After five very long years I am pleased to announce that I have finished this quilt.
The photograph below was taken back in 2013, five very long years ago.
Cherrywood fabric, the love of my life when it comes to material. I am sure that is nothing new to my readers, and quilting friends.
This quilt has taken me on a journey of self discovery and a very difficult lesson in letting go. It will surprise no one to hear me say that I can be a little bit of a control freak and perfectionist (and that’s putting it mildly). To further describe my character traits I am extremely hard on myself and this quilting adventure has, I pray, cured me of that personality flaw. This finished piece is far, very far, from perfect. The list of mistakes is quite lengthy, but what I have learned and the amount I have grown as a quilter and individual is enormous.
I’m going to share a few revelations with you.
Revelation #1: Basting and removing my quilt from the frame umpteen times will not happen again in my studio. The result of basting my quilt and repeatedly removing it caused more than a few migraines! Typically I go through the quilt and complete my SID and dividing lines which is enough to stabilize the quilt. However, I strayed from my “typical” routine on this project and paid the price. Note to self, “Do Not Deviate!”
Revelation#2: I always pre-wash my fabrics but I underestimated the TLC that hand dyed fabrics require. This quilt quickly taught me that hand dyed material definitely needs a little “extra attention”. If you look below you will observe a fabric bleed. This is not something any quilter wants to witness on their quilt. Yes, I pre-washed the fabric. No, it is NOT the fault of the dyer. Yes, it is my fault for treating Cherrywood like all my other fabric.
Now when I am working with hand dyed fabrics, I wash them in my sink with the hottest water possible and dawn dish detergent until the water is clear. Hard lesson to learn? The word “hard” doesn’t do this lesson justice. Thus, I have chosen to name this quilt “Oh, My Bleeding Heart”. Rolling the dice I persevered and continue on with the quilting; hoping that a small miracle would transpire and the bleed would come out.
And it DID! I’ve been bowing to the quilting gods above each morning. I followed Vicki Welsh’s directions. Do yourself a favor and print off her directions and stash them in a safe spot. You might want to print off a couple of copies trust me may never know when you might need them.
Aside from the major catastrophe of the fabric bleeding, this quilt had challenges in the piecing as well. I tend to generate designs and neglect to give much thought as to how I will execute what I have composed. It has gotten me into a lot of trouble more than once The most challenging aspect on this pattern was the inner pieced border…
What in the bleepity bleep was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t! Although it nearly killed me, I continued onward.
The question then became how in the world would I get these together?
I somehow managed to put them together, but it was less than easy.
This is, by far, my favorite quilt. I absolutely love the design, but the true reason why it has become the love of my quilting life is due to all that I endured and discovered during the entire process. I poured my heart into this piece for many, many years, and many, many lessons were unveiled.
I am hosting a lecture at the AQS Lancaster show in March called “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” , the subject matter is, of course, this lovely quilt. I hope to see many of you there as I share moments of self discovery and quilting adversity during the creation of this unbelievable piece.
Do you have a quilt that challenged you till you almost gave up??