Friday, April 24, 2009

My Favorite Quilt

Did any of you participate in the Spring 2009 Online Quilt Festival? It features the favorite quilts of nearly 600 bloggers! I got so wrapped up with the virtual quilt show that I missed the deadline for including my own post, but here’s the story of my favorite quilt.

Back in 1991, I could not have been busier. Our family was bursting at the seams of our first tiny house, and we’d decided to sell it by owner. At the same time, we purchased a lot and started construction on a brand new house in a community about 30 miles away. Every waking moment was focused on our kids, a toddler and new baby, showing one house, checking on construction of the other, cleaning, packing, moving, and oh yeah, starting a new quilt!

My local guild sponsored a quilt challenge that year. I’d been too busy to attend the meeting where the project was proposed, but my friend, Laurie, just knew I wouldn't want to miss out on the fun. Unbeknownst to me, she signed me up as her challenge partner.

We were given two theme fabrics, a cabbage rose and a green stripe, and were required to use both in the center block of our quilts.

For my center block, I adapted a pattern from an 1870's quilt, made by Mary Parks Lawrence in Russellville, Kentucky.

When my block was finished, I swapped with Laurie, who designed and stitched the first border of my quilt, as I did hers. We were limited to elements outlined in the challenge rules (rules and deadlines, just what I needed): four patch, nine patch, saw-tooth, dog-tooth, flying geese, appliqué sprays or vines.  

Laurie framed my flowery block with wonderful spiky points, a great counterpoint to the appliqué. Once a design element was used, it couldn’t be repeated, so I appliquéd floral sprays and vines as my final border.

I finished the project by hand quilting a 1/2" grid in the center block and a 1" grid in the outer border.

Click photo to enlarge
Cherry Challenge
44” x 44”

We hung the finished quilt in our living room so it's the first thing you notice when entering our home. After 16 years on the wall, it's become gently faded, but still serves as a reminder to meet life's challenges with beauty and grace.


  1. Another fabulous quilt! You did a wonderful job using the challenge fabrics.

  2. I was coming to leave a comment and say thinking of you because I was. I thought if ANYONE had a quilt to share it would be you. Plus, I was just thinking of you. Very cosmic that you should post.
    Superb execution of what seems to me to be an effort that required someone with thriving artistic vision and skill. I am so in AWE of this piece. I'm glad you chose this one as there are many to consider. I hope many get a chance to see this, Diane.

    by your side in spirit, *karendianne.

  3. It's a beautiful quilt. The colours work so well, I would give it a pride of place too.

  4. Wow! Your skills are so advanced, starting from way back when! Lovely quilt, glad you shared it.

  5. Beautiful ... THANK YOU for sharing the quilt and the story with us.

  6. I just love the balance of this quilt. Round and pointy, large pieces and small. It is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a gorgeous quilt. You took those '90s fabrics and blew them away! It looks timeless. Thanks for sharing.
    Vicky F

  8. i agree, it has a timeless quality to it that is just wonderful~!~

    i'm sorry to hear that i missed out on the online quilt show . . . i was seeing bits and pieces of information about it but simply did not act quickly enough. i feel somewhat better now that i have stopped in and seen your masterpiece~!!~


  9. That is a BEAUTIFUL quilt! Thanks for showing the photos AND telling us the story!

  10. the colors. Your quilting is wonderful. Using the two different grids is so effective. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a treat for the eyes!

  12. What a beautiful quilt! The 2 borders are just perfect for your gorgeous centre block. What an effective way to use the challenge fabrics!

  13. Wowwwwwwwwwww You mean with all you had to do already you didn't kill your friend??? This is a gorgous quilt and you did a fantastic job! She knew what she was doing when she picked you as her partner. take care Linda