Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Quilt Legends Are Made Of

15 years ago I made my first full-sized quilt. I was 17. And it was a crazy quilt made up of 25 panels pieced together and hand-embroidered with a scramble of designs.
It was a project of pure dedication, as it took a full year to assemble and embroider each panel. I loved picking out the fabrics, which were, individually, mostly monochromatic patterns. It was often a mathematical puzzle to jigsaw the panels together (which I couldn't have done without the genius mind of my mother leading the way). 
It was a challenge to make each piece have it's own designs and style, but the most challenging part was assembling the quilt into a whole... and then tying it. 

The result is a stunning combination of colors and textures. I can spend hours reminiscing and searching through the various details and stitches. Most of the designs, I actually remember sewing. 
The quilt won an Outstanding Exhibit rosette, the Kent County 4-H Fair Best in Show and a Youth Gold Ribbon award in 2000. It went on to win the Best of Show at the 2001 Michigan State Fair.

It has adorned my guest room since moving in to my house in 2006—it looks stunning against the "carrot cake" walls. But as it is in a South facing window, the quilt is suffering severe fading from the sun, and last week, I put it into storage to hopefully prolong it's life. I hope to find some window coverings that offer UV protection so I can eventually bring it back out again. The quilt is so full of memories and love, I hate to think of it sitting in a box. 

I haven't attempted another quilt since 2000. And it's not really in my future plans, I get a lot of satisfaction out of smaller sewing projects that can be finished in an afternoon! But I still do a bit of embroidery work — I love the creative freedom of a simple needle and floss!

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