Seems like everything has been a challenge this year but this was a challenge that I was definitely up for. Every year my group over at Apatchy Quilting has an end of year Christmas party and Kaye sets us a challenge for a bit of fun.
This year the challenge theme was MUSIC......Mmmmm, I do like music but I didn't necessarily want to make a quilt with "sheet music" or "clefts" or any of that other "music" themed fabric.....I wanted to think outside of the box.
If you knew my family, you would be suprised to know that I am actually not at all talented in the music department. My mum was blessed with a beautiful Soprano voice and my dad played piano (by ear) for her so I decided to dedicate my quilt to the music they brought into my life that I would otherwise not have bothered with. Opera. Musicals. Piano.
An idea began to form that wanted to depict these three genres in my quilt. One of the most famous operas is "Madame Butterfly" and I did them in technicolour to represent "Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat" (one of many musicals that mum and dad once took me to) and the border would be a piano key border.
I adapted this pattern that some one else had posted about (sorry, I can't remember who that was now). It is called Hope Takes Flight and is a free pattern from Robert Kaufman. You can find it HERE
All the piecing was easy to do and one day when I had the house all to myself, I was happily getting on with it and in my own little world when suddenly the unthinkable happened...........I sliced through the top section of my middle finger.....my own fault as I was cutting across the top of the ruler and the blade was blunt so I went backwards and forwards and not suprisingly, the cutter jumped the ruler and went in about half way down my nail. Here is the photo (2 days later) if you can bear to look.
Well, it was so painful and I raced back into the kitchen to grab some papertowel leaving a trail of blood everywhere but I knew I had to sit down as I was going to faint. I really didn't know what to do since after applying pressure for 20 minutes it still hadn't stopped bleeding and the tip of my finger didn't look a very healthy colour. I decided I would drive myself up to the doctors surgery (only one L-hand and 3 R-hand turns) Wasn't easy while still trying to apply pressure to the wound but I got there. Had to wait 1hour and 45 minutes with my finger on ice to see if I needed stitches. In the end it was decided the nail made stitches too difficult so it was taped together, bandaged and I was given a tetnus shot. That was a couple of months ago now and even though it has healed up lovely, it is still very tender.
Back to the quilt. For some reason, I did not take very many photos of the process initially - very unusual for me.....much too caught up in the creating, I think. but here is a photo of it all coming together.
Then everything came to a standstill as I was putting off the quilting part which I was really not looking forward to ......what if I stuffed it up at this stage with only two more weeks before it was handed in. I needn't have worried, with my new TOWA thread tension guage, everything went as smoothly as I could have wished although I had a bit of trouble rolling this one onto the frame.
With so much negative space, I decided to use a variety of fmq designs. I started with some clamshells which I have not done before
then I did pebbles for a bit
and finished off with some flowers which I have not done before either.
For the white bits inbetween the butterflies, I did some backwards/forwards lines.....can you see them? Excuse the threads that I still have to sew in (because I like doing it that way)
I even impressed myself by this fabulous fmq-ing!! I think I might stick with those clamshells for awhile and perhaps the flowers too.
After doing some straight lines in the piano key border, I attached the binding (using my BRAND NEW BERNINA!) added a label and ta-da
.....my challenge quilt was ready in plenty of time.
I stole the picture below from Kaye's blog and if you want to see the other participants and read about the winner, please do so HERE
. While there, make sure you scroll to the end.....you don't want to miss Kaye's creation......she is one very talented lady!
Without further ado.......Madame Butterfly meets Liberace
I think there may be an issue with my commenting system. Chookie says her comment disappeared and I am not getting notification for comments so for now I have opened the comments up to everyone and switched the word varification on......sorry, I know this is a pain in the neck but I just want to see if it makes a difference. Unless anyone has any advice for me.