Friday, March 15, 2013

Once Upon a Time


After a more than a year of collecting fabric and just over a month of sewing, my Heather Ross quilt is finally done. I love this quilt dearly, though there were times when I wasn't sure it was meant to be. I've never taken such an improvisational turn at quilting before, and though it was way out of my comfort zone, I'm not one bit sorry that I took the trip. I'm calling this one "Once Upon a Time."


Making a quilt this way is crazy. I wasn't even sure where to begin. After thinking and sketching and thinking some more, I finally decided to start by making some blocks that I loved and then building around those. I looked at my favorites on Flickr and Pinterest and pulled out a few that I liked: the wonky star, the postage stamp, the winged square nine patch (favorite block of all time -- I can't wait to make another one of these).


But putting them together was difficult. I wanted things to look a little more random than your basic sampler quilt. I also realized that I was going to need more than only Heather Ross fabrics, so I pulled some extra prints that coordinated. A definite color scheme began to emerge, and I had to rip out some things that didn't go, add some things to balance what stayed behind. I spent one evening just picking up fabric sections and moving them around over and over again. Panic hit me when I began to fear that this was all a mistake. Half of me wanted to rip it all apart and admit defeat, but I just couldn't give it up.


But, oh my goodness, that moment when I started to like it -- when I started to love it. It was worth every hour of angst that came before. As I began sewing the different sections together, it came alive for me, and suddenly I loved the challenge and excitement of seeing what was going to happen next with this quilt.


I had intended to hand quilt this piece, and I even spent about two hours on that, but in the end it just wasn't working for me. I ripped out all the hand stitches (even though it about killed me to do it) and did it all by machine. Again, I'm learning: if you don't like it, don't leave it that way -- even if it means taking apart something you've poured a lot of time into. You'll hate what you don't like every time you look at it, so you might as well start over and do it right.


I'll be perfectly honest, the back is nothing fancy. This quilt is going to be hanging on the wall in Bunny and Bear's room, so no one's going to be looking at that side. Just in case it ever comes down, though, I picked out some pretty fabrics for the back.


And there you have it: so many lessons wrapped up in one little quilt. It somehow seems fitting that I'm passing this one on to my daughters. They're still growing up so much every day, and strangely enough, I am too. It feels good to know that challenges -- even little ones...even sewing ones -- don't have to beat us if we don't let them.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.

23 comments:

  1. This came out awesome! Good for you for persevering, it definitely works!! I think the little banners in the bottom center are my favorite part :)

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  2. I love it too - could look at it for ages - so many different fabrics and designs!

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  3. it is amazing Heidi, well done, love the details and the winged block is gorgeous, i think it's the block i'm making for my swap next month, and the effect is phenomenal on your block, wow, lucky daughters! :o)

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  4. I love how unexpected this quilt is. Very nicely done!
    AmandaK@whatthebobbin

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  5. It is amazing Heidi!! I love the look of different blocks fitting in with each other. A remarkable quilt!

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  6. Wow, what a gorgeous quilt! I don't normally like improv, but I love it here :) I think my favourite bit is the orange hexagons on the blue. Lovely :)

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  7. I LOVE that block, too! I need to try that one. You did a gorgeous job. And the quilting! <3

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  8. I love the whole thing. I do like the postage stamp block and the winged square nine patch block. Nice job!!

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  9. I am so glad you didn't give up. I just finished up some pillows like that and was so grateful that I persevered as well, so excellent work! Your quilt is beautiful!

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  10. Beautiful quilt! It is truly gorgeous!

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  11. Oh, what a beauty, Heidi. You did an awesome job, love how wonderfully improv it is. And how great that you got rid of the things you didn't like and redid them. That's my philosophy, too.

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  12. That looks great! Love how it turned out!

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  13. I think this turned out great, and I adore those quilts that we've poured our heart into! This one's extra special!

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  14. LOVE this! I am feeling inspired! Great job Heidi!

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  15. This is beautiful!! Improve work totally scares me, but this is pretty inspiring!

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  16. Simply lovely. So much to keep the eye moving ; )

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  17. I love this quilt, it's so beautiful!

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  18. I seriously love everything about this post!

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  19. Love how unique and personal it is, beautiful!

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  20. Love this! You're getting me inspired to do an improv of my own.

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  21. Beautiful, absolutely love it!

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Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

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