Friday, 21 February 2020

My Quest for a Quilt


I've always loved quilts and have been actively looking for a commercially made or handcrafted one for the past 5 or 6 years. I've gone to big stores, searched online sites, gone to local quilt sales, you name it. When we were in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island a few years ago (regions famous for their quilts), I looked in every quality craft and quilt store I could find. I also looked at Hawaiian quilts each time we went to Maui.

And I came up empty-handed every time.

I couldn't find a quilt with that perfect trifecta of size, pattern and colours that I liked. But the biggest single issue was that quilts all seem to have an awful lot of white in them. White is usually the background against which the colourful piecework design is displayed. But in my experience, white tends to get grubby looking really quickly and requires a lot of laundering to keep it looking its best. So ideally, I did not want any white in my quilt.


The realization eventually dawned on me that, in order to get exactly what I wanted, I'd have to commission a handcrafted quilt. So I went to Edmonton's biggest quilt show in May and nabbed its featured master quilter to make me a quilt. After agreeing on a size, colour palette and price, I scoured the internet over the summer, looking at a gazillion quilt patterns until I found "the one."

And in December, the finished quilt was delivered. Here it is!


I chose a modern-looking design instead of a more traditional one. This design reminds me of stained glass, which I love. My favourite colour palette was used, featuring the darker spectrum of blue-navy-violet-purple, along with all-black borders. The master quilter found an appropriate "jelly roll" of various fabrics within that palette to bring the piecework to life.


The back of the quilt is solid black. To contrast with the geometrical horizontal-vertical look of the top piecework, I chose a more circular, spiralling design of "curlicues" for the quilting pattern. You can see this design most clearly on the back of the quilt. The quilting was done by another craftswoman with a computerized long arm quilting machine.


A panel in an underside corner of the quilt credits the various women who designed and created this quilt so that such information will not be lost to posterity. A custom quilt can become a valuable antique some day, long after its crafters and owner are gone.


And the quilt is cozy warm and lovely to sleep under too!

53 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

OMG
Love, love, love the colors! And you are right, it does look like stained glass.
I think quilts are fantastic. They require incredible skill and TIME! Great buy.

XOXO

jaz@octoberfarm said...

it's fantastic. the stitching is wonderful.

Tasker Dunham said...

Quilt shows seem to be the hot topic for bloggers at the moment. Must be the cold weather.

NanaDiana said...

Gorgeous!! I immediately thought of stained glass and I like the juxtaposition of the curving stitching against the straight-lined composition of the quilt itself. What an heirloom! xo Diana

^.^ said...

It's a life quilt, friend D ... Clean straight lines and also spirals and circles:) … Plus a perfect choice of colours for Your Royal Highness:) … Love, cat

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra--Your commissioned quilt just glows! It looks like a modern piece of jewelry made with black opals. It must ensure pleasant dreams!
--Jim

DVArtist said...

Wow that is a gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous quilt.

Bob said...

Gorgeous. And i love that it's "signed".
As works of art should be.

DEZMOND said...

Pffft I was hoping for men in kilts when I saw the title :) Gorgeous quilt by the way, half of my clothes is in that colour! Even bought me Ice Winter Fig watch to get that shade around my wrist.

Busy Bee Suz said...

It does look like stained glass. I love the design and colors; bravo!

Wild Oak Designs said...

I am so glad you found your quilt! Having one made just for you was a great solution. I am a quilter...and it is lovely to hear someone treasures these handcrafted items.
Maybe, you should take up quilting.....??
Nancy

Lady M said...

What a beauty! You know I wholly approve of the black and purple combination. I also love that you supported local artisans. Your the bomb Debra.

Bathwater said...

That is a beautiful quilt. I have a few that were made by my mother. My favorite piece she made though was a quilted Christmas tree skirt. It is beautiful two sided and bigger than you can buy in any store. I don't get much use out of it but I hope one day I can pass it on to my son.

anne marie in philly said...

FABU! looks like stained glass, and looks warm and cozy for cold nights!

brewella deville said...

That's an amazing piece of work.

Kirk said...

That is one cool looking quilt! For some reason, most likely because I'd never seen one before, I wouldn't think of purple and blue as the dominant colors for a quilt, but it sure works there.

Leanna said...

OMG! That is a beautiful quilt! I want one like it but in oranges, yellows, reds, and pinks. That is really a beautiful quilt. How much did it cost?

bobbie said...

Truly a magnificent quilt!! Love the colors, love the look of stained glass, and I especially love the info about who helped to make it being incorporated onto the back ~
Congratulations!!!

Frank said...

Do not remove label under penalty of the law.

P.S. It's pretty.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Leanna -- Let's just say it cost me the proverbial arm and a leg, but assuming I live another 25 years or so, the amortized price per year is quite manageable, LOL!

Marie Smith said...

Great choice of colours and design, Debra.

Bea said...

Holy Cow! That quilt is gorgeous. So glad that you got exactly what you wanted.

Adam said...

Nice quilts

Susan said...

it is so YOU! What a beautiful piece of art! I love the colors - they have such depth and vibrancy!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love it! The design, the glowing depth of colour and the quilting make it beautiful and the fact that someone else did all the hard work makes it perfect!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I couldn't find the words as to why I really love that design too. Then you wrote about stained glass. Yes, it's got that feel. That was a great pick. I love Deb's big quilt. I cannot lie.

Mike said...

Love the colors. I have a friend that bought a quilting machine recently. She says it practically takes up a whole room.

Willym said...

That is absolutely stunning! It does indeed look like glowing stain glas windows. A true beauty and a treasure.

Tundra Bunny said...

A lovely choice of colours and I especially like the quilted swirls. Purists wouldn't consider it to be a real quilt because it was machine-pieced and machine-quilted, but who has 4 years to hand-piece and hand-quilt one of this size besides the Amish?!

Joanne Noragon said...

Well, Debra, this quilt ticks every box, and that especially includes the historical info on the label on the back. The binding is beautifully done, too. It's a piece of art.

LL Cool Joe said...

That is a very special quilt. How cool to have it especially made for you. May it bring you years of joy.

Liz Hinds said...

Wow! That is beautiful. I dread to think how much that cost but the quilters are masters of their art, and should be rewarded as such.

e said...

That's a gorgeous quilt! I'm so glad that you commissioned one to your specifications. Of course, if I had known you were searching for a quilt I would have offered to make you one. Now that I'm retired, my quilting hobby has started to take up a lot of my time. Oh, and the long-arm machine that I bought makes it so much faster and more enjoyable.
Side note: I keep thinking that I should include more white as negative space in the design but I never do! I prefer color, strong color. And, as you say, the white shows dirty too quickly.
That quilt will keep you warm for the rest of your life!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ e -- Oh wow! I didn't know you were a full-out quilter -- you've even got your own long-arm machine? Yowza! Well, for my next quilt -- we'll talk, LOL! Are quilts like tattoos -- you just can't stop at one?

Miss Val's Creations said...

What a gorgeous quilt Debra! Total score in finding a quilter to make exactly what you wanted. The design adds so much extra beauty. Smart staying away from white too.

Guillaume said...

Quilty as charged. Okay, terrible pun.

Bill Lisleman said...

Great pattern and colors - stay warm

JACKIESUE said...

i really love it.it does like like stained glass..and those are my favorite colors..just beautiful..

Moving with Mitchell said...

That’s stunning. I’d be afraid to use it. Definitely stained glass and even the flip side is beautiful.

Linda said...

Hi Debra...
Looks great...you will cherish it for years...
Cheers!
Linda :o)

The Blog Fodder said...

I love quilts and greatly admire the incredible work that goes into them. My cousin is an award winning quilter and several of my friends are quilters.

Rain said...

That looks great Debra! I love the colours!

Insomniac's Attic said...

That is amazing and I LOVE those colours with the black outlines! What a treasure. Definitely better than anything I've ever seen in a store - or anywhere else for that matter!!! 🖤🖤🖤

Magic Love Crow said...

Deb, truly, truly beautiful!! I have been blessed to be brought up with many quilts around me. Mom has bought a few over the years and has made some too. I have to admit, some have started to where, but we keep using them. I would love to have one made for myself. I know about the cost, but I think it's worth it! Big Hugs!

Martha said...

WOW! That is stunning. Those are exactly the colours I would have chosen! Enjoy.

Susan Kane said...

This is beyond beautiful, it is exquisite!

The design and colors are well chosen! The personal touches--you can't find that in any store quilts. (Those say "Made in Korea")

So happy for you.

Janie Junebug said...

*gasp* I think that's the most beautiful quilt I've ever seen. I embroidered two quilts that weren't pre-quilted. One is queen sized and one is a lap quilt. I always thought I would learn how to quilt. Both of them have been packed away for 30 or so years and both have lots of white.

Love,
Janie

Susan said...

Just beautiful!

pam nash said...

Very pretty and even more, so since it is completely unique to you.

Ur-spo said...

that is lovely
I've had a half-completed quilt sitting on a shelf screaming at me to complete it.

Fundy Blue said...

Your quilt is exquisite, Debra! My family gave Terry and me a gorgeous, hand sewn Nova Scotian quilt for a wedding gift which I love. I had no idea that you could commission a quilt; but duh? Why not! I'm glad you treated yourself to this special work of art. All the best!

Rommy said...

That is STUNNING. I thought of stained glass too. LOL ages ago I thought about making my own quilts and sought out some books on it. Now I think I'll wait until the kids have left home and go the route you did. I'll have to coordinate with the hubs to pick out a design that suits us both.

The Happy Whisk said...

Yeah, I agree with you on the white, that does happen. Wow, wow, wow, excellent quilt and the colours are stunning together. Works well.