My hope had been to finish the quilt for our 40th wedding Anniversary, which was March 17th.
It was in May of 2018 that I was ready to start the machine quilting. By November of that year, the top of the quilt was finished with only the border left to quilt. A 2019 finish seemed quite possible. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances put the project on hold from Dec.2018 until October 2019. However, from then until it's finish in April of this year, my sewing machine and I have been best of buds.
Even so, we didn't quite make it for March 17th of this year, our 41st, but came close. The last stitch closing the binding went in on April 24, 2020.
When squaring up so large quilt (94" x 100"), a clean floor is my only option and the parquet flooring gives me great reference points for getting it square. Unfortunately, when I laid it out, setting up for advantageous photo angles didn't cross my mind until much too late, so it's orientation (upside down) is not at all convenient for pics. C'est la vie! Until I find a wall large enough to hang the quilt and take a proper pic, this is the best I can do.
|Here the whole quilt is visible. It has been squared and is ready for the binding.|
It was in early January of 2013 that the first ideas for this quilt were sketched onto paper and tested on the machine, and not until 3 years later that I next picked up the design. Whenever I design a quilt for myself or someone else, I like to include motifs and symbols that are meaningful to the recipient, in this case, my husband and me. Butterflies, hummingbirds, shamrocks and gardenias all float in and around a rose window from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris which forms the backdrop for the design.
|The stained glass arches of the rose window provide the backdrop in the top half of the quilt. (apologies for the upside down)|
|A large swoop divides the lower half of the quilt allowing shamrocks to cascade down along the side. (also upside down)|
|A butterfly and a hummingbird fly toward a gilded gardenia in the centre of the quilt.|
|A close-up of the finished hummingbird.|
|... a sprawling mass of shamrocks.|
The header of the quilt (below) had to be adapted to accommodate two built in tables that are on either side of the bed. For this reason, the two top corners were left unquilted, cut out and then bound along with the rest of the quilt.
A re-worked version of the arches from the centre of the quilt were repeated in the border (below).
From start to finish, this quilt and I have been on quite a journey, and there's much of the itinerary still to go. Current experiences along with future destinations continue to be a source of inspiration with more projects already underway.