(Please ignore the light shining in the top of the photo… no time to play with pictures today… 5 more quilts to get done before Christmas! And you can click on the pictures to enlarge.)
1998-2001 - "Times and Seasons", Piecemaker’s 1998 Calendar Quilt. This took 16 months to applique and about 5 months to hand-quilt. (Thank you, Mr. Label, for jarring my memory!) I work well under pressure, and there was a quilt show coming up so I really moved on that quilting. It is 70” x 70” and hung for several years in my living room, until I made something I liked better. That was hard to do… I LOVE this quilt. (Do I say that about every quilt? Pretty much… quilts are like my children by the time I finish them… I have put a lot of my heart into it.)
The blocks started with simple piecing and very simple needle-turn applique. Each month it got a little more challenging. I really learned a lot working on this quilt!
This was by far the most intense hand-quilting I had done. I really worked toward using lots of different textures in the backgrounds.
The misnomer of “calendar” quilts is you assume it will take 12 months, right? Well add in those 4 pinecone corners (which are NOT counted in the 12 monthly projects) and you end up with 16 months of work. I’m not fussing… just saying.
Lessons learned on this quilt: 1. Applique isn’t so bad after all! Actually I came to love it while working on this quilt. It was a carry-around project and I worked on it when we traveled.
2. I cringe now when I look at the wavy outer border… yes, I did it the way I tell my customers NOT to do it now… I just slapped a border on and whacked the ends even, and it really shows on this quilt when it is hanging. In my defense, at that time a lot of the patterns actually TOLD you to do this! The perfectionist in me wants to re-do them, but I am NOT taking out all of that quilting to do so. It will just have to live on as a reminder of why I now measure my borders before attaching!
3. I quickly learned what batting to NOT use for hand-quilting. I had no clue (remember I had been using high-loft poly?) so I went to Wally-World and bought some “good” stuff… 80/20 blend. HAHA! That stuff would needle well in some spots, and then you would come to a place that was like trying to quilt through cardboard. The lesson: for my special quilts I WOULD ALWAYS in the future get some batting from the quilt shop.
TOMORROW’S TEASER: I ventured WWWAAAYYYYYY out of the box for tomorrow’s quilt. I think you will be very surprised… I know I surprised myself!
Have a blessed day!