I quilted flowers around the Celebrate quilt as I showed you in a previous post, both in the body of the quilt and the border. Then the only thing that was left was the top. I attempted to stitch in the ditch around the letters using the free motion foot, which turned out probably as well as it would have with the walking foot. Then I stippled around the background to make the letters stand out. I did one letter at a time - stitch in the ditch, background, onto the next letter.
That left an inner border between the body of the quilt and the words. I wanted to quilt a quote on it, like I did the flag quilt. I found three quotes I liked:
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every word, every action, every deed.
We're all here at the same time and we should celebrate that.
I actually liked quote #2 the best, since it fits the genealogist in me, but it was way too long. I liked both the other two for different reasons, but decided to go with quote #3, because I thought it was more fitting for a family gathering quilt. Also the first one seemed to be more like advice - something you should do, and the third one seemed more like being happy just as you are. I think it was the word "you" in the first quote, which somehow overrode the "should" in the third quote. Anyway, I went with #3 and quilted that one. I really worked on getting the spacing right. I typed the words and used a large font and taped the words underneath the inner border, so I could follow the spacing, but the paper got in the way and kept me from making the spacing as far apart as I would have liked. It looks like I didn't try. It's all right though and I am not redoing it.
The wonky letters aren't as wonky as a casual quilt would indicate, and the setting is very formal, but I did try to keep this a casual quilt with the raw edge applique and the casual free hand quilting, and the quote.
I have also decided to ask my family members to sign this quilt. I have been reading a book about heritage quilts - I will be posting a review soon on my reader blog, and have been wanting to make a heritage quilt for a while. When I was at the quilt show, I saw a quilt that had been signed, but it didn't use the signature quilt format - with signature blocks. This quilt does have blocks that could be signed, but they are dark, so the signatures will be on the sashing of the blocks instead of the squares.
I tried to finish the quilt on 9/10/11, because I thought that would be a fun date, but with my carpel tunnel I cannot bind the quilt all at once. I took breaks, but some of them must have been too long, and when it was past my bedtime and I wasn't even halfway finished, I decided to call it a day. So the quilt was finished on 9/11/11. While it is somewhat strange to have a quilt called Celebrate to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it is fitting because that day reminded many of us to celebrate being with our loved ones.
This quilt was made as part of a challenge. The dot background fabric was part of the challenge, and we were to represent a poem, as well as use applique. I can't remember if the wonky letters were a requirement or not. I missed the deadline (by more than a year!), but I did finish on a holiday, sort of, so it kinda counts.It is a wall quilt. The pattern was published in a book, but I changed it by including a center, and the applique were not part of the original pattern, nor was the wonky word border. This quilt stayed a UFO as I tried to decide on the applique - I was trying to make it fit all celebrations, and I couldn't make it go that way when thinking Christmas, graduation, birthdays throughout the year, etc. But with my quote, I think I managed to do so without even trying. We're all here at the same time and we should celebrate that.
I hope to have a photo taken after the signatures are on it, hopefully in better lighting for the end of the year recap!