Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So, What's the Story behind this quilt?

The day of revealing "The Quilt" is now over for those following me on Facebook, and I made it but just barely though!  The quilt it now all bound and looks wonder, if I do say so!

You  maybe wondering if there is any meaning/story behind this quilt I have been working so hard on for the past two weeks, and actually there is a lot of meaning in it.  Some things came to me as I went along; somethings with a whole of meaning. 

You best go get a coffee/adult beverage - go head... I'll wait for you!

On June 3rd, our little town hosts a Relay for Life, where we walk for 12 hours (7pm - 7am) as a fund raiser for Cancer (see here for more info

Did you know there were this many ribbons?
Why is this quilt so scrappy?  A saying in a quilters world is, "if life hands your scraps - make a quilt", but that is not the reason LOL   Many of you remember I was trying to bust my scraps (as well as working on UFO's) this year and decided I would start there.  At first I started cutting the colors that represented the different types of cancer. Did you know there were that many colors for cancer?  For the most part that was going well... but it wasn't what I had in mind. 

Fabrics for the young and old
Actually I still wasn't sure at this point.  So I started cutting other fabrics; all kinds of different fabrics, and as I was cutting them I started to think of what they would represent.  What they would represent?  Since when did I make quilts that actually have a meaning for being made?  Sheesh!  I just make quilts because I like the process or how they look, why am I stepping out of my comfort zone now??  So I kept, cutting, cutting and cutting some more.  So why did I add all the different fabrics?  Well, one, you know is for the ribbons, but there are two other reasons.  The different prints represent the people effected by cancer; the young and the old, as cancer has no preference who it attacks.  And two, there are so many pieces as it represents the number of people affected cancer... oh so many people!

Friendship block with star quilting
Then came time for the borders.  Oh, boy!  What am I going to do here?  Well, as I pieced all the little pieces I kept thinking of what to do and came up with this block.  The name of the block is called the "Friendship Block" and thought it very fitting for it to be the final round to wrap up all the strips representing people.  Everyone needs friendship, no matter who they are but more so when going through the trials that cancer can dish out to a person and/or the family  to handle.  The blue background represents the dawn of a new day.  "Everything looks better in the morning" as the saying goes.

Of course you haven't seen the center of the quilt yet!!  I'm coming to that.

7 stars for luck
As I had done this all in sections, there was some heavy thinking going on.  

Okay, no jokes from the peanut gallery!!  ;-)  

And of course the bout with vertigo really put a stop to it all, hence my so tight deadline to finish up this past week.  I did get it all figured out, as well as the quilting!  That was the real stopper in all this!  Again, I thought of stars.
One of these for each team entered
  Do you think I like stars?  I think everyone does!  I like to think that the stars are our loved ones looking down on us and keeping us safe.  So there are seven of these on the center of the quilt.  Seven being a number of good luck.  There are also going to be some hand stitched stars too!!  Those stars represent the number of teams that are registered for the 12 hour walk.  As of writing this there are .... 46!!!  That is totally amazing!   There are at least 10 to a team so that would be at least 460 people.  That is more than the population in our little town!!!  Truly AMAZING!

Radiant Star
Now there is one big star radiating down over the center of the quilt.  It represents faith from heaven above.  For those not religious, it represents the love of family and friends radiating over them.

A dove represents Hope
The very center is a dove representing the Spirit of Hope.  In it's mouth it carries a lavender colored ribbon.  Lavender is the color that represents all types of cancer.  Did you know that?   This is one part of the quilt that I knew straight from the get-go as to what it was going to be.  What I didn't know was how I was going to quilt it, but that came to me after a long day of sewing things up just as I got into bed.  Really...that is when it all came to being; I only hoped that I would remember it in the morning as I was way past tired to even write it down.  I just wanted some sleep.

Spirit of Hope
How could I come up with such a representation for this quilt?  It was actually very easy for me.  My best friend was diagnosed with cancer in June 2005.  So there is a lot of thought of my friend when this quilt was being made.  When I had finished quilting the center panel I laid it out and then tears came to my eyes.  I had actually captured what I wanted!!   As well, this quilt would not have been made possible without the help of my hubby.  He looked after getting the meals made and making sure I ate, answering the phone, laundry ... yes he was a huge help.  Even if he wouldn't help me with 12 hours of ripping out one section that I didn't like the quilting on!  All of my waking hours for almost one full week went into this quilt.  He is my "Martha" and I'm so very thankful for that.  Thank you and I love you, Ches!!

So now you have the story behind my quilt.  Thank you to my Facebook friends for following along with me and my MashUp crew for keeping me going when I was putting in those long days.

Oh, sorry!!! 

My best friend?  She is alive and well; had two more little ones since given her all clear and is as much of a joy to me today as the day she was born.
She is my daughter ... love you bunches, Laurie xx/oo

Laurie & me

May the Spirit of Hope touch your lives,
as it so graciously has touched mine.

For those wanting to make a pledge for this walk - search for Shirley Jobson, thank you!

Hugs to all,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind.....

OH my, oh my!  Last blog had me deliberating on all those pieces.  Well I did veto the idea of 1128 pieces I tell you.  And super FAST too.  

I am just starting to get back to normal since my last post, as after the flu/chest cold I battled almost a week of vertigo!  Upon reading about vertigo, it says it could happen after the onset of a bad cold ... well dahhh!   I do believe I get this every single time I am going to "get" a head cold.  See, I get the symptoms of a cold... but the cold doesn't surface.  When that happens, Mr. V decides to pay me a visit.  But I kicked the little bugger to the curb, at least for now.  I know he will come back just like a bad case of ... well I don't know what, but he will be back.  Until then - I play catch-up!!

Part of center panel
How's the quilt coming along??   I wish I could say it was blowing in the wind gathering up the fresh spring air, but it isn't yet.  The fund raiser quilt is coming along "okay", but not without a couple glitches.  One was getting sick when I had given myself a deadline of completion, which I have missed by a few days.  And two, a panel gone wrong.   Well not really wrong, just not up to my standard for this quilt.  Just when did my standards get so high????

Time to Sandwich outside panels.
I decided I would quilt this large quilt in 3 panels then do the  borders.  No, I have not done a quilt the way I'm doing this one, something similar but definitely not the same.  So, I'm going along by the seat of my pants, as some would say.  Last Friday I got a panel all quilted (by machine - no time to hand-quilt this!!) and I "thought" it looked okay... until Saturday morning.  Nope - not liking it.  I used a machine embroidery that is used to quilt with and the first one looking oh so darn fine!  So I kept going ... until 11:30 that night.   Now each embroidery design has approx 2500 stitches and about 3 minutes to stitch out - not much really when you really understand how these designs work.  BUT!  What I thought was going to be a quick and really nice way to do this quilt turned out to be a very low "okay" for me.  IF it would have been a quilt to give away, it would have been fine - maybe?  But for a Fund Raiser?  Nope - nothing doing.  Out came the stitches - all 2500 x 16 designs! Plus 4 smaller ones with about 1300 stitches!   What took 3 minutes to put down - took 45 minutes to undo!!  Times that by 16, divide it by 60 and see what you come up with.  Go head I'll wait until you get the calculator!!  LOL  Yes - If you got 12, that means 12 HOURS!!!  Every spare minute was use to take out all those stitches!  Yup... I am a "crazy" quilter!  After this episode I would be prone to think more like "insane"!   Monday night was when finally all the stitches had been removed!
Blocks going in outside border

In the mean time, I kept working on ALL the other parts of this quilt, which I must say are looking might fine. 
The final reveal will be on Thursday... yes I mean tomorrow (great gave myself another deadline!!!) but it may not come until 11:59:59 pm as I may need every single second to finish it by then.  Today is going to be a very long day as I re-quilt the panel and piece them all together.  


(whose good deeds are OVER for this year with this quilt!!)