Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Precious Moments

This is my second quilt.

I mentioned that most of my early projects were funded by my mom, but I'm fairly certain that I started this project after I turned 16 and started working summers and part time during the school year. I bought a cross-stitch pattern book with Precious Moments figures all dressed as clowns and picked out my favorites to make squares for a baby quilt. I can't remember the exact details, but somehow I made this fit into one of the requirements for my Senior year sewing class. I think I only stuck strictly to the guidelines for one project in that class. I viewed it as my personal sewing time during school and made whatever I wanted to work on fit the requirements. My teacher kind of let me get away with it. We're still friends. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I had all the cross-stitches done and that I just assembled and 'quilted' the quilt in class.

I bought the fabrics at House of Fabrics, which was one of the places that I worked at part-time during the school year. I had something different in mind for sashings, I think probably a pale yellow flannel because my aida cloth was ivory, but the colors were so bright and cheerful on this seersucker and I'm a sucker for dots (ha, ha, pun totally intended) that I had to have this for my quilt. The fabrics for the picots (pronounced pē-kōs, as in rhymes with tricot{s}) are broadcloths of unknown content. I'll bet there is some polyester in there. The ways of the quilter were unknown to me back then (the batting is polyester too). They are also a little battered because this quilt has always been folded and tucked away for safe keeping.

Because I'd already hand stitched one very large quilt (I can't remember if I'd finished that by this time or not), I decided not to do any hand quilting in this one. I also did not want to tie it. So, I came up with a compromise -- I used yarn to 'quilt' big stitches around the edges of each of the cross stitch pieces and tied the yarn in bows at the corners.

I've thought a lot about pulling this quilt apart and doing it up some other way. The cross-stitch figures are all varying sizes, but I cut the aida cloth uniformly to make a nice, even grid. But I'm thinking I might cut them all down to size and fill in with fabrics in softer, baby colors and then add a border of picots (or prairie points, if you must) around the edge of the patchwork (kind of like this). I haven't quite worked out the details -- I can't quite picture it in my head yet -- but I'm sure I have some pretty pastels in my stash to be getting on with.

This little clown was the first cross-stitch I did for this quilt. I loved his colors and thought he was just so sweet.

Incidentally, I entered my the quilt in the county fair the summer after graduation. I put it in the cross-stitch division and asked that only the cross-stitch blocks be judged. However, they marked me down (a whole ribbon!) because my aida cloth was ivory and my sashing fabric had a white background. Never mind that all my stitches are crossed the same way on every single block. The top stitch always crosses from top left to bottom right like so: \ . On every. single. block. And they're all pretty uniform and even and nice. Besides, I like white and ivory together. They were part of my wedding colors; white, ivory and navy blue. My mom and the florist threw in some pink and light blue to try to break up the huge contrast, but I think that it would have been really striking without.

Since I've strayed to talking about my wedding colors, I've obviously run out of narrative to go with these last four pictures. But you can click on them to see them closer, and you'll notice that all the stitches go the same way.

I'll take that blue ribbon now, thank you very much.


Michelle said...

The cross-stitch blocks are awesome! And I love that prairie point border.

Jennifer Lovell said...

I'm really impressed with your cross-stitch designs. Getting all of the stitching the same way is a great accomplishment. But so many of them in one quilt is really great. What a fun project.

Shay said...

Wow Elizabeth! A lot of work (and love ) went into that quilt.

I cross stitched for a while but nothing like that! Lovely.