Where do I start with this quilt? I love, love this quilt, and yet, it is so different from anything I have ever done before. It matches nothing in my house, and is way more Victorian that any decor style that I like.
So why do I love this? I bought the Robyn Pandolf fabrics at an estate sale. I loved them because of their vintage look, but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. Then last fall I was working in the Creative Stitches show in Sherwood Park. I started playing with the Brother Embroidery machines. I found a beautiful paisley design, picked some pretty Glide thread and bazinga! I was hooked! It was so easy and so fun! So I decided I would make some blocks to match this fabric, because why waste the pretty designs?
So that was the beginning of The Secret Garden. I just picked more designs that went with the big centre one, and before I knew it I had 6 blocks that needed a fabric frame around them. I found the block design in a magazine. It was perfect for the large floral print fabric, so I adjusted it for the embroidery blocks. Some pretty striped tone on tone for the sashing and borders, plus a little help from my husband for the pieced border, and the quilt top was ready for the long arm.
Now for the quilting. I knew I wanted to challenge myself, and do ruler work on this. Also I really wanted the quilting to be the focus. So I put 2 layers of batting in this quilt. The first layer is Hobbs 80/20, and the second is wool, also from Hobbs. I used Invisifil thread in a light cream colour, and Deco Bob pre-wound bobbins. Invisifil is 100 weight and Deco Bob is 80 weight, a good pairing that works well in my machine. I also used a smaller needle.
The outer border was free motion on a pre-drawn grid. I used the blue wash away pen from Clover. I started with stitch in the ditch, everywhere, and as I moved down the quilt, ideas started to come for how the blocks needed to be quilted. I don't always know what to do right away, so I do what I am certain of, while I am thinking of ideas for the unknowns. It was slow work, but not everything that is worth waiting for comes quickly.
So why do I love this quilt? It has so much of me in it. It's my design, my quilting, and so much of my time went into this one. I stepped outside of my comfort zone, pushed myself farther than anything I have ever done before. It's also a reflection of the love and encouragement I get from my family and my Studio mates. Without them I would not be where I am! So thanks everyone! Ron, my kids, Joanne, Matt and Bradie! You all rock my world!