Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

I thought I’d share my Amy quilt for Amy’s quilt festival ;-)
The name refers to a different Amy though – Amy Butler - and the quilt is made entirely from her fabric line Ginger Bliss. I usually name my quilts, but his one has just remained my ”Amy Butler quilt” all along, not getting a name of it’s own. This is one of the first big quilts I have made that I kept for myself, and I don’t think I could bear to part with it, to tell you the truth. Just looking at it gives me a happy feeling.


I first became aware of this fabric line when it was on its way out, being replaced by her next one, and supplies were dwindling in the shops. I was bowled over and ended up on a mad shopping spree, buying pieces of all designs and colourways I could find on different websites around the world. After a few hectic weeks I had amassed a sizeable pile of fabric and just knew I wanted to include all prints in one quilt, and that to give the fabric the starring role, it would have to be a quilt in a simple design. I found one I liked in this book, a simple four-patch design with large squares. This was quite a departure from the way I had been working up till that point – no templates or intricate blocks, just speedy cutting and stitching together. Until then I had also made it a point to mix fabric from different lines, and come up with my own combos.

There was just something about these fabrics that told me they had to be together. And to tell you the truth, there weren’t all that many fabrics in my stash that would have gone well with these, as most of my fabric until then was very bright or saturated. I did think that Kaffe Fassett’s Lotus Flower print in pastel might work as a companion, and ended up using that as a border on the pieced backing. Yes, there’s a pieced backing too – the first time I went down that road as well (a lot of firsts here!). I wanted to use as much of the fabric as I could in one quilt, having bought so much of it, and I had also wanted to try the “stack and slash” method, so that’s what I did for the backing. The quilt is heavily quilted in a spiralling rose pattern with light pink rayon thread, emphasizing the floral theme. I finished it off with a teal binding fabric.
So what is it about these fabrics and this quilt that I love so much? I know there is a childhood memory in there, but I’m a bit fuzzy about the details. It all has to do with my grandparents’ big trip to Italy when I was four. I still remember the day they came home. It was a big event, and the whole family went to the station to meet them. I seem to remember my grandmother in a new floral dress, and this being the late sixties; there might have been a resemblance to this in the retro style of the fabrics in my quilt. I also remember being given a wonderful pink straw hat, which was put on my head right there, at the station, so they must have been carrying it in their hand luggage, eagerly waiting to give it to me. There was such a happy feeling to that day that it has stuck in my memory. Part of it was being reunited with my lovely grandparents (they lived in the same house, so I was used to seeing them every day). Come to think of it, this was also probably their first holiday abroad together – my grandfather was in the merchant navy, so when he came home, they preferred going to their house in the country on my grandmother’s time off. They had apparently had a very good time, because I remember them as being very happy and almost radiant – maybe it was like their second honeymoon (or actually their first, since they were thrown straight into a demanding everyday life when they married in 1928). My grandmother’s taste in fabric and colour sense might be part of the mix too. As I said, I can’t pinpoint the exact thing, but somehow, looking at this quilt evokes memories of glorious summer days, my grandparents and Italy. Italy has always seemed like a magical place to me, and I have visited the country several times, and the fabric also reminds of these trips. Hm, I’ve just thought of a name for it – I think I’ll call this my Italian Bliss quilt, now how about that?

PS. That same day at the station also inspired another little project – it must have been an awesome day…

9 comments :

Lis said...

It's beautiful fabric and you've done a stunning job with it.

Deborah said...

It's lovely!

Lonci said...

Very impressive, congratulations:)

Kelli said...

This quilt is gorgeous! What lovley stories that surround it!

Sharon said...

This is such a pretty quilt! I love your story of your grandparents' return from their trip. Your big learning experience on this quilt turned out great!

I love the Possibilities books. They're so well-written and easy to understand. I own many of them!

GLÒRIA said...

Very beautiful quilt!!!
Happy Festival!!!n

SewCalGal said...

Lovely quilt. Beautiful fabrics and colors.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Sandra said...

what a simply elegant quilt. Can't go wrong with squares and purple.
Come see my antique entries
http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com
http://starleyquilts.blogspot.com

Candi said...

You're quilt is beautiful and has such great inspiration behind it! I love Amy Butler too - she creates such pretty fabric.