Monday, July 13, 2015

The Fire Quilt is FINISHED

**My giveaway is still open! Okay, here you go. It's time for picture overload with this quilt! My quilt holders were all at work or on vacation, so I don't have a really good pic of the entire quilt yet. Maybe later in the week? The bottom of the quilt has entirely faded into the shadows so I'll apologize for that as it makes the rest look weirdly proportioned.
2014 Fire in Pateros Quilt
Things Will Never Be the Same
I have to be patient and wait until my family has time help me though. Meanwhile, I thought you might want to see some stitching detail as it really made the quilt so much better. At least to me. You might think it's an odd quilt with or without the stitching and I won't judge you for that. lol
Stitching detail to the left
I ended up using very light colors of Perle cotton on most of the quilt. So surprising as I usually would think to use a bright or contrasting color. I would try out about three or four colors before finding the 'right' look on almost every single panel, stitching and then pulling the entire thread out and starting over. It was very frustrating as it took a long time for me to feel like I was 'getting' what the quilt required. At one point I was almost in tears thinking I was clearly wasting my time making the effort to hand quilt this monster! Anyway, the primary colors of the stitching are a very light silvery gray, a light multi-colored blue, a med-light green and and med-light blue. Go figure--the only strong colors were just a touch of red and black thread in very tiny areas of the quilt!
Stitching detail to the right
In the end, I decided that the texture was what was needed, not the color as more color just seemed to busy things up. Plenty of that with this quilt already! There was absolutely no marking done on this quilt before I stitched. It's all eyeballed and a naturally uneven style of stitching, although I stitched along the line of the plaid behind the 'Pateros' letters etc. It just seemed that this quilt needed the human touch more than precisely measured stitching lines.
What the quilt is all about
Honestly, it was really difficult to decide how and where to add the stitching. I almost had a panic attack over that part until I just did what I always do. Get the quilt into a hoop and start stitching something! The point of stitching is to add depth and texture to a quilt, draw your eye in or out, right? I finally went with an echo quilting around the vague looking flower in the center {why I was attempting to use a floor hoop} and then outlined the inside of each of the baskets. On each side panel, I stitched with a red thread just outside each 'spark' or ember and then used the light silvery gray thread to stitch concentric circles until they ran into each other--but not overlapping. I didn't get it all stitched quite as smoothly as possible where they butted up against each other, but there was only so much I was willing to be fussy about. Seriously, the stitching could have taken months if I had decided to be particular about every single detail!
Middle detail
I do think the quiet look of the stitching was needed to fully bring it to life. It's hard to have an unbiased opinion about something I've poured so much of myself into though! I feel immense relief to have it finished and yet, when I laid it out on the floor to view {and lets be honest, critique as well}, I felt so much numbness that I couldn't quite take it in properly. It almost looked like a stranger to me, and here it had taken up so many hours of my time since last October!
Lower left side
 My husband insisted we show it to my parents immediately and they seemed truly touched by the quilt. They spent quite a bit of time trying to capture all the details, asking questions as they looked over it. Showing them helps me to feel a tiny bit less nervous about putting it out there before the community. It also clarifies how emotional this quilt could be for others.*gulp  I'm really hopeful there will be other quilts with a similar idea! It would be very interesting to view different perspectives of the same theme and also take the pressure off of mine.....
Can never quite get the entire bottom of quilt
I've been gathering all the quilts I intend to put in the show this weekend. It's hard to narrow it down to the four or five I generally enter, especially since last years quilt show was cancelled! So far I've narrowed it down to these six quilts, but I could change my mind.
A stack of quilts for the local quilt show
In gathering quilts together, I realized that hmm.... I haven't put labels on anything unless it was given away for oh, maybe two years? Bad girl.
Simple labels
I did my usual and used a piece of muslin with simple wording. Even on the fire quilt. I feel like the details are mine and as far as others are concerned, it's more important that they interpret the details in their own way and from their own experiences? Looks like I got the date wrong on the Fire quilt, but luckily all I have to do is add a one in front of the three! Lovely to get the guilt of not adding labels to my quilts done and over with though. One more thing checked off the list! My quilt is done. I can hardly believe it......

26 comments:

  1. I think the Fire Quilt is amazing! I'm glad you listened to your muse and stuck with the project, no matter how painful or frustrating. And I appreciate you sharing it all with us!

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  2. You must feel so good...so triumphantly relieved that this one is done. So full of emotion and pain...and then triumph!! It is an award winner...the texture is just right. Love, love, LOVE!!

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  3. You are very talented and creative to be able to create such an awesome quilt without a pattern (totally unlike me). You can tell it came straight from the heart.

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  4. it is a very unique quilt and I can tell that you put a lot of thought and care into making it. It is certainly a one of a kind! good luck in the show. I tend to forget to put labels on at times. I have a label for the Dear Jane quilt sitting on the coffee table intending to put it on for about a half year now?

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  5. Wow! This quilt is special. I'm guessing it will be the talk of the show. You did an amazing job.

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  6. It's amazing. The quilting is exactly right - like the perfect sound track for a movie. Beautiful work.

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  7. The quilt is amazing, I'm so glad you finished it.

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  8. Glad your Mom & Dad got to view it first, seems appropriate. Bet it is a relief to
    put in the last stitches. People will get a chance to see other quilts of yours in the show, besides this journey quilt.

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  9. Such an emotional quilt, it tells a painful story, I think it is perfect. I admire your talent.

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  10. Your quilt tells the story of your journey, the pain, and now the healing. A miracle that no lives were lost, and so happy that you and your mom can be quilting again. It will be interesting to see if any other quilts commemorate the fire. Enjoy the show.

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  11. Congratulations! I know this was an emotional journey for you. What an incredible story quilt - You did an amazing amazing job!!

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  12. There are no words for such an emotional quilt, but of course me being me, I will have to babble on anyway. This is such a marvelous quilt, not just for its visual impact, but its emotional one as well. Anyone who has lived through a fire will be touched immediately. And the rest of us can only hope that this quilt will help in the healing process. My husband's birthday is the anniversary of the fire. I will be thinking of you on Friday as you begin a new year. Thanks for sharing this very personal journey. I just with I could see this (and all your wonderful quilts) in person.

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  13. I can't imagine the emotions attached to creating and finally finishing this quilt. You have done a wonderful thing that will empower you and your future generations of family and friends.

    I've had the occasion to drive through your area four times in three years, the last time being in late June 2013 so I have not yet seen the devastation of your area. Hopefully as new growth happens healing will follow and help ease the pain of the devastation.

    Just think what an impact it will be at your quilt show. Be thankful that your family survived this experience and can share this with other people who experience this type of tragedy.

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  14. Your quilt is very powerful in its message and style. It was brave of you to share its creation with your blog readers, and I feel privileged to share the journey with you. Congratulations on finishing it, and on working through the fire's aftermath during this year. May your quilt hang proudly in the quilt show!

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  15. Bravo for finishing this amazing quilt.

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  16. Wow Audrey. What a finish and a great addition to the quilt show. The whole town needs to see it :)

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  17. You finished your quilt perfectly. The quilting adds the texture but doesn't distract from the meaningful impact. The quilt will touch many people in your community in a positive way.

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  18. It is a significant quilt, in so many ways. I also think it is also special it is hand quilted. I'm looking forward to hearing all about the show.

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  19. Congratulations on finishing such an important piece of art. It is not just a quilt but something that reflects your emotions and you should be very proud of it.

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  20. Why didn't they warn us.....that part brings me to tears. I remember the suddeness of it for you all :(

    Oh Audrey you put heart and soul into ALL of your quilts / they sparkle with your personality but this one is just over the top wonderful.

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  21. Why didn't they warn us.....that part brings me to tears. I remember the suddeness of it for you all :(

    Oh Audrey you put heart and soul into ALL of your quilts / they sparkle with your personality but this one is just over the top wonderful.

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  22. It is pretty amazing and I think it will be well received- emotional, but a healing quilt too.

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  23. This quilt is amazing and so different to any quilt I've ever seen. I love that it tells the story of what your family and your town has been through over the last 12 months. You did a great job Audrey.

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  24. I was wondering how the progress was going on the Fire Quilt. I knew you wanted it done for a show. I am anxious to see if it wins a ribbon. I think it should.

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  25. This is such a personally meaningful quilt. I'm so impressed with your curation of what to include; that must have been really tough. Thanks for sharing the details of stitching and the entire process.

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  26. Congratulations on the big finish, Audrey! Really it is hard to find the right words, it is all there in the quilt. The contrast of the soft quilt and the harsh reality cuts right through you. No wonder it has been so hard to work on! I hope it has been and will continue to be healing. Brave work, well done!

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Thanks so much for visiting! Getting comments always makes me happy. I try to respond personally to each comment but if you happen to be a 'no-reply commenter' then you'll have to leave an e-mail to be hearing back from me!

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