Friday, June 13, 2014

The Ode to Tex and Nancy Quilt

A little radio silence over here, I know!  My 'free' time has been filled lately with finishing up this number, learning new tricks with my machines, working on a top secret project that I can't wait to share with you (!!), and planning out a king-size quilt commission!  Plus, just living and enjoying the days with the kid, the man, and the furry herd.   
This was a bit of an emotional quilt for me to work on.  That may not make sense to some but often, creating is a very emotional process.  You see, for whatever reason, I inherited much of Tex's fabric that wouldn't be sell-able. I've sat staring at those fabrics for a while, wanting to make sure I did them justice and made Tex proud with what I used them for.  I don't know that I'll ever use up all that I was passed along but I am going to do my best to use every single little scrap!  To say it's an honor to work with Tex's fabric would be an understatement.  
This quilt was totally inspired by Tex and our mutual friend Nancy who took on the huge task of going through Tex's fabrics.  Let me tell you a story.  When I was busy planning the first Alliday, I hit up our neighborhood garage sale.  I came across a sale with some cool odds and ends and, randomly, tons of amazing handmade hats hanging in a tree.  I inquired and sure enough, the homeowner, Nancy, had made them herself.  In the weeks that followed, I suppose I bugged her enough to convince her to join me at the show which thrilled me to no end.  After getting to know her a little bit, I knew that her and Tex needed to know each other so when I did space planning, I situated their booths back to back.  What followed was a beautiful friendship between two women that I admired greatly.  Not only does this quilt honor Tex by using her fabrics and showing a modern design, it also honors Nancy by using her signature colors of orange and blue.  I like to think that this piece shows their bond and what it meant to me to witness their friendship.
So, the quilt.  The cool patterned fabric I picked up at an estate sale a while back but I don't believe it's vintage at all.  Quite modern, to me.  All of the solids came from Tex's batch.  I was scared to start cutting into them but just went for it!  I'm honestly quite thrilled at the way the design turned out and how bold it is.  I find it to be much more exciting to go into a quilt design without a plan and see where it takes me.  I may change my tune someday but for now, it's what works for me.
When I quilted this one, I actually free-motioned all of it.  I'm lucky that this is a busy pattern because this was my first real go at FMQ.  I'm pretty damn proud of it, even though it may not be technically perfect.  I'll never improve unless I just start doing it!  That's my mindset at least.  :)  It's a tight stippled design which gives the quilt a really nice feeling to it.  I do wish that I had quilted the centerpiece more densely to mimic the rest of the quilt but, c'est la vie.  Next time, next time.
The backing is another large and soft vintage sheet.  I thought the design of the sheet worked perfectly with the colors on front.  Since it's not as busy a pattern, you can better see the quilting on the back.
I also made my own bias tape for this one and for the first time, I didn't refer to any instructions on how to do so!  That was a big deal for me.  I literally used every last piece of that gorgeous orange fabric to finish it up.
So what started out as an intimidating and emotional project for me became one of my favorites.  Sure, it's not perfect but I certainly learned tons from it, as I usually do.  I'd like to think Tex would approve, and that Nancy will too.  To both of you ladies for your creative encouragement and for sharing your unbelievable work with the world.  You inspire more than you know.

For those interested, this quilt is now available in the shop.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...