Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Quilt Story : :

An Applique Art Quilt Top

Even though this quilt is not yet quilted and bound, I couldn't wait to share it! I like to think that most of the things I've made have a special story. Most of the time it's just my own, for only me to know. I'll share my favorite photos, of course the fabrics, who designed them and where they came from, but rarely why it was made, which is perhaps the most important part. Unfortunately I have a hard time with that, with taking the time to explain myself and letting go of that worry of sounding silly. The truth is, none of these things we make are just fabric and thread. Our work is our labor of love and undoubtedly an extension of who we are. As woman, as mothers, and as creative people who want to take what we've made and share, give, pass on, sell, and teach this craft that we love. It's a beautiful thing, indeed!

This quilt has a story that's easy to tell, but long! So I'll save who it's for and why for when it's finished. Today, I want to share how special it's pieces are to me. Can you believe that parts of this quilt are from the very first quilt I ever tried to make -- voile, applique, embroidery, hand-work galore. Over ambitious, Yes!
I had big ideas as a new sewist and learned quickly that I had a lot to learn first! So, my first attempt at quilting got tucked away. I revisited it just a couple of time over these almost three years that I've been sewing. It's one of those extra special projects that never needed to be finished in a hurry anyways.

Photo from 7.13.10 -- my first yoyo's
My first yoyo flowers -- photo dated  July 13, 2010  -- eep!!

Yoyo flowers

This girl, that I realized yesterday I've called both a "sketch stitch" and a "stitch sketch," has been waiting to become something, as well. Another first attempt at something new, another something special of mine, unfinished and waiting. This little wip might be the best example of what I wanted to do when I began sewing. Besides making useful things for my family, I had thought of making nothing but patchwork handmade things with little thread drawings. A nice idea still?

Sketch Stitching
Stitch Sketch wip --  photo dated March 20, 2012

In the Sun

Stitched Flowers

An Applique Art Quilt Top

Then there's this drawing that I did this past Summer. Intended always to be a part of a quilt idea I had, but never started. It makes me so happy to have used it as inspiration in finishing this special quilt.

Finished Cocoon Sketch

Butterflies

The rest of this quilt is made up of a colorful, improv patchworking of all Anna Maria Horner fabrics, and a few neutral Pure Element solids, my favorite! I took my pictures this past Sunday morning, the sun was so bright and the backyard was full of shadows. Here's the best I could do for a full shot!

Sunny Sunday Morning

This is my very favorite!

An Applique Art Quilt Top

Now before I send it off, all that's left is deciding on how I should quilt it -- by hand or machine?  
What would you do??

I'm leaning towards using the machine this morning, only because I'm so excited to see it all finally become a finished quilt!   Maureen 

106 comments:

Amy Friend said...

It's just lovely.I like all the sketch stitching, stitch sketching so very much.

Trudie said...

Just beautiful. Love sketch stitching.

Sarah Gutierrez said...

Wow, someone is about to have their socks blessed right off of them. This turned out beautiful Maureen!
xo

Anonymous said...

All I got is WOW, Just WOW!!!

patricia gooden said...

What a gorgeous creation! I would do some machine and some had quilting for this spectacular quilt.

Rebecca said...

I think this has to be the ultimate quilt of all time! Seriously, it is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Maisy said...

This is a beautiful tribute quilt to all of your many talents and passions. The love that goes into your work really shines through. Gorgeous!

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

Maureen, you are uber talented. I love this quilt and all the special touches and beautiful parts. Your sketch of the butterflies and the jar is amazing. Your talent is tremendous both in fabric and on paper!

Katie P said...

I think you could get away with machine quilting since you spent so much time with hand work on the quilt top already.
It's so so beautiful!

Missy said...

Aside from the absolutely beautiful work you have created, I believe that the stories are just as important also. I do the same thing in my yard. Many people have blessed me with plants, and each plant has its own story. One fern I have is the offshoot of my neighbor's old aunt's fern. The old aunt was 93 when she shared the fern with my neighbor....many years ago. It is exciting to me to know that I have a fern that has such deep roots (pun intended). The same goes with sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, etc. If we don't tell our stories, who will know them? You may not want to share with the world, but you should share with someone. We love your enthusiasm. Keep it up. :) (sorry so long)

Mara said...

I remember when you made the butterfly drawings that's when I started following you because I was like wow! she has talent! It's beautiful, I think you should quilt it the way you feel the most comfortable doing.

{Leila}Where the Orchids Grow said...

It's beautiful Maureen!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

beautiful quilt! you did a really great original work with this

Svetlana said...

oooooh, so very beautiful!!!!

Cynthia Taylor said...

It is absolutely breathtaking! Plus it's even better in person. Love it!

Cheri said...

Absolutely stunning! You're work is just beautiful!

Roberta Cogan said...

You are so fearless, Maureen! I am so inspired by your creativity! This piece is beyond a quilt, a true work of art! Just beautiful!

Allison C said...

This is AMAZING! I'm not sure what I would do about quilting. Maybe by hand and have minimal quilting so it doesn't distract too much from your beautiful art.

Mar García said...

Beautiful work!

jacquickelly said...

Your work is simply amazing.

Suzanne said...

Gorgeous! I have no advice as to how to quilt it. Just wanted you to know that I think it is amazing!

Tamie said...

This is amazing! I love your sketch girl.

Barbara said...

This quilt is so inspiring. Hand quilting would be perfect.

Lebec E Girl said...

I'm not a quilter, BUT after seeing your quilt, maybe I will give it another try. WOW, I love it !!!

Sondra said...

No words...I absolutely love this work. Thank you for being so inspiring...Sondra

Kristan said...

Oh wow, Maureen, your art is just breathtaking. I am in awe about every aspect of this quilt top. I can't even think of anything else to say - just WOW. I'd be tempted to do a bit of both hand and machine quilting. Maybe some machine quilting in all the major seams/ditches, but then hand quilt around the fun, delicate stuff.

mjb said...

Those butterflies are so beautiful flying across the quilt top!

Debbie Weishaar said...

Beautiful! I like how you pulled it together and the memories that you've shared about how the quilt has come to life.

mascanlon said...

I love the way all different elements have come together into a spectacular piece. Now I am so anxious to hear the back story in full.

Brie said...

Absolutely amazing!!!! This may be my favorite quilt of all time! Stunning and I can't wait to see how you quilt it!

Vesuviusmama said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful quilt - so much variety to look at, but a cohesive feel. I'm a hand quilter, so that's what I'd do, but I'd be anxious to have it finished, too!

Gretchen said...

Stunning!!! You are very talented. I love the idea of both machine and hand quilting. Mix it up. It fits the style your going with.

Saraccino said...

It is stunning! And I get a feeling of a story told :) I would also recommend a mix of hand and machine quilting! You already mixed both and it went so well! I would maybe use the machine for stronger lines, really enhancing a structure which combines all parts and hand stitching for the details, just guiding the eye :)

dls said...

Lovely....just lovely!!

Patti said...

So many bits of love in there! Beautiful!

Melissa said...

Such a gorgeous quilt! All the little details really make it special. I especially like the stitch sketch. Its a very cool idea and you rocked it!

Pinspot said...

It's truly beautiful! You've only been sewing for three years? You've come a long way in that time!

Becky N said...

Sewwwww beautiful!!!!

Teje said...

Dear Maureen, you are an artist! I'm so happy I'm able to follow your art and quilting journey! This is amazing and so beautiful - unique art-quilt!
I would quilt by hand because your quilt has so many handmade, special details. But then on the other hand if you quilt by machine, it doesn't take attention from all the 'things' on your quilt and they would 'pop' out even more. I'm sure you decide the best way - perhaps mixed as already said in the comments.
Thank you so much for inspiration! x Teje

just martha said...

I love this! A few days ago I was thinking about your fence post and flower quilt top. I love seeing it with the stitch sketch and all the Horner fabrics- such a lovely story!

krislovesfabric said...

Wow! This is just gorgeous, love everything about it and am sure whichever way you go the quilting will be too!

Elsa said...

Maureen,
Absolutely wonderfully beautiful!

Alia said...

Hands down my favorite thing you've made. The slow process really paid off! The eclectic mix of colors and techniques is great, especially that girl and the little yo yo garden. Congrats on such wonderful work, you should be proud!

Lisa said...

Not sure who this is going to but they must be very very very special! I think if it was mine it would have a mix of machine and hand quilting. It just begs for some hand quilting... Just a little?

arajane said...

gah! this is so gorgeous! i love the overall look, but i love each little part and all the special pieces. i would definitely incorporate some hand quilting, even if it's just a little.

Christina Flowers said...

I agree with the combo of hand and machine quilting, if that was my quilt (epic drooling....) I would quilt by machine all the elements I wanted highlighted with an outline and then do some handwork to blend in with it.

Betty said...

To just say this is lovely is a terrible understatement!

Leigh-Anne Jones said...

Wow that is beautiful!!! x

Allegory said...

I'm always so very excited to see your work. This is stunning. I can't even begin to imagine how that girl was created but it's something I want to work towards learning.

pamela said...

Stunning!!!! I would hand quilt it big stitch style if it were mine (I wish). I am sure whatever you choose will be as equally stunning as your quilt top.

sarah said...

I'm in love with this! It's such a beauty. Thank you, Maureen! =D

Aoife said...

I love everything about this quilt. Colour, embroidery, embellishments, piecing - the lot :) So very very inspiring, and also lovely to stare at!

Chris S said...

The expression you captured on the face is just lovely!

aangto said...

I love this quilt of yours especially the stitch sketch - it's beautiful and can't wait to see it completed! I'm putting this on my inspiration board!

frozenMandMs said...

This is really unique, whimsical and beautiful. I love non-traditional quilts. I LOVE your stitch sketching. That would be something very interesting to try. Have you ever done a tutorial? Keep up the beautiful and inspiring work!

Tammy said...

This is so amazeing...I love it...Love the girl...It is a lot of hard work in that quilt. And it really shows. I think I would have it hand quilted. conn_and_vans_mom(at)yahoo(dot)com

Oh Sew Nice said...

I love it! It is amazing! I have been following you for awhile and was amazed when you first posted the girl you created. You inspire me. I think this quilt is beautiful and I can't wait to see it quilted. Thank you for your inspiration!

CrazyCatLady said...

REALLY COOL QUILT! Congratulations on finishing the top.

Karen & Company said...

This is an amazing piece of art. Your eye for color and texture have brought a masterpiece to light. Whoever receives this quilt will know she/he is treasured. Awesome!

Karen & Company said...

This is an amazing piece of art. Your eye for color and texture have brought a masterpiece to light. Whoever receives this quilt will know she/he is treasured. Awesome!

CurlyGirlMom said...

Can I just tell you... You're amazing! I honestly don't know how you do it all. I've been a fan of your quilting since I discovered your blog, but the ARTISTRY that is involved in this quilt (and the drawings that you shared) is just phenomenal. I think it's great how you're combining these art forms... Leaving a simply beautiful result! Can I ask, how much of your day is spent sewing? How do you carve out the time? (I'm a mom of a 3 year old and work full-time and it's all I can do to keep the dust bunnies at bay and occasionally drool over fabric online! I rarely get a chance to sit down at the sewing machine.)

Keep up the amazing work and insipiring your followers... I'll be sure to enjoy each piece that you share!

Paskiaq said...

It is stunning! A piece of art really!!

Brenda said...

Well...Self Portrait? Could pass easily enough. What a wonderful art quilt. Ya' done great. It is absolutely stunning.
Cheers from Oshawa,Ontario.

Katy Cameron said...

I love, love, love how this turned out! The flowers, the butterflies, the girl, they weren't all *meant* to be together, they just arrived at different times!

MoeWest said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! I don't know what to tell you about quilting it but I can't wait to see it finished.

Vickie said...

It's gorgeous ! A true piece of art from the heart !

♥Duff said...

oh man that's a beauty! I would highly advise you to send it to me. gee, I hope it doesn't get lost in the mail....

mherath said...

This is such a beautiful art quilt. I especially love the sketch girl and the butterflies. Make sure the lucky person who gets this quilt also gets the written story of the quilt.

Ginny said...

This is so cool! I love all the different parts, it is folk art! I would hand stitch it even tho I know you want it finished-- it just fits with the beautiful work you have already done!

Heather said...

This is so gorgeous - it must be going to someone very special. Something like this would be hard to part with otherwise. Thank you again for the inspiration. It is so therapeutic to visit your blog and see so many beautiful things.

Jacey said...

Oh, look! You did it! I'm so glad you pushed on to finish this top. It is beautiful. And your sketch stitch (or vice versa) is so fun. I always love what you make!

Beth said...

So, so beautiful Maureen!

amye said...

PURE ART. so, so lovely.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you! She'll definitely get a long thank you letter for what she's done for me, and I know she'll love this quilt, which is why I'm so excited!!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you Brenda!! I often think of my sisters when I draw, so that makes sense. It's not a self portrait, but I'll take that as a compliment! :)

Willit Neverend said...

I second Kristan's quilting idea. But I think anyway you end up doing it would look lovely.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you for the wonderful comment! I began to sew when my youngest was 3 and my boys were 5 and 7. It was a challenge for me to find the time then. My sewing space was shared with their playroom, I didn't blog regularly, and I mostly knitted still, since that craft is much more mobile! :)

Now, my youngest is school-age, just like her big brothers, and my days are spent at home alone as a homemaker (which I do love) and I try to sew as close to full-time as I can, which most days means from around 9-2 and again in the evenings.

I remember how eager I was when my kids were little to find time. We did crafts together almost everyday, so that's how I found it then. I would dream about having all day to sew, some days I'd get a few hours, but on most days it didn't feel reachable. As much as I love sewing now and feel so blessed to have this opportunity to turn this passion into a dream job, I miss my kids all day and I'm glad it worked out just the way it did!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you Karen!! Oh I hope so!!

Angela T. in Guam said...

So beautiful, Maureen! And it's inspiring me to pull out some of my own sketches and get to work with some fabric and thread! A combination of machine & hand stitching would be wonderful, but I'm sure whichever finishing method you choose will be lovely. Thanks for sharing the quilt AND the story!

Willit Neverend said...

I love you stitch sketch and the hand work you have put into the flowers and leaves.

I am completely new to quilting. By that I mean I started making a quilt about a year and a half ago, not having a clue how much work and skill it actually required, and it has been put aside so many times that it is still far from being finished. So it makes me extra excited to see that someone who started their first quilt 3 years ago has indeed gotten around to making it into a finished quilt top (soon to be a whole completed quilt). It makes me think maybe I will one day finish my quilt.... maybe.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you so much! You will, believe it, and if you get stuck, you can email me anytime! Most of where I fell short was in over-thinking, I have a habit of doing that. Making a quilt, even the most simple quilt, is no small task. Have fun, don't rush it, and enjoy it!!

xx Maureen

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you! I love non-traditional, as well, and this was such a special and even cathartic project for me in many ways. Something I definitely plan to do lots more of in the future!

As for a photo tutorial, I may do something along these lines for Janome at some point. I'm still thinking about that. However, I have always thought that a video tutorial would be really neat for this, but because I'm not very capable when it comes to the tech-y aspect of sharing online, I have no clue where to begin! I'm trying to improve there. :)

Jodi - usairdoll said...

Holy cow Batman!! Gorgeous!! times 100! I don't even know if there has been a word created for how amazingly awesome your quilt is! You are so talented and I'm happy that you share your creations with us, so inspiring. Someone special has just won the lotto for sure, hehe. Like has been mentioned already, I think quilting by both hand and machine would be great. I'm anxious to see it finished. Thanks again for WoWing us!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you Cynthia! I'm so glad I got to show you yesterday!!

Jeneta said...

Just beautiful Maureen. You are so very creative and talented! I would machine quilt, but only because it would take me years to hand quilt it!

gloriajanine said...

This is so beautiful! I love the expression on her face! And the tilt of her head. So great! You are so talented and I greatly enjoy seeing what you do next! lol! You always amaze us! Thank you so much for sharing. It is easy to see that work such as this comes from the heart! Thank you!

CitricSugar said...

All the details in this quilt are incredible. The sketch is impressive, to say the least. I love how all the elements are different but come together so well. It really is a wonderful piece, Maureen. Just wow.

Annette said...

Maureen!! Your creativity knows no bounds. This is your most stunning quilt yet. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift your friend will receive! I look forward to hearing the whole story!

kristin said...

It's incredible. You are such a natural artist - this is going to be such a special quilt when it's all done. Would love to hear the story if you want to tell it. :)

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Marija said...

Oh, I love everything about this quilt - the story, the fabric and most of all the Stitch Sketch girl!! Her face is so beautiful and I just LOVE how you used stitches to draw her...fabulous!
As for quilting - I would probably lean towards the machine too - mostly because I am better at free-motion that at hand (although I do love hand work) and of course it depends on what it needs to be done...(with me it always the last minute...ha, ha)
Thank you for sharing this great story and beautiful photos.

Hedy King said...

Beautiful, beautiful! I love all your work, but this is priceless! So creative. Thank you for sharing with us.

Willit Neverend said...

Thank you. I may take you up on that offer. I'm finding if I just do a little bit everyday it actually adds up pretty quickly (well, much more quickly than setting it aside for that amount of time). The more I do the more enjoyable it is becoming and the more capable I feel. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

luvinthemommyhood said...

It's stunning m'dear - just like you! So beautiful. Let's chat soon - miss ya! Happy valentine's day! xoxo

Holli said...

That is one amazing quilt! It is incredibly moving, all that you put into it, and its all so beautiful. I love your girl. She is beyond beautiful. The butterflies . . . Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am in awe.

Anonymous said...

Hi...loved your quilt top...especially the story for each of the areas...you are a very good at drawing.....this has inspired me to get my own machine out again, thankyou...

Sarah Watson said...

So beautiful and original! Thanks for sharing!

Kathleen OGrady said...

Maureen I will say again that your work is breathtaking! You are so creative and talented, I feel lucky to be able to view your creations. Your Stitch Sketch is awesome, hard to take my eyes from it. It is like she is about to say something or move her eyes or head, really wonderful.

**nicke... said...

it is gorgeous!!!!!!! and i love those butterflies so much!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful quilt....would love to see it finished :)

pmanson@peoplepc.com

tibizu said...

I am thrilled!!! It's so beautiful :) Thanks for sharing!!

Becky Stawecki said...

First off the quilt is the most amazing thing I have seen!! I too have 3 quilts in various stages of doneness :) Now as far as a tutorial..You are who you are and judging by the long list of commentors, we would not be disappointed at any attempt to do a video tutorial.. Just seeing you work would be an amazing aspect. I think techy or not you would be fine just telling us your thoughts and your process!! I for one would be fascinated just to watch!! So get out there girl and make a tutorial in video form :) Blessings for the inspiration and hand quilting takes time but is so satisfying for you and the receiver!!

SIMPLESEW said...

Not the first time I have looked at this and adored it.

Jennifer Barkand said...

I love your quilt...and your talent. You are so right about the quilt being more than thread and fabric. We impart a bit of ourselves in anything we do. You are very talented and productive!

ritabean said...

I love this quilt. I have been wanting to do something like that forever. I just don't know how to do it as grand as you have.