Here’s the story of Dad’s quilt, also referred to as the Mile High quilt in one entry … not sold on that title, now that I’ve thought on it a bit. It might just remain “Dad’s quilt”.
This is my first panel quilt (not such a shock since this is only my second quilt). It started with receiving a meter of heavily patterned fabric at a guild swap (Canadian, remember? No yards). I tucked it in the bottom of my fabric bucket for a future project. I was already thinking it might be nice for my dad because he love eagles, but that’s as far as I got. Fast forward 3 months and what do I see on one of my Facebook fabric groups but a lovely big eagle panel. I thought it would probably look nice with my stashed fabric and, if it didn’t, I’d make the panel for Dad and work up something else with the stash fabric. We were experiencing a postal strike at the time, so it took forever for the panel to arrive. Imagine my shock when I discovered that, not only did the two pieces work well together, but they were from the same line! It was Kauffman’s reproduction of James Hautman for both fabric. Super crazy!
Next came the planning phase. I measured the panel and started measuring runs of fabric. I wanted the eagles in the stash fabric to show prominently in a border around the panel, but since I had a limited amount to work with, I had to be sure that what I would cut would fit around. Also – I’m a bit into fussy cutting, so I measured the stash cuts in such a way to make sure that the eagles were all flying the right direction (it will make sense in a later picture). I quickly came to realize that I could do a border, but I would have to get a little creative with it since there was not quite enough fabric to go around.
This facilitated a trip to the local quilt store, The Cottage Quilter. Kelly had showcased a quilt top with some very interesting fabrics at one of the guild meetings that I thought would work perfectly. Northcott Fabric had release a line of natural fabrics. They looked like river stones, bark, leaves, or evergreen needles. The birch bark had especially caught my attention and I wanted to use it to add a small border between the panel and the eagle borders. When I first suggested the eagle borders, my husband said it made the quilt too eagle-y. He’s probably right, but it’s something my dad will love, so I decided to just break it up a bit with the birch bark around. Because the borders aren’t quite big enough to reach each other, I decided that all the border sections will be outlined in the birch. I also picked up a meter of pine needle fabric for the binding.
I started with the measurements I’d jotted down to cut up the eagle border. There would have to be some bias joining, but it was the only way to get a couple of pieces long enough. Then I moved on to the birch bark. Ohhhh boy … fussy cutting again. Not only do the eagles all have to point the same way, but of course the birch bark has to point the same way as well. You can’t have birch bark growing willy-nilly! I laid out the quilt pieces and measured how much I was going to need to go around the inside and line the two pieces. Then I cut – two cuts in one direction, two cuts in the other direction. This would give me the most even amount of pieces to create the birch sashing. Otherwise, it would look like one direction was all single pieces and the other direction was all bias patchwork. So much folding and cutting.
Once every thing was cut, I started piecing the borders and adding them to the panel. This should have been a very fast process. However, I learned two things.
1. Piecing long strips together actually takes more time than piecing up blocks.
2. Sometimes I make changes to the quilt after I’ve pieced it and have to rip out the piecing. And sometimes – I change my mind more than once. :S
I want this to look good, though! So the ripping and re-piecing happens.
I just have to add the outer birch sashing, make a quilt sandwich, and start my quilting! Dad’s birthday is Feb 2, so my vacation next week is probably going to have a lot of sewing in it to make that deadline. I’m seeing my parents on the 9th, though, so I have some cheat time in there. For the backing, I’m using fabric I bought to use as backing for the husband quilt. I switched to a different backing after finding THE PERFECT BACKING at The Cottage Quilter, so I’m stash busting for the back too!
And now for something completely different.
My Tula fabric arrived!! Aren’t the colourways stunning??? I can’t wait to cut into them … this summer … because I have other responsibilities … Who wants to take a bet that I can’t wait that long?