Storied Dresden

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The name for my blog – Storied Quilts – was partly inspired by this quilt and the process of designing it.  Every quilt has a story but this quilt came about to tell a story.

The story begins about 6 to 8 years ago. My aunt was volunteering at a charity store in Michigan when a family brought a huge collection of fabric to the store after a loved one, a quilter, passed away suddenly. My aunt and others at the store sorted though the numerous boxes, measured each piece and priced them for sale. My aunt picked a few that remained unsold after a few months and brought it home. When I visited her in the summer of 2013, I brought home two large suitcases of fabric of all kinds and all sizes. A quilter’s dream!

Most of the fabric were florals from the nineties and before. I couldn’t help wonder about the quilter who lovingly collected these pieces. They were fabric cuts of various sizes. Some had parts cut up for an applique. Some were cut into strips and stuffed into a ziploc. I wanted to try and make something she might’ve made but the fabrics were not something I’d buy and florals were simply not my thing at the time.

SomefloralsI posted this pic on my online quilting forum and asked for suggestions. Every suggestion I received would have made a lovely quilt. One of the suggestions was Dresden plate, a very traditional quilt block. It got me thinking and I experimented with Dresden plate blocks in different configurations, using the florals as well as mixing them up with some batiks, solids and some modern prints.

I then experimented with different layouts. Some made the cut and some didn’t. I picked blocks in shades of blue, purple and pink and they seem to go together very well. Eliminated the browns, yellows and greens. I’m so happy how this turned out. It has a very modern flavor with the white background and  the random, irregular placement while most of the fabric and the block itself are quite traditional. Not surprisingly, I gifted this quilt to my aunt, Jaya, who hoarded all that fabric form me.

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Background: Kona cotton White

Blocks: Various florals, batik

Size: 72″ X 84″

Beautifully quilted by Geeta Mehta of Fabulous Quilting, Katy TX.

 

 

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A Flowery Journey

This is the story of a quilt I made for my mother. I started this many years ago – I dare not say how many! My mom loves flowers and bright colors – two things that are very easy to put into a quilt. There are so many ways to do this. I was so overwhelmed by the infinite ways to make a flower quilt that I was reluctant to commit to one design.

March2010 023.jpgI was doodling one afternoon, cutting out flower shapes and making a bouquet. I started with a coloring page from Vedul’s Montessori days and added  different flowers, a humming bird and butterflies. Several tries later, I came up with this layout.

I taped this piece of newspaper art to my sewing room wall and it stayed there for a few days while I mulled over fabrics to use for the flowers, the background, etc.  I wanted to use several pieces of silk I had collected. Each piece is from a sari that belonged to my grandmother or my mother or an aunt. Some were collected by my grandmother to make her cross stitch rugs. My grandmother passed away in 2003 but she gave me her leftover silk when I started quilting. Every piece of silk in this collection was used and loved as a sari for many years. While their color and luster has held up very well, they are quite thin and thread-bare in some places. Using them in small pieces as in applique was the only way to preserve them.

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I used a combination of applique, fabric paints and fabric markers. Most shapes were drawn free-hand and my drawing skills have not improved since my grade school days. I’m so happy how this came out though. The center was done and set aside for some months while I decided how to make this into a larger quilt. I wanted to frame it with some simple blocks that would accent the central applique but not compete with it.

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From my considerable stash, I picked a number of mostly blue and purple fabric to bring out the purple border around the applique, as well as a few in other colors to accent the flowers in the applique. Some of the surrounding fabric are from my silk collection and some are from a stash I bought when we visited Alaska with my parents in 2009. Most are leftovers from other quilts I’ve made. Though it took a number of years from start to finish, I’m glad I waited for inspiration to strike, and the design, the fabric and the layout meshed together into a delightful quilt. Completed March 2016.

Some more Pictures:

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