Monday, June 25, 2018

"Memories that Linger"...Part 7, Finishing

Many steps have been accomplished between now and my last post.  The project is at last complete!
I will lead you through my process....

Where I left off in my last post....there were no flowers along the bottom yet.
The scarves you see in the picture above have great significance at Camp Newaygo.  Each color represents a specific group of campers, according to age.  You are presented with your scarf when camp begins, and hand it on at the end of camp.
The camp's director gave me one of each scarf to incorporate into the quilt.  When I asked what order they should be in, she made a spreadsheet!

This is one organized camp director!!

I used my Accuquilt Go Fabric dye cutter to cut out the leaves and flowers.  If you look at that flower die on the right, at the top of it is the four petaled flower shape I used.

Once all the flowers were cut out and arranged (in order!) along the bottom of the quilt, I outlined them all with black "leading". For any new readers, that technique is in my book from C & T Publishing on stained glass quilting.
Sewing down all that leading took awhile, and the weather had gotten so nice that I moved operations outside and spent all day under the dogwood sewing.

And here they are all in place. I made the colors overlap each other a little, to symbolize how a girl makes transitions as she grows up... ;-)

Next it was time to add the picnic table.  In real life it is in the center of the three cabins, but design wise that wasn't going to work.  I wanted it in the sense is that table is kind of an much happens around it!  So I wanted to give it symbolic pride of place.

Here is how I "built" it: 

At first I had thought to use different colors of brown fabric, but realized quickly that a better solution was to make it out of a whole piece of light colored silk, and then shade it with colored pencil. Then I carefully leaded it, cut it out, and appliqued it into place.

With the top at last complete, it was time to quilt! I used my Handi Quilter Sweet 16 which functioned flawlessly and enabled a lot of intense quilting over the entire surface.

Finally it was time to square up the quilt and trim it as accurately as I could.  I used my rulers and my new cutting mat with its perfect 90 degree corner to draw my cutting line. Notice how I have stretched the quilt as flat as possible by taping the quilt backing to the floor.  Wide painters' tape works great.

I decided to create a faced edge rather than use binding.  In the picture below I am sewing on one of the facings.  This was done before trimming off the excess--the sewing is way more stable that way. You can see the quilting in this nice morning light!

I ironed the facings to the back and whip stitched them into place by hand.  Luckily, my Dodgers are on a winning streak this June, so watching some games while I handstitched was great. 

Then came the sleeve, also sewn on by hand.  That extra fabric is to account for the dowel that will be used to hang the quilt.

No quilt is complete without its label.
This one has a little story.... 

My friend Anne, who with her sister commissioned this quilt, sent me this shirt while I was working on the quilt.  When we were 19 years old (over 40 years ago), I had snuck it out of her closet, embroidered it, and mailed it back to her for her birthday, which is in the fall.
She wondered if I could include any of the embroidery in the quilt.

I did include a bit of it in the label...and the fabric with the writing on it is from the shirt as well.
I felt super bad when I realized I had misspelled "commissioned" and had to correct it...I was going to redo it but then just decided it was pretty authentic the way it is! 

The very final step was attaching this cording to my finished edge.  I wanted to add that final definition to my composition.  Again, I was stitching under the dogwood and I had the Dodger game streaming on my phone!
Anne and her sister Ellen have lives in baseball too--being deeply involved with the West Michigan White Caps--so we all loved the sharing our love of the game during the making of this quilt.

It is going to hang here in the lodge at Camp Newaygo, over the stairwell:

Every time campers or conferees or wedding guests (all people who use the lodge) go down the stairs to the rest rooms, they will see it!  ;-)  This space gets no direct sunlight so the quilt should hang there safely for many years.

And here it is, finished.  It is around 68" X 78".

This was an immensely meaningful and personal project for me, and I haven't written much about that side of things.  But maybe one night when it's late I'll sit under the dogwood and type the tale here (most of it!).
In the meantime, it has been a blessing indeed.  Thank you for following along!


Suzanna Moore Sandoval said...

Congratulations! It is a wonderful quilt full of meaning to all who have been there. Great Job!

ABC said...

Of course I love it and it means the world to me and Ellen! As an ex-teacher, I loved the blended transition of the scarf flowers. Did YOUR sister teach you that?

Sue's Patchwork and Quilting Blog said...

Congrats on an amazing and beautiful Quilt. Thanks for sharing the process on how you worked on the quilt. Awesome job done.

Eileensews said...

Beautiful quilt!
I also love the embroidered shirt from way back.

Cathy said...

Such a beautiful work of art, Allie! I’ve enjoyed watching it every step of the way, probably just as you relished each step of the process. it will be beautiful hanging there in the lodge. Will you get to go and see the installation?

Lyn Warner said...

Loved hearing about the journey. Congratulations! It's beautiful.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Wow, what an amazing quilt - quilts like this are really something to treasure for everyone who sees it.

Shirlee Fassell said...

Love this quilt! I never went to camp but know from the connections my step son and grand daughter made how special and wonderful these places and experiences are. I can feel them in your loving attention to the detail in this recreation!

Sandra W said...

It's a beautiful quilt. You should be very proud.
One construction question. When/how was the cording attached. It sounds like you did it after the facing and that doesn't make sense. I presume you inserted it when you attached the facing.

Sharon Buck said...

As you know, this is a fabulous and magnificent masterpiece and you should be very happy and proud of it. It will bless people that view it for years to come! Love your Craftsy class too! Excellent teacher!

Allison Aller said...

You all are very kind indeed! Sandra W, to answer your question: That cording has no flap or edge to insert. I whip stitched it on, carefully laying my thread into each "groove" of the cording (about 1/4' apart) as I stitched along.....Cathy, I will be there at camp when the quilt is presented...during an alumni week-end after the summer camper season has ended. They will be dedicating their new Health and Leadership building and thought that would be a great time to "unveil" the quilt. The actual installation will happen the next day...and this Mother Hen wants to be there for that!...And Annie, my sister is such a great teacher..I must have learned about the transitions from her!

traderslostart said...

You are a treasure trove of talent. Your work has inspired me and many others over the years.
I can't imagine a better person to do this project. It will mean so much to so many. It is another of your "Works of Art." This one to be cherished by generations past and generations to come, because the meaning of it is so evident to all who have enjoyed their time in this environment. I ❤ Art Quilts . . . and this one is no exception. Beautifully done Allie!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful memory/treasure you’ve completed....just wonderful

Judy S. said...

Hi Allie,

Hope all is well on your part of the PNW. Your camp quilt is fabulous; I sure hope it hangs in a place of honor!