Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Tale of 3 Quilts and 3 Quilters

I have 3 friends (well, I hope I have more than 3 friends, but there are 3 in this story)....who have birthdays exactly 333 days apart from each other.  22 months ago, when the eldest was about to celebrate a milestone birthday, they decided to have a quilt challenge.  They each bought the coffee cake layer cake (because 40 fabrics sounded like a good milestone-type of number and because they always drink coffee together), and had to create a finished (quilted, bound and labelled) project by the  time the youngest also had her milestone birthday. 

Apparently the rules were changing as they went, and then someone asked if it would count if I quilted their project...and so it evolved that I was lucky enough to quilt all 3.

I often get to see the same quilt pattern in different fabrics, and I find it so interesting.  Not so often that I get to see the same fabrics in different quilt patterns.  I love this challenge.

I hope you've got some time, because here comes a whole lot of pictures.

First up, Lori's quilt.   I don't know the name of this pattern.

 Because the pieced outer border had random sizes, I randomly filled some of the 'keys'.

 Lori pieced her backing, and pressed all  the seams open in the backing.  It was no problem quilting it that way.  A great habit to get into for pieced backings.  Lori also staystitched around the top (red stitching seen in some of the photos) and the backing before bringing them to me, a good technique with a pieced border.

 The large pieces in the border got feathers.

 Absolutely lovely. 

The only fabric Lori added was the sashing.

Are you still with me?  Here's Kerri's quilt.  These are Gretchen blocks.  Paper pieced. The pinwheels are the added fabrics.

A before shot...
 The goal was to make the pinwheels pop...
 This quilt received a lot of ruler-work.  I love the 'squared' circles that formed around the pinwheels when I stitched the curved cross-hatching.
The movement  and texture in this quilt is just wonderful.  It was another one of those tricky quilts...until I pulled it off the frame, I just wasn't sure if the texture was going to appear or not.  It did.

And Colleen's quilt....a Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Star.  Colleen added a few fabrics to the arcs, and the background, stars points and centers were added fabrics.  This is the bed runner pattern, but Colleen shortened it, and it will live on her dining room table.

The before shot...

 Would you believe I ran out of bobbin thread with only those 3 tiny feathers to finish the quilt?   True story.

 The fabric placement in this quilt is spot-on, and I know from observing the process it wasn't easy.
The quilts were all 'revealed' at guild last night, and Colleen read her label, about how each quilt is the same but unique, like the 3 friends, and that there were 'common threads'.    That was the perfect introduction for what I had to say about the quilts...
  I shared that the 3 quilts all have the same style of feathers, they all have areas that are stitched in the ditch, but then the quilt patch itself is left  unquilted, and that the curls from Lori's sashing appear in Kerri's pinwheels.  The spot I was intending to put the curls on Colleen's quilt didn't work, and by then I had enough of the other elements quilted I couldn't change them either, but the feathers do have the curls as well, so I guess we can say her quilt has curls too. 
 The quilts all have unique quilting elements, and a unique quilting thread as well.

These ladies have been friends for more than 20 years...and when my youngest thought about that, she said she hoped she was still friends with her 'oldest' friend when they were 21.  I know I treasure my friendships of more than 20 years.   Those friendships are such a blessing.

It was so much fun to be a part of this challenge.  Thanks for including me ladies!!


  1. Great story, great quilts, great quilting! Love all the pictures. This is just such a cool idea for a challenge.

  2. Wow! Your quilting is just phenomenal on these!!! Bravo!!

  3. Lovely story, lovely quilts, super quilting!

  4. I love all three! What a neat thing to do with friends.

  5. What a great story! Your quilting is fantastic!