Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sparkle, a finished quilt (and a coupon code)

Did you ever see the episode of Psych,
where Shawn 'channels' an actress,
and he's sing-talking and dancing,
"I dazzle, and I stretch...."?

Is my baby sister....

a nut!

When I gave my older sister her quilt last year,
Alicia 'reminded' me 
that I still hadn't given her a quilt.
(I haven't given most of my other siblings a quilt yet either,
and only one of my parents.)

She's reminded me 
a couple of times since then,
and when she bought her first house this summer, 
I thought it would be the perfect occasion
to finally (as if!) make her quilt.

Alicia is gorgeous, 
and feminine, but not girly.
She's fierce, and determined,
but she is also a clown.
She's one of those people who walk into a room
and everyone notices.
Her eyes positively sparkle.
Especially when she laughs.
And she loves to laugh,
and make other people laugh, too.

She's not really a patchworky quilty person, though,
so I knew her quilt would need  to have a lot of negative space
and I was leaning towards 
a few columns of different sized 4 patches on point,
sort of reminiscent of a beaded curtain
and knew instantly
that prisms would be perfect for Lish.
(With the pesky little exception that it required paper piecing...)

Moda's Basic Grey Grunge fabric was the obvious choice
for all this wide open space,
and I quickly decided on cream,
then found a shop that carried both Grunge and C&S Netorious
(I was hoping to use silver netorious for my prisms)
and asked if the grays matched.
Tracy wrote back that she was out of the silver at the moment, 
so she couldn't be sure,
but she had a metallic Essex linen that looked great
with the cream Grunge,
so I had her set up a private listing.

As soon as the fabric arrived
(which was fast!) 
I started cutting.

I'd already printed off the damn papers
and figured out how I needed to cut my fabrics 
so they'd fit,
but I wouldn't have tons of waste.
(let's just leave it at - I didn't quite figure this correctly...)

I also wanted to keep everything going in the same direction
(at that point, even though I'd ordered the linen,
I was hoping to use silver Netorious,
which I already had,
and it has a obvious up and down / sideways)
so I drew arrows on each paper piecing pattern
so I'd know which way to orient my fabrics.

It turned out that Silver Netorious 
does not play nicely with cream Grunge
(the background is more taupe than gray)
so I was happy that I'd ordered the metallic linen
just in case.

The first 2 days of (paper) piecing were awful,
but since I'd already cut the fabrics for all  52 units,
I had to persevere.
Plus - it was for Lish. She'd persevere for sure....

 the paper piecing didn't hurt my brain quite so much,
and I think I even managed to make about 20 
without any mistakes!
(I know - they're all of 3 pieces.
You'd think I could have made all 52 without mistakes...)

Once the units were pieced,
sewing them together was a breeze,
just like my previous PP escapades,
my seams did not match up as perfectly
as when I piece traditionally.
(what the heck?!)

At some point,
I realized I was going to be short on grunge,
so I sent out an SOS to Tracy,
and she got me fixed right up.

While waiting for the fabric
I added a layer of wool batting to the strip of prisms,
sewed around them all with clear thread,
and then trimmed away all batting 
that wasn't under the metallic fabric.
Then when I added (bamboo) batting to the entire quilt,
the prisms would all have two layers of batting,
making them more puffy.

I had planned on using minky  
(or some sort of cuddly fleece) for the backing
(so it'd be less quilt-like...)
but I couldn't find one where the color was *just* right,
so I changed direction and found a wide backing fabric 
that I thought went really well.

Lily helped me baste both quilts 
out in the house in mid July.
She said she has never been so hot in her life.
(I, on the other hand, have been hotter at least twice)

My sewing machine went to the shop right about then,
because there was no way I was going to attempt quilting
when it was misbehaving so badly.
(when I got it back - it was better than new!
But sadly, that only lasted for a few days
before it started acting up again - though not as badly)
While I was waiting for it,
I started piecing another quilt,
using my old beloved Janome.

Once I got the machine back,
before I started quilting,
I drew up a quilting map
(which I mostly followed(ish)
but things didn't always translate perfectly
from 8x10
to 60x80...)

and then used my hera marker to mark my hand-quilting lines
around the prisms,
and also to mark my ghost shapes in the grunge.

(I guess, though, that they aren't terribly ghosty, 
since I hand quilted them, huh?)

And then I started quilting.

and marking

and quilting.

and marking and quilting some more,
for about 6 weeks.


Until one day I was done.

I am really quite pleased with how it turned out
(very much like I envisioned it, actually!)
but one of my favorite parts is the verse I added
which wasn't in my original plan.

"By wisdom a house is built
and through understanding it is established.
Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures"
Psalm 24:3

How absolutely perfect is that?!

I love you!!

I am so proud of you, and am so happy to be your big sis.
Congratulations on your house purchase!
(and on being the owner of this fabulous quilt... ;-)
I hope you create lots of wonderful memories
in your beautiful new home.
kiss kiss. hug hug

Linking up with the Bloggers' Quilt Festival

I was so pleased with the service I got from Private Source Quilting.
As I've mentioned before,
shopping for fabric online is tricky business,
especially when it comes to color matching,
so having a shop owner who will go the extra mile for you
is a big blessing.

Not only did Tracy go the extra mile 
in helping with fabric selection,
she also gave me a coupon code (TRACYLOU)
 to share with you all,
good for 15% off every order over $25
and good through the end of the year!
(I'm not being compensated in any way - I just wanted to share the shop,
and asked Tracy if she'd throw in a little gift for y'all,
and she did :-)


  1. Wow! That quilting is terrific, especially all on a domestic. I love the whole composition.

  2. BEAUTIFUL!!! Words can't even express how beautiful it is!! JIll

  3. Beautiful quilt! I love the paper pieced design and the quilting.

  4. Wowsers! This was an enormous amount of work and effort, but the results are fabulous! Love that simple look but then the details and just incredible!

  5. I loved seeing how you went about designing and how you planned to quilt it....such a wonderful quilt!

  6. Wow, what a wonderful quilt, and wonderful gift! It is so fun to see all the loving details! Thank you for sharing!

  7. The quilt, and the story are both so very special! Well done!

  8. Your sister sounds like someone who is also a very good friend. Pretty, funny, smar--all qualities that we generally have to grow up to see and appreciate in someone else, especially siblings. Now get ready, you mentioned other siblings. Maybe choose an easier pattern, although this one is stunning and the story is really special for your family. (Love that your shared the process and your notes.) Beautiful entry for the festival!

  9. I hear you on the paper piecing and 2nd that opinion. The quilting is over-the-top GORGEOUS!!! Can I be your sister? (I'm waiting for my quilt.)

  10. This quilt is beautiful!! The hand quilting and machine quilting really put it over the top as far as entries in the festival go.

  11. What a beautiful quilt, and so much thought put into the design, etc. (That episode of Psych is one of my favorites!) I think this is one of my favorite posts!

  12. This quilt is amazing! I love the design and your quilting is just fantastic! Well done!!!

  13. Thank you all SO much for your very kind words!!

    ~ Tracy


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