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


  1. Just beautiful Lorena, I do like the colours you have used much better than the original, but wow, it is still a BIG quilt isn't it?

    It makes me wish I had gone to the Sydney show now, so I could have seen it in more detail. From your pictures on the blog, I can see the quilting enhances the blocks but doesn't overshadow the piecing and applique, and there has been a wonderful variety of fabrics used as well.

    1. The Show was spectacular this year. So many beautiful quilts. So many talented people putting in so many hours to exhibit their art / craft.

  2. Wow, your quilt is fabulous, really inspirational. I love the intricate detail and the colours :)

  3. That's amazing! I saw your post on those little cross blocks and didn't know what they were for. This is a work of art! Congrats!

  4. this is the most fabulous quilt!, there is just so much to look at. congrats on the ribbon.

  5. Amazing quilt and what a great story of how you made it together. I actually loved the fabrics you picked. You used some of my absolute favourites!!

  6. That is such a lovely quilt... Love it.

  7. It's just wonderful Lorena!! Those mini pluses are too gorgeous! Congrats on such a well deserved prize!

  8. Wow, hands down to you in the creation of this lovely and stunning quilt. Sewing in slow time is good for me, I'm so happy to others adopting a less stressful way to quilt and sew.

  9. Fia,

    Well done Fia! You are off to the races with a winning start. I love your quilt. Hope you have young friends who quilt too?

  10. This is so beautiful! You all did a fabulous job. I would love to attempt this one day. How did you choose your colors for your blocks that they look so perfect together?

  11. So much incredible work. Amazing what can be done when you keep going, especially with friends to work with.

  12. What an amazing quilt, so much work and creativity. I got here from Venezuela via Pinterest and Flickr, sad to say Chuck Nohara's book is not for sale on (U.S.A.) This quilt reminded me of Dear Jane gone mad, in a nice way of course. I shall now try to follow your blog on Bloglovin to keep up with your next projects. Congratulations on the blue ribbon, well deserved.

  13. Gorgeous quilt. And brilliant quilting on it too. Well done. I finally laid my eyes on the book today, and worked out what all this "Chuck Nohara" was all about. LOL Silly me did not realise until today this was the name of the author!

  14. That is an amazing border and quilt. What width is the sashing?

  15. That is an amazing border and quilt. What width is the sashing?