I missed another Friday post thanks to horrible, stormy weather. If I can’t get well lit photos, then I won’t post. I mentioned I was making a dress for a date on Saturday, but the restaurant ended up cancelling our reservations due to mudslides, rockslides, and flooding. The weather was just horrendous on Friday and Saturday! I didn’t even know it could flood in mountainous areas. We are from Florida, and prior to that coastal Carolina, so we are quite used to the idea of flat areas flooding, but never would I have expected to see such sites in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. I am so thankful for sunshine today! The earth looks like it is just about to burst with spring and new life! I’ll share my dress another day, because I am so excited to share something entirely new and different with you today!
I believe I mentioned last week that the children and I are working on an extra special project with the Janome Skyline S9, and I’m absolutely tickled to show it to you. The machine comes preloaded with a whole bunch of Anna Maria designs, and since she is our favorite, I had the children take turns choosing their favorite motifs and colors, and I let them help me stitch them out on the machine. To be honest, I didn’t really do anything. They all know how to thread a machine, and this is so easy peasy, once they did that, they just had to press the start button, and the Skyline whirred away.
Once we had the designs stitched out, I would trim them down, and the children would choose favorite Anna Maria fabrics to “frame” them. Some frames have the same fabric all around, and others are different on all sides. We just did whatever felt right!
I suggested to them that our framed designs resembled pictures on a wall, and it would be cool to lay them out that way. So that’s what we did. We put them all down on the floor and just built a gallery wall of sorts. We moved things around and added blocks until the whole thing looked well balanced and complete. I spent yesterday and this morning adding in the black background. I used our layout to measure how much I needed to cut, and did a sort of improv piecing to sew together the “pictures” into a quilt top.
We also added in a few of Anna Maria’s designs that were already printed on fabric, and framed those out. I love that they are different but still so perfectly cohesive.
The children LOVE it. We spent so much of our time last week working together, trading ideas, sorting through fabrics, and sewing and ironing together. They checked up on me constantly while I added the black, and often, Wallace would want to do the sewing and Layla the ironing, or the other way around. In this way, our gallery quilt is everything I hoped it would be. I wanted this project to be about nothing other than us enjoying and creating together. We all had our own styles and ideas, and they came together beautifully. I know this quilt will long be a favorite it our household.
They are quite ready for me to go ahead and quilt it, so I imagine I’ll be spending some time with needle and thread and this unique quilt before the week is up. I, too, am excited to see this quilt in use.
We are all lovers of color in our house, and the bolder the better. I think the black really helps the fabric and the various designs to pop. The black background is an older Cotton + Steel basic, which I think is called Add It Up. All the other fabrics are from Anna Maria, aside from some of the solids that are embroidered, and those are whatever I had in my stash. I’m committed to using what I have on hand, so whatever I can find that fits will become the backing and binding.
The children have been ironing and organizing some strips I cut out ages and ages ago to make this quilt. I don’t know exactly how we will be using them, but I’m confident we will be tackling another Anna Maria themed project very soon, and I’m pretty excited about it.
I want to know! Did you attend Quiltcon in Nashville? Did you go to Craft South? We are only a couple hours away, but we haven’t been. I told my daughter about the shop though, and Layla is raring to go. She wants to bring her AMH cross stitch to show Anna, and she’d like to get another. I think we need to make a point of taking a girl’s trip very soon! Any recommendations of other things to do in the area? Any favorite features at Craft South?