Over the last two years that I've spent working on Jubilee Tribute, there have been many changes in my life. During the last few months as I spent hours each day hand quilting, I have had time to reflect and I started a list. This is a post to help me remember the journey I've been on. It all started with this picture -
from this book.
Then deciding to use this book from my Mom for the border treatment.
Hours were spent trying to create templates for all the little pieces.
I had to learn reverse applique (huge learning curve for this part!!)
Trying to pick fabrics and audition backgrounds. Finding reds and the perfect pink.
Trying to find the right green and the right cheddar.
With all 16 coxcomb flowers finally done I was ready to start making a block. Figuring the math out for this part took a while. I paper pieced the center and hand appliqued this whole thing down.
And then there were 4! This was a happy day. The background fabric was perfect and there was some highlight to the center - it looked exactly the way I had hoped it would.
Next came the vines and leaves. This is always my favorite part - just organically letting the vines go where they want. And there were LOTS of little berries.
And then the day came that the center was done- every flower, every leaf, every berry. I still had not decided how to handle the center part that would join the vines.
Now it was finally time to start the border. Trying to decide on the number of petals and the size and shape of the petals took way too long for me. I got really frustrated during this part.
But then the day came that there were 4 of these! After they were all done, I realized they did not look right. So after a few more days of pondering, each scallop went from having 9 petals to having 11. It's a good thing making the petals was fun.
I couldn't wait to lay out the borders and try to get an idea of what it would look like. It was at this point, I realized that I needed something in between each scallop. This took quite a while to figure out, and I got really frustrated during this part too.
Especially when I realized that it needed another reverse applique coxcomb and that I would have to draft more templates! But as I saw it on my design wall the first time, I knew it was perfect. Something still seemed lacking, so I added berries to finish the space between the scallops. There were times that I felt it would never be done.
But seeing the glimpse of what it would look like was enough to help me push through. And then, I drafted yet another template for the coxcomb circle and had to do more reverse applique for the very center. This time red on pink instead of pink on red.
But the day finally came when the quilt was done and it was ready to baste.
And on May 15, 2013 I started the hand quilting.
After I had outlined all the flowers, vines, leaves and berries, it was time to start the cross hatching. I started by marking and quilting an overall 6" grid. Then I did an overall 3" grid. Then I went to a 1 1/2" grid.
Each step gave me a better glimpse of what it would look like. So total, I quilted an overall grid pattern over the entire quilt 5 times!
Finally it was time to start the 1/2" grid. It was at this point that I had hours and hours to reflect on many things. People have asked me how long it took. I didn't keep track because I didn't want to know. A labor of love should not be measured.
But the day came that the last stitch of the binding was done and the quilt was hanging at our quilt show.
So in closing, here is a list of some of the things that have happened in my life since I started Jubilee Tribute (not in any particular order):
-I have been 3 different ages
-I celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary
-I had a new grandchild - #4
-I got a job and went back to work
-My son lost his job, but has started a new venture
-I agreed to be the Quilt Show Chair for our guild
-I led 1 retreat, 2 workshops, was a guest speaker 6 times and presented 3 programs for my guild
-I was the Grand Prize Winner in the NYC MGQ DWR Challenge
-I designed and help construct "Vintage Blooms" as well as produce a pattern
-I read the Bible through
-I watched the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics
-I was asked to judge my first quilt show
-I got the Shingles
-I've been hot and cold, frustrated and satisfied, sad and happy, calm and upset
-I read at least 63 books (didn't keep track of all)
-I made and finished 14 baby quilts, 2 large t-shirt quilts, 14 regular sized quilts, 25 mug rugs, 8 wallhangings and of course "Organic Pink Pickles"
-I pieced 5 quilt tops including 2 of Bonnie Hunter's mysteries - Easy Street and Celtic Solstice
-I finished and quilted Orca Bay
Plus there were many miscellaneous random UFO's in various stages of done-ness.
It's really interesting to try and catalog your life over a two year span. For a lot of 2012 I was without a job and got to spend happy hours each day creating.
I will probably never spend 2 years of my life on a quilt again, I've done it. But it was totally worth it and when I look at Jubilee Tribute, it brings such joy.
In the end, that's really the secret of quilting - the joy.