This project was put on hold indefinitely for a few reasons. In the meantime, smaller projects have been finished on the frame and the problems/reasons for not working on this beast have been resolved. Namely, there is now space for the frame with this over-size quilt on it and I have learned to discipline myself to no more than one hour of hand quilting per day to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
What a happy surprise when I uncovered this quilt I hadn’t seen in ages. Why, it’s lovely! This project began as a case of “careful what you wish for.” Rarely do I win anything in a lottery-style drawing, but I had my heart set on winning these Block-of-the-Month entries back when I was a card-carrying member of our local quilt guild, Country Crossroads Quilters. It was an unusual project in that everyone had a small piece of the same theme fabric and each quilter was to add companion fabrics and use a block design of her own choosing. Those of you familiar with these types of activities know that generally participants are given a general color scheme and/or one theme fabric and a designated block design. So the winner gets a number of blocks that generally coordinate color-wise and are all the same design and she sews them together and has an instant quilt top. That’s the general theory.
Giving people carte blanche on the design of the blocks made for an interesting assortment and giving a theme fabric with so many colors meant that there wasn’t even really a consistent color theme as some quilters opted to bring out the Christmas theme of the fabric and others opted to showcase the purple.
So for once in my life, I did win the drawing. It may have been rigged by my friends in the group who knew I wanted these blocks and knew I had been a faithful participant in the Block of the Month project for ages and had never won the blocks whilst some had won multiple times or worse, some had won the single time they threw a block in the mix. Or, it may have been the universe out to teach me that careful what you wish for lesson. Either way, I “won” the oddest assortment of blocks. In the end, there were only 13 that were really useable. Yes, 13. Hmmm. So I took the 5 that went together the best (accent on Christmas, no additional purple) and made a medallion out of those, which you can see in the middle of the photo above. I confess I did add the Celtic Applique myself to the otherwise perfectly serviceable 9-patch block that just needed a bit of a lift and a shift of scale to be placed center front and play well with the rest of the Christmas themed blocks that had lots of white. The rest of the blocks were used “as is.” There were a few more that would not play well with the group no matter how I tried to make them settle in. I waited to set these blocks until the makers of the unused ones were no longer around to see that their blocks were not included. That took a while. And the quilting has taken even longer. Because of the medallion setting, the quilt got huge. It’s the largest I’ve ever made. Also because of the medallion setting, there is a lot of design space that cried out for hand quilting, although in retrospect, sending this off for custom machine quilting probably would have been the wiser choice. (Close-up below showing the block I contributed and some of the designs I adapted.) I am determined to finish this before my hands and/or eyes fail me. I’m currently more than half-way and it’s only taken me 15 years or so. And when I’m done I’ll have a HUGE Christmas themed quilt. But it will be gorgeous.