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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Green and Purple - The End of the Story

I can now tell the complete story of my little green and purple quilt.  First of all, it has a name, "Dahlia Revisited".  And it was created for a very special reason.  I made this quilt for the contest that Quilters Newsletter was having to celebrate their 45th Anniversay.  The rules were simple, create a quilt that celebrates 45 years of quilting, make it 45"x45" and attach an artist statement explaining why the quilt represents 45 years of quilting.  I found out a few days ago that I was chosen as a finalist and that my quilt placed in the top 5! I've won a great prize package and I found out my quilt will hang as part of a special exhibit for QN at the Quilting Live event in Atlanta next month!
I didn't even know anything about the contest until after our quilt show in April when I was catching up on some reading.  The grand prize was a Bernina - which kind of caught my eye.  I've never owned a Bernina and thought that would be fun.  But I didn't know what to do that would represent 45 years until I did the math.  I made my very first quilt 45 years ago - 1969!!
Here is my very first quilt - simply named "Dahlia".  It's a Lemoyne Star with a gathered star flower in the center. Not a typical pattern for a first quilt - but it must have seemed like a good idea in 1969.  There are 30 blocks, it's a generous queen size, and it's completely hand pieced!  Not only are the blocks hand pieced, but all the sashings are hand pieced.
Lest you think that was easy, you can see here that I had a little bit of trouble.  To make things more interesting, all the white fabric is a sheet.  I guess I thought since the sheet worked so well on the front, I would use another one on the back!!  True story - but remember it was the 70's and I had no clue what I was doing.  (The quilting speaks for itself.)
In addition to having trouble doing the hand piecing,  it seems I also had trouble with the applique.  I wish someone would have told me to match the thread.  Guess I had a lot of white thread lying around LOL!!  
But back to the challenge....  What led to my idea for "Dahlia Revisited" was when I realized that somewhere in my stash there were scraps from this quilt and I was pretty sure I knew where they were.  Yes, I've been saving my scraps for 45 years!  
I searched EQ7 for a pattern and couldn't find anything close.  I also couldn't find anything similar on  the internet.  So I made a Leymone Star block out of my original 1969 fabric and tried to create my original block.  After 45 years, I didn't have a clue how I'd made them so I had to just kind of make it up as I went along.  It's not exact, but it's close enough.  This block does look a lot like a block I found called Amish Dahlia.  Does anyone know anything more about this block?
Well I eventually got the block made and then found lots of fabric from my stash that I could use.  If you remember from previous posts, I agonized quite a while on the quilting, but in the end, I was pleased. 
It's such a happy quilt.  The colors were a little hard to match exactly, and I didn't know what to use for the vine.  Suprisingly, what looked best was the original fabric.  I found a long piece cut on the bias that I had used for the binding.  It was perfect.  
So here they are together.  I am so thrilled that QN thought enough of my quilt to award me a finalist prize (even if it wasn't the machine LOL).  When they told me that these quilts would hang as a special exhibit in Atlanta next month, I realized that "Organic Pink Pickles" will also be hanging as a special exhibit for the NYC MQG DWR Challenge at the same event.  Two of my quilts hanging at Quilting Live!!  It really doesn't seem real.  Needless to say, I am planning a trip to Atlanta next month to see both my babies :)!!
It will be Sept. 11-13 if anyone is interested in going.  I'll be there :).

Thanks for sharing in my joy,
Karen

26 comments:

QuiltSue said...

Woww Karen. It's a well deserved winner, congratulations. Thanks for sharing the back story too which I found very interesting. I love that you were able to use some of the original fabrics in the revisited version.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Gorgeous quilt, and fascinating back story, especially being able to use some of the very same fabric that you used in the original.

We will be on our way to Hilton Head ... already thinking about leaving early to spend a day at Quilt Week in Chattanooga ... now I need to think about adding a day to Quilt Live! ;-)

Joyce Thompson said...

Congratulations Karen! You are so creative and talented. We are very lucky you are part of our guild and get to see first hand all your lovely work and so appreciative that you teach and share your knowledge with us. Road trip to Atlanta!

Terri said...

Congratulations! Your quilt is beautiful. Just think of all you've learned along the way and how far you've come....
Did you hand or machine quilt it?

Terri in Texas

Esther said...

Congratulations!!! What a fun story, and a beautiful happy quilt. Your quilting is lovely too. I am so happy for you!

Carol Stearns said...

Congratulations once again! You are truly a gifted quilter and that quiltis special!

OT Quilter said...

Congratulations, Karen! Both quilts are just gorgeous! Have a wonderful time at the exhibit--you're a quilt celebrity!

MamaT said...

I'm so happy for you! You're so clever! And two quilts in the same show! Much congratulations! Wish I could be there.

Karen said...

I can see why you won a prize! Interesting story about your original dahlia quilt and the new one. I hope your prize is a really good one.

Diane said...

Congratulations! Great story too! I'm excited for you having 2 quilts on exhibit!! Enjoy!

Kim Brackett said...

I love this story! Doesn't it blow your mind to think of how quilting has changed since then? All the tools, gadgets, threads? Your quilt is definitely worthy of recognition. I wish I could go to Atlanta! :-)

Unknown said...

Congratulations Karen! Great story, and a beautiful quilt. Your quilting goes so fast. It is nice, that you can use your first quilt. My (and not even first quilt, but others too) are under the bed, hidden :-)
Enjoy your trip to Atlanta.
Jana

Angie said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing the story behind your quilt - I hope I am able to mark 45 years of quilting one day!

Ruth said...

What a cool story! It's funny and sentimental at the same time! It sure tells the story of your progress! I love your original appliqué with white thread! What a success story. Congratulations on having 2 quilts on display. I wish I could go, but it's a long way from Oregon. Maybe sometime when we visit DS I can see them.

Janet said...

What a great story to go with your lovely new quilt! How exciting to place in the top five! Congratulations! Enjoy your trip to Atlanta :0)

Janan said...

Congratulations, you are a rock star!!!!!!! What a touching story behind this quilt, and the quilting turned out great. I know you are super excited to go see your quilts in Atlanta on display, and I have read that Fons & Porter will be there too!!
You may end up on a TV show!!!!!!
Faye & I are planning to go to Chattanooge that week, to AQS show,
it is a shame both these events are the exact same dates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Your quilts are so fantastic! I love the colors! I am so happy to find you!
Greetings from Finland!
Hugs, Ulla

quilter said...

Congratulations! I always enjoy reading your blog, to see what idea you have. Great work.

Gloria
gyates625@bellsouth.net

Vivian said...

You tell a story so well, and I enjoyed every part of it. The best part was laughing through the comment re: saving fabric for 45 years. Priceless! and I can relate!
Your purple and lime quilt is sweet as can be, and congrat's on the well deserved recognition.
How special to have two quilts on display. I'm guessing no one else at the show has the same honor.
Pat on the back and a big hug across the miles to a fantastic quilter!

Marcy R., PQG said...

Way to go, Karen! Fun to know I saw you working on this at guild meetings and now it will be seen by who knows how many in Atlanta!
My favorite part of this quilt is the double vine coming out of the cute little pot in the corner. I really like the graceful curves embracing the center medallion.

FlourishingPalms said...

This is such a neat story! It's especially nice to see the Dahlia quilt and how you made it. All hand work - that's pretty amazing. I think you did a great job of reflecting the 45 year history of your quiltmaking, and I absolutely LOVE the way you used that lime-y green to make the plum colors pop. And of course, your quilting is wonderful. Congratulations! Your finalist position is well-deserved.

Grammy said...

Congratulations! Your quilt story was so interesting to read. Beautiful wallhanging!

I live in the Atlanta area and attend the show every year. I can't wait to see your quilts hanging there. Maybe I'll even see you too!

Becky said...

Wow Karen, Congratulations!! You are pretty amazing. You don't need a new machine anyways, you ARE a quilting machine! I haven't sewed for over a year but I'm starting to feel like it again. Actually I'm getting some ideas from your previous posts. Thanks. Congrats again, you are a fantastic designer and quilter.

Rose Marie said...

You have had quite the journey ... wonderful quilts! Is it not wonderful to look back at our older quilts and see how much we have grown in experience? Congrats!

Karendianne said...

Wow! Gosh that pink pickles quilt you created sure is blowing my mind in the way we are all connected. :) Congratulations with this and joy to you and all your great quilty work you have going on right now.

I'm so glad I was/am able to drop in.

antique quilter said...

OMG that is just so exciting I am so thrilled for you.
well deserved. Loved seeing the quilt you made 45 years ago, wow am I ever impressed and that you still have scraps from it! just made me smile.
take lots of pictures in Atlanta I can't wait to see them
that pink quilt is out of this world, my DD would love that quilt