Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival

The bi-annual Bloggers' Quilt Festival for Fall, 2011, runs from  October 28 and through November 4. The event is a reason to share and talk about a favorite quilt, even if it's one that's been seen chatted up in a previous blog post.

I'm taking this opportunity to talk again about "Snowflake Medallion" a quilt I finished in June of this year. It's very special to me, for several reasons.



Photo by Craig Anderson Photography
"Snowflake Medallion" is a pattern I purchased while in Australia, visiting our daughter who at the time lived in Sydney. I adore Sydney, and actually know it better than I know our capital city! If I ever win the lottery, this is where you'll find me... permanently.

In May of 2009, Dan and I flew from Sydney to Melbourne. We rented a car, and I'm the one who drove us around Victoria for seven days since left-side-of-the-road driving was more than he could handle. We stopped at several quilt shops, but mostly ogled the beauty of Australia's southern coast. It's simply astounding. Whenever I close my eyes to recollect a favorite view, I envision the beautiful day when we were blessed to see the "Twelve Apostles." Much like the overwhelming majesty of the US Grand Canyon, Australia's coastline is the most ruggedly beautiful scenery I've seen. (Doubtful Sound on the south island of New Zealand is another.)

We spent a night in Ballarat, Victoria. That's when I visited Ballarat Patchwork and met the young proprietor, Emma. Her shop is filled with modern fabrics and bright, fresh quilt designs that, at the time, were quite new to me. One of her quilts captured my attention: "Snowflake Medallion." It's the pattern I returned home with, determined to make.
Emma's "Snowflake Medallion"
Fabrics for my Snowflake were purchased here in Des Moines, but in my mind it's still a 100 percent Aussie quilt. Another reason that Snowflake is a favorite quilt is that I hand-appliqued mine while my Sydney friend, Di, was doing the same with her own Snowflake Medallion quilt. She's also the clever person who came up with an ingenious method for hand-appliqueing teeny, precise 1 mm circles, using sequins as "templates"!

After completing the 78" X 78" quilt top, I pin-basted it, and let it languish for a year before I finally put my mind to quilting it. Quilting isn't my favorite thing to do. That's not because I can't do it, but because I always struggle with what to quilt. Designing quilt patterns isn't my forte. Still, I put my best efforts into Snowflake, at one point using a pizza pan as a template for the large, scalloped feather circle feature in the center of the quilt. Many hours were spent, sit-down free motion machine quilting to make this quilt as special as I could.
quilted using very pale green Sulky thread

from the back
I entered Snowflake in our 2011 Iowa State Fair and was extremely gratified to win a blue ribbon, my first ever Iowa State Fair first place ribbon in at least 15 years of entering quilts in the fair! Stiff competition there.

Then, in October I was again honored to learn that Snowflake was accepted into the juried Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, California. Snowflake didn't earn a ribbon, but I still consider it a supreme honor to have had it displayed alongside quilts created by extremely talented, celebrity quilters.

More importantly for me though was receiving, for the first time in my 30 years of quiltmaking, an honest and thorough judge's appraisal of my work. To be perfectly honest, I have room for quilting improvement. Still, my journey with this quilt - from Australia to Iowa to California and back to Iowa - has been one I wouldn't trade for any amount of kudos or prize money.

Go to this Flickr site to see all the bloggers' quilts in this fall festival. Inspiration awaits! Linda

39 comments:

  1. I think I told you before I much I love your Snowflake Medallion quilt but I just have to say it again ;)! Just love it. And I too love Sydney; we were very lucky to have been sent there by the company on our very first assignment and had the most wonderful time. Also our son was born there, which makes the place even more special.

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  2. You have every reason to be so pleased with your Snowflake Medallion quilt, it is just lovely and your quilting is superb!

    As a Kiwi, I have to admit that we have not yet ventured over to Sydney yet, we must be some of the very few who have not made it yet. But....we have been to England, Hawaii, Alaska, New York and Niagara Falls. And travelled extensively around our own lovely country, New Zealand.

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  3. WOW!!

    great pattern, great colors

    congratulations on your blue ribbon, and being exhibited

    and the quilting is gorgeous too!!

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  4. Spectacular quilt, fun design, delightful quilting. And, great post too! You've inspired me to research to find this design, as I'd love to make this quilt. And, I'd also love to visit Sydney.

    Spectacular FMQ work too!


    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  5. Oh-- I love it! Absolutely gorgeous... and the quilting...
    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, :)
    Greetings from Cyprus,
    Valentina

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  6. So beautiful! I'm from Australia and know Sydney quite well. I have to admit I prefer Melbourne though.

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  7. What a beautiful quilt, the quilting is exquisite!! I know all those places you've taken photos of. I grew up in Ballarat!! My grandparents lived near the 12 Apostles and until recently I worked a 5 minute walk from the Sydney Opera House!! How fun is that!!

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  8. Great story behind your beautiful quilt. It looks as though it took a lot of time to make! Is it on your bed?

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  9. Wonderful story behind the quilt! Just amazing piecing and the quilting is exquisite. Thank for sharing this delight with all of us.

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  10. Wow, what a stunner, great work. Love the quilting.
    Come see my entries: #29 miniature reproduction and #31 antique 1850 star quilt

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  11. I love this quilt....I think I told you before...
    Sydney is special to us too, family and wonderful memories there!
    Next time come to Perth W.A. our beautiful vast north & the tree filled wine country down south.
    I for one would be thrilled to meet you Linda!
    Julia.

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  12. I think this quilt is gorgeous, made even more so by your spectacular quilting. The view of the back is like a whole cloth quilt.
    I'm glad you enjoyed your visits to Australia, wish I'd known you when you were touring around Victoria.
    Hope you win the lottery soon!

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  13. love the quilt!

    Margaret
    www.quiltsoflove.blogspot.com

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  14. Great post, Linda! I enjoyed the Austraiian coast pictures as well. I hope to someday see this quilt up close and personal!

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  15. That is an amazing quilt, i love this:)

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  16. I know I've told you this before...but I just LOVE this quilt! In every aspect it is a gorgeous representation of quilting, color and design! Okay I'll stop gushing...

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  17. So wonderful to see this beauty again!!

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  18. Very nice work thanks for the quilt for division.

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  19. Your quilt is amazing! So beautiful! The fabrics are so pretty but the quilting is just amazing!

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  20. I'm glad you entered this one, Linda, it is one of my favorites this year. Your colors and quilt lines blend into one harmonious, beautiful quilt. Really, it is a jewel ~
    :-}pokey

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  21. I really love this quilt; your quilting and colour choices are beautiful.

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  22. Your quilt is wonderful and I enjoyed reading it's story!

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  23. What a wonderful journey/story and the quilt turned out gorgeous! :o) I am a new follower. Nice to *meet* you!

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  24. Beautiful - thanks for sharing your quilt and story!

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  25. I love seeing this again! It's amazing. Thanks for sharing it.

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  26. Beautiful quilt with a lovely story to go with it. I love quilts that reminds me of places, of experiences and this one, with Australia, your home and Sydney tied into, is obviously a treasure.

    I think the piecing, the stitching and the quilting are all just beautiful and congratulations on your honors!

    Elizabeth E!
    http://occasionalpiece.wordpress.com

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  27. I don't see how you could improve. From where I sit your work is stunning!

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  28. I always love seeing this quilt - you did a superb job, from start to finish! One day I'll definitely catch up and finish mine, though I can tell you right now my quilting won't be a patch on yours! Please keep buying those lottery tickets! Xx

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  29. The quilt is beautiful and your quilting is amazing.

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  30. This is truly an exquisite quilt. The colors are delightful and the quilting is absolutely amazing. You earned that blue ribbon!

    Joyce

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  31. stunning quilt. i love the quilting and the design and the fabric and the story and really just everything about it! =)

    I'm also jealous that you got to go to Sydney. I want to go there so badly. =)

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  32. What a gorgeous quilt in all ways. The medallion is superb as is the wuilting. Tha ks for sharing and have a grestvday

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  33. Your quilt is breathtaking! Love the pattern; love the colors; love the quilting. All I can say is "Wow"!!!

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  34. It's truly a labour of love and it's so nice to hear stories behind the quilts. You macjine quilting is incredible!

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  35. Absolutely LOvely!! I really like this quilt. Hugs

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  36. Incredible. I am in awe of your quilting. It deserves all the prizes is has won so far.

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  37. Lovely quilt - thanks for sharing. :)

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  38. Goergous! I love the colors you chose and the quilting is amazing. It's no wonder it won a ribbon at the State Fair and was judged into the show in California.

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