|Sapphire thinks she has claimed the quilt!|
As I walked in, their vast selection of dark and muted colors overwhelmed me. For sure I was not going to find anything there I liked! After all, my middle name is 'Bright' when it comes to fabrics. However, determined as I was to find a treasure, I spent an hour or so at the store and, indeed, I found beauty.
While browsing, the owner told me "you cannot call yourself a quilter unless you quilt your own projects". I have since met many dissenters of this theory. On the plus side, her opinion inspired me to learn how to quilt using my Bernina, and the rest is history.
About three years later, I finally got around to piecing the quilt I had bought the fabrics for, using a pattern from Eleanor Burns' and Sue Bouchard's book "Underground Railroad Sampler" (you can find it here), also purchased at the shop in Orlando. Their use of light and dark fabrics on churn dash blocks was very appealing to me. Months after I had the top completed, I joined a Wednesday group of quilters and learned how to hand quilt. I quickly realized I had to hand quilt that Civil War quilt and, after 5 years and many machine quilted projects, it is done!
It was washed and dried as soon as I finished binding it - I could not wait to hold it after it had been 'wrinkled' by the dryer. The quilt has such a soft hand... I am so glad I hand quilted it (the hand quilting group helped quilt the border only, as I wasn't sure I wanted to wait another year to finish it). This quilt shows the evolution of my hand quilting skills, from hesitant stitches to more even, confident ones.
I worked with a PVC quilting frame (I found it here) which is comfortable to use, has a small footprint, is very portable and easy to store; YLI quilting thread; and Piecemakers size 8 needles.
Hand quilting is very relaxing to me, akin to embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. My next hand quilting project will have wool batting, as I heard it is so soft you feel like you are quilting butter. Looking forward to it...
Have a fun weekend!