Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Quilt Show Saturday

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Dear Ann,
Yesterday I sent my latest quilt off to meet its destiny. I handquilted it, so it had become a good friend. When I finish knitting a sweater, I cannot stand to look at it for a while. I’m over that sweater. Quilts are not like that. The more time I spend with a quilt, the more I like it, warts and all.
I would like to thank Janet Bolton for the powerful inspiration, and apologize to her if I’ve gotten her all wrong or copied her style too directly. Thanks to Janet Bolton, I have crossed “applique” off the list of Quilting Things I’m Not Interested In. Ditto for “handquilting”. The magic of handquilting is how the surface of the quilt is transformed before your eyes. It makes the colors change too. I can’t explain this. It seems to change the play of light, sort of a dapple effect.
(I still love sending a quilt out for machine-quilting. When you get it back, it’s like, “Hey! Somebody made me a QUILT! How come they didn’t bind it?”)
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The quilt is for a baby, represented by a small bird in a wood-grain nest. (AW!)
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Baby seems fine with his depiction.
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Baby’s initial and the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel Tower was cut from a souvenir dishtowel. It symbolizes the hope that Baby will go on many trips and wait in long lines for famous tourist attractions, at least the ones that are worth waiting in long lines for (and the quilter believes that the Tour Eiffel qualifies).
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Dad bird got his initial. (Quilter is sentimental. Quilters have that prerogative. If you want to see corny, Mom bird fabric is a Liberty print with knitting needles on it. Double AW!)
This little quilt really helped me with my skills. I feel like I could teach a class in the double-fold binding now. (Signups will be posted!) I love doing that part. My free-hand quilting has also gotten about as far as it’s likely to get, given my love of the random and the imperfect. I don’t think I’ll ever cross “marking a complicated quilting pattern” off my list of quilting things I’ll never do. I’m too seat-of-the-pants for that. If I want a perfect quilting job, I’ll get it machine-quilted. There are many things I’d have done differently, design-wise, but I have so little time for quilting that I’ve made an executive decision not to indulge in do-overs. I do my best and move on.
Another quilting thing I said I’d never do was “buy an old quilt top on Etsy”.
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Oh well.
The rest of this weekend is all about the knitting. Monteagle Bag and picking the yarn for my Belinda Wrap, which is going to be hard–probably the hardest thing about that project.
Happy weekend, everybody!
Love,
Kay

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. You should be really proud, Kay, of your work. The quilt looks wonderful. What a lucky baby!

  2. Kay, when it comes to textile arts you are the single most inspiring person for me. This quilt is beautiful in an ‘oh God oh God’ way.
    Right this minute I am log-cabinning Kureyon (again).
    There are just not enough days in a lifetime for all the things you make me want to try.

  3. Unbelievably gorgeous, and something I’ll never do. Lucky baby.

  4. Hey, the I Am Too Cute For Words baby is wearing Rowan Denim! Obviously, he is already on his way to being Mr. GQ.
    The I Am Too Cute For Words quilt is precious–lots of visual stimulation there for baby. This is going to be a much-loved quilt. It took me a while to figure out what that was above the Eiffel Tower–a flying machine! I also love the sentiments you thoughtfully appli-kayed on the quilt. They’re sure to be a hit with the mom and dad too.
    So, are your fingers sore from all that hand quilting? In my long-gone energetic days of yore, I machine pieced and hand quilted a queen-sized quilt for my sister and brother-in-law’s Christmas gift. Talk about sore fingers–I have never gotten the hang of using a thimble! I guess it was worth the pain; every year since, it is on their bed for the whole month of December.
    Mary G. in Texas

  5. Beautiful design and execution! Wish I could see that quilt in person – I could get happily lost in the texture, for sure!
    Did you somehow transfer a newspaper clipping to fabric?
    Really, really wish I could see it at the same close range as the baby. Only vertical :)

  6. Fabbo!! A wonderful interpretation of Janet’s whimsical style. Love the personalized touches, too. I agree, *lucky baby*.
    (I suspected you’d eventually come over to the dark side. Heh.)

  7. I love your quilt!! It makes my hands itchy to make that beautiful fabric again. NOTHING like hand quilting. It becomes altogether new fabric! Nicely done.
    I think I’ll forget shopping, Cooking. walking the dog, sweeping up dog fur and changing the toilet paper so I can quilt and knit like Ann. Have a happy knitting weekend!

  8. Kay, This quilt is FANTASTIC! Congratulations. Makes me itchy to do some hand quilting a la Gee’s Bend.
    Thanks for the inspiration. It’s really great to see someone finish things. I have a wee problem with that. But I’m a very good starter. Major league starter.

  9. Kay, This quilt is FANTASTIC! Congratulations. Makes me itchy to do some hand quilting a la Gee’s Bend.
    Thanks for the inspiration. It’s really great to see someone finish things. I have a wee problem with that. But I’m a very good starter. Major league starter.

  10. Kay, This quilt is FANTASTIC! Congratulations. Makes me itchy to do some hand quilting a la Gee’s Bend.
    Thanks for the inspiration. It’s really great to see someone finish things. I have a wee problem with that. But I’m a very good starter. Major league starter.

  11. Hey, that baby is wearing a hand-knit denim sweater! What a surprise!

  12. Wonderful! I haven’t hand quilted a quilt. (Yet? I don’t know.) Don’t give up on appliqué until you try machine appliqué- the kind with straight stitch, not zig-zag. Gwen Marston mentions it in her books.

  13. Wow! I agree, let’s see more close-ups! I adore Janet Bolton’s work too, but her books are mainly eye candy to me – wish I had your stick-to-it-iveness! All my quilts are still just tops. (Cause many years ago I decided knitting needles were a lot less stabby on the fingers!) Anyway, it’s a beauty!

  14. Your lovely rolling ripples remind me of fine Hawaiian handquilting. It’s a beautiful work, this one. Baby has a nice sweater-friend, too. Am spending the weekend with The New Book and loving it. But I was seeing fair isle circles as I fell asleep–means Big Knitting is percolating into my consciousness–look out! Plus I want a sk8r sweater for myself. You guys!

  15. Your lovely rolling ripples remind me of fine Hawaiian handquilting. It’s a beautiful work, this one. Baby has a nice sweater-friend, too. Am spending the weekend with The New Book and loving it. But I was seeing fair isle circles as I fell asleep–means Big Knitting is percolating into my consciousness–look out! Plus I want a sk8r sweater for myself. You guys!

  16. Sorry about the above, is there something up with the software? Next time I will be more trusting.

  17. I love this so much, Kay. I love to handquilt, too.
    I am officially inspired.

  18. Gorgeous – I esp. love the the fabrics with type on them and the Eiffel tea towel!!!! I immediately thought, WHERE did she find that Eiffel! I have another Monteagle bag in my lap right now – a 4-color version. I’m going to do my Belinda Wrap as a window hanging.

  19. Kay! That is a POWERFUL number of quilting stitches…GREAT job!! Is the adorable baby’s sweater a pattern that is readily available? He reminds me of my little grandboy! LOVE, LOVE your new book…kudos to both of you!

  20. ah yes, kay….just wondering what you were up to! such courage about forging ahead on the hand quilting. it is the sweetest thing……

  21. Wonderful quilt! I am a hand quilter, and it is magic.
    Nice job weaving your spell on this one.

  22. That is just so furkin’ FANTASTIC I could cry. Love it to DEATH. Not to mention the babe in denim sweater. Don’t think I didn’t notice THAT.

  23. That is a very lucky baby (and pair of parents!)! I will have to hold this inspiration inside me until I have the mental (and physical) time to make a quilt too. I have been wanting to, but just have so many other excuses…

  24. The quilt is just awesome. This baby will have a deep and abiding appreciation for beautiful things, and will never guess how this came to be!

  25. Oh my goodness-it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love it so incredibly much-if it were my baby (ooh! and we are in the process of adopting number 4 so we will have one in need of a gifty, just sayin’-heehee) it would by far be my most favorite and cherished gift. The hand madey-ness, the beauty, the simplicity yet complexity of it-it just took my breath away-I REALLY loved it, you should be so proud and pleased!!!!

  26. Your corners are perfect. I’m a fanatic about corners. Bien fait.
    I strictly machine quilt or send it out so I have time to knit, but I may have to reconsider. Your nice textural hand quilting is just yummy. I wish there were 48 hours in a day!

  27. My gawd woman!! That is one astounding piece of quilty beauteousness! Words are not adequate. The hand-quilting is delightfully psychedelic, the triple-aw birds and leafy branches blow my mind… I just can’t go on in this vein, I’m getting verklempt!
    I have to say your message of “do my best, then move on” is finally starting to sink in to this super-Virgo’s moderately OCD, perfectionistic, oh hell I think you get the idea– I am beginning to see how creativity can liberate us from the need for control. You want control? I got your control right here– aboiut a mazillion choices for alla you creative types. Make a sweater top down, sideways, knit a sock inside out, that’s the kind of control I want to revel in. Thank you!!

  28. Oh my word, get that baby off the quilt before he spits up on it or does some other icky baby activity!
    It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

  29. Oh, it’s beautiful! –as is the baby in handknits… During my brief foray into quilting, the only part I enjoyed was the handquilting. Cutting out the pieces and putting them together were just too much like sewing, but making those tiny little stitches — that was fun!

  30. lovely loveing gift

  31. Good grief! How long did the hand quilting take? [Self-disclosing statement meaning... I don't think that's for me.]
    BUT – I love the quilt!

  32. oh my gosh, this is beautiful. And NOW I have to take up handquilting. Thanks a lot.
    No really. All sarcasm aside, I agree with a previous poster that everything you make I covet, and you inspire me in all things crafty. In your case it is always art. Lovely.

  33. That quilt is fanFREAKINtastic. Wow. I really really really want to quilt now. My mom’s been trying to get me into it for years, but I’ve never had any interest before. So if a skinny short woman with dark hair comes and knocks on your door, gives you a huge kiss, then flees, rest assured that it’s okay–it’s just my mom.

  34. Oh my gorgeous fabulosity!!!!!!!
    I LOVE THIS!!!!

  35. That really is beautiful….your quilt stitches are lovely!
    Did you use a quilting frame? A hoop? I want to do some quilting but this question keeps holding me up! Could you share a little more please?

  36. Baby in knit sweater on quilt = Awww!!

  37. wow! that is an amazing quilt.

  38. What a great quilt – wonderful job!

  39. It’s simply georgie-ous!

  40. Beautiful quilt, worthy of that perfect baby! I know this is a crib-sized quilt, but that’s an incredible amount of hand-stitching.

  41. Oh my gosh! The quilt is fantabulous. I love the birds and all the symbols and the hand quilting is wonderful. Just the sort of stuff I love. Congratulations!

  42. “How come they didn’t bind it?” hahaha. Cracked me right up!
    Really great quilt.