Design Wall Monday – After the Quilt Show

Does your quilt guild hold an annual quilt show? Mine does. It was a week or so ago. So, although it’s not on my design wall today I thought I would share a quilt I put in the show.

Beyond the Cherry Trees, 96 x 96. A reproduction quilt from Sentimental Stitches

Beyond the Cherry Trees, 96 x 96. A reproduction quilt from Sentimental Stitches

It’s called, “Beyond the Cherry Trees” and it’s huge! 96″ x 96″. The quilt was hand appliqued with the  Back Basting Applique technique described in my book, Back Basting Applique Step by Step. The project was offered from Sentimental Stitches as a block of the month, I faithfully downloaded the patterns each month for over 2 years. I did a pretty decent job of staying caught up as the block of the month was in progress, that is, until I got to all those berries in the borders!

For years I have collected red and green reproduction fabrics, just waiting for the right project to use them in. I’ve seen other interpretations of this quilt done in more modern fabrics but I adore these funky blocks, especially when stitched in the reproduction fabrics. So there was no doubt in my mind that I would be keeping it traditional.

When I completed the top a year or so ago, I took it to my friend Theresa of Always Quilts. Theresa does incredible machine quilting but I wanted this quilt done a little differently. I like to think of those funky blocks as the Baltimore Album Quilt’s country cousins. Being a country girl myself, naturally, I’m attracted to them. So I didn’t want dense, perfect quilting with balanced feathers and swirls. I wanted funky. And I just wanted the background between the blocks to be quilted. That way, when it came home, I too could have some fun adding quilting to this long term project. Poor Theresa. My request was WAAAAAY outside her norm. But she did what I asked. The day she finished her part, she sent me a text saying it was ready for pick up. I replied, “Are we still friends?”

When I got the quilt back I spent hours and hours at my HQ Sweet 16 quilting in the ditch around each and every applique motif, then adding quilting on top of the appliques.

As I quilted in the ditch I added a few more swirls and tendrils and whatever else moved me to fill in the space evenly.

A completed block

A completed block

For a grand finale, I added a tiny piping of gold and a red binding. I would like you to think it was for the special finishing touch but the truth is that I was down to the deadline for getting it done in time for the quilt show. Adding the piping allowed me to stitch the binding on entirely by machine. Voila! Finished in time.

I like this quilt with it’s quirky blocks and uneven borders. And apparently visitors to our quilt show liked it too. It came home wearing a 3rd place viewers choice ribbon in it’s Bed Quilt category.

About that Bed Quilt category, I don’t expect anyone will be sleeping under this quilt – at least not in my lifetime!

Let’s link to Judy’s Patchwork Times today and see what others are working on. Click here.

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