Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nine Years in the Making



Botanika, a Robyn Pandolph pattern. I began this quilt in 2001, just a month after I started quilting. I wanted so badly to learn to applique. I didn't know I was supposed to start with something easy!

I had all the blocks made for years, but didn't assemble the top until about four years ago. Then I drug it out fairly regularly to look at it and marvel that I had actually finished the top. I still can't believe that I undertook such a "hard" quilt for my first one.

Finally I decided to get it quilted, and Judy did her fabulous custom quilting on it. I tried to get some close-ups of the quilting but Penny thinks she needs to be in every picture. I'll kennel her and get some close-ups when the binding is finished. Thank you, Judy!! Your quilting truly did make the quilt!



Oh, a funny story. I've been referring to this quilt for years as my funeral quilt. I figured it would take me the rest of my life to get it completed. I mentioned that to Judy when I sent it to her. When I got it back, she said that if she was at my funeral and saw this quilt in the coffin, she was yanking it out! I'm betting she really would do that!!! LOL

This was my learning quilt. I look at it and see things I would do differently now, but the experience was a grand one. All of the circles are needleturned. Some of them are teeny tiny - a quarter inch or less. I was working on this quilt when I was lucky enough to take a four-day workshop with Robyn in, I think, 2003. I had skipped over all the berries, and I asked her if she would show me how to do them. She suggested I practice needleturning them, instead of doing the drawstring around a template. She was right that the tiny ones are much easier to do this way. I'm so grateful that she spent some time with me doing the circles. I now needleturn all circles, big or small. Circles are my favorite shapes to applique!

I'm feeling sort of melancholy about getting this one finished. Why is that? Must be because it's been a part of my entire quilty life.

I guess I need to find another applique project to take to The Home with me!

27 comments:

Lynne in Hawaii said...

All I can say is...WOW! That is a VERY impressive 'beginning' quilt! It is absolutely beautiful!

Darlene said...

I remember reading about this quilt when I first started blogging - it's the one that pushed me off the proverbial applique fence. LOL It's drop dead gorgeous, Vicky - I know you're glad it's finished.

Cara said...

WOW. Amazing. Beautiful.
I'm not surprised that you are feeling a bit of a let down. This quilt has been part of your life for ten years. That relationship is now finished, and evolved into something else. A little bit of sadness is totally understandable.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful and well done..most impressive as your 1st one too--great job!!!

jillquilts said...

OH MY!!! It's GORGEOUS!!! STUNNING! FABULOUS!!!

9 years????

Girl, you are putting me to shame with all that you have gotten done this month! :)

Karen said...

I am anxious to see the whole quilt. Imagine it being your first applique project and at the beginning of your quilt making. If it is going to be your funeral quilt, I want to attend. We may have to cut it apart to share with several people! LOL! It is a beautiful quilt.

dianne said...

that quilt could be your 300th and it would still be a show-stopper! it is GOR-GEE-OUS!!!

Quilterbee said...

Congratulations on getting your quilt finished. It looks great.

jaybird said...

it has to feel so good to finally get it done!! i'm super proud of you.. now i just need to get my butt in gear!

Vicki W said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Lindah said...

Vicky, that quilt is so elegant. Beautiful! You really put your heart into it.

Mimi said...

Oh Vicky, that quilt is absolutely beautiful. I have to say though that who says it is too hard for a first quilt? My first applique quilt I took on a doozy and I made it with batiks and everyone was aghast because batiks are supposedly so hard to needle. Well, what you don't know won't hurt you. My quilt turned out ok and yours definitely did, too. I can't wait to see some close-ups of these blocks. Just gorgeous!

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

I always wanted to make that quilt, but thought it was a little ambitious for me. I can't believe you chose that pattern after quilting for a month! It's breathtaking!

Jenni said...

It's a beautiful quilt, lucky you weren't put off. I too would be yanking it out of the coffin!

Penny said...

What a beautiful quilt. You did marvelous. I can see that Penny thinks it is wonderful too. As for a funeral quilt - I have maintained that I want a quilt draped coffin, not one tucked inside. This one should be displayed for all to see.

Miss Jean said...

Some people are just born to quilt and you are certainly one of them. This is an awesome quilt that many seasoned quilters would not try. Congratulations.

I met Robyn once and yes, she's a very nice person and sooooooo talented!

Lori said...

What a beautiful quilt--you have a lot of talent. And, I will be keeping an eye on the obits!

Carol said...

Vicky that is the most beautiful applique quilt. What amazing applique. All those circles. Incredible!

Laura said...

Wow and Wow! I also started quilting in 2001 and I can tell you that my first quilt looks NOTHING like yours and I have yet to even try needleturn applique. That quilt would be challenging even for an experienced quilter. I'm glad you stuck with it. You can now cherish it and enjoy it for years to come.

AnnieO said...

Wow, that's gorgeous! Sometimes not knowing that something is too advanced is easier because you aren't really scared! That is a beautiful, complicated design and you did a fabulous amount of work. Now you can savor it as a real quilt, forever!

Angie said...

Just gorgeous!! And so is that wienie dog! :)

whimzeestitches said...

Absolutely gorgeous quilt Vicky! Wow -- for a first quilt endeavor you sure did take on something grand but beautiful!

Thelma said...

Wow, that quilt is amazing. Congratulations. It's funny when you know little about quilting almost anything seems possible, once you know more it's easier to avoid what you think may be too hard.

That quilt definitely is a treasure.

eamylove said...

Couldn't believe it when I saw your "first" quilt. My husband's cousin made the same one as HER first quilt, too! She sent it to me in PA for quilting. She lives in TX. I'm so proud of both of you - they are gorgeous!

Lynn Douglass said...

OMG, this quilt is fabulous! I love everything about it!

Beth Karese said...

What a lovely quilt! The colors are so soft and the striped background is neat. I love how you jumped in and figured it out. I can relate to the not starting simple. Wonderful!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

It is beautiful! Often times it is the beginners who gamely tackle such hard projects, because like you said - you don't know any better. But see - it all came out so lovely that really if you see a "hard" pattern that you want to try, you should (even now you know better!). Judy's quilting IS beautiful - she did one of my quilts and it is a showpiece! I guess it won't be your "The Home" quilt afterall because if Judy said she would yank it out - I believe her! LOL. Cheers! Evelyn