Amy is hosting the third Blogger’s Quilt Festival from May 21 – May 28. It’s not too late to join, so click on over to check it out. She already has links for over 450 entries – places you can click to see what other quilters are doing. I love the quilting/crafting blog community!
My entry is my Neapolitan quilt.
In July 2008 I was out of work, out of money, and out of my mind. Out of my mind in the sense that I was dealing with anxiety and depression, and I couldn’t get my head around much of anything. I wasn’t sewing, wasn’t doing much of anything but sitting in a recliner and reading. I think I read about 50 books in 3 weeks. It wasn’t good. One day I decided it was time to change, so I gave myself a task, something that required attention to detail and focus, but had no real consequences if I failed. I decided to design and sew a complex quilt block. Using EQ6, I came up with a block that I named Anxiety. It opened me up to the possibilities of quilting as therapy, and I pushed on to design the quilt above. It is a modified log cabin, with different widths for the cream and the pink strips. I added a half-rectangle triangle on the ends of the strips, popped the block into a quilt using EQ6, then started rotating blocks using the Serendipity tool. When this arrangement appeared, I thought I might be onto something. I printed it out and carried it around with me for a while. A week or so later I was at a local quilt shop (I was helping with her website and writing patterns for her to pick up a little extra money), and showed her the illustration. She liked it enough to offer me the fabric if I would write up a pattern! She gave me the fabric to make the sample quilt, and then she kept the sample until all of the kits that she made for it were sold. I used a new line that had just arrived in her store – In the Pink II from Buggy Barn for Henry Glass. The fabric reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream, hence the name. I finished the blocks in just over two weeks, and finished the entire quilt in less than a month. (That’s possibly a record for me, since I am a terrible procrastinator.) There were a few issues here and there (thread choices, anyone?), but looking back, I realize that this quilt is full of firsts for me. It’s my first original design, my first pieced back, my first pattern, my first quilt on public display (and it was on display in the vendor booth at a large quilt show, the Wisconsin Quilt Expo), my first experiment with free motion leaves, the first completed quilt I posted on this blog and the first quilt pattern I listed on Etsy.
I love this quilt. It isn’t huge – 63″ square – but it’s big enough to throw over a lap. Best of all, it’s MINE – mine from the conception to the reality. Here are a few variations from EQ6 – I still might make another one (I really love the blue/green and black/red ones).