Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Wheel Quilt Bound and Labelled

Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day.
Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly.
~Unknown

Quilting


This quilt began over four years ago as an experiment with a wedge ruler. Instead of starting within the limits of the ruler, I immediately extended the perimeter with less than stellar results... then set it aside. Two years later it resurfaced in a clean-and-sort of the boxes and the soft colors called to me. {It was hard to find a place to photograph and I finally took an angled view and adjusted it on my phone. The wheels are circular, not oval as they appear here.}

Wheel quilt

What fun it's been to work on this quiet and limited palette, to rework the fans into blocks that lie flat, to take time with each step. I find iterative processes meditative and this quilt in particular is the repository of diverse family memories - the joyful and sad markers of time.

Wheel quilt detail with netted crab fabric

My stash only held a few quiet creams suitable for setting the fans and {of course} none had sufficient yardage to make all of them. The fisher-girl fabric delights me. It's a personal nod to our dear sister and always brings a smile. 

Detail of fisher-girl on Wheel quilt

The red and white striped fabric has been set aside for sashing since the first day but with the fan blocks  complete, it took a while to determine how much to use - both width of the sashing and frequency. Eventually, alternating it with a quieter taupe created a better rhythm.

Wheel quilt detail including cracking crabs fabric

The red and white fabrics of the wheels alternate between tastefully lyric florals and three crab novelty prints. I pulled everything in that colorway and was amused to find them. {And there weren't enough florals anyway. Of course.}

Wheel quilt detail with knitting crabs fabric

Many quilts use snowballs as central blocks and alternate blocks. I've done it myself but I hadn't made a border of them. They seemed like the perfect reprise of wheels - smaller and less distinct - but still repeating a circular theme. Of course, it took me many iterations to quieten down my fabric choices. The soft center can easily be overpowered.

Wheel quilt border detail and wheel with abstract circle fabric

What an excellent decision to send the top to Peg Collins for long arm quilting! I knew every stitch and design would show on all the light backgrounds and wanted something more exciting than my normal quilting. Her work is amazing.

Wheel quilt detail

The final steps were to trim the edges, bind, and label. A search through my dwindling stash brought two diagonal stripes. {The sashing stripe is gone. Of course.} The red-and white is narrower than the sashing. From a distance it looks pink.

Testing a red and white stripe binding

The green, blue, and red stripe unexpectedly excited me {next to the border} until Gayle gently nudged me to something that doesn't compete with the sashing or the wheels. 

Testing a multicolor binding

A quiet green enhances the quilt. In fact, it is the cutoffs from the backing fabric. Perfect.

Wheel quilt with detail of back and binding

My quilts are rarely labelled. My mother used to write them if I needed one for a show. Some of them are fading from washing even though I use special soap and archival pens. Penwork on the ones I've gifted disappear quickly. {I see that when visiting.} Now I simply sign the bottom right corner like a painter.  I usually use thread that matches the top. You have to look hard to see it. But it shows more on the back so archivists will find it. That's my story.

Wheel quilt signature

Quilt Specifics
Size: 86"x108"
Design: Fans and Snowballs
Batting: cotton
Thread: white polyester
Quilting: FMQ by Peg Collins
Approximate yardage: 19 yd {with leftovers for the scrap bag}

Previous posts:
1. The first block - way back in 2018

Reading


The Doctors Blackwell by Janice Nimura is a biography of Elizabeth, the first female M.D. in America, and Emily, her younger sister and the better physician. Together they founded the New York Hospital for Indigent Women and Children. Although they were contemporaries of many suffragists (and Lucy Stone Married one of their brothers} they didn't support universal suffrage, believing education was more important. Elizabeth was also the first, and for many years the only, woman physician listed in England. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

37 comments:

  1. I especially love those snowball borders on this one--a really pretty finish hugs, Julierose

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Borders are a favorite with me.

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  2. Wow - Congratulations on this beautiful quilt. I love your palette too. Very soft and calming.
    I so admire your quilt specs! Such a great idea for details that we all too soon forget.

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    1. Thanks, Barb. It was fun to figure out how to soften this quilt. For years people pushed informational books to document everything about our quilts but I could never get that together. The blog posts and the specs on the final post are much easier for me. If I need to, I guess I could have the books made from them. Some of my friends do.

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  3. So lovely and what a treasure you now have!

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  4. That snowball border is like making a second quilt. What a lot of work. It must feel good to get this one done. It's a lovely calming finish.

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    1. After all these years of quilting my family has enough for a few lifetimes. All I'll do is start another so I'm trying to put more into the ones I work on now.

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  5. This turned out spectacular! Every thoughtful choice is reflected in this piece. Great job!

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  6. Oh, Anne -- this is a beauty! It is quilt-show worthy and you should enter it somewhere. (Wisconsin Quilt Expo??) I went back and read all the posts for the design. I've used a wedge ruler once and I'd like to try again.

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    1. ...Sorry, Ann not Anne! And thanks for the reminder about the Blackwell book....

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    2. Thanks, Nann. I hadn't thought of entering it somewhere. The few times I've mailed quilts I found it a real pain.
      How flattering that you re-read all the design posts. I like grouping them on the final post. It's my documentation.
      I want to try the wedge ruler again, too.

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  7. Love the introductory quote and LOVE the quilt!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. After this year and a half at home, it's more important to find habits you love to do.

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  8. what a pretty Ann quilt... you've a style to be recognized.

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnna. I'm not sure I'd recognize my style but I think I'd recognize yours. So artistic and fearless you are.

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  9. A beautiful quilt! I love the soft pretty palette, and all the thought that has gone into the sashing & border decisions has really paid off.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Linda. I enjoy figuring out the steps as I go. It's hard for me to stay interested in a quilt if everything is planned ahead of time.

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  10. This quilt just invites a closer look with the whimsical but subtle fabrics you chose. The snowball block border is just icing on the cake! Wonderful finish!

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    1. Thanks. When we've worked on a quilt for a long time it can be hard to decide if only we will love it. I'm glad you find the fabrics as amusing as I do.

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  11. What a beauty! I cannot imagine making that many small snowball blocks for the border and they are so perfect with the center.

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    1. The snowballs took a while but weren't that hard. And you know we'll only start another quilt when the current one is done. So it seemed like a good use of time.

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  12. What a wonderful quilt! It's quiet but exciting and expressive, not an easy thing to pull off.

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    1. That's a nice juxtaposition, Rosa. Thanks.

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  13. Congratulations on a magnificent finish! Love the wonderful wheels. The snowballs make a great border.

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    1. Thank you, Shasta. The wheels were what started me on this project but it was a delight to add the snowballs.

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  14. This is just beautiful - a quilt that would be very easy to live with, I think. You prompt me (again) to think more about borders.

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    1. The colors are more liveable, like some of your work. Overall, they look like clothing. It would be interesting to see what you'd do with a border but we work so differently. I always admire the way you make sections and then fit them together with bits of mortar. I always think about trying that.

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  15. I'm a fan of yours and this is fantastic! Congrats on this spectacular finish!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. I've been trying to work on different things like circles and consider what I can add to a quilt. I shouldn't be in a hurry to finish anything these days.

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  16. This is such a lovely blend of colors and elements in a quilt. The wheels grab my attention immediately and then the border sort of soothes. I adore the striped narrow sashing and the color palette just pulls at my heartstrings! Love this one so much!:)

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    1. How kind of you to write, Audrey. Working with these softer fabrics was a good challenge. The colors are closer to "regular clothing" although some prints are a bit crazy.
      Stripes are such fun! I have several but don't use them often enough. I'm trying to quit "saving" my favorite fabrics. Better to put them in a quilt than leave them in the boxes. You inspired me to use the red and white stripe as sashing.

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  17. Very cohesive and beautifully put together!

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  18. Wowzer that is an incredible quilt! It's so beautiful, I love the colors, choices of sashing and the pieced border really sets off the blocks! Brava!

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    1. I've been admiring Kaja's quilts for a while and the way she pulls clothing for many of them. None of these are old clothes but the colors are much quieter than many quilt fabrics. I'm enjoying the way they look against that stripe. Thanks, Claire.

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