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Bloggers Quilt Festival...

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After enlisting the help of my neighbour Ruth a few weeks a go - I now have photos of a lot of the patchwork and quilts that live at my house - one of these quilts is the first and only large-scale quilt that I have finished.

The Heirloom Jewels is 6 foot square and made of 1 inch squares all English Paper Pieced it is quilted on point with concentric squares and is completely hand stitched except for the seam in the backing fabric - it took 15 months to complete including a few months when I didn't touch it - I made it whilst at high school over 12 years ago. It is predominantly purple as it was my favourite colour at the time (it is still up there but I lean more towards various shades of green).

(click on thumbnails for larger full image)

I started to piece the quilt from fabric left over from the border of the 9-patch wall-hanging which was my first foray into english paper piecing, it just kept on growing with fabrics added that I was given by friends and family - a lot of piecing was done whilst watching tv, some on a ferry on the way to the South Island of New Zealand to spend some of the school holidays with a friend.  My Granny helped me by removing some of the papers - even though I did discover some still in situ when quilting. 

It is named The Heirloom Jewels as it is hopefully the one quilt that will passed down in my family - when I finished it my mum had not yet finished a quilt specifically for me - so I teased her by saying I had gotten fed up and made my own.  Since then she has made the double-sided wedding quilt and 3 quilts for my boys.

I love the quilt and slept with it on my bed for several years - although because of its weight it stayed in NZ when we moved to the UK and just before J was born mum brought it over as hand-luggage - in it's vacuum-packed form it weighed 7 kilos (just over 15 pounds).

With this quilt I learned not to bite my nails - as I had done so for years and having something to do with my hands whilst watching TV worked better than foul-tasting nail polish or wearing gloves or eating ever did.  That patience can be learned and that skill has come in handy recently in dealing with having 3 boys under 4.  That size 10 needles are too big for me and that 12s are better even though they are not as robust. That over time hand stitching definitely improves. That when hand piecing it makes a big project easier by breaking it down into smaller components - I made 16 patch blocks first and then 16 blocks together until I had 4 large blocks and then a final seam down the centre.  And that I love hand sewing and English Paper Piecing even if sometimes I don't have the motivation or inclination.



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  1. Absolutely stunning!

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  2. pretty. love all those beautiful fabrics. thanks for sharing and have a great day

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  3. I really like your quilt. Beautiful colors, and stitching. I love the asymmetrical patterns.

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  4. I like this quilt, can't believe that you made it by hand -- great job =)

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  5. WOW! That is truely a work of art!!!!!

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  6. Wow! That is a lot of little pieces there!! What a wonderful quilt, and the story that goes with it too!! A keeper for the family for sure!! I'll have to try English paper piecing sometime... Happy stitchings!

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