile I am plugging away at the hexagons, they are filling the gap the completion of the Dresden created.

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