Friday, 28 June 2013

Letty's Quilt

I recently finished this quilt for my maternal grandmother.  My family is not all that traditional, so my siblings and I call most of our grandparents by their first names - hence the name, Letty's Quilt.  (Incidentally, Letty is a twin, and her twin sister's name is Betty.  I'm sure that was really fun when they were growing up!).

Letty's quilt 

Letty lives in Tauranga, so I don't see her all that often.  Despite being in her mid 80's, she is still fairly independent and travels around the country visiting friends and family quite regularly.  Letty was staying with my parents a couple of months ago and I asked if she would like me to make a quilt for her.  We looked through a few of my quilting books together, and she picked the Shoeman's Puzzle pattern from Denyse Schmidt's book Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. I've stuck to the pattern pretty faithfully, apart from making fewer blocks to end up with a single bed size quilt. 

Letty's quilt 

I even used templates (i.e., you trace a shape off a sheet and then use that to cut your pieces) as instructed by the pattern.  I have to say I was pretty nervous about using templates.  They don't seem like the most accurate way to make a quilt (for me, anyway), so I have avoided using them in the past.  However, I was inspired by what Denyse wrote in the book about using templates:

"In the end, try not to get hung up on making everything perfect. Take a good long look at those antique quilts that have so much life and warmth. You'll notice that most often they are not the most perfectly constructed quilts with tidy, matching seams and corners. What I like best about these beautiful quilts are the so-called mistakes. Accidents and imperfections never look right when you do them purposefully, so celebrate them while they're happening naturally."

It's very encouraging, right?  There are certainly plenty of imperfections to celebrate in this quilt.

Letty's quilt 

I quilted this quilt with an all-over flower design from Angela Walters' book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters.  I really like how the quilting design mimics the bubbly look of the print in the solid sections, but seems to disappear in the print sections.  The quilting also made my piecing look much better than it did before - when people say mistakes "will quilt out", this is what they mean! 

Letty's quilt

I backed the quilt with a fabric from Bari J's new collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, Bijoux.  I love the colours in that fabric and I thought it complemented the quilt top without being matchy matchy. I hope my grandmother will like this quilt - my mum is planning a visit soon so I will send the quilt with her.

My final thoughts on templates - I could have made a much more accurately pieced quilt using paper piecing, but it would have taken longer and used more fabric.  In the end I'm happy with the piecing, even though I wasn't very pleased with it before quilting.  I'm definitely not ruling out using templates again, and my decision will probably depend on the project (do I want a high degree of precision, how much time to do I have, how much fabric am I willing to commit to the project).  What are your thoughts on using templates - do you love em or hate em?

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Shoeman's Puzzle from Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration
Finished Size: Approximately 54 inches by 75 inches.
Fabric: Moda Bella Solid in White, Kaffe Fassett Paperweight in Yellow
Backing: Divine Gypsy in Ivory from Bari J's Bijoux collection for Art Gallery Fabrics
Binding: Kaffe Fassett Paperweight in Yellow
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.

26 comments:

Kelly Young said...

what a fantastic quilt! I love the cheery yellow print and the kaleidoscope pattern is fun! You should hop over and link it up at Needle and Thread Thursday!

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Camilla said...

This is beautiful Adrianne and so nice too to have your grandmother part of the choosing process. I bet that part is really special to her too, especially when she sees the gorgeous result. I have never tried templates, but fabric economy sounds good, always a trade off with fantastically accurate piecing that PP provides (such wastage irks me though and I'm left with lots of odd shaped scraps!) The interplay of angles forming the illusion of curves is lovely with this pattern and I have long admired those Kaffe Fassett paperweight fabrics. It all looks accurately pieced to me!

Susan Owenby said...

What you quoted is so important. Don't misunderstand me, I love a technically perfect quilt. I think they are amazing and beautiful and show an unparalleled attention to detail; however, I just as much love quilts that look like a real live human made them. I celebrate small imperfections and a few squiggly lines. I see love and the human hand in them. A beautiful thing indeed!

You're quilt is lovely and grandmother sounds like she is too!

You can always find me @ www.theboredzombie.com

Erica said...

This is so beautiful, and how lucky you are that your grandmother is still up for traveling. Both of my grandmothers are still living and both are around their mid-80s as well, but they are pretty much stuck at home most of the time. I love that you stuck with one print for the quilt top, it is very dynamic. I am sure your grandmother will treasure it. I personally don't love templates, but I have used them without too much trouble so I don't hate them either.

Kelly Young said...

I'm so glad you decided to link! It really is a fantastic quilt!

:) Kelly

Suz said...

Until the recent purchase of some new rulers, I have used templates to create all the triangles that I use in block construction - flying geese and half square triangles etc. I place the paper template on a strip of fabric, and using my ruler line up the 1/4" mark with the sewing line on the template before cutting up to four layers of fabric. Then slide the ruler across the paper without moving it and line up the next cut. Works really easily and I get much more perfect piecing than the "quick" way of constructing the same units. I suppose it all comes down to personal preference.

Erin @ Missy Mac Creations said...

It is a beautiful quilt! Love the quote from the book too. So true.

Amanda said...

I love this quilt. Don't even remember seeing it in that book. Your fabric choices really make the design sparkle. A perfect gift for your granny!

Cari said...

It's gorgeous! I remember seeing this quilt in a magazine, too -- I think it was Modern Quilts Unlimited. I really like the sense of movement it has. The quilting really does complement it perfectly. Great work!

Leanne M said...

This is lovely - there are so many geometric shapes within it, it's really quite mesmerising. I love that you allowed your grandmother to choose the pattern. I laughed at her name rhyming with her twin's, it's more common than you think.

Patchwork and Play said...

Letty's Quilt is lovely - lots of movement and such a pretty colour! I made my first quilt, many years ago, with templates! I now avoid them when I can. I figure if it can be made with templates, it can be made by foundation piecing!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

It looks lovely! A design form all straight lines which then appears to curve. I like your choice of fabrics and think Letty will love it.

knitnkwilt said...

I haven't used templates since the rotary cutter was invented, but if I do, I think I'll use them this way.

knitnkwilt said...

I learned on templates, and they were accurate because we hand pieced back then. Drew the lines around the template, which was the finished size of the piece. Then sewed on the line, making sure both lines matched up. I don't miss them, but would consider using them for an oddball shape that wasn't easy to do with ordinary strip cutting and piecing, though as I said above, I'd probably do something similar to Suz.

Nat at Made in Home said...

I love it! I am not sure I would have taken that fabric without seeing it coupled with the white kona! It works so well!

Teresa said...

A beautiful quilt¡¡¡ You are so lucky that your grandmother is so independent.

Ann @Bright Side of Balance said...

It's Gorgeous!!! I love it! A wonderful gift! Treasure your Grandmother... I'm about to lose one of mine.

RobinSue said...

Happy and cheery quilt! Mistakes? I see none!

Flying Blind... said...

Accuracy - so over-rated, well that's my excuse!!

I love his quilt, and I bet your Grandmother will too.

I like using laser cut templates, but when I trace and make my own, they are never as good.

Chris said...

LOVE!!!!!! Great job!

Anna said...

Beautiful!! I love the quilting- you're right, quilting often does hide a lot of little imperfections. I found that to be true when I was finishing my scrappy trip along quilt.

I have never used templates, but I love the quote you posted :)

Anna said...

It looks amazing! Just been explaining to my 7yo how the quilt is an optical illusion, with triangles appearing to be curves! It is gorgeous!

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Beautiful quilt! I love the happy Kaffe colors! And thanks for the quote from the book...words for us quilters to live by!

Laura C @ littleandlots said...

Adrianne, this is absolutely stunning! I love your flower quilting motif. I tried that same motif this week, on a Quilts for Boston quilt--but mine didn't come out near this nice. (I will try again!) I also have my eye on this pattern. Don't you want to just make EVERY QUILT in that book?!

Green said...

Gorgeous quilt. Finding beauty in the imperfections - the Japanese call it wabi sabi.

Unknown said...

Your piecing looks great even if I am a perfectionnist.
I was told that it's not a quality, so I'll try to take benefit of Denyse's words, and accept now some little imperfection (as I hope you'll do for my bad English)