Now that my thesis is wrapped up and in the hands of my defense committee, I can post my second entry for this fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival! [Amy, of Amy's Creative Side, has undoubtedly spent countless hours organizing and facilitating this show that has a spectacular list of sponsors, so I give her my heartfelt gratitude.]
This one is being entered in the "Large Quilts" Category.
This one is being entered in the "Large Quilts" Category.
(My 25th Anniversary double wedding ring quilt was blogged here.)
"Heather Bear's Graduation"
|Allison (Heather's roommate) and Heather, graduation week,|
Washington University in St. Louis, May 2014
[Wait a minute!!!? I never blogged this one?? - That's what happens when you have a Super Top Secret project for so long that you're used to keeping your mouth shut about, and the reveal time comes in such a crazy-busy flurry of a month! So I really apologize about the photo-heavy load for the journaling herein.]
Our oldest daughter, Heather - on the right in that photo above, graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a neuroscience emphasis,and minors in Music and Psychology, this past May. She had worked her tail off all through high school and landed herself a large enough scholarship to go to the school of her dreams - Washington University in St. Louis. Of course graduation required a bed-size quilt!
Her quilt is a queen, and I pondered what pattern to use for quite a long time. Their school colors are Red and Green, and I wanted a quilt that used the colors in a way that worked for a bed any time of the year, not just Christmas. And do you know how difficult it is to find great border fabric in Christmas red & green that's NOT Christmas fabric? I shopped for nine months before I found one I liked. I'm really happy with the end result of the quilt!
There are several fun out-take shots from around the campus. . .
My only regret about this quilt is that I couldn't quilt it myself for her since I was madly finishing up my research and pre-writing for my thesis at the time. So I took it to Deb Yost for edge-to-edge longarming with a nice floral panto. Turned out really nice on it.
This was her boyfriend, Pat's, first experience with a quilt photo op. I think it perplexed him that more than one shot was taken. ;D
Love my girl so much :)
The Thinker rabbit is always a favorite spot of ours.
I had fun with the back - I found a plaid and a green marble in my stash that played very nicely with the quilt's colors. There was too little of either to do the whole back, and anyway I had ideas for special labeling and symbolic elements.
I wanted the center to feature a few of my favorite photos from her college years.
(She always makes all of her own costumes. Loki was a favorite and a huge hit.
They did have a lot of fun over the years with their Halloweens!
Bofur was just too great. :)
Heather and Alison enjoying a fondue outing on The Loop
And of course, I had to include the "Brookings Castle."
So I got all the photos processed onto fabric, then embedded those and the labeling in a panel.
I was so impressed and super surprised by Scott the day I was piecing the surrounding portions.
I'd made those large blocks and was laying them out with the photo/label panel to see how the heck they could all work together. My husband, seeing everything on the floor, blurted out: "Hey! They're bear claw blocks!" Which were chosen because the school mascot is a bear. Which is why she's my Heather-Bear. ;D [And how did he know that's what they were?? Oh - he was just extrapolating from the bears I'd appliqued on a shape that looked like claws, he says.]
(Which were just fused on and then stitched down with a medium-sized blanket stitch. When I do any fusing, I "gut" the fusible-stuff shape before applying it to the fabric so it's just a 1/4-inch outline. That way I can trim out the center of the background and things aren't all stiff.)
The final backing layout incorporated one last element for Heather: a cross for her pre-med emphasis and post-grad intentions.
. . . And there are even extra quilts!! Two lap quilts, to be exact. Because the day I cut out all the sheets of reds and whites to make a gazillion HSTs, my brain's back-RAM was busy processing research materials and somehow figured that 8 rows of 8 columns meant I needed 88 blocks worth of HSTs. And I was practically finished sewing all those sheets when I realized what I'd done!
By the way - here's how I do HSTs when I have a whole gob like this. Sooooo much faster than ANY other method in this situation and perfectly accurate! (Sandwich the fabrics right-sides-together, then pin the paper on top. Sew on the dotted lines, then cut on the solid lines. You can print the pages out for free at places like Quilting and Whatnot. I just use regular, cheap printer paper!
Anyway, the fortunate part is that I'd already approached the reds and greens for Heather's quilt with a scrappy plan. Looking at things, it became apparent that I was going to have plenty of background fabric to make two lap quilts the same way. I would only need to: A) buy 1/2 yard of another green, and B) add only 8 more blocks. (I had not yet found the border fabric, so that wasn't an issue.)
So I made a lap quilt for her roommate of 3 years, Alison. :D Who was blown away. :) And had a blast on our campus walking-tour photo op. :D
She was so cute how she kept stopping and looking at new details she noticed.
Of course, she had to have a bear, too! And I printed the picture of them at The Melting Pot on her label, along with the university's seal.
The smile makes it all supercalifragilisticksexpialidocious that I messed up my math that first day. :)
The second lap quilt was reserved for Scott and I to keep. It's just like Alison's except for the labeling.
And truth be told - its binding still has one side to be stitched down!! (That anniversary double wedding ring quilt on my other Festival entry completely took over my hand work station for the last few months!)
What a special day that was in St. Louis. :D
~ May 16, 2014 ~
Graduating with best friends, Alison and Ruth
Well done, indeed. :D
Voting is HERE during Nov 1-7 at the Quilt Festival for this category
And my first entry, in the Home Machine Quilted category, is blogged HERE