Friday, July 1, 2016

Faith and Freedom; finally, a finished top!

I'm not sure I have ever been quite so relieved to have a completed quilt top.

I started starching the fabrics for this one on January 25th
and besides a few bags,
and a couple of garments,
Faith and Freedom has occupied all available sewing time.

Faith and Freedom will likely be the only commission project
I get to do this year;
building a house doesn't leave much time for, well, anything,
so I am very grateful I've had the opportunity to make it,

This quilt represents so many things,
which I'll cover in another post,
but the biggest design considerations were
 that the recipient's faith be portrayed,
that it include their favorite colors,
that freedom be well represented,
and that it not be 'modern'.
(I can't wait to share more about my client and the recipients!)

I designed Faith and Freedom with my usual graph paper, ruler, pencil and big eraser,
using the Milky Way pattern by Fig Tree for the fireworks/stars.
The pattern called for only 2 sizes of star blocks, but as you can see,
I went with a few more than that ;-)

After I'd made 2/3 of the firework blocks,
I made a copy of my design
and colored it in,
so I could figure out what colors I needed
in which block sizes
and where they should go.

I'd pinned the Milky Way quilt about a year ago
(according to Pinterest - I would have guessed it was more like 2 or 3 years)
but knowing that I would likely never actually take a quilt anywhere
 on Independence Day,
and therefore didn't really need one of my own,
I figured the next best thing,
was to make one (similar) for someone else.

I am here to tell you,
if this weren't a commission quilt,
I'd have quit a long time ago.
So many bias edges!
(and I obviously can't read a pattern,
because I ended up with octagons, 
which required triangles at the corners.
What the heck?!
It was a happy accident though, 
because I was able to have smaller (and more) pieces anyways,
which contributed to the overall scrappiness of the quilt.)
(there are 121 different fabrics!)

I think I need to move that filler block to the left side of the blue and green star
instead of the right. darn it! 

Each block took longer than I anticipated
 - no surprise there -
but I (eventually) discovered that if I worked on 2 blocks at a time,
my time spent per block was greatly reduced.
Even so, I've already exceeded my total time investment estimate
(by 25 hrs!)
and I still have to prepare the back,
and bind it.

(Fortunately for my client,
I quoted a flat price ;-)

Speaking of  quilting -
I'm still not entirely sure how to quilt the church,
beyond thread-painting doors and windows.
Any ideas??

linking up this satisfying finish with the scraptastic Amanda Jean


  1. Wonderful!!! 💚 Love it. Is that a pattern?

    1. Awww ~ thanks! No pattern, exactly, but the fireworks/stars were made using the pattern, Milky Way.

  2. I'm in love with this quilt! Its beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Wendi! I hope the recipient loves it, too!!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Alissa! How is your house coming along?? Probably not much sewing time in your neck of the woods, either, huh?

  4. oh WOW!! That is absolutely incredible! It's just breathtaking, and so utterly lovely to look at, I'm glad you stuck to it!

  5. Beautiful quilt top. The fireworks are certainly joyful. How about just quilting straight lines on the church to represent planks of wood? Look forward to seeing your completed quilt.

    1. Hi Allison ~ thank you!! That's kinda what I was thinking, but I'm worried that it won't quite do the church justice....

  6. Beautiful! I made 3 Milkyway quilts last year (Christmas gifts for my married children) using Fig Tree reds and greens with cream background. I can really appreciate the work you put into this! Because I was wary of all the bias, I starched my fabric heavily before cutting the strips. It helped a lot. I can't wait to see how it will finish with the quilting!

    1. three??? I can't imagine.
      I used a ton of starch, too (as in 3+ cans!) but I still had some stretching. I kept muttering too myself "handle gently?!" (you always read that - just handle your bias cut pieces gently, and it'll be fine..." I have a friend who is a longarm quilter and I often wonder if she were to quilt my quilts, would she remark on the flatness of the top?? This one, though, she's be saying "I had to use a lot of water and pat it into subjection.." Ah well - keeps me humble. ;-)

  7. Beautiful! I love this quilt! You know....if I were going to quilt it, I'd include a stained glass look to the windows and big heavy brown doors. I think that will give it more of a "churchy" feel. (I'm Catholic and we sort of favor stained glass.) You could applique the windows and doors and then do a bit of thread painting. So much fun still! I've been wanting to play with this block, now even more so!

    1. Thanks! :-) Mary ~ that'd be a fabulous idea, except this church is a representation of a mormon church, rather than a catholic one, and they seem to favor less color in their designs. I will keep that in mind though, if I ever do another church in a quilt, because that could really be pretty.

  8. When I first saw this, I thought you had Swooned and was a bit jealous, then I saw the subtle differences in the outer pattern of the "fireworks" and it turned out fantabulously beautiful and breathtaking. I love the simplicity and pureness of the white church against the exploding fireworks. Have you prayed about the quilting? Did they request you to write words into the quilting? If you know the intended recipient, could any of their faith character maybe inspire that? Are you machine or hand quilting? I know... So many questions...

    1. Nope, no swooning yet :-) (but just a head's up: the quilt I'm making for my niece next year (that I best get started on THIS year - yikes!) does have some swoon blocks in it...)
      The white fabric actually has some silver sparkle to it, and I plan to do the doors and windows with silver thread, and we're still working on what else....
      You know what? I *think* I have, but I suppose it's possible I didn't. They did not, but I requested a list of qualities to throw in here and there (haven't decided if I will do those in the silver, too, or just my regular quilting thread. Of course, that decision will be influenced by how my machine likes to FMQ w the metallic thread) I'm going to quilt it (besides the church) like I did Claire's only instead of hearts I'll do asterisk type fireworks. Texture should be delish :-) Also, I'll outline the church with hand quilting.


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