As part of my campaign of completions (prior to the imminent destruction of the kitchen and, apparently, my life as I know it), I’ve just put the finishing touches on another quilt.
This particular quilt is a “journey opus” in many ways: it first reared its little head in Alaska on a Craft Cruises inside passage cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver, BC. I naturally trawled the quilt/yarn stores in each port, and in Haines I was quite smitten by the pattern for what has become the feature inner rectangle: it’s from a quilt pattern designed by Carolee Pollock of Wasilla, AK (Snow Angel Publishing. I couldn’t find a specific website of her designs, sorry!). At this time I had made only one quilt, and had no appliqué experience whatsoever. So I cleverly thought I’d give this pattern a try using a double-sided fusible layer to glue the bits together (in place of actual appliqué). I arrived home last summer and proceeded to assemble the inner panel. I wasn’t totally wowed; it looked pretty enough, but simply ironing the bits on felt like cheating. Moreover, what exactly was I going to do with this little panel? It languished in a pile of fabric until early this year. (I have trying to take a hard line on unfinished quilts, and so was determined to make something of it eventually.)
Having, in the meantime, taken aboard some of Gwen Marston’s ideas, I decided to return to the mini-quilt and use it as a central theme panel. Ideas came: there are several rogue fish that have escaped into the borders to tie it all together. Having thus come to life, the quilt proceeded to grow and grow with considerable vigor.
Concluding that I couldn’t live with the starkly naked edges of the appliqué, I gradually blanket-stitched my way around all of them. I’ve used a mixture of machine and hand quilting to hold the quilt together. I’ve discovered that I really like pairs of lines when stitching, rather than a single row of stitches and used these for the swirling currents. My first few sewn stars (to secure the sky) I removed in favor of the embroidery style stars instead. Fish eyes were added with nail polish (one must have as much fun as possible)!
A deadline has now been established for the installation of the kitchen, so the grand dismantling (shudder) will begin any day now….