when i started this quilt back in january i honestly felt like it would never get finished. while paper piecing each block was fun, boy did it take forever! but slowly, slowly, i plugged away at these blocks, piecing a few during nap times or after ingrid went to bed, or at modern quilt guild sew-ins. so i was surprised when i finally found myself with enough blocks to make the quilt top. and then there was a deadline. the thing needed to be finished in time to submit it for the seattle modern quilt guild show at island quilter on vashon. gah! luckily i finished it, and tonight we'll all go over and see the show opening. whew.
looking back i suppose that's the trajectory for all the quilts i make: piece… piece… take a break… piece some more… drink some tea… piece… piece… put quilt top together… oh hey, look at the time! what? a quilt back? geez, i don't know. here's something. that'll work, sure! ack! bastingbastingbastingbastingbasting! quiltingquiltingquiltingquilting. rip out quilting because it looks terrible. quiltingquiltingquiltingquilting. eh, that'll do. binding! binding is fun! now, i get to sit, watch some mad men or battlestar galactica, relax, hand sew some binding… oh, isn't this nice? and yay, look, i'm finished!
yup, that pretty much covers it.
but, let's go back and talk about how much i love this quilt. i do. so very much. i love the pattern, using lee's paper pieced template from the summer sampler series. thanks, lee! i was smitten with this block the moment i laid eyes on it, and knew it would make a heck of a quilt all on its own.
i just instinctively reached for colors i love: aquas, yellows, oranges, golds. something bright. something happy.
that empty square was a happy accident. i took a picture with one square missing part way through piecing, and when i saw it there in the photograph i knew it had to stay. a helpful friend on flickr suggested i do some hand quilting in the blank square, which i thought was a super idea. so i made a ghost arkansas traveler with some yellow and aqua floss, which is was made even more ghostly after washing.
for the back, i simply used robert kaufman essex in medium aqua. i love the feel of this linen/cotton blend and i adore the color.
i quilted it by following the shapes between the stars, which you can see better on the back (though maybe not so well in this photo). you probably don't need me to tell you how difficult it is to do that kind of quilting on a
crappy tiny home machine like mine. each star alone called for 8 pivots, so imagine me trying to cram this big sucker through a machine with a nonexistent throat. over and over again. ugh. i think it was worth it, but if you look closely my quilting is pretty terrible. someday, i will have a better machine, and someday i may be better at quilting. a girl can dream.
i added a baby arkansas traveler a the bottom.
i was torn on binding. i wasn't sure if it needed something cool and mellow to rein it in, or if it needed something more bright, more expansive. i went mostly with cool, but left room for some outward movement with a bit of yellow in one corner. it feels nice there.
while i was working on this one i thought of it as the arkansas traveler quilt. but now that it's done, i'm called it arkansas, traveled.