Friday, October 28, 2011

My entry to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Fall 2011

This is the first time I have participated in the Blogger's Quilt Festival coordinated by Amy of Amy's Creative Side -- but I have lurked around the biennial festival before, and been inspired by the varied and beautiful projects entered by bloggers around the world.  So if you have found your way here through the BQF -- welcome!!  Mine is a relatively new blog, and I love to receive feedback.  Thanks so much for coming by.


Without further ado, here is my entry: my orange string quilt, finished in May of this year.


I learned a lot about my own creative process in making this quilt -- and there are a few moments that stand out in my memory, making me particularly attached to this quilt.

I began this project because (a) our sofa is very drab, and needed something bright and cheerful, (b) I was intrigued by the process of making a string quilt with paper foundations, and (c) I had a lot of orange in my stash!

Making the blocks was a blast, at least at first. It was great fun to play with and juxtapose the range of orange shades, from pale apricot to deep reddish hues, and exciting to start putting the blocks together. 

What I learned: I almost always hit a wall, where I lose touch with some of the playfulness and creative spontaneity that I love, and get mired in worry and self-doubt. Yup, it has happened time and again, and now I am just learning both to accept the fact that I worry -- I always worry -- about the quality of my workmanship at some point in the process, but also to trust that I will work through it.  (In this case, I worried about the quilting -- which I have grown to love!)  Just knowing this about myself-as-quilter has helped me to take my moments of doubt and worry a little less seriously! Seen in a positive light, my tendency towards self-criticism pushes me to recognize and try to solve problems. 

Okay, enough of that.  Onwards.

First some more shots of the quilt itself, including Penelope Cat's final inspection:






Fond memory #1:

My 17 year old son had two friends over one Saturday night, and the boys willingly, cheerfully, enthusiastically helped me to tear all the paper foundations off the assembled quilt top.  I had used whatever scrap paper was available -- so we were tearing away drafts of my lecture notes, scans of drawings by my daughters (ages 2 and 14), print-outs of electronic receipts -- basically, the paper residue of my winter semester.  It was fun, it was cathartic, and it was completely unexpected.  The boys seemed really intrigued by the whole quilt-making enterprise (at which my son seemed amused and baffled!). I will always remember that.

Fond memory #2:

Our recently adopted and domesticated former-alley-cat Ramone loves this quilt.  He sleeps on it every day (he's making up for lost time, after what I imagine was a kittenhood of light sleeping and constant alertness to potential dangers out there on the streets).  Here he is, looking quite relaxed and very Halloween-y:



Awwwwww!!!!  It's nice to know that my work is making one little fellow very happy!

I am really intrigued by the variations on this basic construction principle, and have been drooling over String Quilt Revival by Virginia Baker and Barbara Sanders.  Now that I have satisfied my fascination with orange (at least temporarily), I think there's a red -- a very, very red -- string quilt in my future.

If you haven't explored the Quilt Festival, do so!  It is great fun.

CLICK HERE!


Thanks again for visiting, and I would love to hear about the colours that inspire you!

58 comments:

Issabella The Cat said...

I love how bright and cheerful this quilt is and OMG you got teen boys to actually do something-lady thats no small miracle right there!
A quilt not a quilt until it has made it past the cat inspection :)

Becky said...

It's beautiful! Love that you embraced orange the way you did. I heart orange and always seem to shy away from it in quilts!

notes of sincerity said...

I love your quilt!
Your fond memories
are ones to be
cherished. :o)

bloomingpoppies said...

I loved this quilt when I saw it on Flickr earlier this year--- and I still love it!! Beautiful entry. I look forward to checking in here often to see what you're up to.

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love this quilt (it's fabulous!) and the stories about it and I LOVE the photo of Ramone asleep on it!

Hoola Tallulah said...

This is beautiful, I love the quilting and the colours make me droool. I love the story about your son and his friends helping and being so intrigued, and the sweet puss cat that has found a comfortable home atop your prettyfull quilt :)

Svetlana said...

Beautiful quilt, gorgeous!! Love it!

Aunt Spicy said...

you have totally, TOTALLY, changed my mind about orange!

Prof. S said...

Thanks SO much, everyone. Your sweet comments made my day :)

aksherry said...

This quilt is so beautiful. I love the orange.

Janine said...

I love this quilt and your story - especially the parts about your son and his friend helping and your cat :)

Bree said...

I love your quilt. Absolutely love. Orange is the favorite color of myself and both of my siblings - well loved around here - and your Ramone on top.. well, he just completes the perfect picture!

Annabella said...

I know I say it every time I visit but that quilt is stunningly beautiful - the shades of orange are amazing. I want to do an orange quilt right now but I don`t have any orange. Gah! Thanks for telling us about it Jennifer. It`s stunning!

Donna~~ said...

Very pretty oranges--especially with your Halloween kitty, who looks indeed to be thoroughly enjoying your quilt!

Sheila said...

I have just created a new pinboard on Pinterest and pinned Ramone - he is fab!

fallingforpieces said...

I love string quilting and this is really great! The oranges are amazing, I wish I had that many in my stash.

BaileyGirl5 said...

Very cheerful quilt! Nothing drab about this orange beauty. I love the story of the boys helping. I just love it when my sons show interest in my quilting. Just last night my oldest son showed me an easy way to keep my squares organized on my trip from the floor to the sewing machine so I can sew them correctly. I was thrilled but now he likes to "oversee" what I'm doing to see if he can figure out a better way. Eek!

Cathy said...

I like string quilts too. Made one that is constructed similarly to your quilt, but a very different color palette. Then I made one that is spiderweb shape. Next up: diamond shape. Your orange quilt looks terrific and so cheerful.

Andrea said...

I have yet to make a string quilt, I love yours, beautiful colors thanks for sharing

LizA. said...

I'm not usually a big orange fan, but this is lovely. I especially love the picture of Ramone snoozing away--one would think he KNOWS how photogenic he is there.

Jane said...

Gorgeous quilt! I was also surprised to realize how much orange I've accumulated. Hope to make a quilt similar to yours soon. Enjoyed your post.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I love this bright and cheery quilt! And I love your stories and memories!
I, too, find that I "hit that wall" where I am not sure about the current project, or am just tired of it...but in the end it is always good.
thanks for sharing!

Jenny said...

I love orange and white! Such a fun quilt for this time of year too!

Steffi´s Candy Quilts said...

What a great collection of orange fabrics! I just found out that I have way too less orange in my stash and try to change that.
This quilt really makes me smile - so sunny and bright!
I think Ramone choose this because it fits his black fur perfectly - he has a good taste! :-)

Sheila said...

I have the opposite problem...it seems I have almost no orange in my stash! I'm working on a charity quilt and need more orange blocks!

Heidi said...

Ugh...now I have to add THIS one to my list! LOL! The festival is so fun, but man, my bucket list becomes too long to handle. I love the single orange color for the strings. Really special!!

laura said...

LOVE string quilts. yours is beautiful!

mathea said...

Your quilt is lovely, full of sunshine and just the right combination of hues. You really had nothing to worry about there nor about the quilting (why we keep doing that to ourselves, I don't know, but I'm just the same!) I love how Ramon has claimed the quilt for himself. Even mid--nap his assertive little paw is stretched out as if he's saying "this is mine, now keep off!" :-)

LynCC said...

*LOVE* this quilt!!!! And to think I used to despise orange until just a few short years ago. Well, if it's ever missing, come look at my house. ;D

What Comes Next? said...

what a gorgeous job you've done on this quilt! Beautiful! I love that your son's friends helped pull off paper and were so intrigued! That is truly a great fond memory.

Debbie said...

Oh, I love your orange quilt - so cool! And I love that the boys helped you with the paper backing. very fun.

Kit Lang said...

This quilt is GORGEOUS!

Eileen said...

String quilts are always so fun to see. Have done a spiderweb and another type string quilt. Yours is just lovely in orange! Fun the boys helped with the paper tearing! Thabks for sharing and have a great day

Karen said...

I love your quilt! The colour is so vibrant and works perfectly in the strings. This is great fun!!

Kim said...

FAB FAB FAB!!!!! Orange is a new favorite color of mine and this quilt is a reason to add to my " why I love orange" list :o)

Amy in VA said...

I love orange and am too intimidated to try a string quilt. Yet. Wonderful quilt (and kitty)

mascanlon said...

Great quilt! And I enjoyed the stories around its creation. After years of avoiding orange my sil loves it and wanted lots for the baby's room so now I have some ideas of how to use it up! Thanks for sharing, I don't blog but enjoy looking.

Kate @SwimBikeQuilt said...

such a fun quilt!

Lyanna L. said...

love the orange! =)

Katie said...

Yay orange! (Too many people are afraid of orange and I LOVE IT!) It's a wonderful quilt and I love the way you quilted it. Mr. Ramone has clearly made the adjustment to housecat quite well - he's too sweet.

Shevvy said...

I love orange and string quilts. I am just jealous that you had help to rip the papers off.

Kathryn said...

Beautiful quilt! I am growing to be more of a fan of orange, and this quilt makes me want to use orange more!

Melissa said...

I've been using orange a lot lately and I'm jealous of all your orange :) What a beautiful quilt and what a nice cat to keep it company :)

Susan J said...

I love your string quilt!

Jessie said...

Wow, I love string quilts and I love orange! Was it Heather Ross's husband who said orange is the color that rhymes with nothing but goes with everything? I love this quilt! I'm sure it brightens up your living room.
My son is 8 and his teenage years seem to be fast approaching so it's great to hear a positive story about those beasts :)

Shannon said...

I love the happy feel that orange always gives! Your quilt is happy and beautiful and I love that your kitty loves it! :)

Mary@QuiltGenius said...

What a lovely quilt...and in my favorite colors, too!

Mary
http://www.quiltgenius.com

MN2NM said...

So beautiful! I wish my stash of orange was that big :) You did a fantastic job - enjoy your handiwork!

Sherry said...

I love your string quilt and I love orange! Perfect!

Allison said...

Cute! I think there is a string quilt somewhere in my future, too.

Rachel said...

What a stunning quilt! I love the memories that you have already made with it. I also like that it coordinates so well with both your cats.

Benta At SLIKstitches said...

lovely warm colours, and great quilting

felicity said...

So glad you decided to participate in BQF! I love your quilt and I really enjoyed reading your fond recollections associated with it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt and its story.

Philippa said...

Fabulous, fabulous quilt, singing of sunshine and summer. I am well familiar with the doubts - I call it the "too much thinking and no enough doing" phase - it can be crippling. Well done on overcoming it spectacularly! Warm wishes for productive and worry free quilting adventures from New Zealand.

Leslie said...

i love it....all that beautiful orange caught my eye right away

straythreads said...

great quilt love all the orange and story about little boys helping.
Ann

Martha said...

What more can you ask for...obviously the quilt passed inspection...it is beautiful and so are your boys.

Susie at ProsperityStuff said...

Stunning! Just noticed this quilt, because it reminds me of a similar one I made in blue ... LOVE the fond memories you mentioned with it - since it's fun to see what will impress kids, and since I have a kitty who insists on testing out all my quilt work ...