Thursday, 27 September 2018

Liberty Star

It's been quite a while since I last posted on this blog, but Liberty Star was entered into a couple of exhibitions and then I took a break for a while to refresh my mind.  With exhibitions that are being judged, you are not allowed to publish photos of your completed quilt before hand so that the judging can be completely impartial.

Now, I can tell the story of one of my most favourite quilts that I have ever made.

In September 2017, my husband took a work trip to the UK.  He called me from London on his last day and said he was going into the city center, was there anything I wanted.  Of course there was - fabric from Liberty!  I told him to just choose what he liked the look of.   About 20 minutes later, he called me again and said "Don't worry about the news reports, yes that is the tube line from my hotel, but because I was talking to you, I was walking and missed the train"  A bomb, which had failed to detonate properly on the underground train, had injured people and damaged the train.  Enough said.

These are the fabrics which came home.  Seven were in the pack and I added one more.  Not all my usual choice - but oh, so very nice.  
I planned a Lone Star Quilt.  I cut the strips, labelled them and started sewing......

I found the perfect background fabric, which unfortunately, is very directional.  Clever cutting was required to make sure that all of the flowers were standing up and not falling down.

 Ta da - the center is finished.  WOW - all the background pieces are going the same way and there is some 'movement' in the star - it radiates....  So happy....

Now what??  I had an idea in my head for the borders, but making them work was taking quite a bit of planning and thinking and drawing and more.

After a while, I managed to get the corners to work.  The rest of the border just flowed then.

Eventually, I had a completed quilt top.  It was huge.  Now it had to be quilted.  It took me a full week to pin baste on my trestle table.  Bit, by bit while drawing on the quilting pattern with chalk at the same time.

It was so hot and I was on a deadline.   The tension on my machine was fine while I used the walking foot in the star, but when I tried to quilt a large feathered wreath 'behind' the star with free-motion, the thread just kept on breaking, or gave me birds nests on the back.  I gave up and used the walking foot again with different a colour thread and quilted the borders.  Nice and smooth, some tension issues, but not too bad.   

Back to quilting the feathers, nope, no go.  I don't whether it was the weather, my stress at meeting a deadline or what it was, but that feathered wreath did not want to be on this quilt.  In the end I gave up, changed the thread and simply meandered the background behind the star.

Finally, late afternoon, just before the sun set, I was able to get my two teenage sons to stand on chairs and hold the quilt up for me.  It is quite heavy, finishing at 100in (2.54m) square.  But they did it.
 A few groans when I asked them to turn it around so that I could photograph the back to see the quilting...

Then, all of my hard work of quilting this very large quilt in very hot, over 40 deg C muggy weather was worth it to see my quilt hanging at the Liberty Quilt Exhibition, which was held over the long weekend back in March.
And, I managed to get the backs of two of my strongest supporters in the pic.  Very pleased with that!

After the exhibition in March, I entered Liberty Star into the Heathcote Quilters Quilt Show, 9th and 10th June 2018, where my quilt was awarded 1st place in the Viewers Choice awards.    [sorry, no photo]

Finally, I took the plunge, after being a member of Victorian Quilters for many years to enter a quilt [for the first time ever], in the "First Time Entrant, One Person" category at the Victorian Quilters Showcase, in July.  I won a ribbon!!  Highly Commended.  I'm pretty chuffed  - the competition is pretty tough.

Everything about Liberty Star is meant to be, from my husband bringing home the fabric, the design and wonderful enjoyment I had with making it.  The prize winning ribbon really is the "cherry on top".