Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Amish experiment

It is my tradition to make a quilt for every person on my staff who retires.  I will usually ask them what colors they like, then create a quilt of my own design.  Laura, who is retiring this month after more than 30 years of service, went a step further and sent me a picture of an Amish quilt and said that was the style she wanted.  It was a very traditional "square in a square" pattern that is usually associated with Amish quilts.  I did some research on different styles, but ended up returning to the simple design.

I bought several fat quarters of Kona solids and started piecing.  (How nice to have access to so many beautiful solids these days!)  I had to get a full half-yard for the outside border and more for the back, but the fabric requirements were really minimal.  As I was piecing, all I could think of was how I was going to quilt all this wide-open space!  My standard stipple/meander was not appropriate for the Amish style.  It needed feathers and grids.  I have a longarm, but I'm not very experienced with can't yet do feathers and straight lines, and a gift is not the place to experiment!  So I marked the quilt with a stencil for the center and surrounding triangles and a ruler for the grid lines everywhere else.  Then I spent hours on my Janome quilting all those lines.

After I bound it last night, I tried to get off the marker lines.  They were supposed to come off with water, but they didn't very well.  I ended up nearly soaking the quilt and had to put it in the dryer (did I tell you her party is today?) so it would be dry.  I hadn't prewashed the fabric, so the beautiful, smooth quilt is now wrinkly -- and some of the marks are still there.  Aaarrggghhh! 

But it's done and ready to give to Laura.  I hope she likes it.

Laura's retirement quilt, 40"x40"