Saturday, November 8, 2014

Retreat Inspires Dark Garden Quilt. . .

This past week I went on my annual quilting retreat with my very good friends (great quilters too:).  We had four glorious days of quilting, eating, chatting, and sleeping.  I admit that I am not generally the most productive quilter in the group.  I prefer to do more chatting than sewing.  This year, however, was different.  And this quilt is the result.

My excitement lies in the fact that I designed, created, and completed this quilt, something I haven't done in over a year.  As this quilt began as a kit I admit I did have a head start .  The background, flowers, and butterflies were from a published pattern Shimmering Garden in the magazine Quilt Trends, Spring 2014.
Previous to the retreat, the decision to add the the black print side border had been made.  Once the background and border were sewn together, I added the applique.  With the flowers and butterflies fused in place, the blue and green of the kit were thrown out.  The kit had a piece of charcoal batik for the binding.  It now became the grass.  With the applique fused to the background, I felt the background and border were missing some coherence.  I took them apart, added the pink flange between the border and background, and was happy with the results.  
The applique pieces were free-motion zigzagged with metallic thread.  
To make this a retreat memory quilt, the quilters signed their names to the butterfly trails with a Micron pen.  It was now time to put the quilt together.  I chose to do the "Escape Hatch" no binding technique I learned from Melody Johnson.   To quilt, I outlined some of the applique and then quilted the background using thread to match.  I was looking for the quilting to give texture, not color.  And I was done in less than two days.  It will look perfect in my home and be a reminder of the wonderful time I had and the best of friends I have.