Friday, 21 May 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2010

It's finally finished! Well almost... 
Regular readers will have seen a sneaky peek a few weeks back but, many hours of hand quilting later, I have got it finished enough to include it in the wonderful Blogger's Quilt Festival.
 
It is a special surprise quilt for my sister's 60th birthday (which was on Tuesday). So if you are reading this Jane, shut your eyes now and move away from the computer! Jane knows she is getting a quilt but hasn't a clue what it will look like. But Jane, when you do read this later, I want you to know that this quilt was REALLY hard to make!

I was actually inspired to make this quilt after seeing a beautiful version in last Autumn's Quilt Festival, made by Two Dogs and a Quilt. I wanted to make another quilt with plenty of blank space so I could do some heavy hand quilting. I loved the way this had turned out in my double wedding ring quilt, and was looking for an idea for something similar. The spider web design looked perfect. I remember also seeing one in a book of 'optical illusion' quilts many years ago and had loved the kaleidoscopic effect.
I started it just after Christmas and originally I experimented with keeping each 'web' in a separate colour theme (blue and red, green and purple - you can just about see this in the photo below, slightly distracting as it is pinned on to another half finished quilt with another quilt behind!) but, as I added more colour themes I felt something wasn't working.
So I put it away for a few months as we were very busy anyway with our shop. When I got it back out  (after I realised how close to her birthday it was getting and started panicking!) I randomised all the colours and the effect was much more interesting. Each slice of web is a different colour theme and each web is made up of 8 different themes, so each piece of fabric was posistioned with a lot of thought. I think this was one reason that the whole thing seemed to take so long! 
Usually I just whiz along when I am machine piecing. I can get a log cabin done in a few hours, but this one... Each of the triangular slices took 15 mins and there are 324 of them!! So that's 81 hours!!! And then they have to be sewn together!
Just a warning to anyone thinking about starting one of these - make sure you have plenty of time on your hands.
 
 I used the white fabric as a foundation and just pieced on to that. I didn't mark it but just did everything by eye as I didn't want it to be as regular as most of the spider webs I had seen. I liked the fact I could 'randomise' the webs and sort of squash their shape, and I think the overall effect keeps your eye moving around the quilt more.
However because I had pieced the original webs to go together in a certain way, when I re-arranged them there was some extreme randomness. This meant I had to deliberatly un-match the slices of some of the later webs so that it wouldn't look odd in a particular corner. It was quite hard trying to deliberately mis-match things! It's just a good job I am not a naturally neat person!
You can get a better idea of how I made it with the photo above. I just pieced it all with scraps or with new pieces of fabric, rough cut, and then trimmed it from the back afterwards. I tried to use as many scraps as possible but aesthetics won out over thriftyness in most cases!
I pieced too many stripes too close to the points in the first few and only realised my mistake when I started putting them together. The middles were too bulky with seams and you couldn't see the smallest stripes anyway. And then about two thirds of the way through I realised I could cut away the foundation fabric at the points and make the whole thing much flatter in the center of the webs. I can't believe I didn't think about this earlier - duh!! It was too late to do anything by then as I had been piecing as I went along. But if anyone else uses this method then this is a really good tip!

Here is the quilt top finally finished. Phew! 
I think another reason it took SO LONG was because the pattern meant I had to make it bigger then I usually would have. I didn't want to cut the spider webs in half so I had to go another block all the way around. which also meant that there is a lot of plain white around the edges. So I decided to turn the edges of the quilt top over to the back and sew them under. I haven't finished this way before but I thinks it looks quite neat and meant I avoided binding in another colour, I thought the quilt was just too busy for that. There's nothing fancy  on the back, I do admire you quilters who make beautiful pieced backs, but time was just too short and I didn't want more seams making the quilting any harder (so it is just a white sheet, sshh!)

I did spend a LOT of hours on the hand quilting (all in the last 4 weeks - a lot of late nights!). It is a bit of a slog but I love the way the white 'stars' look. I still have some quilting to do in the white areas around the edge and there are 2 big blank corners to fill. I have been thinking about quilting '60' there but not sure how much my sister wants to be reminded of her age! Anyway I figured it was finished enough to include in the Quilt Festival and now I have another week to finish those edges as I am taking the quilt down to Jane, week Tuesday (as long as the stupid ash clouds don't make a re-appearence!).
I'm off to take a look at all the other quilts now and hopefully find some inspiration for my next quilt! Make sure you all go and visit too - I have updated the links so they take you direct to the right page. Here is another link to Amy's blog. Thanks so much Amy, for hosting this fantastic event!

83 comments:

  1. A mommoth effort! well done!

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  2. Beautiful! The colours are amazing. Fabtastic effort. :)

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  3. What a beautiful job! She is going to love it! It was a lot of work, but so well worth it in the end!! Great job!

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  4. Oh WOW Jo!! It has come out beautifully and all the hard work SO paid off!! Jane is a lucky girl, I love the way it has come out, both all the lovely colours AND the quilting! You have created an heirloom!!

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  5. Absolutely fantastic! I'm sure Jane is going to love it and appreciate all the work involved in evry step of this quilt. I love the scrappy look of it, just beautiful!!

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  6. Wow, what a wonderful quilt! I love your hand quilting.

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  7. Jo, this is a stunner! The quilting is so effective! makes me want to get on quilting RIGHT NOW! See what an inspiration you are? And thanks for the tip!
    Happy B-day, Jane and enjoy your new quilt!
    :)
    greetings from Cyprus,
    Valentina

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  8. How beautiful! The hand-quilting is so worth it, it speaks of a whole lot of love. Congratulations, and happy birthday to your sister!

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  9. Wow--that's so colorful and happy! All that hand quilting too... I'm in awe. :-)

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  10. Stunning and the hand quilting really makes it an even more special quilt!

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  11. I've wanted to make one of these, but I think you may have just "talked" me out of it with all of the time involved! It is really beautiful, though.

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  12. What a beautiful quilt!

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  13. Just amazing! You sister is very lucky!

    Jennifer :)

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  14. Oh wow, all your hard work shows. That quilt is incredible!

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  15. Really, really beautiful! I am too much of a neat freak to do wonky very well, but I so wish I could. I'm so impressed with your hand-quilting, too. I love the effect of the stars.

    Your sister will absolutely love it. If she doesn't, send it to me! :)

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  16. WOW! How stunning is this!! I love everything about it!

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  17. Handsome quilt. Thanks for the pointers. Like the story.

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  18. Bloody hell, Jo!! I just adore your hand quilting and what a labour of love!! Your sister will love it.

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  19. That is a tone of work but well worth it. Hope your sister enjoys it.

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  20. What a wonderful gift quilt,........and quite a story of the making !
    Perseverance, and love for the sister, won out !
    I think you should definitely quilt "60" in that corner space ........ she'll love that ! It's quite an accomplishment, too, just to reach that age nowadays !

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  21. Wow! What a lucky sister! I know she'll appreciate your labor of love. The hand quilting looks amazing.

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  22. Wow, that quilt is amazing! Great job.

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  23. Look at ALL the LOVE you put into this quilt!!! It is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love your fabrics, but most of all, I truly admire your amazing hand quilting!!! Jane is going to be bowled over by this quilt! What an heirloom you've stitched. : ) Thanks for sharing!

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  24. That's GORGEOUS -- thanks for sharing so much detal about how you made it!

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  25. Beautiful quilt! Your sister is going to be thrilled. Love the hand-quilting. It's always nice to meet another hand-quilter. :-)

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  26. This looks amazing! The hand quilting makes it even that more special. Your sister is a lucky lady to have you!

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  27. This quilt is worth every minute and every stitch! Really, really nice.

    Thanks for sharing. Regards, Sue

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  28. Spectacular! The quilting makes it even more stunning!

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  29. FUN!!! gotta love the strings and crumbs!

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  30. Beautiful! I really like the colors and the open areas.

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  31. Beautiful. Those bright colors with the white certianly make for an outstanding quilt. I do like the way you did the finishing edges.

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  32. This is just AMAZINGLY beautiful - your sister is going to love it! Sh don't tell but I always use vintage sheets for backings, lol. So much faster!

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  33. Wow, 81 hours for triangles! The quilt is awesome - the range of colours make it so bright and cheerful!

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  34. They look like wedges of jewels. Great colours and just gorgeous hand-quilting.

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  35. Wonderful!! I've been intrigued by this method and have seen great quilts made with it. This one is just a treat!

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  36. Incredible! What a treasure for your lucky sister! I ADORE spiderweb quilts and promised myself I would make one this year. Oh no, it's almost June! Thanks for writing so much about the process :)

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  37. Spiderwebs are great aren't they! I love your version- The colors are rich and great contrast to the light background. I am sure that your sister is going to be thrilled with it

    Enjoy the festival- there are many wonderful quilts to see.
    Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
    Anna

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  38. This is just gorgeous! I bet it is so cuddly and soft from all the hand quilting!!! great job!!!

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  39. I love it! This is one of my favorite designs!

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  40. this is stunning. your hand quilting really makes the even more wonderful than it already was. congratulations on such a beautiful quilt and a great festival entry.

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  41. Absolutely stunning!! The hand quilting is the icing on the cake!! Well done!! Worth every minute that you put into this quilt!
    Paulette

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  42. Gorgeous quilt! Your sister is one lucky lady.
    I have the spider web quilt on my list of quilts to do.

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  43. I love this quilt... the design, the fabrics, the quilting... everything!

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  44. Your quilt is amazing. Love the randomness of the strips and all the wonderful fabrics you used. And the hand quilting! It really adds definition to the stars. Thanks for sharing!

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  45. This is one of the most wonderful quilts I have EVER seen. WOW! I am so intimidated by hand quilting but I love the look of it. WHat a fabulous gift! Thanks for sharing it

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  46. Wow. The handquilting is stunning. What a lucky sister!

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  47. What nice efforts you have made on your sister's quilt. The multicolored webs look wonderful.

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  48. Thanks for sharing the whole story, oops and all. That is usually the way my quilts get made. I really love this one and admire the hand quilting. What a lucky sis!

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  49. What a stunning quilt! I love this pattern and want to try it someday. I am going to use your photos for inspiration. Thanks for sharing! ooxx`jodi

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  50. wow Jo! You're giving that as a gift? Your sis is so blessed! You're definitely pushing me over the edge to try one of these!

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  51. I love your quilting! The whole thing is fantastic and your sister will be thrilled - even if you do remind her of her age in the corner :) Thank you for sharing!

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  52. This is my favorite quilt of the festival, so far... I am partial to spiderwebs (there's an tutorial on my blog if you fancy having a look). I like your scrappy take on it, and the quilting is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing so much about your process, loved to read all of it. It is a fabulous gift - lucky sister!!!
    Thank you for your nice visit, too. (I have to make a spiderweb quilt for me, now...)

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  53. One of my favourites I have seen today!! Love this.

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  54. I have seen this quilt in the flesh today and it is amazing. One of Jo's best quilts, i am lucky enough to own 2 which are much loved. Very inspirational.

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  55. Lucky Jane...beautiful quilt!

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  56. Oh I wish I was your sister. Would you like to "adopt" me?

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  57. Wow that is stunning! Good job!

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  58. This quilt is awesome! Your hand quilting amazing!!!! Love that you mixed it up with different widths and angles in the strips.

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  59. The quilt is beautiful. but way too much work for me. I'll have to admire from a distance.

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  60. Very, very, very nice quilt!!! Good work!!! Happy Festival!

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  61. Hi Jo!
    The quilt is just lovely! Your hand quilting looks great! I love the "stars" and the random looking "webs"! Does all that quilting make your fingers sore?
    Happy Birthday to Jane!! Sure she loves her quilt.
    Much love,
    S.V. xxx :)

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  62. Wow. That is gorgeous. Love all the bright colors.

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  63. Oh ye spider enjoys spinning with delightful color. Lovely quilt. You did a fantastic job.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  64. Wow, this blows me away!! Wonderful quilt, absolutely amazing!! LOVE LOVE the handquilting... your sister will be delighted!!

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  65. Ohhhh my gosh! This is so pretty! I love everything about it, thanks for sharing!

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  66. Just beautiful! And you HAND quilted it!! Wow!!! I also recently finished my spiderweb quilt and mine is just screaming with color! I like how yours is more down toned to mine and I hope to work with this color way sometime soon! Thanks for sharing and what a lucky sister and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

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  67. I really love this, especially with the hand quilting detail. I really want to try hand quilting, but I'm debating between two ideas. One, like yours, with matching thread that gives the quilt texture, and one with different colored threads on white/neutral background. You did such an amazing job, congrats!

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  68. What a lovely quilt-your sister is very lucky.
    Hope you do quilt '60' in the corner, it won't be very noticeable in white thread but is a cool way to show why it was made.
    Come see my antique quilt entries
    http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com
    (there are a couple of antique spiderwebs)
    http://starleyquilts.blogspot.com

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  69. Today I got my amazing quilt and was bowled over by it's beauty and by all the hours and months of work that had gone into its making and creation - I know I am very lucky - everyone else has had a quilt and I just knew that mine would be very very special and it is.
    It will definitely by a future heirloom - thank you so much Jo - I adore the quilt - it is already on my bed - I love the fact that you have put so much of youself into it's making - you are very special and I love you so much xx

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  70. Your quilt is absolutely amazing. The piecing alone was such an effort and then to hand quilt it!!!! it was worth it. I love it. I'm considering modifying the spiderweb technique to make a Christmas Tree skirt. If you have an online tutorial that you could point me to, that would be helpful. Thanks!

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  71. I've been considering making a similar quilt but until I saw yours, with the hand quilting, I was not impressed with the pattern. I LOVE it!!! Great job! There are WAY too few hand quilters out there, what is this world coming too???? LOL! Love that you are contributing to keeping the tradition alive!!

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  72. Looked at'Comfort stitching' in the Festival and she also did a lovely spidersweb quilt (but without all the hand stitching) had you see it too?

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  73. Wow! That is amazing. Truly a labor of love.

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  74. What a beautiful quilt....I love it.

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  75. Found your quilt while browsing flickr today. I'm honored my quilt inspired this beauty! I love the simplicity of a white backing and the hand quilting makes it that much more personal. Really wonderful gift!

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