Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Echoes of Eternity

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. –Henry Van Dyke

Welcome to those stopping by for the Blogger's Quilt Festival {and thanks to those of you who've been hanging around for a while}! The Blogger's Quilt Festival is always so much fun. I mean, how could it not be? It's got “festival” right in the name. Thank you to Amy for hosting and to her sponsors for the fun prizes! I'm really excited to share this quilt with you. I love that two entries are allowed this time, in two separate categories. You can see my second entry here.

I made this quilt as a wedding gift for the daughter of a very special friend. This young woman often babysat my children and it was a blessing to be able to get to know her. She is a wonderful example of love, service and kindness and so I wanted to do something special for her when she was married earlier this year. I used her wedding colors and made this double wedding ring for her to hang on her wall.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Quilt Name: Echoes of Eternity
Finished quilt measures: 19½” x 19½”
Special techniques used: Curved Piecing, Templates
Quilted by: Me
Blogger's Quilt Festival Category: Art Quilt

I included this note with the gift: The wedding ring pattern, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes eternity. The purple center circle represents the responsibility a husband and wife have to strengthen and protect each other and their family. The green circles, of which you can only see part, represent the ways a family can branch out from the home by showing love and service to others. The flower represents the constant care and nourishment a marriage needs and the beautiful thing it can be when each partner gives 100% to their spouse and the marriage. The interlocking circle pattern symbolizes that each marriage partner and their choices are individual and unique but are intertwined in the lives of those around them. The square frame that cuts off the pattern, which is shabby and worn but still beautiful, alludes to the fact that life, though sometimes difficult, is only a small portion in our eternal existence. The pattern of the quilt continues well beyond the boundaries of the frame and it could possibly go on forever much in the same way that our lives on earth are only a small part of our existence.

I gave myself only three weeks, from start to finish, to have this project ready in time for the wedding. I planned to have it custom framed in a shadow box, every framer I talked to said it would take two weeks. I barely finished the piecing and quilting in those three weeks and wasn't sure what I was going to do about a frame. Discouraged, I almost gave up, but I found a frame that was the right size, removed the artwork that was already in it, painted and distressed it and pulled it all off just in time.

I knew the frame needed something. I mulled over paint options for several days before I finally settled on one. I was worried that a true white would be too much white but felt the dark frame, as it was, would overpower the quilt. I considered metallic and crackle paints, but in the end, I went with a slightly-off-white paint and I'm glad I did. I think it is the perfect color. I really love how the distressing highlights the pretty pattern in the frame and lets a little bit of the dark paint show through.

To mark my quilting design, I used blue painter's tape. I made a paper template for the pattern in the center, cut it out, traced it onto the tape and then cut it out with an Xact-O knife. I used a walking foot for most of the quilting because I knew it would give me the best chance for even stitches and straight lines. I only used a free-motion foot for the feathers in the purple blocks where the arcs intersect and for line of circles in the arcs. I also used the painter's tape and a couple of circle punches to mark those for quilting. And I used Stampin' Up!®'s Crystal Effects {works better than E6000} and a lot of patience to attach the cyrstals. It is mounted on foam core board and the quilt itself, which is just the pieced top and a layer of batting, wraps around to the back of the foam core board and is pinned in place with tiny sequin pins. The inner dimension of the frame is 19½” square.

This was a fun project. You can read more about it here:
Fabric selection and project deadline
Quilting in progress
The finished product

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Paulette said...

I love everything about this special quilted project, Elizabeth! Colors, design, quilting, embellishment, framing...everything. You did an amazing job putting it together just so. It is sure to be treasured forever!

CitricSugar said...

Beautiful project - I love the message behind it!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Wow! Excellent quilt!

Shay said...

This really is a gorgeous quilt/gift. I am almost inspired to do something similar for my own wall!

Renee said...

Beautiful work! I love the colors/fabrics you chose. The quilting is lovely! And the letter you included, and the frame, are just perfect. I'm sure they will be treasured!

Sandy said...

Beautiful! I love the color combo giving the traditional block a very modern look.

Vicki said...

It's so pretty. Double wedding ring was one of the first quilt patterns I really, really wanted to try. I still haven't made one but I love the idea of making a small one. I love these colors, the quilting and the frame are beautiful.

Eileen said...

Oh, my!! What a marvelous idea and execution for a wedding present. Great words to go with it also. Thanks for sharing your lovely piece. Have a great day

straythreads said...

Beautiful Love the symbolism and the colors and the frame just beautiful!!

Carrie P. said...

so, so pretty!