Monday, November 11, 2013

Storybook Quilt

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I wasn’t even planning to make this quilt.  I had a different one all laid out, ready to cut.  I was in the fabric cupboard looking for something else when these fabrics kind of asserted themselves, and I was reminded of a beautiful storybook quilt that Gill made awhile ago, and also of a lovely vintage quilt in a child’s bedroom magazine photo I saw a long time ago, in a room with teal walls and a basket chair hanging from the ceiling, and so I tossed all plans aside and started cutting.

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Not that I need any more quilts, but that will never stop me. They always find a purpose. This one is made with project orphan fabrics mixed with a couple treasures (bought at Purl in New York, oh swoon) and thrifted fat quarters, and wool batting.  It is hand-quilted by me using #5 perle cotton and a big needle with big stitches.  I proudly figured out how to make what I now know are called HSTs without having to calculate square roots or use any pythagorean theorems or anything, although it turns out the proper math on an HST still isn’t tidy and the amount you add to your finished size before cutting is 7/8” which doesn’t make sense at all to this dabbler, but there is much to learn, and I am determined to keep learning it.  Anyhoo. 

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The wind was howling directly into my bare eyeballs as we threw the quilt over the iron gate of what I wish you all would imagine is a spooky and abandoned mental institution (alas, it is not) and tears streamed down my face unchecked as I photographed it.  It appeared to passersby to be the saddest quilt photo shoot in the history of such things.   In fact, it was just the opposite, because this is the most cheerful quilt I have ever imagined.  My trusty assistant thought so, too.

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“Should I get in the picture? “ he said, hopping over the short wall and crouching behind the quilt.  He is quite enjoying his new career as Craft Blog Model.  Well, he is awfully photogenic.  

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Don’t even look at that icky binding.  Memo to self:  it is always worth the extra fabric to cut on the bias.  Quit trying to save a nickel!  If ever again I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter, and that cutting with the grain is easier, faster, and saves fabric, I will look at that picture and cut on the bias, I promise.  Grandma would agree, it is worth the effort.  She’d be proud of this, though:

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Check out those triangle points.  Hoo!  That’s a thrill every time. 

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I love it that making a new quilt now also involves me trying to think where there’s a mossy stone wall/dirty bridge piling/rusty iron gate/graffiti-covered dumpster where I can chuck the quilt over the edge of something beat up so I can take pictures of it.  I love it that the quest for rustic quilt shoot locations always leads to a road trip.  I blame Kaffe. 

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It started to rain a little. 

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The rain had a freezing, chunky quality.  That’s enough, I’m cold.  Let’s get coffee.

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32 comments:

  1. It looks amazing love how you took it out and about to photograph it :-)

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful!!!!!!
    I love it Kristen, i love the cheerful jumble of colours and prints that make it totally unique and artistic, not studied or too colour-matched perfect like many quilts today. Am impressed with your precision points, and your eye for colour did the rest.
    To me it embodies what a quilt is all about, something made with love, something warm, something useful and something thrifty, using up whatever scraps of fabric that you have (well of course we buy new ones too!)
    Thanks for the link Kristen, I'm chuffed to have played a small part in inspiring your Storybook quilt.
    Gill xx

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  3. So beautiful, I am in awe of your sewing and knitting abilities! Your points, photography, quilting, fabric choices, and choice of model and location are all perfect. Hope you enjoy lots of snuggles under your new treasure with your lovely craft model. xx

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  4. The quilt turned out great! And your photo shoot is wonderful.

    Bias binding doesn't have to waste fabric. http://www.ehow.com/how_5033624_make-bias-binding.html Personally, I don't mind straight-of-grain binding, but I do like it to be a bit wider (3" strips double-folded) so that it is easier to turn. If I'm making bias binding, I make lots of it at one time in a color that will work for multiple quilts. (Especially appropriate at this time of the year when I've made three or four similar quilts for Christmas gifts.)

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    1. I always make way more than I need too, and sometimes piece the leftovers together for a scrappy binding. I can never have too much scrappiness! :)

      No, bias binding doesn't waste fabric, but it makes the leftovers into a bunch of triangles.

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  5. I really love your quilt and I wish I could make something like this, the mass of colours are beautiful, you are a very talented lady

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  6. The quilt is gorgeous, so glad you hubby likes to be part of the whole photo shoot, he is a keeper.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  7. Beyond awesome Kristen! I love HST's. They are so easy to make. Scrappy quilts are the absolute best hand down. And your new blog model did a very fine job. Keep hiring him. :)

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  8. It's gorgeous. Now I want to make one :-)

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  9. How do you do it all and so QUICKLY?? I've been working on the quilt I'm making (my second) for a bit now and the knitted blanket has semi-temporarily fallen by the wayside. I think you must be some sort of ninja who needs no sleep. I imagine your needles/machine whizzing in a blur. However, I'm not bitter. Yet. Love your stuff. Love your blog. No idea what HSthings are, but looking forward to finding out! Jen PS I blame Kaffe for most things, fabric & yarn related. x

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    1. HST= half square triangles. I didn't know that either, until last week. :)

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  10. love x 100! it is so pretty and you are so amazing, the points your hand stitches and your delightful model ;)
    enjoy!!

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  11. I think it's a wonderful quilt - hand quilting and wool batting. Wow The pictures are amazing, too, especially the pretty leaves.

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  12. It is the cheeriest quilt!! Love that he's such a good sport about modeling for your crafts!

    - J

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  13. It's absolutely beautiful. Well done.

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  14. i love it!!! and i know just what you mean by the "storybook" quilt. there's one i have that i think of like that.

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  15. It's lovely, really lovely. I took a quilt and a blanket to the (very muddy) riverbank the other day to photograph. I was terrified I was going to fall over the edge at one point, or at the very least drop the blanket into the thick mud six feet below. I think taking the photos is one of the best bits though!

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  16. I really like the fact you try new things and no matter how they turn out, it really is okay. Like you I love learning and trying new things and make mistakes too, but keep right on going....the quilt is beautiful.

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  17. What a beauty, it's just gorgeous xox Penny

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  18. I love your quilt! I hope when it comes time for me to cut my stash for a scrappy quilt that it looks as colorful and cheerful as yours! :) I always cut my squares out as a whole number and then trim to half - no 7/8 measuring...life is too short!! :) I love the June Tailor hst ruler to size up though...makes it a joy! :)

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  19. Gorgeous quilt - genius post!! Love it and what a great assistant you have :o) Sam xx

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  20. Love the quilt! I just stumbled across this on Ravelry and immediately thought it looked like something that ought to belong to you: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/happypotamus-the-happy-hippo-crochet-pattern

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  21. May your quilt have a long and wonderful life and be part of many, many happy memories.

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  22. I adore it! And I blame Kaffe for a lot of things too, not just the rustic photo shoot. :)

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  23. Wow Kristen I LOVE it!! And you used wool batting, my fav. All those fabrics are so yummy together, Kaffe would be proud. I confess to never using bias binding unless I'm making something with curved sides. I join my binding on an angle, but always cut on the straight of grain, and sew on with my walking foot, which is a huge help.
    I bet you could sell tickets to your photo shoots :)

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  24. I don't know which I like better ... your finished quilts & knitty things, or your quick witted commentaries on things like photo shoots ;) Gorgeous quilt! Of course your grandmother would be proud. Wendy

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  25. Love the dress Kirsten., but the quilt is absolutely gorgeous...
    Another master piece :)

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