Sunday, November 9, 2008

Quilted Memories

When I first thought about creating a photo quilt, I was intimidated by the whole process- What would make a good design? what pictures should I use- should I turn them all into sepia or black and white or should I use the color pictures? On and on went the questions and there didn't seem to be any clear cut answers. After awhile,and with the time ticking away, I decided to just take the plunge. My in-laws quilt was the result- Mars the cat certainly approved of it - She would make us laugh, because, when I would lay it out on our loveseat, she would lay on our families' corner( and only on our corner) of the quilt.

The blue photo quilt is the second design that I came up with for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. The original quilt design was one where we were all in coffee mugs. I thought it could hang in my parents new redesigned kitchen. A friend of my parents had even sent me a palette of colors so that it would fit with the new decor. I decided that I wanted to see the flimsie in their kitchen, before I finished it. It was a good decision- I hated it, when I saw it in their house. It was too large, and too cutsy, and when I think about it now, I realize that a wallhanging in the kitchen would have needed frequent washing. I am not sure how the photos would have withstood regular washing.

Have you ever got a quilt top together and decided that you hated it? What did you do? Did you finish it? Does it still sit abandoned because your idea didn't live up to the corresponding result?

Do you ever get stymied by a design and just can't get the rhythm of that quilt? I have a tumbling blocks quilt that is in a bag waiting for me to finish. The fabrics are beautiful batiks but I just haven't figured out the pattern so there it sits...hopefully one day because I think it would be really beautiful- right now it is just a bunch of triangles and flags....

In my parent's photo quilt,I really liked the original quilt fabrics that I chose, but the colors didn't work and the design didn't work, and I knew that everytime I looked at that quilt I would want to rip it off the wall. I didn't want anyone to see that I had created something that was that ugly!!!

I wanted to use the pictures so I took out the pictures and started all over again. My immediate family is in the top left hand side of the quilt. My son is the top left picture and my husband is the left center. I am between the two of them. My parents photo that was taken around their 50th wedding anniversary. The other pictures are of my nieces nephews and in laws. The four inner photos are of me, my two brothers and my sister. We are in the central square around our parents.

The photos were printed in a tight weave white cotton meant for photos. The lady who printed them knew lots about printing photos on fabric (much more than I) and did a fantastic job with the photos. The second version is much better. The quilt was based on a pattern(I think it was called Come Paris) from the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. It needed some adaptation, but was the perfect number of boxes for photos of all the members of the family. It looks very handsome with the bed quilt hanging on that beautiful quilt rack over the bed.

I am not sure when I will try my hand at photo quilts again. I have seen people use them for graduation gifts and memory quilts.. Perhaps there will be another occasion that warrants photo memories..but then again perhaps not...

Happy Quilting,
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