Sunday, May 18, 2014

Whirligig

Amy of Amy's Creative Side is again holding the Spring 2014 Bloggers' Quilt Festival and I'm excited to share with you my entry in the Hand Quilted category - Whirligig.

One dictionary definition of a whirligig is 'something that continuously whirls or spins'. 

Ironically, at a time when life had me in a spin most of the time trying to juggle work, family and creative adventures, it was this quilt, 'Whirligig', designed by Aussie quilter Sue Ross, that provided relaxation and calm for the two years it took me to hand piece, appliqué and quilt it.

I machined the first step of the binding on, the long borders, and the checkerboard background of plain white alternating with a white and black polka dot, but the rest was done completely by hand giving me plenty of time to contemplate the final step, the quilting.


I wanted it to be soft and comforting, a quilt I could bring out when an extra grandma-cuddle was needed.


Much as I love machine quilting, I believe it doesn't work for every quilt, and this one was asking for those hand stitches.


I love the quiet, rhythmic rocking action of hand quilting using my wooden hoop by Thimblelady, Liuxin Newman. I'm tall, and this hoop, with its stand, raises my work up so I don't find myself bending over too much and placing strain on my back and neck.


Hand quilting also allowed me to appreciate the many beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics I'd collected, teamed up with co-ordinating basics including some from Sue's own fabric company, A Day in the Country.


I quilted a quarter of an inch inside pieces of my whirligigs, and up close around all the appliqué flowers and leaves on the borders to make them pop. The black and white striped bias vines received the same treatment, with tiny hand quilting stitches along their edges.


I made a plastic template by tracing one of the larger border flowers, and used this as a guide for quilting where each background square intersected.


And I did the same with a different flower shape in the larger spaces on the borders and placed confetti dots in their centers, for a bit more fun and colour.





Regular readers will know I'm a bit dotty for dots, so I couldn't go past this pale yellow polka dot for the backing.


Darker times were ahead for me, but my soft, hand-quilted Whirligig, my first modern quilt, is still one of my favourites and I love its bright, clear colours.


It never fails to evoke happy memories of sitting in a deck chair beside my late husband, and stitching in the sun on board a cruise ship sailing the Aegean.



My previous entries in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Spring 2012 - Alhambra Romance (Finalist Appliqué Quilts)

Spring 2013 - Daisy a Day (One of 3 Viewers' Choice winners)

If looking at hand quilting makes you happy too, pop on over here and scroll down the page to see links to all the other quilts entered in the same category as mine.

Or perhaps you'd like to click on these categories to see even more entries...

Mini quilts

Small quilts

Large quilts

Appliqué quilts

Art quilts

Home machine quilted

Modern quilts

Original design quilts

ROYGBIV quilts (red, orange, yellow, green ... You get the picture!)

Scrappy quilts

This week gives you the time to do your blog visiting, then on Friday (23 May) voting will open and you can vote for your favourite quilts in all these categories. 

You can be a winner too, even without entering a quilt in the Spring 2014 Bloggers' Quilt Show. Just leave Amy a comment on this post

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Viewers' Choice - Go here this week to nominate your special favourite from the entire Bloggers' Quilt Festival by using the Add Your Link button on the page.

On Friday (23 May) Amy will list the 25 most popular nominations and you will be able to vote for your Viewers' Choice from these.

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Got it? 

Off you go then, but don't forget to leave a calling card (aka Comment) to encourage the bloggers whose posts you read. We all like a little bit of quilt love, don't we ❤️

Finally, a huge thank you to Amy and all the generous sponsors for once again doing all this work so we can have fun! 



50 comments:

  1. That's such a pretty quilt......and it holds so many memories!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, so many memories, but happy ones :-)

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  3. I love it and I didn't realize that you hand quilted too :) love the nice soft colors of this quilt

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    1. I mostly hand quilt, Karen. Slow and steady, as they say :-) It's mainly only the small charity quilts that we make at St Marks Quilters that I machine quilt, simply because it's faster and possibly more robust. However I'm hoping to work on improving my machine quilting skills this year.

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  4. I, too, find hand quilting, applique or hand piecing helps me get through tough times. As you stitch, memories are stitched too. Lovely quilt and your use of polka dots are wonderful.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Rose Marie. Hand quilters seem to be well represented this time :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks very much, you're so kind :-)

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  6. What a lovely quilt! Modern but without the stark harshness that so many modern quilts seem to have. I love hearing the reasons behind your quilting designs, too. Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Kathy. Yes, I prefer clear, pretty colours and rounded lines in my quilts. I'm so glad you like it too.

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  7. You're absolutely right, this quilt needed hand quilting and you've done a magnificent job. I love those pieced blocks!

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    1. You have to listen to these quilts, don't you ;-). I'm glad you like my Whirligig.

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  8. That's a very beautiful quilt! Love your fabric choices, and the appliquè border is fantastic.

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    1. Gosh, Steffi, you are so kind. Thank you!

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  9. This is the most beautiful quilt!! The colours, tricky piecing, wonderful applique and your beautiful hand quilting. I love that you wanted it to be soft for gandma cuddles!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Rachael :-)

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  10. Gorgeous ! !!! And lovely that it carries good memories

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    1. So glad you like my Whirligig, Benta. Thank you!

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  11. Oh wow! What a gorgeous quilt, Di!! I"m so impressed!

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    1. You're so kind, Carla, thank you. I'm glad you like it :-)

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  12. Replies
    1. It makes me so happy to know you like it - Thank you!

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  13. Beautiful quilt........and such a treasure trove of good memories !

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    1. Thank you so much, Dolly. I love how every quilt I make evokes memories of where I worked on it. One of the advantages of being a hand quilter and able to take my work with me :-)

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  14. Just love it! The lovely fabrics, the design, and the special touch of hand quilting to finish it off! :)

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    1. Thank you, Deb, I'm so glad you like my quilt :-)

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  15. This is so beautiful and deserves to be cuddled! The colours are so vibrant! I'm just starting to appliqué and would love to add more to my quilts.

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    1. Thank you, Lucy! Appliqué, particularly by hand (like hand quilting) can be so satisfying. I hope you enjoy this technique.

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  16. Wow, this is beautiful. Love the colours, love the design and the appliqué. Just stunning

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    1. Thank you for such lovely words, Deb!

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    1. Thank you, Caron, you're so kind to say so.

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  18. what a gorgeous quilt! It's so beautiful and the hand quilting just adds so much - I love the flowers you quilted in the spaces

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    1. Thank you very much, Wendy. It's a quilt that gives me great pleasure just to look at and I'm so pleased you like it too.

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  19. Very nice combination of fabrics

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    1. Thanks Mina. I really love bright, clear colours - they're so cheery :-)

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  20. My-oh-My!! I just popped over from the Blogger's Quilt Festival page because I just had to get a better look at this beauty! It certainly is a special quilt!

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    1. Thank you very much for your lovely comment!

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  21. Amazing! I love this so much and I just love thinking about you hand stitching away on this through crazy times. It is nice to have a calm piece of handwork to turn to when you need something soothing.

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    1. Yes, you can just switch off and let your mind wander :-)

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  22. This is such a yummy quilt, Di! I could sit and look, and appreciate, for hours. Truly beautiful. The colors are so happy, and your hand quilting suits it to perfection. I admire how you are willing and able to spend so much time on a quilt. It makes it much more special. Whirligig is a quilt that deserves to win. I sure hope it does!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. The downside is, of course, that I finish fewer quilts. I'm hoping to become more proficient at machine quilting too, so I can choose to do either, depending on the quilt's style and purpose :-)

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  23. Wonderful quilt! Beautifully! Original! Great!

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  24. Beautiful. I have voted for this great quilt!

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    1. Thank you very much for your vote :-)

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  25. This is such a very sweet quilt...the pattern, the fabrics, the quilting! There isn't a "shadow" to be found in it anywhere...just sweet and bright!

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    1. You are so kind, Sarah! After using reproductions and shabby chic fabrics for many years this was the first quilt where I used bright fabrics, and a modern design. I was instantly smitten :-)

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  26. Whirly gig is a stunning quilt. Well done you!

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