Friday, February 28, 2014

Anniversary Quilt

This month (February) my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! I knew I wanted to make something special, and last year when I saw an antique french wedding "boutis", I was inspired.


All the material for the quilt was "gifted" to me - I won a gift certificate from SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge (bought the fabric), and I was given a gift certificate when I helped make a quilt last year for the school where I volunteer (bought the batting and thread).


The quilt is 93" (235cm) square. I used double wide fabric for the quilt (Bella by Moda, in cream - 6yds), with wool batting (Hobbs Heirloom Queen size). The thread is Bottom Line by Superior threads - it is a 60wt thread and was lovely to sew with, and it hardly showed backtracking.


I had one 3000yds cone, and when I started to run out, I had to use regular cotton thread in the bobbin. The last bit of quilting was the parallel lines in the outer border, as I was running out of thread my lines kept getting wider apart - I did go back and add more lines here and there, when I was finished, and had leftover thread.


I knew that I wanted to make a relatively simple whole cloth quilt, because I wanted it to be "my now style" of quilting (very little marking, free-form, favourite quilting designs...), and I wanted to have it as a backdrop on my bed for throws, bed runners etc. and not worry about covering it up.

Here is how it all went together -


As I was pinning the three layers, my sons were surprised to hear that this would be a quilt - it is just one piece of plain fabric, where were the colours?!
I measured the top of my bed and figured out how big the centre feathered wreath would need to be, and where the feathered border should go. I then placed small pieces of masking tape on the quilt top as a guide.


Using a Hera Marker on a piece of string I drew the centre circle. 


I also marked about 6" on both sides of the line as a guide for the area the feathers needed to fill.


I filled in the centre of the wreath with simple cross hatching on a 1/2" grid. 


For the outer feathered border I marked the wavy line around the quilt top with the Hera Marker.


The feathers filled in about 6" on both sides of the line too.


I quilted the Cathedral Window background on a 1" grid.


Lots of marking and lines to follow! In hindsight I should have made the feathers larger.


I do really like this background though, it reminds me of crocodile skin and has a great tactile quality.


I marked the scallops before quilting the outer border, by tracing around a quilt that was the right size and had scallops (this is Winding Ways).


I added small feathered wreaths (about a 7" circle - I traced around a plate) in opposite corners - this one has 25 and the other our initials. I quilted "scribbling" around the letters and numbers to make them stand out.


I chose parallel lines for the outer border because I wanted it to look like fringe (although in this picture it looks like wheat - which is appropriate since we live on the prairie). I also added our children's initials in this border.

The binding is cut on the bias using this method.


The whole quilt was free motion quilted on my domestic sewing machine. It was much easier to quilt a whole cloth quilt than a pieced quilt top of the same size because there isn't the added weight of seam allowances. Also wool batting is wonderfully light, soft and "squishable".

Because people ask - I think it took about 80 hours to quilt, at times it seemed endless (for Cathedral Windows every 1" line is stitched 3 times!). I pinned it on the last day in January, but all the quilting was done this month, and I finished hand stitching the binding last night! It was definitely a labour of love, but I would make another one, just not right now- 


it looks like this outside, so now it is time for some colour!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

38 comments:

ferne said...

Very beautiful! You really do some amazing things on that domestic machine. I have a queen size quilt waiting for me to quilt on my Janome so you have inspired me to just give it a go...I might have to try the wool batting.

Raewyn said...

Wonderful Joanne, such a great 'momento' and achievement. It is beautiful. I love the way you put the initials etc in it too! Maybe next year (May) I should plan one for our 30th???

Norma said...

Beautiful! I love whole cloth quilts and your feathers are great. Happy anniversary and thank you for sharing!

What Comes Next? said...

just beautiful Joanne! A wonderful way to celebrate 25 - looking forward to seeing what 50 will bring!
You are inspiring me yet again!

Sheila said...

Just incredible Joanne and happy anniversary to you and your husband and many more happy years together !

Jan said...

Wow! How beautiful, and such a labor of love.

Sue SA said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate and memorise your wedding anniversary.

Maria del Valle said...

WOW! so beautiful!! You have fairy hands

Barb said...

your quilting is breathtaking - just amazing. I love the "25" wreath.
Happy anniversary and congratulations on a very special quilt!

Kate said...

That is so beautiful.
Happy Anniversary.

Anita : Shabby Quilt said...

Your quilt is beautiful. love the quilting . You did a great job.

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Joanne you are always my hero! This quilt came out beautifully and you sharing the process with us makes it all the better! I've got a whole cloth on my list (much smaller of course) and want to practice those cathedral windows. Your feathers are beautiful too... Just love the whole darn quilt. Thanks for sharing it and happy 25th anniversary! Hugs, Karen

Kathy said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Phil!! You have made a very special and beautiful quilt.
And yes I'm tired of all this cold and snow too! Bring on Spring!

canuckquilter said...

Gorgeous! Happy anniversary :)

Vicki W said...

It's a spectacular quilt! What a great way to celebrate your anniversary.

Lisa Marie said...

Absolutely stunning! A wonderful heirloom and treasure! Thanks for sharing & inspiring others

Joan said...

Wow Joanne - What an heirloom you have quilted! How stunning!! Just love what you have done and am in awe of your quilting. You really are such an inspiration!! :)

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 said...

Wow! I have a longarm machine and I am in awe that you created this beautiful quilt on a domestic machine! Hats off to you!! What an inspiration you are.

Lizzie said...

What a beautiful quilt to celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations and best wishes for many many more!

Linda said...

Amazing! I get frustrated just thing about sewing straight lines on a baby quilt! Absolutely beautiful

Marga (MarPie) said...

WOW this is so beautiful, you really did a stunning job. Congratulations with your wedding anniversary.

Kind regards,
Marga♥

Karen said...

Oh my, Joanne! This is exquisite! What a wonderful heirloom you have created to remember this special anniversary. Congrats on achieving both!

Karen said...

Joanne, your quilt is absolutely stunning. I feel inspired to do the same (but it won't happen!) Congratulations on both accomplishments - the quilt and the anniversary.

Lucy said...

Oh my goodness, you finished it already! And it is beautiful Joanne, my compliments.

Me and My Stitches said...

I am in complete and total awe of how you could possible do such beautiful work on a regular machine! I would still be amazed if it were on a long arm (lol). This is just gorgeous! Happy anniversary!

KatieQ said...

I realize the word amazing is overused, but I think it is definitely meant to be used to describe your quilt. I love the way you surrounded the number 25 with feathers and the parallel lines on the sides.

Needled Mom said...

That is stunning!!! What an incredible piece of work and worth every minute you spent on it.

Patty said...

Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary. Your quilt is absolutely beautiful. It's hard to believe it was done free hand on a domestic machine. I can barely free motion meander a small baby quilt.

Rose Marie said...

So beautiful! I took a course on making a whole cloth quilt and I do like your approach to making your quilt.

Lori S said...

Absolutely beautiful! What a great way to mark a milestone. Congratulations!

Myra said...

It's beautiful Joanne!! You are such a talented lady!!!

Ruth said...

It is absolutely gorgeous!! The way you describe your system makes it seem possible. Thanks for all your descriptions - on this and over the years!

zenuwpees said...

Le quilt est magnifique bravo Marie-Claire

Angel Allis said...

I absolutely love Boutis. It is hard to find really good books that aren't over 80 bucks here in the states. I have had the opportunity to take some classes. Your whole cloth is wonderful. Very nice!!!I would never have the patience to quilt on a domestic machine like that haha. Kudo's to you

Leeanne said...

beautiful Joanne! I heard Cindy Needham mention & demonstrate 'your' lovely feathers on Craftsy.
What a treasure of a quilt you have made. Like you say it make a wonderful back drop to show off all your pieced quilts!

Colleen said...

Joanne I have not been to Blogger in ages. Wanted to view your blog first because I always love everything you create. Your 25th anniversary whole cloth quilt is overwhelming and the most gorgeous quilt EVER!
Colleen

Sandi said...

I have always wanted to do a whole cloth quilt and your quilt is an inspiration. Beautiful!

Every Stitch said...

I have just discovered your blog and must congratulate you on this amazing achievement - am so impressed you did this on your domestic machine and only used a hera marker !!Beautiful!