Friday, June 22, 2012

It's a Blue Ribbon quilt!

CN Binding

Coming back down to earth after a few hectic months. And a dose of the flu!

demolition 1moving again

This year not only did we demolish and rebuild our house, move twice, work hard and have our eldest start high school but I also managed to squeeze in some quilt making!
A very special quilt which I've been wanting to tackle since I first opened the pages of Chuck Nohara's 2001 New Patchwork Patterns.

Chuck Nohara book

During such a busy year there is no way I could have done this on my own. Fortunately, it was my turn to pick a project for our annual group entry for the NSW Quilters Guild Sydney Show. And fortunately my friends went along with me and made some amazing blocks for the quilt.

Each month we met and I distributed patterns and sometimes helped with fabric choices to keep the quirky vibe.

photo by Kerry Brack

As the blocks piled higher and higher it seemed like we might actually make it to the June deadline!

CN crosses

Originally nobody thought we could make a baby Symbol Quilt with the original sashing and border. But I had my heart set on those gorgeous little plus blocks and the wacky pineapple border.

Symbol Quilt photo

Chuck Nohara’s Symbol Quilt is a massive 6 metres by 4 metres!

Just call me crazy and an optimist and surrounded by talented friends. I redesigned the border and sashings to simplify the piecing. The original border was way to big for our 121 5" blocks.

Reversing the dark/ light balance on the border better frames the smaller quilt (mind you it's still big at 230cm x 230cm). The original border is pale blue with white "pineapples" or crowns.

My fabric choices were a bit of a worry to the others. The fine teal pinstripe (Just Wing It) did prove a nightmare to cut and piece. But again I knew I had one of the most talented technicians on the job! Maree I couldn't have done it without you. Your precision and perseverance to paper piece all 44 border blocks and magic some corner blocks into existence whilst I crazily sewed over 600 crosses nudged this quilt over the line.
I think the teal border works because nearly half the crosses are blues. And the 144 corner stones are all orange. I think that pulls it all together.

When it looked like we might actually have a quilt to enter this year I started thinking about quilting. No way could I have gone this quilt justice. Even if I had another year to handquilt I would have struggled with the heavy and large top. So many seams, so much appliqué. Luckily Michele Turner of Pinetree Cottage Quilting agreed to machine quilt A Symbol Recomposed. I had seen her beautiful finish on various Dear Jane quilts, her treatment of miniature blocks respects the maker and the design.

Together we came up with quilting designs for the tricky sashings and borders. As a final nod to this special quilt Michele stitched the name of the quilt ( A Symbol Recomposed), the women who made the blocks ( Maree Blanchard, Kerry Brack, Lorena Uriarte and Loloma Wren) the quilter's name ( Michele Turner) and the woman who inspired this quilt ( Chuck Nohara) into the sashings. Barely visible but hopefully many years down the track a record of the women who were part of this gorgeous quilt.
And now the year is over, the quilt was hung, a blue ribbon was won. The quilt is safely home to be enjoyed by family and friends.
On to planning next year's entry. Our fifth one, Kerry's choice again. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention. This year my daughter entered her first quilt in the Show. And won 2nd place in the Under12 category. Well done Fia on your beautiful quilt! This is Fia’s blog if you want to see more on how she made her quilt.

Sofia's Colour Bursts