Home Sweet Home, Part 5

The quilt is done, and was a great surprise for Opa. I’ve never had a quilt travel abroad before, and this one has already been to some cool places. First to Venice, Italy, then to various towns in Austria…. apparently, “have quilt, will travel” 😉 We visited Annaberg, a mountain ski village with cooler weather, and Opa took the quilt for the trip, and loved it. It’s back in the Lake District now.

What I loved about making this quilt:
1. I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone, and explored chocolate, greens and purples.
2. The quilt is to scale! thanks Google Maps 🙂
3. I’m so glad I took the time to trace the entire quilt onto the white fabric. it made the reverse applique process much easier.
4. All the ppl that helped me make this happen – my partner, his brother and mum, my sister, mum and dad, Judy and her crew at Sew Sisters, the fellow quilter who gave my fabric selections a thumbs up when I was sitting on the floor in the Hamel’s booth. Thank you.

What I can do better next time:
1. Plan for more time. I was really rushed with the quilting and binding.
2. Add more detail. I had wanted to put in landmarks, stitch in the railroad, and add the river.
3. Use a plain fabric for the background (ie, the roads). The white fabric had a shiny white print on it, that sometimes made it difficult to see the grey chalk lines.
4. Draw the quilt lines. I simply cannot sew a straight line free hand, sigh.

We visited a grand house last weekend, and I got some great pictures there of the quilt…

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hanging out on a bench in the park.

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sunning on the front lawn of the castle.

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here’s a closer look at the map.

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I managed to applique a heart to show the location of the home.

Hence, the quilt is entitled “Home is where the Heart is” 🙂

I have to admit, it was unusually easy to give this quilt away. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love it very much, but the joy it has given my partner’s parents has made the effort worthwhile 🙂

Now, what shall I sew next?

Home Sweet Home, Part 4

The first batch of “floor board” borders came together rather quickly. I knew I wanted red, to tie in the 4.5 metres on Stonehenge red that I picked up at Sew Sisters… this fabric was first cut into two lengths for the backing… then I trimmed away some of the width for strips on the front. I opted for brown and purple floorboard borders next, the finished with 3 shades of green. I had enough of the outermost border fabric left to whip up some binding.

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I sandwiched and pinned this quilt VERY quickly. The snapshot above shows the quilt sandwich before I trimmed the excess batting – I used a queen size organic cotton backing. Even though I chose a 2″inch grid quilting design, it still took a couple of days to finish quilting. I was quilting right up until 4 hours before my flight to Venice. I was exhausted when I got on the flight… I have been sewing every night for hours after work… for about 4 weeks prior to the trip.

3 relaxing days in Venice, 1 day of train travel to Austria, and then, back to the grind – 4 hours of sewing and pressing this afternoon 🙂 I had cut the binding in Toronto, borrowed a sturdy Pfaff sewing machine from my partner’s mom here in Austria, and acquired use of his brother’s airy living room today. After a rocky start (the instructions were in German, yikes), I got the machine working. Soon the binding was pieced, folded and pressed, and attached to the quilt. Not my neatest work, but the quilt will withstand regular usage 🙂

It’s currently being washed and dried, and I will trim away any threads tomorrow. Hopefully, all this covert activity has gone unnoticed by Opa, and he will be surprised for his birthday this weekend 🙂