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With a Swing and Swagger Down the Road You Go

Facebook is good for reminding you of things that happened. A photo pf this quilt came up in my memories. It was a coming together of events that made it a good time to tell the story of this quilt.

We are going back to Spring of 2013 today. Bren had been dating his girlfriend for about a year and he wanted to give her something extra special for her birthday. So he commissioned me to make her a quilt. He said turtles would be a good theme, but hey what ever you want to do. We didn't even agree on a size or a design. Basically free reign to play. I found the Kimberly Einmo Mystery Quilt Class on Craftsy and I cheated and looked at the reveal and loved the final king sized layout. I choose two turtle prints and a couple water prints.

So I started this quilt and this is a behemoth. there were a ton of pieces. I had to modify the pattern all over the place because of the directional prints. I would make part of my blocks realize I made a mistake with the directional fabrics. I would have to rip out blocks and re-cut my fabrics in a different way and get my blocks to come out. At several points through this whole process I ended up back at the quilt shop to get more of the lightest blue because of the cutting it wrong and the darkest blue cause I didn't have enough to start with because I was trying to shop my stash. While I was there, I saw the McKenna Ryan applique pattern "The Nerdles."

I am going to step back and gush about McKenna Ryan and her exquisite applique patterns. She has a way of making life like scenes in fabric using applique and batiks. Some of her patterns where part of why I fell in love with quilting. Here is where I let you in on a secret. I have so many of her patterns. but I have never actually been able to complete any of her patterns larger than a small wall hanging. I have made some of her smaller 12 x 12 pieces that you wrap on canvas. I have complete kits for and have started Storybook Farms, Bella Gardens and Wind in My Whiskers. Will I finish these I am not sure. But those are another story.

So I bought The Nerdles pattern and proceeded to make 10 applique turtles for this quilt top. They are done as fusible web applique with an zig-zag stitch with invisible thread to hold them down. I decided this quilt was big enough at 96x96 to skip the borders. I quilted it with an all over design called Harbour Waves by Urban Elementz. Over all it took me little over a year to complete this quilt.

The quilt received much fan fare when I gave it to Bren. He loved that I took the bit in my teeth and ran with the idea. But as par of this he also gave me the freedom to play and take the ideas where they needed to go. But that is how we worked. He would say something off hand, about this or that and I would take the idea and and run with it. This was the first quilt where I put applique elements on a pieced background that broke the wall of the block. This quilt is where you can see my style start to develop, and change how I looked at quilts and designing my own quilts.

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