Friday, July 6, 2012

… arkansas, traveled

arkansas traveler quilt

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.

arkansas traveler quilt

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.

arkansas traveler quilt back

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.

arkansas traveler quilt

i added a baby arkansas traveler a the bottom.

arkanssa traveler quilt

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.

arkansas traveler quilt

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.

19 comments:

  1. it is amazing! completely amazing and I love your comments about the process. so true. beautiful work!

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  2. Wow Ara Jane, it is beautiful! I am so inspired by your finished quilt. And I love your story of how it comes together, that is how I would tell it too.

    I can't wait to see it tonight!

    Michelle

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  3. It's just beautiful!! I LOVE the colors and the pattern is perfect :o)

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  4. I seriously LOVE everything about this quilt, it is just beautiful!

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  5. Beautiful! And that open space is a bit of genius. I love it! I wish I could go to the show!

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  6. I love it! It is so beautiful; the colors are very pleasing. I really think that little block on the back is a sweet touch.

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  7. this turned out so beautifully! i especially love the ghost block with your sweet hand quilting.

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  9. WOW, Arajane!! This is SO amazing!! I LOVE it!

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  10. This is just such a beautiful quilt! I'm trying to identify my favourite bit, but there are so many- the little block on the back, the ghost block, the gorgeous pop in the binding. How come you get to be so talented?! Feeling green with envy over here ;-)

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  11. I love the quilt. I like the colours, I like the pattern, I like the quilting. Wonderful!

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  12. Everything about this quilt is so delightful. This was my favorite summer sampler block. I love that you took it all the way! The collaborative ghost block - the best ideas tend to be collaborative, I think. Loving the baby on the back. Also, totally enjoyed your quilt progress trajectory, LOL.

    Congratulations on a state well traveled!

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  13. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I knew when I picked that block that it would be amazing in a quilt on its own, so I'm SO glad somebody did it! Perfect colors too! Great job!

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  14. Yep, I love it, too. So much, Ara Jane! The colors, the ghost block, the binding, the little blcok on the back, everything. It's a glorious finish. Mmm, I need some more Mad Men in my life soon...

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  15. i feel your pain with the small small machine. it is so hard to quilt on them and i am with you, a girl can dream about a bigger sewing machine! love this quilt so much though, it is beautiful! honestly, beautiful!

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  16. I really enjoyed it at the show and know it will get used with much love.

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  17. Such a beautiful quilt! Love the colours, love the pattern, love the ghost star! It's just perfect.

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  18. Love this so much! What an absolutely beautiful quilt!!

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  19. I want to come to your house and steal this, Ara Jane!! It.is.fabulous. Beyond fabulous, really. All the elements of the quilt complement each other perfectly. You should definitely be proud of this finish! :)

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