Finally – the quilt!

Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to finally get this picture up.  Since getting back home, I’ve had a mile long to-do list and at times I just don’t know what to tackle next!  So without further ado here is the completed wedding quilt!


My vision was for the quilt to reflect both the Estonian and Norwegian cultures that were being merged in Liina and Harald’s marriage.  The colors in the quilt are representative of both national flags:  Estonian (blue, black and white) and Norwegian (blue, red and white).  The center of the quilt is a patchwork version of the traditional wool material that Liina wove herself and made into a skirt that she wore at the wedding.  The white chain with blue ribbon weaving in and out represents the merging of the two sets of families and friends that are now linked together

  estonian-flag-web.gif  norwegian-flag-web.gif

My intent was to have the wedding guests sign the quilt in the white chain.   So during the design process I had to ask Liina how many guests would be attending in order to have enough spots.    She obliged with exact counts.  She was a little curious about why I wanted to know. 

The quilt measures 49″ x 55.”  The number of links in the chain determined the overall size of the quilt.  The other determining factor for size was that I knew I wanted to be able to carry it on the plane with me.  There was no way I was going to trust the airline baggage crew!

For the quilters out there, a little more on the construction of the quilt.  This quilt was probably one of the most complex designs I have come up with.  I used EQ7 to design it using the custom layout format.  The center stripes were easy strip sets.  However, the border was another story.  I wanted the chain to appear to be on top of the quilt and I wanted those chain link corners to be mitered.  I can be so demanding!  The most accurate way I could figure to do it was by paper-piecing the chain.  Each “link” of chain is  actually constructed of 2 paper pieced sections that are sewn along the center of the blue ribbon.  As is often the case when I come up with crazy ideas like this, I also had to “invent” a new technique so I could miter the corners within the paper-pieced sections.  I have to give credit to Susan Cleveland for giving me the inspiration and technical clues on how to accomplish this.   

Once I figured that part out, the chain sections went together relatively quickly.  My next challenge was to figure out how to inset the points of the chain into the stripes.  Yes, those points are inset into the ends of the stripes, not sewn on top, like a normal person would have done!  Let’s just say that I thought about that part for 2 days and made countless trials before actually attempting it on the real thing.  I wiped a lot of sweat off my brow when that part was done!  Because, oh yeah, did I mention I didn’t have any extra red fabric in case I made a mistake!

So, when all was said and done, there were 60 mitered corners and 14 inset seams (in addition to the challenges with the stripes, there were 4 more weird pieces in the corner I had to inset – I won’t even try to explain!)  And my friend Connie wants to know if I’m going to write a pattern for this one!  I think I’m the only one crazy enough to attempt it.  I can’t even begin to think how I would write the directions!

I accomplished all of this in 3 crazy weeks, including all of the the quilting on my Janome.  For that reason, I have told everyone that this quilt is dedicated to my children, who knew not to bother the crazed mommy-quilter for those weeks right after school let out.  As a reward, we did go to the pool nearly every afternoon.  For them, it was fun.  For me, it was a great way to clear my head each day before heading back to the laboratory I call my sewing room!

Next post:  pictures of the quilt at the wedding!


2 thoughts on “Finally – the quilt!

  1. Yes! Make a pattern! It’s a great quilt–very graphic. (I know this is like waving a piece of red Kona cotton in front of a quilting bull!! You love a challenge!) Well, all I can say is it’s a great quilt–perfect for signatures, too. And as far as almost running out of red fabric if you made a boo boo, that’s because you’re the Fabric Minimalist! 🙂

  2. Oh – you do like to be an instigator! Well – maybe a simplified (very simplified!) version. Anyone else out there interested?

    Regarding the red fabric – I bought what was left on the bolt! Unfortunately there wasn’t as much as I wanted – but yes, the fabric minimalist made it work!

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