Saturday, April 15, 2017

Farmer's Wife - Finished

 I started working on the Farmer's Wife Quilt in July of 2011. That makes this almost a six-year project. Of course, I didn't know it would be when I started. Back then, I was just having a blast piecing little 6" blocks. I set myself a goal: use scrappy fabrics, and try to have something vintage or thrifted or upcycled in every block. I had a lot of little scraps and remnants from sewing projects, and I had a lot of worn/outgrown clothing that could be repurposed, and I had bags and bags of scraps... some my own, some given to me, some purchased at thrift stores or estate sales or quilt stores. It's hard to believe that when I started quilting I had very little in the way of stash. This quilt was the beginning of my realization that I need to be more intentional about acquiring fabric.
Almost exactly five years ago I finished the top, and styled it in a very similar photo-shoot.
Three and a half years ago I started the process of machine-quilting it, with the Megaquilter. I didn't force myself to work on it after the first few rows, and it sat almost entirely neglected for a full three years. This reflects my deep-seated anxiety about machine quilting and inner perfectionism, or something. Also that I was busy and stressed during those three years. But this year, as a kind of New Year's resolution, I began again, and rediscovered how amazing the progress is that you make when you work steadily!
From the back of the fence, this is the very first bit that I quilted. The feathers, Oh the feathers! I think they are lovely... but each individual feather is so very imperfect. Look at the big picture, though. When you put them together and step back just a little bit, I am very happy with the feathers. I did have to take the side and bottom borders off and resew them by hand, before machine quilting the feathers on them. I would have had major puckers and waves otherwise. I'm glad I did that, and the quilt lies flat!
Just because I have the sycamore tree in back and it has the branch that is perfect for quilt pictures, I took another batch of shots there. You can see the plum tree in bloom behind the garage roof.
I love these two blocks that ended up next to each other: "Gentleman's Fancy" with pirate and map fabric, both scraps from boxer shorts sewing projects: and "WCTU" (Women's Christian Temperance Union), with scraps from my WCTU-member grandmother's apron and her scrap bag. I love how the individual blocks have so many different colors, but "that blue" ties them all together. I love how, without really trying to, I incorporated many of the scraps from the Mom memorial quilt project (where I made a quilt for each one of us siblings with her clothing and scrap-bag scraps), so I've infused the quilt with memories of her. And it pays homage to my midwestern upbringing and the many farming ancestors who also passed along their thrift, their skill with their hands, and their love of family.

All that's really left is to make a label and put it on my bed.

No comments: