My Mom has been purging items from her home for a while now. Among those items were five unfinished Quilts. This quilt was one of the five. To get started with the project I familiarized myself with the pattern’s design, and instructions then worked to get my bearings on which steps were left to complete. From there it was just a matter of time before the bag of parts were assembled into a quilt top.
The quilt, as designed by the author, was supposed to have two borders. I made the decision to only use one. I quilted the body of the French Cottage Garden by echoing around the half-square triangles.
In the border I stitched a continuous line of improv triangles to carry through the quilt’s theme.
The backing of the quilt is a soft green fabric with a floral design.
This last photo makes it easier to identify my stitch patterns. With this quilt finished I have only one more to reveal. That quilt shall have it’s day very soon.
Thank you so much for sharing your time. I look forward to our next visit!
Harvest Melody is another one of the unfinished quilts I inherited from my Mom. When I received the quilt the majority of the pattern pieces had already been cut out and some of the components had been stitched together.
Picking-up where my Mom had left off I finished assembling the remaining pieces to create the quilt top. The pattern was designed to include more than one border. Rather than attaching all of them I decided to only add one. I used left over fabrics to piece it together.
To quilt Harvest Melody I echoed around the leaves. A pattern of continuous square swirls was stitched in the border. For a binding I used a purple fabric. On the back is a fabric with multiple colored squares. Lucky for me I had this fabric in my stash which is always a bonus. Take a look!
Before starting the process of completing this quilt I wasn’t particularly fond of it. The colors in the quilt as well as the pattern are not something I would be drawn to. I am, after all, an improv quilter at heart. However, I must say that my opinion of the quilt morphed dramatically after it was quilted. The designs created by the stitching added a layer of drama that greatly enhanced the quilt’s design. While still not one of my favorites, I am happy with it’s outcome and am honored to have it for my own.
Pam’s Nine Patch Garden is one of the quilts I inherited from my Mom. I first introduced my readers to this quilt eons ago. Way back in March of 2017 I had the pleasure of spending a number of days at the Woodland Ridge Retreat Center in Menomonie, Wisconsin. While there, aside from many excursions, my attention was focused on five quilts passed on to me by my Mom. All of them were in various stages of completion. If you would like to read about my adventures at the Center you will find them here. My original story about this quilt can be found here.
This quilt is extra special to me for two reasons. First, my Mom is a big fan of flowers. My Mom is well-known for turning the majority of her lawn into garden space. Those gardens were always overflowing with flowers. Her love for gardening and for flowers was passed on to me.
The second reason is because my Mother is also an avid cross-stitcher as well as a seasoned embroiderer. This quilt has twelve blocks that have been hand embroidered by my Mom. All of them are of various flowers, many of which she has grown in her own gardens. Her love for flowers along with her talent for stitchery are why this quilt is dear to my heart.
When I received the quilt, in it’s plastic package, the twelve embroidered blocks were all that were finished. Not yet assembled were the twelve nine-patch blocks. Included with these items were several lengths of multiple fabrics. Whether or not they were meant to be used for the 12 remaining blocks was unclear. My Mom’s recollections on the status of her quilts is sketchy.
Since I wasn’t really fond of the enclosed fabrics I decided to go out on my own to select options I felt seemed more appropriate. I pulled specimen after specimen from my fabric stash to audition as candidates. By the time I had finished I had accumulated enough fabric to complete all twelve blocks with fabric to spare.
I chose a variety of fabrics from the green, yellow, orange, white and blue families. The fabrics were adorned with flowers, birds as well as catchy phrases that seemed to match well with the quilt’s theme. Among the phrases or words of encouragement were:
find true love
have more fun
make a quilt for my children
One even has a mini bucket list printed on it.
With my fabric choices conquered it was time to create the nine-patch blocks. Typically I would assemble strip sets to create them. In this case I wanted to be more strategic in the arrangement of these fabrics. I wanted to make certain I had a well-rounded distribution of color as well as printed phrases. To facilitate this outcome I individually cut squares and hand placed them in groupings of nine. Once I was satisfied I stitched them together.
The embroidered blocks and the nine-patch blocks were then laid out on a table and juggled around until I was satisfied with the appearance. They too were then stitched together into rows and finally into one piece.
To the 24 blocks I added first a small border of hand-dyed orange fabric. Next I added an over-dyed border of blue. With the last border in place it was time to load the quilt onto my longarm machine for quilting.
Since it is obviously impossible to pack up and take my machine along on trips, I think my husband would shoot me if I asked him to do that, the quilting had to wait until a later date.
Fast-forward to December of 2017. This was the first opportunity I had to even contemplate accomplishing this task. I chose a pretty floral batik from my inventory to serve as the quilt’s backing. After loading my carefully pressed top, batting and the batik on my machine I set to work adding a variety of stitches.
In the outermost border I stitched a swirly pattern using a color coordinated thread. The bright orange border was treated with a soft flowing line of cream colored stitches. In the nine-patch blocks I stitched a meander of angular lines. To polish off the remaining blocks I first added a row of stitching around the outer border. Next I echoed around each of the flowers giving them a dimensional appearance with the same cream colored thread.
Curious what the stitching looks like from the back?
This last photo was included for three reasons:
I wanted to give you a closeup of a flower block so that you could see both the embroidery as well as the longarm quilting
I thought you might like to see one of the nine-patch squares with the phrase, “make a quilt for each of my children” and most of all because
The sunflower is my all-time favorite flower. I was tickled pink to see that an embroidered sunflower was incorporated into the pattern.
Combined together I believe all of my added touches created a magnificent quilt; one with which my Mom would be well pleased. I did have the chance to show it to her early in December of 2017. She was overjoyed to see the quilt and extremely thrilled with its outcome. I asked if she remembered doing the embroidery and she did.
I set myself a goal to finish all five of my Mom’s quilts before she is no longer with us. She’s getting on in years so I know the timeframe I have to work with is limited. Finishing this one meant I was one step closer to reaching my goal.
I am very happy to say that the other four, one of which was The American Flag Picnic Throw, have been completed as well. I will share their stories in the coming weeks.
This wraps up the story of my Mom’s Nine-Patch quilt. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about its history as much as I have enjoyed sharing it. They say that behind every quilt is a story. This quilt is certainly no exception.
Thank you for spending time with me as I revealed this story. I’m so glad we had the opportunity! Be watching for the quilt number three of five.