Family and Friends
2016 Finished Quilts, Quilts

Family and Friends: Mini Quilt Finish

Have you ever had a really long deadline and wanted to give yourself permission to sit back and relax… only to have an idea hit so strong and be so compelling that you get it done right away anyway? This particular mini quilt is full of a lot of different “firsts” for me, but in spit of? because of? the newness or excitement or general desire to make this for someone I thought would really appreciate it, I just couldn’t stop working on it.

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

I think I have to start a bit backwards when describing this quilt. I was inspired by the recipient’s favorite fabric designer, but when it came time to piece it together, I kind of just did what I liked. As I was working on the quilting, though, I realized that the layout could actually have some meaning. The center four feather represent the recipient’s family (she is pointing up and her husband and sons are pointing down). The four feathers circling counterclockwise had a bit of meaning, too, and they made me think of her quilting friends. So, I named this mini quilt “Family and Friends”.

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

As I said, the original inspiration for the quilt was based on the recipient’s favorite fabric designer: Anna Maria Horner. I do not think I have ever had any AMH fabric in my stash, so once the idea hit to sew up some AMH feathers, I knew I was going to have to go looking for some AMH fabric. I also got a bit of help from Kitty @Night Quilter: I really wanted to use Essex Linen in charcoal for the background and backing, and she pushed me over the edge to give it a try.

Charcoal Yarn Dyed Essex and AMH True Colors (FQ Bundle)

Charcoal Yarn Dyed Essex and AMH True Colors (FQ Bundle)

As soon as the fabric order arrived, I knew that I was not going to be putting this project off. I just had to start working on it. The Charcoal Essex linen sets off the glowing True Colors AMH brilliantly, and it was lovely to work with.

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

The pieced top came together very quickly. I knew that I wanted to use a Trapunto method to help the feathers stand out. Thankfully, Renee @Quilts of a Feather patiently messaged me back and forth via Instagram as I worked through how I was going to do that and offered great support and help along the way.

Since I was trying so many new things with this mini quilt, I also decided to jump right in and take a stab at my first “graffiti quilting”. Why not, right??

Family and Friends - Quilting Detail

Family and Friends – Quilting Detail

I chose to just outline each feather and stem for maximum “poof” effect with the Trapunto technique. I sketched out a rough (OK, really rough – so rough I did not photograph to share…) version of the quilt and then did a lot of doodling across it to develop confidence and enough quilting designs that I felt confident starting the quilting. It was very handy to have the sketch to refer to when I ran out of ideas at the spur of the moment as I moved along. I don’t know if this is truly graffiti quilting, but it was a lot of fun to move from motif to motif, and creating my own take on something (even if I know very little about it) was satisfying.

Family and Friends - Quilting Detail

Family and Friends – Quilting Detail

About halfway through the quilting, I caught a nasty cold and did not have the energy to sit up, let alone quilt. That meant this quilt sat on my long arm for over a week waiting on me to finish it… which brings me to another first. My cat noticed the quilt on the long arm. He also discovered how lovely a hammock a quilt loaded on a long arm can be, even though I used all my best methods to distract him (I covered it with yucky plastic and centered the long arm over the quilt). Oh dear. I don’t know if that will continue to be a problem with my cat – but he certainly knew I was not amused at his cozy little nesting location. It turned out fine and I don’t think that he over stretched the fabric in a way that harmed the quilt.

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

I used 50wt Aurifil 6736 (Jedi) to quilt Family and Friends. This particular large spool of thread was in my gift bag from Quilt Bliss, and the color just disappeared into the Charcoal Essex Linen. So much so that I could really only quilt during daylight hours – I needed enough light and contrast to have some idea of where I had been and where I was going.

Once I had recovered enough to finish this quilt, my husband also knew I had probably recovered enough to go on some day trips over the holiday and take advantage of time he had away from work.

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

So I packed my backpack full of quilts (I also wanted to re-photograph Red Herring before gifting it), and we headed south to check out Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We had hoped to see big horn sheep while we were there. While we saw lots of evidence that they had been there before us, we did not see any on our visit, so we have reason to return for a longer camping visit!

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

I love how Family and Friends just seems to glow against the winter desert backdrop.

Family and Friends

Family and Friends

And I am thrilled with how the quilt came together. Finished, it is rather large as a mini quilt (33.75 inches wide by 33.25 inches long), so I added a hanging sleeve to the back instead of just corner tabs prior to shipping it off to its forever home.

Linking up with Finish It Friday.

42 thoughts on “Family and Friends: Mini Quilt Finish

  1. Super cute!! I’ve never used AMH fabric either but it sure looks scrumptious in your quilt. Do you like working with the linen? I love the texture, and the only time I had trouble was with long sashing strips/borders.

  2. Perfect fabrics for the feathers! And love your destination pics!

  3. Anita says:

    This one is really beautiful! Hope to make a feather quilt myself one of these days…

  4. Yvonne, This is a beautiful piece of art! I have seen other feathers done in quilts, but they have always been done with just one fabric. Using the various fabrics to highlight each segment of the feather was a unique approach and it really made me take time to look at them, not just as a whole. I have always loved Trapunto in any aspect. Therefore, the way that you took the time to use it and then really densely quilt around each segment really made the feathers pop to attention that much more. I realize using quilting in this sense underscores what you did graphically, I apologize. I just wanted to address it separately. Trying this graphic design in your quilting of this quilt was an excellent choice. It really gave so much more appeal and almost a calming effect. For me the feathers and the materials were bold and just popped and demanded to be front and center; the quilting has the same effect of making me want to get up and see exactly where each line is going and what each symbol could be and what it could mean. It tells its own adventure and story. Can you tell, I am really enthralled with this beautiful quilt you have created!
    Thank You so much for sharing it with us! I must stop now or just go on and on. You, once again, should be very proud of yourself and what you have accomplished and created! It is spectacular! Have a wonderful creative day!

  5. This is a lovely quilt Yvonne. The feathers look amazing against that background, and the quilting looks like it was a lot of fun!

  6. Lisa says:

    This is a wonderful post Yvonne: I love how you noticed the symbolism in the quilt for your friend and also for you as you describe how your quilting friends helped you with various parts of your process through completion. I also love how this quilt has the quilting jetgirl stamp of rainbow on it. The quilting is exquisite. I prefer quilting that doesn’t jump off the quilt. I think it’s best when it allows the piecing to shine like it does in this quilt. It sounds like you had a great time playing with it. I’m glad you are feeling better.

  7. Your quilt is lovely, and I love the quilting especially. Also those are beautiful photos!

  8. Gorgeous photos! I too love AMH and love making these feathers! You did an amazing job, it’s just beautiful. I know that feeling when you have to work on an idea, the excitement is too much and you have to get it done. Your quilting is amazing. There is nothing, nothing I don’t like about this!!

  9. Laura Links says:

    Absolutely beautiful. What a special gift!

  10. Your graffiti quilting looks great, Yvonne! It’s a beautiful finish!

  11. Oh my… it looks even prettier here than it did on instagram! It truly is a work of art and labor of love. Well done! And good for you trying so many new techniques.

  12. How nice to create something for your friend that is so beautiful. I love the photographs almost as much as the quilt!

  13. Amazing! I love how the background interacts with the AMH fabrics. Great choices all around, and the photography is stunning!

  14. Little Black Cat Quilting says:

    That AMH really does pop against that linen! Awesome choice in letting Kitty push you over the edge to that decision! Lol. And your quilting? Wow. Just wow. I just at and stared at it for a while, following all the designs around. So much eye candy! This is an absolutely fabulous mini, great job!

  15. Linda says:

    A beautiful quilt! I love the idea of hiking into the wilderness to photograph quilts. I wonder if I can get the 3 year old to carry a few for me?

  16. Lucy says:

    So beautiful! I love your take on graffiti quilting – I’m girding my loins for a graffiti quilting attempt sometime when I get back to sewing.

  17. Liz says:

    Nice quilting! I just started a craftsy class on FMQ – I aspire to someday quilt with such freedom/skill as you’ve shown here!

  18. Ioleen says:

    This is amazing. The quilt is beautiful, love the fabric. The backdrop for the photos is great.

  19. Vera says:

    Pretty! Your pics are great too. Plus I’m sucker for colorful fabrics on grey 🙂

  20. jifisher says:

    Oh, Puppy….the longarm cat hammock!?! Believe me, I only laugh knowing that mine would do just the same. 🙂 The AMH with the linen is a beautiful combination and your graffiti quilting is superb. What a lovely gift for your friend!

  21. Renee says:

    Okay, first I love the quilt and the colors and the quilting! Second, can we not use the term “graffiti quilting” unless it is directly inspired by Karlee and her books, and imitates her style? Personally I’m not a fan of her style, and use the term doodle quilting instead…although I’m not a big fan of that word either. We need a word that is means lots of different designs used with intention…or something like that. I think the trapunto was a great idea, the feathers had great depth, and the black stems work really well against the grey and colors. It looks so pretty against the grey rocks and dead desert plants!

  22. Great choices in so many areas on this one, Yvonne! I don’t normally go for AMH fabrics, but in the small pieces you used, they work for me. And the grey background lets them sing. The quilting is the kind where every time you look at the quilt you see a little something new. I’m sure the recipient will love it!

  23. Judy says:

    Be still my heart!! Yvonne, it is nothing short of spectacular! You quilting is awesome, the trapunto on the feathers is brilliant, your fabric choices. . . LOVE this quilt!! It is sure to be loved in its new home 🙂

  24. This is great. I love the story behind your design. Hope you’re feeling better.

  25. I love this feather quilt. I am such a fan of the essex linen texture and it plays so nicely with your awesome graffiti quilting. The feathers are such a great contrast with all of the fun and bright colors, beautiful!

  26. Rochelle says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous quilt. Feathers are on my short/long list after so many UFOs. It is good to know that you are stretching your boundaries because your work always seems to be so finished and professional. Thank you for sharing. Oh, I love the graffiti quilting. Something else to put on the list.

  27. just such an awesome mini – love the feather, love the amazing quilting, love the location shots !!!

  28. Serena @ Sewgiving says:

    AMH is definitely up there on my fav fabric designers list. Love all the saturated colours in her fabrics. As I said on IG, the quilting looks gorgeous. Did you find it hard to get back into the quilting “flow” after being sick? Or did it all just come back to you? Sometimes I find it hard to pick up where I left off …

  29. Denise says:

    great colour choices! that charcoal linen is perfect for the bright prints. I used graffiti quilting on a scrappy signature quilt last year and the recipient says her family uses it as an “I spy” to find different designs.

  30. janequiltsslowly says:

    I love looking & looking at this quilt. Glad I clicked through to York blog from Instagram because I can zoom in on the photos. I’m intrigued by the organic or flow or doodle quilting that you are experimenting with. I adore the look. It is very free and charming.

  31. What a team effort, with Kitty and Renee and Puppy helping out. Ok, so maybe Puppy’s contribution was a little less than helpful.

  32. Such a beautiful work of art. I’ve never been one to gravitate to AMH fabrics, but this particular line paired with the Charcoal Essex is just so striking. I love that you figured out trapunto as well. I have yet to tackle that and it’s perfect for those feathers. Great job.

  33. helen says:

    love this quilt so much Yvonne. One of the first quilts that really inspired me when I started reading blogs was an AMH arrow quilt. It actually kept me awake thinking about it at the time. Brilliant photos too.

  34. Jasmine says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I love your color placement, meaningful layout, quilting, and pictures!

  35. Rachel says:

    Very pretty! I can see why you couldn’t wait! Those rainbow feathers are gorgeous on the charcoal.

  36. Your quilt is stunning! The colors are just perfect!

  37. Sally says:

    It looks gorgeous, so effective with the charcoal. It’s interesting how different projects develop as you make them and how they become meaningful in ways you hadn’t consciously planned, I was playing around with pebbles on the beach the other day thinking about this. But I’ve often wondered about pieces of art/poetry etc and been curious about whether the artist/writer intended all the imagery etc that is later read into their pieces.

  38. catie says:

    Stunning, everything about it is stunning!

  39. Veronica Kenney says:

    This is so beautiful!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)