Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Story of Musical Stairs




Complete (at last), in use and fully loved! Let me share the story of our Musical Stairs quilt.....


Gifted to me by beautiful Ros (Bloom)


Within weeks of finishing my very large Sunlit Treasure quilt (based on a Sarah Fielke's North by North East design) last May, my then 15 year old twin daughters suggested I make a quilt for their bed. Another of Sarah Fielke's designs caught their eye - The Bass Line from her newest book Hand Quilted with Love. I agreed - as long as they would have some input and assist along the way.






Starting with my fabric scraps and moving on to my stash, I cut and pieced, modifying Sarah's instructions to avoid waste and slightly changing the dimensions. The twins gave a yay or nay to various fabrics and gave some general colour suggestions - not too much pink, not too much red, blue and green are good, purple is ok.




Miss N sewing, Miss G arranging - still 15yrs old


They helped layout several blocks and even sewed a few together.




But to be truthful, about 90% of the work was left to me. A little sewing here and a little trimming there, as time allowed (I sew on our dining/homeschool table which is well used by our family of 10) and by early November I had a neat pile of blocks. These were carefully stowed away over our busy Christmas/summer holiday season.






Early last month I arranged the blocks into rows, and sewed the rows together to make the quilt top.






After completing the basting I wrestled and wrangled this large quilt through my 29 year old Janome. I usually use cotton batting but when I visited our only quilt shop to purchase batting I found a lovely smooth and soft to touch, white polyester batting - made in Australian by Matilda's Own. It has a fine scrim, a medium loft and zero shrinkage. With so much white in this quilt I decided to try this polyester batting, and I'm pleased I did for it made it possible (but still difficult) to quilt with an open stipple, being a little lighter and more "squishable" than cotton batting. *(Update June 2015- unfortunately this quilt is pilling badly, very disappointed.)






Last Sunday, Mother's Day, I finished hand sewing the binding. There were still many ends to knot and bury from the quilting but it was usable. Sunday night Miss N, now 16, happily slept like a princess under the new quilt! (When Miss E is home on holidays both twins need to share the double lower bunk bed). May is late autumn here in Australia and the month when the weather turns cool in our area, the perfect time to snuggle under a quilt or two.




 Both Miss N and Miss G, now 16, share a room with Miss E senior who is currently away at uni and is a self confessed bibliophile! This quilt was chosen partly because it looked like shelves of books. Both twins enjoy playing several instruments and singing (one more than the other), hence the name Musical Stairs which ties it to Sarah's original design name to. In honour of all three, here is a photo of the quilt on our new library's staircase!








The only fabrics I bought for this quilt were some more Kona White and a clearance quilt back pack (Flower Shop by Patty Young). All the other fabrics are leftovers from earlier quilts/sewing or from my stash. I even spy a piece from my first quilt in there. So many memories in each block.




My very favourite memories held by this quilt aren't in the fabrics themselves, but in having my daughters share in the process of choosing and making this quilt. It may not be perfect, but in my eyes it is perfectly beautiful.




Quilty Details

MUSICAL STAIRS

78" X 76" (200cm X 192cm)
Scraps and stash fabrics
Matilda's Own polyester batting
Quilted on my old Janome
Begun June 2013
Assisted by my now 16 yr old twin daughters
Completed May 2014
Based on Sarah Fielke's Bass Line quilt design from Hand Quilted with Love


41 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

The quilt is beautiful! And so is that magnificent staircase it is seen hanging from. Your daughter looks very content snuggled under it.

Joyful said...

A beautiful quilt made even more special by the fact that the girls helped to make it. I'm sure your daughter will love it for a lifetime. xx

Lisa said...

Ohhh just absolutely gorgeous!!! I esp like the cozy pic of your daughter slumbering so happily under it - isn't this just exactly what we wish for our quilts??!!!

Kim said...

Oh my.....such a gorgeous quilt filled with a treasure chest of happy memories. How peaceful does your princess look sleeping under this beauty. As ever, Karen, your photos are sublime. I particularly love the one with the quilt reaching heavenwards. Just beautiful!!

Gail Lizette said...

Such a sweet quilt - made sweeter by the fact your daughters assisted in the project. Nice teamwork!

*Cornelia* said...

its always such a joy to see pictures of this quilt, the colors just make so happy and I cant wait for spring to arrive over here, really hate this rainy weather

Annabella said...

This is simply stunning! I love to see this version of Sarah F's design - especially as I contributed a couple of blocks to the quilt in her book :-) You (and your girls) have done an amazing job and the photo shoot is fun too.

s.c said...

Nice piece of work. Looks good. Congratulations.

Nina said...

Hi Karen,
Congratulations on finishing the marvellous piece of art! I got goosepumps by it's beauty ... And how you made it together with your daughters!
My mom knows how to quilt - it is ine of the things I hope to learn at some point in my life :)
All the best to your weekend & sunshine to your coming days :)
Nina

Deb said...

What an amazing quilt. Love the colours in it and it sounds like it is getting a lot of use already!

✿ chica said...

Adorei a colcha e teu trabalho deve ser aplaudido! beijos,chica

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a great story about this quilt! You did a wonderful job and it is a happy quilt!

FlowerLady

DeborahGun said...

I love hearing the stories behind quilts - thanks for sharing Karen. this is a beauty and your machine looks just like mine (I inherited it from my husband's Grandma)!

Linda R said...

WOW!! I am speechless. This looks so amazing my friend. And I Love all your photos of your Quilt. Job well done indeed.

Hugs~

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

lovely - I have a photo of this pattern put aside to make from scraps one day.

geanina said...

Such a sweet quilt!! complimenti! :)

tinajo said...

Wow - beautiful and so HUGE! Love it, very well done. :-)

http://tinajoathome.com/

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

beautiful family!

this is a quick comment, as i am catching up with blogs, after our trip to our "grand's" graduation from university.

gentle hugs,
tessa~

Dirk Rosin said...

stilig serie !

sonia said...

Beautiful quilt, and love the story too!

Mary Huey said...

Such a refreshing quilt, Karen!!

flowersandhome said...

Gorgeous quilt! I recognized the bib stairs before you even mentioned them ;) Did Karen take her quilt to the bib, I wondered, and you did!!!! I'm sure people at the bib here would look totally surprised if anyone photographed a quilt there ;) We have steps there too and a quilt could be hung from the railing. Amazing quilt with many happy memories. I had never heard of cotton batting. When I still made quilts many years ago, I could only choose from different thicknesses of the white polyester batting you describe here. I never quilted with a machine. The quilting is so beautifully done! Love the colors as well, so beautiful combined with the white. A quilt I absolutely love. I'm sure it will be loved and used for many, many years to come.
Marian

Olivier Bailleux said...

Congratulations for this great work !

Lisa Gordon said...

Karen, this is absolutely gorgeous, and the fact that your girls helped with it, makes it so very special.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful piece of work!

Elise Lea said...

Beautiful Quilt Karen! I love the story behind it and it just looks so fresh all sewn together. The backing is so fun too! The picture of your daughter sleeping under it is gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

charlotte said...

What a wonderful quilt! I love it and I love the story of it. Great photos of the whole process too. Thank you so much for sharing this here. It gives me ideas for using up some of my many scraps.

Seeing Each Day said...

You musn't sell yourself short by saying 'it may not be perfect' - just in all the time and hours and care you've put into making that quilt for your girls alone - that sort of love is definitely perfection. Every time you've shown photos of the progress of this quilt, the bright colours have always put a smile on my face, and your obvious skill as a quilter also qualifies as a wonderful achievement. Well done Karen.

quilthexle said...

Oh wow - this quilt caught my eye immediately. Beautiful !

mtnquiltr said...

What a beautiful quilt, and a very lovely story! Congrats on a wonderful finish!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Comment via email:

Hello Karen

I had to enthuse - the quilt is absolutely beautiful, and oh such
precious memories.

I have a quilt with similar memories (not quite as professionally
quilted). My Grandmother made me a quilt out of scraps of material
from various dresses she had made for me over the years.

The library photo is very special. A very celebratory photo!

I'm sure the girls would feel very proud to have been part of the
project!

Love
Margaret

scraphappy said...

Such a sweet story to go with your quilt.

CitricSugar said...

It sounds like a pretty wonderful family to be a part of...!

Great quilt - and clearly well loved!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I love this quilt!!!!

Julie said...

Your quilt has turned out beautifully, love the story that goes with it too.

Ольга Романив said...

So beautiful! I love it!

Mary said...

Absolutelyl beautiful! Perfect!

Michelle Bartholomew said...

This is lovely! Thanks for sharing the story about how this quilt came together. I'm impressed that you wrangled it through your machine! The quilting looks great!

Shirl Hair said...

Thankyou for sharing this quilt. I think our retreat away with my 3 gorgeous friends is going to be very pleasant. We will all tackle this quilt in our own versions. I am assuming they are 2 inch strips made into 9 - 10 inch blocks....think it wouldn't matter would it.....you'll be enjoying warmer climate. We're bang on middle of winter....perfect for quilting. :)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Shirl we live in Australia so it’s mid-winter here and the quilt was finished just in time and is being well used right now.
Yes, I cut two inch strips and sewed them together in groups of nine to make my blocks. Each block was later trimmed to around 8 3/4” by a little over 13” long. I didn’t fuss too much about being exact about the 13+" length as they are all sewed together in rows. Due to the nature of the design I wasn't concerned about corners meeting - I wanted my girls to help and for us all to enjoy the process. It’s a pattern which can be adjusted to any dimensions you choose.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy your retreat away. Are you working on this quilt together or will you each have your own quilts to sew?

Karen

hydeeannsews said...

quilts, even large ones, do get finished if we just keep at them. so happy to see this one done and being loved. and i really adore how you have so many memory scraps worked in this wonderful pattern. yay for a very wonderful finish!

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