Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cowgirl CQ....Top Finished

This quilt grew to be 65" X 73", much to my surprise.
I had enjoyed making that central section, I liked the piecing process and the colors, wanted to do I kept adding on to it.
And on!
But that is because I realized that I wanted this to be a functional, cozy quilt.  I want to use it.

Next time I will be more deliberate about the proportions of everything...this time the denim strips were limited in width (too narrow, IMO) by the fact that my husband would let me cut up only two pairs of his old jeans.  But I wanted only HIS jeans in there, so that's why I didn't go to the thrift store to get more.
There is a red and black faded flannel in the piecing from his favorite old shirt from our dairy days, too.

Not this one, but something similar, from those good old days. (Note that I am the one covered with manure.  It was always that way. We are sitting here on the steps of the sauna he built, the year we got married, 1981. Crazy kids!)

Anyways, this quilt is about ranch days, our old one and also my cousin Tracy's.  The aesthetic is hers, and some of the fabrics too (and one of her shirts.)  As I was making this, I thought a lot about her.

Setting up my temporary styrofoam "sewing table" was such a help.  I could lay these large pieces out flat, and pin into it as I measured, then going back and securing the pins.  Here is a YouTube about how I made it.

How did I ever live without those flower pins?

When it came time to add the rayon plaid woven ribbon, I knew it wasn't "hefty" enough in weight.

I just happened to have on hand a roll of C & T's "Make it Simpler" fusible interfacing on a 1 1/2" roll.  You can find it here. I gave the ribbon a double layer.

Once everything was assembled, the quilt top did not exactly lie flat.  Frankly, my whole approach had been a bit too slapdash for the intense kind of quality control that goes into a competition quilt. I was just having fun and experimenting!

But I did want it as flat as possible, so I did some judicious nipping and tucking.

One of my favorite elements in this quilt is how the old blocks got pieced in, sometimes in entirety, sometimes in part.  Their vibe and look are really important to me these days.  There is a lot of genuinely old fabric in there, too.  Not repro--old.

I had hoped the straight strips would provide structure and repetition to the otherwise complete chaos of the piecing.  But next time they need to be wider.
Still, this will be a great couch quilt!

I plan on simply machine quilting in the ditch between all the horizontal and vertical bars, with no handwork at all going on.
And--oh dear--I've been rather active on Ebay lately buying more old blocks....


Karla Hartzog said...

I love those strips just as they are, Allie! They look like window frames; windows into the past!

WandarArt.Stitch said...

Allies your work is Beautiful !!!

Vicki W said...

That is a really cool quilt! Watch out for eBay. It's a dangerous place!

Rian said...

Ahhh, 1981. The good ol' days. The strips are wonderful. Great memories in them!

Deb Hardman said...

Oh I do love it too! I love how much meaning is in it, & I think your joy in creating it shows! Beautiful!

WandarArt.Stitch said...

Hi Allies,
Beauty of your work and everything you create.
Allies, I wish you healthy, happy, happy Easter, for you and for your family,
many hugs .......

Unknown said...

Allie, the quilt is great! And the photo is adorable. 😊

Susan Elliott said...

I just love that picture of you and's just awesome. He's so capable and in command and you are just a sweet, sweet newly bedded dairy maiden! (sorry, probably shouldn't say that...)but the connection with his arm around you and your hand on his knee is so casual and comfortable....the setting is perfect.

As for the quilt...I think I love all those old blocks pieced in are my favorite part too...though, I actually like the crazy chaos of the piecing in this quilt...In fact, I like the piecing the most...I could stare at the close ups of the fabric choices and how you pieced them together for a very long time. Just another reason why it will be a good couch quilt...

You are a piecing goddess my dear, and it shows. Bravo and congratulations on your finish!

Susan Elliott said...

I forgot to ask...what is a temporary styrofoam table? That sounds very useful... ;)

Anonymous said...

Allie, I love your energy, spirit, heart and how you put all that goodness into your quilts. Fun and fabulous to hear your story about your husband's favorite flannel shirt, the relinquishing of two pairs of jeans for the "process". Sort of "Gees Bend"ish using his jeans and shirt, so cozy and lovely ... brings tenderheartedness to the quilt. Thanks for sharing.
You make the planet a lovelier place to be by what you do and how you share. ENJOY Spring!

Brenda said...

What a treasure! Enjoy many happy hours snuggled under this memory lane quilt.

Judy said...

What a great post! I love that you put in old fabrics with memories attached and it sounds like you were really enjoying yourself just being spontaneous. I think that's what brings me back to quilting time and time again!