Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Happy Tropical Basket

I have finished my Tropical Basket wallhanging! Hurray! This one has a long story! (Just look at the pictures if you don't want to hear it.) I started this project over two years ago, when our Guild suggested a Challenge quilt. I think they called it 'Stash Bash' or something like that. We were to use scraps from our stash and the quilt was to be no larger than 40in. square. They encouraged us to use as many fabrics as possible. In fact, I think there was a prize for the most fabrics used.

I thought about this project for a long time and finally settled on a pattern I had found in a magazine from many years ago. The original pattern was done in redwork. I changed it so that I could do my quilt in hand applique combined with a bit of machine piecing. I worked on it throughout the summer of 2007, since the applique part was such a nice take-along project. But by the fall of that year I realized that I would not be able to finish it in time - for the end of October meeting. At that time I became physically unable to do a lot of things. I no longer had the use of my legs and that made it impossible to use my sewing machine. I also couldn't walk or drive a car. And I never did go back to our Guild meetings that year. My challenge quilt never got done.

A few weeks ago I found this UFO and decided to finish it. I only had a bit more to applique and a few more of those HST units to do. Since my physical condition is much improved and I am once again able to use my sewing machine, now seemed like the right time to get it out of my UFO pile. I sewed it together and stipple quilted it by machine. Then I added a colourful batik binding. I love how it turned out and I think it is my favourite quilt at the moment. Mimi seems to approve of it too.
My wallhanging measures 36in. square. I used over 45 different fabrics, mostly batiks, hand dyes and fossil ferns. I put a 'sleeve' on the back so that I can hang it up and display it. And display it I will! This quilt marks my return to my old self. I feel as if my life has been on hold for the past couple of years, very much like this quilt, but now it is time to get on with living and quilting and walking and petting my Mimi. Right Mimi?


Barb said...

That is totally beautiful....I love it!!

Pat said...

STUNNING isn't even a good enough word to describe that quilt, is truly breathtaking and a real work of art!!! I'm glad you finished it and I'm glad you showed it to us here. It is absolutely a marvelous quilt!!!

Cara said...

That is an AMAZING quilt! So beautiful, and colourful! I love it, and it is such a nice commemoration of your return to health. I'm so happy for you to be feeling better!

Exuberant Color said...

It's really a beauty. I'm glad you were able to finish it because it is way too good to be in a UFO box.

*karendianne. said...

Woah! You are amazing. This is a true quilt with VISION my friend.

What I really love about the Happy Tropical Basket is that it represents Bounty and Grace. It shows us that even when we're taken out of the game there's a good chance we'll have the opportunity to jump back in - at the right time. Gosh Hetty, I truly and utterly connect with everything about this Quilt.

Thank you for creating.

Keiko said...

This is simply too beautiful, Hetty! I love it and have e-mailed
it to my cell phone so that I can look at it every time I use my cell
pnone. Also I'm glad that I can post a comment in your blog again.
Thank you for fixing it.

Anonymous said...

I would spot your work among a multitude of others by the high quality of workmanship. You should really enter your pieces in competitions. This quilt is so pretty and I can see by the story behind its making, why it means, and will continue to mean, a lot to you. Mimi is definitely your quilting companion; if only she could talk.

LizzieJane said...

What a wonderful way to start my Sunday by looking at this beautiful quilt. This is just lovely Hetty. How I wish it were mine!

Rinie said...

Mimi recognizes a piece of art when she sees it.
She is very happy you were able to finish it, isn't that right, Mimi?

So are we all.

Eileen said...

I am in love with this wall hanging. Fabulous!