Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gilding the Lily, Part 6

Are you ready for the final reveal of the wedding quilt? Today, I’ll focus on quilting, the design element that transformed a good quilt into one that’s rather special. (You can follow the entire design/construction process of this quilt by linking to previous “Carolina Lily” posts under “Labels” in the right side bar.)

The quilting was inspired by a Carolina Lily quilt, masterfully stitched by Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers . The elegant feather motif and heavy background quilting were just the look I wanted, but I had a few concerns:

James and Rachel's Wedding Quilt
(Double click photos for more detail)

Could I find a machine quilter capable of doing such refined work?
Thanks to readers, I got several recommendations, and must say, I was very proud of you for sharing. I thought you'd keep those names pretty close to your chest!

Could I actually afford a custom longarm quilter?
To be honest, I was terrified to even ask about the going rate!

Could he/she complete the quilt within my 6-7 week deadline?
Come on, that’s like asking for the moon. What professional quilter would kick loyal clients out of line to take on a new customer who didn't have the sense to plan ahead? Most good long arm quilters have a wait list of months, if not years!

Could I bear to pack up my quilt and send it to a complete stranger miles from home?
Well no, as a matter of fact, it turns out I could not.

My friend Sheila suggested I call a gal from our own local quilt group. Her name is Cheri Gabrielsen, she lives right in town, her rates were affordable, she could take my quilt and meet my deadline. The only problem was that Cheri couldn’t start the job until she returned from a machine quilting conference, where she was taking a class with……..Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers. Now what were the chances of that?

As you can see, Cheri did a fabulous job on the quilting and I couldn't be happier with the results!

Many talented women have had a hand in this quilt. I like to imagine their good wishes filling each stitch with positive energy. When James and Rachel sleep under it, they're wrapped in a blanket of blessings. You can’t give a better wedding gift than that!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Skipping Christmas

I promised to “be back soon” with the final reveal of the wedding quilt, but it felt weird skipping Christmas without a mention. The “kids” were “home” for the holiday, so we had lots of family time together.

William spent three months in Russia this fall, studying at the Moscow Arts Theatre. It was the trip of a lifetime, but he was happy to get back to his girlfriend and American food. He made Anna her first Christmas stocking.

At least someone is using my sewing machine.

James and Rachel brought along two additions to their family, our grand kitties, Gandalf and Carrot.

We intentionally kept the d├ęcor simple to minimize kitty mischief. Hanging a couple red and green quilts made the house look festive.

We even managed to host a party for 25 friends. It’s an annual gathering that I usually have to miss when it's held at someone else’s home. But with the kids here to help and everyone bringing an appetizer or dessert, all went smoothly and we had a great time.

I hope this holiday season sets the tone for 2012 and that the coming year will offer plenty of opportunities for fellowship with family and friends. Happy New Year!