Just in case you are not familiar with traveling quilts here is the idea: Each member of your group creates a starter block and usually writes a journal with details, theme and style they would like their quilt to end up. You send your starter block to another member in your group (usually there is a list, and you send it to the next lady on the list), they have a month to add on to your starter block and get your quilt going. Then, they send it to the next woman on the list and so on and so on until your quilt arrives back to you. In the meantime, as your quilt is traveling to each member of your group, their quilts are as well, so you will be adding to their quilts.
We have 10 women in our group. That means that 9 ladies besides me will be working on my quilt and I will be working on 9 different quilts. All themed. Here is my wandering quilt.
I did settle on dandelions. Or more like fell in love with dandelions and just HAD to make them.
After my last post on this topic, I immediately made this embroidery. And this was exactly what I wanted to mimic on Rebecca’s quilt.
I felt like my part was kinda scary. All of the rest of Rebecca’s quilt was framed in that red, but there was none left, so I had to be the first person to break away.
And it’s scary to add to someone’s quilt. You want them to like it, even though they might have a completely different style than you. It’s hard. But the whole idea is not to have a quilt with only your ideas and your input. If that was the case you would just make your own quilt in just your style. The idea of a traveling quilt is to make friends, and collaborate. You end up with a quilt made by a group of different people with different minds, different interests and ideas.
It might end up not exactly how YOU envisioned, but that’s sometimes a good thing, and the point. A collaboration is not just about you, it’s about the group.
For my stems and the center part of my dandelions I used bias tape. All of the circles I stitched down by hand. Which took awhile.
Fussy cutting was my original idea for this quilt. Remember this quilt was about childhood and while rummaging through my stash I found this magic parade fabric by Sarah Jane.
I’m not sure it was a perfect choice, but I thought Rebecca would like it. She had mentioned wanting children of different cultures on her quilt and this one really fit the bill.
Do you see the mer-boy on the horse? Adorable!
So I stitched and stitched and stitched anytime I was still all month long.
I really enjoy the slowness of hand stitching. It’s weird because it’s something I used to avoid, preferring always to use my machine, but really it’s such a lovely way to spend my time. Stitching 30 circles by hand was not a chore, I enjoyed it.
I only learned the skill of needle turn appliqué back in February, and I was clumsy and fumbling at first, but in no time my fingers found their rhythm. My stitches still are not perfect, but they are getting better with every project.
I did the embroidery with just a back stitch and floss (I have an embroidery post coming up soon) while camping last weekend in Oak Mountain state park. I only wished I had done my words a little bigger.
And all sewn together.
This quilt top is now off to North Carolina where it will spend the month of May, while I await the next one arriving.
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