Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Song of the Sparrow

It is finished!
Song of the Sparrow - 64" x 64"
I started this quilt 3 1/2 years ago and it took 8 months to quilt.
I love hand quilting and this was fun to design each section.
 I always love to see the back of hand quilted quilt.
Did I wash it?  yes!  I always wash my quilts. 
 I have front loading machine now and I find the whole process works better in my tub (this is the only way I use it, lol).  Here are my steps:

  1.   cool plain water with drain open.
  2.   close drain and use warm water
  3.   add tiny bit of dawn, 4-5 color catchers, detergent and oxi, or borax (use small amounts)
  4.   hand agitate.
  5.   drain and gentle squeeze water out, I step on it gently with my bare feet while running lukewarm water and open drain.
  6.   Repeat if until water is clear.  This quilt took two wash cycles.

Here was the first idea.  I came a long way.
It wasn't always easy, but it was worth the long journey.
This quilt has been well travelled!
CT, NJ, GA, MA, PA, VT, MI, OH, Canada, Alaska, Bermuda and the caribbean.

 I ran into a nearly heartbreaking problem....
I had to perform "open quilt surgery" and it was a very tense week fixing this problem.
I'll share that another time.  For now, let's remember the good times.
 I really appreciate all the support.  I know you've seen this quilt a zillion times here and IG and I appreciate the encouragement so much!
til next time
xo

43 comments:

Karen said...

A zillion and one is not too many times to see your quilt.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Absolutely love seeing the story behind the making of this gorgeous quilt! Including your awesome method of washing it.... and your “quilt math” venting, ha ha. Very interesting, how it evolved. I think the clamshell border is genius. Love that the one birdie scooted out of the way to make room for your initials. I’m glad the back is solid (or nearly solid?) to better be able to show off your amazing hand quilting. Hopefully the finished quilt will be able to travel to many places as well. Anyway congratulations on such a beautiful finish!

Wendy Caton Reed said...

I'm with Karen! I could see this a zillion times. I just love how it came out. You must have died when you saw that naughty bird had run onto the background. Can't wait to see the rest of the story on how you remedied it. Hope to see this in person someday soon. And, Coco's butt makes a great backdrop!

Sharon Stroud said...

The quilt is lovely, as they all are! For the future, think about using Synthopol to remove bleeding. I had a predominantly white backgound with red applique (washed before use) that ran when I spritzed it with someone else's water. The entire quilt turned vivid red and Synropol took every bit of red off the white. I'm so sorry yours ran.
sharon at sharonstroud dot com

Chris said...

Ditto! This is one of my favorite quilts ever! Love your artistic eye, the balance of light and dark, pieced and applique, and classic with modern. And of course your hand quilting is the icing on the cake! Thanks for the washing tutorial too! I know I hold my breath when I wash a quilt, glad you were about to operate successfully.

Lori said...

What a splendid quilt! I love how it has traveled so much too!!
I don't like my front loader for washing quilts.

Barbara said...

Another stunning quilt, Barb! I love everything about it! It's hard to believe you started making it 3-1/2 years ago but it's been well worth the journey. What do you do with your quilts after you wash them in the tub? Open quilt surgery looks pretty scary. I'm anxious to find out how you fixed the fabric bleed. Until then, congratulations on your fantastic finish!

Pat said...

Your quilt is fabulous! Your work is always perfection in my eyes! Love that you were brave enough to do surgery on this quilt. I absolutely admire everything you make, decorate, and write. You are a true inspiration to me and I am sure many others. Thank you for being so generous with us.

Diane said...

I love this so much because it represents your quilting so well. I am sorry to hear about the open quilt surgery, I hadn't known that was even possible. Glad to know the quilt (and you) are making a full recovery! It's so gorgeous.

cspoonquilt said...

Absolutely Gorgeous quilt! The center is beautiful with all the curves, leaves, flowers and details and the border compliment it very well! And your hand quilting is soooo wonderful!!! Congrats on a Fabulous Finish! cheers!

cityquilter grace said...

aaaaahhhh so beautiful....hand quilted too....a true heirloom....you greatly inspire me! my next quilt (after the current one) is going to have your giant baptist fans...

Nann said...

Oh, Barb, it is lovely! The design is well-balanced, the colors glow. What a relief to rescue the bleeding patch! How many times have you used that bird applique? (I looked closely and it is the same one as the blog header.)

Betsy Schneekloth said...

Wow, just wow!

Judy in Michigan said...

Did the red/gold bird bleed after/while you washed it? I'm guessing it did but then you fixed it? Anyway, funny how the other reds didn't bleed.

Julierose said...

What a beautiful finish to your quilt--I especially like those little clamshell shapes along the borders...stunning work hugs, Julierose

Janet said...

I'm happy to look at it a zillion times more - this is such a fabulous quilt!! Your hand quilting is marvellous. I bet it feels amazing. Love to see the back with its lovely texture. Yikes that surgery looks a bit scary - I can't wait to hear the whole story. So glad it has a happy ending!

Linda Swanekamp said...

It is gorgeous! So what if it took a lot time- it is a real treasure.

Robin said...

Oh Barb! I just gasped when I saw the picture of the toile bird. Your heart must have sunk! We all are so careful to make sure the reds are safe when we applique and the bleeders seem to slip through anyway. I can't wait for your follow-up post about the repair. The finished quilt is absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the step by step washing process.

Shasta Matova said...

This quilt is gorgeous! Love Janet's quote "open quilt surgery". It is definitely scary and I am glad you were able to work it out. I smiled at the image of you stepping on the quilt to wash it. Too bad there aren't any grapes in the quilt, you could have made wine!

audrey said...

How brave of you to take a piece of applique out even after it has been quilted! So sorry about the quilt bleed. It's really disheartening when that happens. Love your beautiful quilt though! The birds have always made me smile.:)

Vicki said...

Fabulous - what an accomplishment.

Quilting Babcia said...

You can share this fabulous quilt with us as often as you like, I love seeing every little bit of it, well maybe not seeing that fabric bleed. I have the same bleeding going on with some vintage embroidery thread on a top bought online. So looking forward to seeing how you resolved that issue.

Kyle said...

What a wonderful story! I bet your quilt will be going on more journeys for others to see in person.

CecileD said...

Your quilt is spectacular and the quilting awesome as always !!
Con-gra-tu-la-tions my friend !!!
Thank you for sharing all the story during 3 years ! I love it :)

Wendy F. said...

Once again Barbara, you crushed it!

Debra G said...

Oh this quilt just makes my heart sing!! Absolutely gorgeous. And gah, open quilt surgery. Don’t leave us hanging! How did it turn out??

Jill said...

Great post! Such happy sparrows to be flying around this pretty quilt which is nicely hand quilted to boot! How fitting the sparrows took their first bird bath in a garden tub ;-) Due to the color bleed, curiosity leads me to ask if fabrics were prewashed prior to piecing and applique?

christine said...

Life, quilts and building a house are all journeys! Interesting that you took pictures of this as it took its many steps. Also amazing that one bird bled! Look how many potential reds and blues you used! Enjoy its Song now.

julieQ said...

Hey Barb, your quilt is gorgeous!! The hand quilting adds so much texture and character...bravo!!

Amy said...

I will never get tired of looking at this quilt. Even my florist mother would admire and appreciate its beauty (and whisper aside to me, flowers don't go that way in a basket... she's a trip) Thank you for sharing the process from the beginning. The sparrows look so cool from the back. Can't wait until the secret of the red shadow is revealed!

Marge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marge said...

Yahoo! Your quilt looks so happy. I look forward to seeing it in person. Good things are definitely worth waiting for...Congratulations!

Ruth said...

That is such an amazing quilt!! Love everything about it, especially the half circles in the border with the birds in between them. Thank you so much for your tutorial on washing your quilt. I always wash the fabrics before hand, so I don't wash the quilts when I finish them. However, I am working on a Christmas quilt that came from a kit and I didn't wash the fabric. I'm so afraid it will run even though when I tested the red and white fabric together in water, the red didn't run. But I think I will wash it using your method. Do you spin it in the washing machine and then dry in the dryer?

Randy D. said...

WOW! what a great finish!! I hope you're making a super interesting label for the back !!
And all those birds?? I never would have thought to do that. Brilliant.
So weird that that toile one bled... but glad you were able to figure out how to fix it.
I LOVE the picture of the tub with ALL those products. You should look into getting a contract to represent one of those companies!!
There's big money in sponsorships!! VBG
Keep them coming!! Never tire of seeing your work.

Chantal said...

Congratulations on this stunning quilt! What can I say? A Masterpiece! as much for the quilt as for the quilting. The back is just gorgeous. Bravo! ;^)
P.S. After an awful experience with a bleeding red, I now use Dawn dish soap to wash my quilts. No more expensive color catcher sheets. Dawn works best.

Sandy said...

Oh... I love the birds! What a wonderful quilt. Yes you came a long way, and the result is spectacular.. Congratulations!
How did the quilt surgery turn out? Did it take a little chemical therapy?
And lastly - is Nutmeg learning how to hand quilt?!

QuiltGranma said...

Love seeing that shot of Nutmeg again, so cute! Beautiful quilt, no matter what happened in the wash. Love your work.

Cissa K said...

Congratulations on another outstanding quilt. Enjoy your labor of love.

Angie said...

It doesn't seem like you've been working on this quilt for 3 1/2 years - time flies!! It's a beautiful finish and inspirational to all of us who love hand work! Thanks for sharing the process with us!

Thimbleanna said...

Congratulations Barb -- It's Beautiful! The quilting makes the quilt and I love the shot of the back. SO refreshing to see a hand-quilted quilt. I've gotten to the point where bleed spots don't bother me much anymore (well, unless they re-color a huge part of the quilt ...). I consider them to be part of the personality of the quilt. They're a feature, not a flaw LOL!

Wendy F. said...

Again, another fabulous, fun and wonderfully quilted piece! Oh my!!!?

Pinkadot Quilts said...

Barb this quilt is truly a labor of love! Your unique bird border makes it your own, such a great idea. Great tips for washing a quilt too, I am always a little bit afraid!

QuiltGranma said...

This quilt has been on quite a journey in the making. Do keep us abreast of its future journeys as well. I absolutely love the feel of a hand quilted quilt like that. All those little dimples speak to me!