Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2013

Welcome!  I am excited to share a special quilt with you for Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I know there is a lot of quilty goodness to see on all the many links for the quilt festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side, and I appreciate your stopping here for a bit.  I'd love it if you'd say hi in the comments.

The story of this quilt starts with me doing some cleaning (it gets more exciting, trust me) last October.  In the process of decluttering my basement space where I sew, I moved a big green Rubbermaid storage tote out of the way, which had come from my late mother's house a few years before.  I wasn't sure what was in it but figured probably more stuff to haul to Goodwill.  Boy, was I wrong!

Inside the container was an old quilt top, which I recognized by its handiwork as having been made by my grandmother, Lillian, probably back in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Grandma Lillian C., early 1970s, Louisiana.
Grandma loved to sew, and even when her eyesight faded in her later years, she continued to find a way to piece quilts.  She used just about everything in the way of fabric and scraps.  I even have a quilt she made of polyester double knit hexagons, if you can imagine that.

Grandma's quilt top, c. late 1960s/early 1970s.
This particular quilt top that I found was bold and colorful, which is just how I like 'em.  I think Grandma and I were "cut from the same cloth" in that way.

I had never seen this quilt top before, and I wondered how long my mom had it.  Had Grandma made it with one of her grandchildren in mind?  She was known to do that, and since she lived a thousand miles away on the other side of the country (and perhaps because of her eyesight and/or other reasons), she might send a quilt top to Mom and rely on it being quilted and finished on the receiving end.  As I looked closely at the various fabrics and handled it, I understood perhaps why Mom had put it away and didn't rush to finish it.  There are some challenges to be sorted out, for sure.  But on the whole, there's a lot of love in this quilt, and I think it's beautiful and inspirational, like my grandma.

Mom and Grandma, late 1960s, Wisconsin.
The block pattern really intrigued me.  I mentioned in my post about finding the quilt that I wanted to try making the block if I could find a pattern.  It is entirely pieced, not appliqued.  I hadn't seen anything quite like it, but I thought I might find it in one of my older reference books (no such luck). 

And here is where I tell you what you already probably know:  Fellow quilt bloggers are the best!  Within a very short time of that post, Sandi of Piecemeal Quilts drew up the block in her quilt design program, based on the photos I'd posted, and sent me a PDF complete with templates.  How amazing and wonderfully generous is that!

Two days later, I sent Sandi a photo of the test block I'd made.  Though I didn't have a whole lot of experience piecing curves, it all worked out beautifully.  The block was square and true to size and lay flat and smooth.  I was thrilled!

Sandi responded by showing me a sample quilt layout she had created "just playing around" with the blocks set on point.  It was simply gorgeous, and I knew I had to make it.  Over the next few days, we chatted by email about fabric choices and other possibilities.  This was going to be so much fun!

I got started on this quilt right away, and except for the almost-fiasco where I knocked a cup of coffee onto it in the final hours of assembly, it went together really well.  I finished the quilt top in early January and sent it off to be quilted.

Sandi did the quilting on her longarm.  She filled in the white space with freehand leaves and swirls and did parallel quilting in the cross pieces of the blocks.  So pretty!  When she was done, Sandi, her mom, and her aunt made the couple-hour drive to delivered it in person, so we finally got to meet!

The fabrics I used are from the Vintage Modern line by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  I loved the turquoise and red color combination.  The soft floral prints have a soft, vintage feel, while the overall quilt has a contemporary look.  

Quilt Specifics
Quilt measures:  80 x 80 inches
Special techniques used:  Curved piecing from templates
Quilted by:  Sandi Walton
Blogger's Quilt Festival Category: Bed Quilt

I'd like to make another one of these, maybe a wild and scrappy version next time around. I think Grandma would be tickled!

Would you like to give it a try?  Stay tuned, because I will be doing a tutorial on how to make the four-lily block in the coming weeks, and I hope you'll join me for that.  In addition, Sandi and I are finishing the pattern for this quilt, which should be available in the near future, as well.

Updated March 2023:  The Thoroughly Modern Lily quilt pattern is available as a free PDF HERE. Click the download symbol on the page that opens.

Custom acrylic templates for the Four-Lily block used in making this quilt are available at DMP Engraving

Tutorial for the Four-Lily Block can be found on the Tutorials tab at the top of the blog.

Thanks so much for taking time to visit, and I hope you will stop back again soon!



Karen said...

So glad to finally see the outcome of those gorgeous fabrics on a beautiful quilt! Yay! This is amazing, can't wait to see the tutorial :)

Sarah Craig said...

Oh, P., that's lovely! I can't wait for the tutorial - I may have to make a "Lily" pillowtop for my own Lilli!

Your grandma would be proud!!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

That's a lovely story and a very special quilt. I love your version of it.

Jane said...

What a wonderful story! Wish we knew more about the origin of that block. I've never seen it either. Your quilt is gorgeous, and so is your grandmothers!

Carol D said...

What a great treasure to find! I came across a stack of elongated hexagons cut out by my grandmother but never pieced together. That is my next challenge, as I have never quilted :)
I read your blog regularly and enjoy your posts.

Sara said...

This is FABULOUS P!!!! The history is so wonderful behind this pattern to say the least and your grandmother would be tickled pink that you put together a pattern based on her quilt! Congrats!!!

Elizabeth said...

Grandma Lillian is one beautiful lady and this quilt is a very special tribute to her. P., it is so beautiful! I love how it turned out! I can't wait to see your tutorial.

What a fun BQF entry!

xo -E

Quiltdivajulie said...

Fabulous ... just fabulous! You know I LOVE stories and quilts like this!

Greta said...

So I just popped over from the festival. This is amazing and I am so happy to hear that you are going to be sharing the pattern. I've never sewn a curve but I hope that it will work out :) Thanks for giving us a chance to try.

Anonymous said...

You are the first festival quilt I have looked at and it is a doozzie... sure hope I happen upon the pattern when it is ready.

Went to read amy's blog post and was put off by the dozen or so posts with all the different categories . will deal with that another time. So yours is the first.

Michelle said...

Your Grandma's original is filled with such scrappy goodness - and what an unusual block! I love blocks with curved pieces.

So while I really wasn't sure you could top your grandmother's top, I absolutely love, love, love your rendition. The on-point design gives it a different spin (pun intended).

And now I am wondering if the block could be done with kaleidoscope elements....

Wonderful! Simply wonderful!

SuperMomNoCape said...

The quilt is beautiful and I love the story behind it.

Kevin the Quilter said...

What a lovely story, and a beautiful trip for you making this quilt! Thanks for sharing!

Beausoleil Quilts said...

What a lovely quilt and lovely story. The quilting is perfect too. Congratulations

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

This quilt is beautiful! And I enjoyed reading the story behind it :)

Renee said...

This quilt is beautiful! And the story behind it is really special, what a fun quilt to make! I love the old photo of your mom and grandma in the 60's too.

MomWaldsPlace said...

Wow, this story would make a great quilt book! Thank you so much for sharing your quilting adventure with us.

Katherine said...

Wonderful story in how your quilt came into being. Wouldn't your grandmother be tickled to see how she inspired your beautiful quilt?
I love it! It's absolutely gorgeous and I will look forward to the pattern.

CitricSugar said...

Great quilt, but even greater story!! Thanks for sharing that one - I would sad to have missed this!

Katy Cameron said...

It looks great, glad it survived its baptism of fire/coffee!

Shay said...

Everything about this quilt is gorgeous from the blocks to the fabrics to the quilting. You did a great job.

Loved the story that went into it's creation too.

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

Just beautiful! What a special quilt and story behind it.

Diane said...

WOW! that is amazing! You did a wondrful job with this quilt. I love everyting about it, inlcuding that it has roots!

pennydog said...

I love how the blocks pop from the background with the quilting and I'd LOVE a tutorial

Robin said...

Beautiful! And what a great story behind it. The quilting really makes the blocks pop in a lovely way too. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Seams Sew Together said...

Lovely quilt and lovely story.

Kay Lynne said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story! You certainly have a real treasure! I have been blessed with a quilt from my grandmother.

Kimberly said...

I love this quilt! Such a beautiful story and a tribute to your grandmother. I bet she would have loved to see your twist on her quilt. I love the colors you used and the added modern touches.