Friday, April 6, 2018

ThisTree of Life Quilt Just Makes Me Happy

Ah... this Tree of Life quilt. It was one that was on my bucket list for a very long time. In fact, here is a Pinterest board where I hoarded images of the more special ones that had caught my attention. And one day in 2014, I finally got started on my very own.
So, so happy with how this one turned out!
As usual, I ended up drawing my own pattern. No doubt this particular pattern is available somewhere out there in the land of quilting, but I couldn't find one with the 'trunk' put together just the way I wanted, or even the size of block I needed. It's easy enough to make though, if you'd like to try one for yourself.
It's a finish!
Although I adore the established look of most antique Tree of Life quilts, I couldn't get this version out of my head. It made me seriously consider whether or not I wanted to broaden the potential color palette a little more than the basic {two or three color} look so consistently used in the past. In the end, I couldn't resist the more-color-please! idea, nor the siren call of trying my hand at using busy {perhaps vintage} looking backgrounds. The challenge of turning out a cohesive looking quilt proved to be quite irresistible.
A close-up
Although very much touch and go at times {the seams are not exactly perfection!}, this was a positive feeling project clear through to the end. The colors, the blends of prints, the use of woven fabrics {which I always get mushy over) all helped to keep my endorphins running on high. The very universal layout, with a little solid color sashing in between blocks, also definitely helped to ground my colorful, busy looking quilt. It keeps the overall appearance firmly rooted in tradition, which I love and appreciate. Nothing to be ashamed of, using the foundations of antique/vintage quilting in our newly creative efforts!
Hanging on the railing
It was a little surprising at how much I loved having this quilt in the hoop, even though it's been four years since the top was started. There are times that I probably feel a little 'disconnect' from a project started that far in the past. We doubt ourselves and say, 'Seriously? Why did I make this again?', discounting the value of that specific moment in our quilting journey.  It's just fact that most of our styles continue to grow and change with time and continual forward momentum.

One of the things that I think helps in staying connected to older quilt tops, is when we deliberately strive to pursue our unique voice in all aspects of design, quilt after quilt, choice after choice. With that, and blending years worth of fabric choices {not making a one fabric line quilt}, then the overall look shouldn't feel stale or particularly dated in just a few, short years.
Love how the wonk in the woven fabric
 setting triangles quilted out!
I will reluctantly admit to having some issues with the backing on this quilt. It was sandwiched and pinned on one of those horrible, terrible, no-good days that we all have occasionally. By the time I realized there were five slits in the middle fabric, well.... I didn't particularly care. This fabric was one that was given to me years ago in a bag of other misfits, so the cuts were not of my doing. Nevertheless, it needed fixed and so I decided to try something new. The patches were hand sewn on top of the backing before the hand quilting started, and after the entire quilted was pinned. Yeah. It was a job, but so interesting to see how it looked afterwards. I wouldn't exactly recommend doing these patches on purpose, but somehow they appeal to me all the more for their brazen impertinence.
The strange tale of the backing patches...
And so that's the story of my Tree of Life quilt. Doubtful that this one will ever be given away. It's just too whimsical and yep, fearless! for anyone else to properly appreciate. Right? hehe  Told ya! the wonk would quilt out of the setting triangles. Hand quilting is the best....
Crossing this one off the list!
It's nice to finish a quilt on the bucket list occasionally instead of just meandering willy-nilly where ever our muse takes us. Oh right. I did that too.....  Linking up with Linda and Julie at sew, stitch, snap, SHARE #23!

28 comments:

  1. I love your quilt too! Fall colors for a tree quilt is just the best.

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  2. love it - I have thought of doing this one over the years but never have - there are so many quilts on the list I doubt I will ever be able to do all of them!!

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  3. There are so many varieties...I have a bunch saved on Pinterest also. Gorgeous finish!!

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  4. Just love your tree of life quilt. The pattern is on my 'I love to make that quilt one day' list. But at the moment I have so many projects that I do not want to start another. Last year I thought I would concentrate on finishing tops. Although the intention is still there I have started a few new projects. It looks like I just enjoy the unexpected route life is taking me on at the moment.

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  5. Love your tree of Life quilt! Another one for my someday list 😀and yes, hand quilting is the best!

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  6. I would say that pulling multiple disparate elements together into something cohesive was a strength of yours and this quilt is a great demonstration of how well you do it. It's lovely!

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  7. I love the pattern but even more your choice and combination of colors and fabrics!!

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  8. Oh no it's too special to give away ! :) It's a beautiful finish and heirloom :)

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  9. So pretty!!! Your trees have an autumn wibe for me, beautiful colors together

    ; )

    Marit

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  10. So very, very beautiful! This is one of those quilts that I have loved but not yet attempted to make. One day I will! Thanks for sharing yours!

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  11. What a glorious finish. It seems that this Tree of Life speaks volumes of yours.

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  12. Wonderful finish and a wonderful traditional quilt. You'll enjoy it forever.

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  13. I love this quilt! And your version of the tree speaks to me. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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  14. Ok...so now I know which UFO I'm going to try to move forward now - my Audrey inspired Tree of Life. I only have 12 blocks and was thinking about 41 since I won't have sashing or border and love big quilts. Yours is a fantastic finish. And I know what you mean about hand quilting fixing wonkiness! I'm doing a little of that now.

    And I have a quilt I made in the 70s where I used an old sheet on the back that had a hole in it but I put a patch on the hole. Sheet and patch have held up just fine; however, some of the old clothes and scraps from making clothes that I used on the front have worn out. Needless to say I like your slit solution!

    Congrats on an inspirational finish!

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  15. So, so beautiful. All the more so because it's an Audrey quilt. And you sent me down the rabbit hole looking at all your pins. I put a couple of trees in a Christmas quilt I made years ago. Still hope to make one with all trees.
    Love the fabric choices, the way you worked out the back, the sashing, and that gorgeous blue-green border. Congratulations.

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  16. It's a wonderful quilt, a walk thru an early autumn woods [tho I suppose that's too literal]. Lots of movement and interesting use of fabric; your odd, to me, colors working joyfully in the end. As usual I love the little make do bits...those patches on the back! I'm so glad the backing was repaired and used and that you celebrated its flaws.

    love

    lizzy

    lizzzz.d@gmail.com

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  17. I always feel like I'm sitting there with you while you talk me through the post. I love your block backgrounds--yes, because they feel randomly vintage, but they work so well at giving this traditional pattern your own twist. How I love the variety of fabrics you've used for your tree leaves! And the darker setting triangles and border just frame and pop those trees like they're supposed to, IMO. I wouldn't part with this one either. Nicely done!

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  18. Another amazing finish! What a terrific quilt and traditional but so Audrey!

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  19. Well done you!! Another fabulous Audrey original. Love the quirks on the back - it looks like they're meant to be!

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  20. Such an amazing beauty. I love the pattern and the hand-quilting on this makes it so classically stunning! I am so inspired to make my own tree of life looking at this. Will be sharing this so people can come here and enjoy this beauty.

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  21. How beautiful it turned out!

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  22. What a lovely, loving post. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful quilt!

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  23. Bravo, what a lovely quilt. Love this quilty old fashioned look to it.

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  24. Oh how I love the Tree of Life quilts, and yours has a wonderful vintage feel/look that is totally endearing in my eyes. I've only made one Tree of Life quilt, a large medallion block surrounded by sampler-type blocks with Biblical names/stories. Hand quilted of course, and only took 14 years to complete. Your finish is gorgeous, and oh so much more timely!

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  25. Wonderful finish and a wonderful traditional quilt. You'll enjoy it forever.


    RoyalRuby

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  26. What a lovely quilt! Your design and colour is fantastic.

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