Mel blogs at melintheattic.com and serves as president of the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild. She is just a joy to converse and laugh with in person and online! Mel was recently featured on Sew Mama Sew for her quilted pillow tutorial, where she demonstrated various walking foot quilt designs. Mel also teaches classes at her LQS, Rock Paper Scissors (an amazing shop of modern quilty goodness!). Wait until you read about the meaning behind her favorite quilt… This is what quilting is all about!
Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
My favorite quilt is “Love Letters,” which I made for my husband Joe. I started it at the very beginning of 2014 and worked in spurts, sometimes in secret, until I finished it on June 12th. The panel with the song lyrics was made using Diane Bohn’s paper piecing alphabet and the rest is my own design, which evolved as I made it.
The fabrics are Kona Black and Bone, plus tons of text prints and black on black prints that I’ve been collecting for about a year. The yellow is from Collage by Carrie Bloomston. But my favorite fabrics in the quilt are actually souvenirs; I found the black keyboard print on a trip to San Francisco, and the pandas were a gift from Joe when he went to Japan last year. The binding is Crosshatch in black from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line.
Have you shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
It’s still not quite broken in! I was thinking about submitting it for QuiltCon, but I’m not sure I can give a gift and then potentially take it away.
What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
This quilt is a love letter to my husband, who has been nothing but supportive of my quilting obsession. He has watched me make two quilts for each of our boys and plenty for family members, friends and even myself. “Love Letters” is a thank you to him and an attempt at a grand romantic gesture. Have I mentioned he brought me fabric from a business trip to Japan? The guy is pretty great.
The song lyrics are from the song “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which has special meaning to us (the song is actually a woman begging her lover not to leave her, but we have always taken the quote out of context). On the back, Joe requested a Triforce, which is a symbol from the Legend of Zelda, a game that we both love. He actually gave design input as I worked, and the quilt feels like a partnership.
What do you like best about the quilt?
I love that it’s bold and graphic— it reflects my taste in modern quilts and art. In general, I love thinking about the person who’s going to get the quilt and integrating elements or colors that I think they’ll like. But because this was for Joe and our own house, I made it in a more selfish way.
I also like how the yellow snuck its way into the quilt as the design progressed. Yellow was never a favorite color of mine until I started quilting, and now I use as much of it as I can (when appropriate, of course). This quilt was supposed to be just black and white, but the Collage print was just too perfect. It makes the quilt feel warmer.
How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
I feel like a more patient quilter after making this quilt. It was the first time I paper pieced outside of a class, and I got ambitious. The words took me about 12 hours to piece, and at times I felt like it would never be finished (those teeny tiny triangles on the O’s still mock me, though that feeling is fading). The same thing happened with the quilting, which I decided needed to be ½ inch straight lines even though it would take hours and hours. I learned that it is totally worth it to do that thing that appears to be too much work. You can see it in the end result. As a busy mom, I have been guilty in the past of trying to make quilts as quickly as I could and this one taught me that really special things are worth the time we put into them. It’s helped me be more patient in real life too.
If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I won’t be making this quilt again. But I’ll definitely play with paper pieced words in the future.
Where is the quilt now?
On the couch in a pile from its first snuggle session.
Would you like to add anything?
I could talk about this quilt for hours. Thank you for indulging me! It’s not all love and sweetness, though. No relationship is. In making this quilt I also won a long-standing and rather contentious marital debate over whether or not I can keep a secret. The paper pieced panel was done completely behind his back during a month when we were snowed in for what seemed like once a week. There were a few close calls, but I did it. “Love Letters” shows my love and proves a point.
Tell Us About Your Favorite Quilt
What about you? What’s your favorite quilt? Answer our questions on your blog and then link up on any of the daily posts. (You can even use the “My Favorite Quilt” button if you want!: http://www.sewmamasew.com/june2014/myfavoritequilt150.jpg) We’re giving away three $25 gift certificates to Fabricworm, randomly drawn from all entries in June.
- You can link up anytime throughout the month (6/1 – 6/30).
- Your post must be a new, original post about a favorite quilt that you have made.
- You can answer all or some of the questions below.
- Click on links to read and comment on other posts! Quilty love should be shared.
- Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
- Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
- What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
- What do you like best about the quilt?
- How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
- If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
- Where is the quilt now?
This series is sponsored by Fabricworm, your source for modern, designer and Japanese import fabrics, perfect for crafts, quilts and home decorators.