Friday, October 28, 2011

It's that special time of year!


And of course I mean Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival! For us in Cyprus it's a long weekend and I intend to make the best out of all the wonderful quilts, quilters and their stories.
I am also looking forward to the inevitable inspiration overload :)
Thank you, Amy, for your generosity in organizing this wonderful week-long event.

I was so looking forward to sharing this quilt with you.
This is my Scrappy Dresden and it has been a long time in the finishing!
Let me tell you about it.


I started it about 10 years ago and my Dresden Plates have 22 petals each. I hand-appliqued them to their backgrounds and assembled the quilt top quite quickly, considering all the work involved. It's because I had been looking forward to hand-quilting it so much. I had brought batting with me from Canada and  I soon had the quilt on my hoop. I quilted and quilted. And had a wonderful time. My cat Cleo would join me, crawling under the hoop, and purring as I quilted. Heaven! She had been a mature cat when she adopted us, and had moved with us from Canada to Cyprus.


Then, when she got sick, we continued quilting together. It was a long and difficult illness and quilting became a very special time for both of us. As you can imagine, my quilt became covered in cat hair. But I didn't mind and patiently cleaned it, considering how much comfort this quilt was already providing us both. However, to my absolute horror, I soon realized that that wasn't all cat hair; could this be what they meant by BEARDING!?! ---that awful thing described in quilt books : HORROR!
Were the polyester fibers from the batting truly traveling through the cotton fibers and showing up like long stringy 'hairs'... I didn't know what to do... and continued hand-quilting...
Eventually the sad day arrived, and these where the last stitches I did by hand on this quilt.


The quilt was put away until I could decide what do do with that bearding. It took me a long time to muster the courage to take my seam-ripper and start undoing my hand-quilting. I had managed to quilt over 3/4 of the quilt. And un-picking gave me a new respect to the strength of hand-quilted stitches. It took for ever, but it was eventually done. And I never used polyester batting again! It took another few years until one day, late spring, as I was swapping quilt-stories with a dear blog-friend, out came the Dresden top. An avid hand-quilter herself, she encouraged me to get it machine-quilted. If the problem had been the quality of the quilt-top materials, then cotton batting with scrim would do the trick. So I asked my trusted friend Irene, who does machine quilting, and she lovingly took it on.

Isn't she a beauty? And she is done!


And Cleo would love snuggling under it, of this I am sure! :)

This week we had another quilt story at home. My littlest asked me: " Ma-maaaah, can we make a quilt for my friend? It's her birthday and she is ALWAYS my friend... So all other projects got shoved to the side and out came the "36-patch" scraps. Within a few days he was the proudest boy bringing her a big wrapped gift to her birthday party...  so cute! I'll never forget that grin... :)


And these are my Farmer's Wife blocks for this week: #39 Friendship and #40 Friendship Block- How appropriate, wouldn't you agree? Because without you this wouldn't be as much fun!
Farmer's Wife Blocks 39 and 40

Wishing you a lovely weekend, full of inspiration!

Valentina
:)

And here a close-up of the back of  Cleo's Quilt.
The quilting is a loose overall feather...
Can't wait to wash it and see it crinkle!
:)

63 comments:

  1. Quilts hold great and loving story's! It is like they hold on to the love and spread it to everyone willing to listen.....
    I love your Dresden Quilt and its story! And what a lovely gift you made! He must be so proud of his mum! ;))
    Love, Ria.

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  2. What a lovely story about your Dresden plate quilt. I can picture you & Cleo sitting there while you quilted. I'm so glad you finally finished the quilt. It is very beautiful. The quilt you made for the little friend is also beautiful. Love your Farmers Wife blocks. Hugs,

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  3. What a wonderful story of you and your cat! Love it.Yes this can be the case with polyester batting sometimes :-(
    Sweet quilt for your daughters friends birthday.Your FW blocks are very cute, nice fabrics.
    Oh nearly forgot to say your Dresden quilt really does look lovely and will be a special treasure for you, and I hope you keep finding your cat hairs fro many years to come!

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  4. I have thouroughly enjoyed reading this post. What a wonderful story. Cleo would certainly enjoy this dresden quilt. Your Farmers wife blocks are lovely to and your son would have been so proud giving his friend such a lovely gift.

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  5. What a fantastic mamma you are! Just quickly make a quilt for your son's friend! AMAZING! And your Dresden quilt is beautiful too and I admire your determination to unpick all the hand quilting you've done already! But I'm sure it's worth it in the end.

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  6. Such a beautiful post, V! Say in a hundred years, what will the quilt appraisers 'read' from your Cleo signature...:) It turned out just lovely. Must be a good feeling to have it done! The bonds children make with other kiddos is indeed heartwarming! You are such a generous mom <3 Thanks also for sharing your blocks, always a joy to see!

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  7. I love the blue background!
    How sweet is your son.

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  8. Great festival post as always Valentina! You always tell such great stories. I can't believe you unpicked all that hand quilting, that would have broken my heart! But the saddest bit was about your cat :(

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  9. Your sweet story just tugged at my heart. :o)
    What a sweet quilt and such a darling quilt that your daughter wanted made, as well. :o)
    Have a lovely day. :o)
    Sincerely, Trish

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  10. what a wonderful story about your dresden plate quilt. I knew it was special the moment I got it to quilt it. I could see it was beautifully made and a lot of love went in to it. I must say your baby was very well behaved and i enjoyed every stitch while quilting it. Lots of love and quiltersblessings. Irene xxx

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  11. Your Dresden quilt is wonderful!! Taking all those handquilting stitches out must have been hard! It is good that it is finished now and you can enjoy using it and remembering Cleo :0) 2 more pretty blocks and a lovely gift!

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  12. This quilt is beautiful. I always wanted to and still want to make a Dresden plate quilt. I'm sorry you had to take all those stitches out though.

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  13. I love your scrappy dresdens and the story behind it is very interesting - how great it is that you persisted with the quilt and you now have such a masterpiece. What a sweet boy you have wanting a quilt for his friend. I do like your latest Farmer's Wife blocks. Good on you for keeping up with them :-)

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  14. Beautiful quilts and lovely stories to tell. Treasured memories.

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  15. Oh my goodness! Well where did that come from? I'm coming round asap to meet her in person! beautiful, just beautiful as are you dear friend xxx

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  16. Oh my! This is beautiful. such tiny pieces. It turned out very nice. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. A beautiful story to match your beautiful quilt.
    Well done for carrying on, it must have been a real pain to unstitch.

    xx

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  18. Great quilt story! Took alot of courage to undo your hand quilting! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. It's a beauty! Thanks for sharing your Gorgeous quilt! Cleo would indeed love to snuggle in it! love that you child wants to make a quilt for his friend. oh so sweet!

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  20. Oh my, a twice quilted quilt! You deserve some kind of award. The quilt is beautiful, a real gem!

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  21. Holy cow- I'm so impressed that you un-stitched it. I love when quilts have a special connection to our lives. It's beautiful.

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  22. i love the stories and both the quilts! the backing fabric on cleo's quilt is one i just love, i only have a few scraps left and your son's quilt for his girlfriend is beautiful, what a little treasure he is!!!

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  23. Lovely lovely quilt and love the story, too! Surely cleo would have loved it. Thanks for sharing your long labor of love. Have a great day

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  24. What a lovely Dresden Plate quilt.

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  25. I can't believe you picked out all those stitches!! It was worth it though, such a beautiful quilt! I love the one you made for your sons friend too, the colours in that are so lovely. Thank you for sharing your work and their stories with us!

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  26. what a wonderful story! and what a wonderful quilt!

    viele Grüße
    Kerstin

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  27. Dear Valentina
    Your Dresden-QUilt are sooo beautifull! And the story with your cat too!! I must smile, when I read the Boy-quiltstory;)
    I wish you all the Best, hugs, Rita

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  28. I've had to unpick machine quilting before but never hand quilting. What a lesson to be learned the hard way! But what a beautiful quilt. The dark background really lets the fabrics shine. A lovely memory of a dear friend gone from us.

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  29. Cleo's Quilt looks great with the warm sunny background. I think you"ve taught the boys well if they request quilts for special friends and your little quilt shows your love for them.

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  30. Hi Valentina. It's my turn to visit you. I love dresden quilts and yours is lovely. It's great that you have made it scrappy. there are so many colors and I do enjoy the background it is set on. I do enjoy reading the story of how the quilt was made and the memories it brings you.

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  31. What a great quilt! Love the dresdens against the charcoal they look so dramatic!

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  32. I love the timeless quality of this quilt. Lovely!

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  33. WOW! What a story about a very special quilt! I am so impressed by all of your hand quilting as I read through some of you other posts. I loved your
    photographing the FW blocks on the beautiful mosaic floors....not to mention hand pieced FW blocks themselves...amazing! Thanks for sharing your lovely work!

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  34. Hi Valentina! What a beautiful quilt and amazing story! I can imagine how special time you had quilting it with your dear cat! But un quilting - seriously - that has been terrible work. It is really special quilt!
    Wishes from Greece! Teje

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  35. Lovely quilt, thanks for sharing! :)

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  36. Goodness! What a story goes with that quilt! I can only imagine the hours and hours you spent hand appliqueing and hand quilting, and then having to undo it because of poor batting. You are a very dedicated quilter and I'm impressed that you persevered. Your quilt finish is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

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  37. A lovely story, I'm so pleased you took your quilt back out and fixed it. It looks just wonderful now and how kind of you to make such a wonderful present for your son's little freind.

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  38. A beautiful quilt with a beautiful story. I'm sure it took a great amount of courage to unpick those stitches with all those memories tied to them but good for you. It is a beautiful quilt.

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  39. What a beautiful quilt! I love the blue for a background and your pieced sashings and cornerstones. And though the story of your kitty is sad, I know the quilt will bring you happy memories of her.

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  40. I cant believe taking all those stitches out! I wonder if I would remember which maker the bad batting was from. I love the way your son equates quilts with love!

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  41. I love your Dresden plate quilt! It's beautiful! What a project to pick out all those stitches! It turned out beautiful. Thanks for sharing your quilt and story!

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  42. a sweet quilt with a sweet kitty. that is a lot of love to hand quilt and to then unpick those stitches. but the finished product is amazing.

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  43. This beautiful quilt must be so dear to you. What a pity you had to unpick the handquilting but the quilt turned out very well eventually. I also love the quilt you made for your son's friend. That friendship should last forever!

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  44. Oh my God, you unpicked all that hand quilting, you ARE a perfectionist! The result is well wortt it, of course, but I just cannot imagine myself doing it... Great quilt, you must be very proud of it.

    your son is sweeeeet! his friend is one lucky little girl :-)

    Kristina
    www.priscillacraft.blogspot.com

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  45. Valentina, I know what it took to rip out all your hand quilting, I did that on my baskets. But it looks wonderful, thanks for sharing. And what a sweet story about your son's friend. What a good momma you are.

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  46. She is a bauty!!! I have done my share of seam ripping and it is never fun. It turned out so beautiful in the end!

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  47. You're my hero after picking all the stitches out but you ended up with a beautiful quilt and such an interesting story.
    You're the best Mama ever, you create lovely memories for your children.

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  48. Beautiful quilt! Sorry to hear that the kitty that kept you company while making it has passed on. But I am sure it is so nice to have a sweet memory of her each time you use this quilt.

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  49. Wow, I thought you were awesome before V, but now I think you're superwoman :p
    Good on you for unpicking so faithfully after quilting for long hours with Cleo.
    You have lovely memories of you and your dear Pussy Cat.
    I love the quilt and think the backing is divine also.
    I also love that you made that special quilt for your young man and... that he asked you!!
    Hugs to you,
    Rob xx

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  50. what a great story and what perseverance !

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  51. Your dresden quilt is stunning. I love how you used a dark background for it. Thanks for sharing this special story.

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  52. Beetje laat, loved reading your dresden plate story. Love the quilt that is for sure.
    Realy love your FWQAL blocks.

    Grtoetjes,
    Marga♥

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  53. I love dresden and that is gorgeous!

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  54. your quilt is just ssssoooooo beautiful.
    It was well worth all this effort and time you put into it.
    I just LOVE It! its one I have always wanted to make
    The backing fabric is so pretty too. Been thinking about you lately
    Kathie

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  55. Your Dresden Plate quilt is lovely and what a number of trials and tribulations you went through during the making of it. I like how you added Cleo's name and it will always be there.

    And ... the birthday gift quilt .... wow!

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  56. A beautiful story for a beautiful quilt - thank you for sharing!

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  57. Your Dresden is as nice as the city Dresden itself (and believe me, it is beautiful!).
    Irene did a wonderful job with the quilting too. Thumbs up!

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  58. What a lovely quilt...I am a cat fanatic...I spend a great deal of time cleaning hairs off of everything...but I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. They are my children. Thank you for sharing this beautiful quilt and story with us.

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  59. I've missed your wonderful posts and stories and sharing of your life, so far away from mine.
    Thinking of you and your family during this holiday season.
    The quilt is beautiful, as is the story.
    Season's Greetings, Valentina.

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  60. Hope you had a great Christmas. Have a fun blessed New year and hope you update very soon your beautiful blog.

    God bless

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  61. Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world! www.quiltworld2.blogspot.com
    Yours, Ulla

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Thanks for your comment! Please, feel free to write in Español, Nederlands or Papiamento if that is easier for you . And I will try to answer any questions as soon as possible, as long as I have access to your e-mail.

My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina
2006