Monday, December 31, 2012

A Quilted Counterpane

Once a year I pull out my one and only Quilted Counterpane and put it on the bed for the holidays. One morning I noticed that the lamp on our night table cast a light that was good for taking photographs so I grabbed my camera and snapped away. I couldn't get a good photo of the entire quilt because there were too many shadows but the detailed shots turned out quite well. 

In 1983 I entered the Tenth Annual Mountain Mist Quilt Contest sponsored by Stearns & Foster. Entries had to be based on Mountain Mist patterns and made with Mountain Mist batting. All fabrics had to be pre-washed and the quilt could not exceed 90" x 108." I chose Mountain Mist Pattern "Y" Quilted Counterpane. The diagram shown above was printed on the back of the batting wrapper and gave the placement of the feathered wreaths and vines.

I used a tracing wheel to punch tiny holes in the paper patterns and then "pounced" blue chalk powder over the holes to transfer the designs to fabric. 'Twas not an easy method!

There are twenty-four feather wreaths that surround the center medallion . . .


   . . . which has a single wreath surrounded by feathered vines.

More feathered vines run along the outside edges of the quilt. 


 The rest of the quilting is done in cross-hatch. This is a side view of the quilt.

My initials and the year are embroidered on the back. The quilt was selected as one of the 200 Finalist Entries to be displayed at the 1984 Quilt Market in Houston.

Quilt Market is still on my wish list :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Old, One New

In 1976 I made a quilt for my dad for Christmas. I used scraps I had from my high school days that were already 15 years old (!) and then purchased the red fabric for the border and an Ely and Walker print for the back.


I began by tracing around a template for each and every log and made the entire quilt top in three days. I tied the main portion with yarn and machine quilted the border in a diamond design. I gave Dad the quilt on Christmas Eve 1976 at my brother's house.

Sixteen years later, after my dad died, my brother took the quilt to his cabin in the Adirondacks where it was lovingly used until 1996 and desperately in need of repair. I brought the quilt home and appliqued new logs over the disintegrating ones. I still had some of the original fabrics in my scrap bag. Then early this year, my brother asked if I could please repair the quilt as it was literally falling apart. After taking one look at it I said it would be easier for me to make a new quilt than try and repair it - again!


My inspiration for this new quilt came from an article I saw in Quilter's Newsletter in 2002. I knew I wanted to use an Adirondack-style fabric for the border and a fishing-themed fabric for the back.


With that in mind, I decided to use all my leaf print fabrics for the Birds-in-Air blocks. I thought it would be really nice if I included fabrics that my mother had used in her quilts and applique pictures so all the solid  fabrics were hers.

I started making Autumn in the High Peaks in September. There were days when I sewed four blocks a day to keep on schedule. I finished the top in three weeks and had it machine quilted by someone in our guild.

Luckily my brother does not know how to use a computer so he will never know that I made this quilt for his birthday on the 27th :)