Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Early to Bed, Early to Rise" Quilt: Finished at Last!

I've been working on my great-nephew Mac's quilt off and on for several months. His dad Brian is my sister Kathy 's 4th son.  Kathy cross-stitched this quilt for Brian when he was a little boy, a quilt he took to daycare.  Brian's wife Linda showed me the quilt a year or more ago and asked if I could somehow rehabilitate it. Though the embroidered pictures were still intact and the thread colors as bright as new, the body of the quilt was worn, full of holes, the backing falling off, and the batting inside was lumpy and hard.

The repair took longer than I expected. First, I cut out the motifs, cut the backing away, and pulled out most of the lumpy batting. Then I ironed the pictures to some fusible fleece, to strengthen the fragile fabric on which Kathy had done the embroideries.  Next I reassembled the quilt, joining the pictures with two fabrics from my stash that seemed to fit the theme—a night sky one for the "early to bed" section and a rising sun for the "early to rise" part. Originally, the quilt had those words cross-stitched in a panel, but I decided to embroider the complete nursery rhyme, using a simpler straight stitch.

A friend recommended that I embellish the quilt with some appliqués, so I added the new moon and the sun.

 I used the fusible  fleece as batting. I chose a pastel nursery rhyme flannel for the quilt back and then machine quilted simply. Only  today have I completed the repair task, attaching the green binding and making a label for the quilt.

Next week, I will mail this off to Mac. I'm sure Brian and Linda will be pleased that the little quilt has been reborn!  I hope that Mac becomes as attached to it as his dad was in its original form.  (You can click on the pictures to enlarge to see more detail.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Stone Arch Bell Gate Quilt

The photograph at the left was taken in a small park in Austin where my cousin Carol got married. It became the inspiration for my first art quilt, which I call The Stone Arch Bell Gate. I made this quilt in 2008, the first time I attended Quilting Adventures in New Braunfels. That year I was in a class taught by Esterita Austin.

 She had instructed us to bring photos of "portals." I used batiks  for the stones in the arch and did some fabric painting for highlights on both the stones and the foliage behind the gate. We used the raw-edge method of appliqué for all of the components of the quilt, fusing the appliqués to a black background with Esterita's product Misty Fuse. This quilt, as are so many of my quilts, was machine quilted by my good friend and quilter par excellance, Judy Steward. It now hangs in the stairwell of our new house.