Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stitch Tease...a Beautiful Surprise

I made a mistake and accidentally scheduled this post a day early but decided to leave it since "the cat is now out of the bag". The other posts from this bee will appear tomorrow, as we originally agreed.

The wait is over. I can finally reveal my Stitch Tease quilt top. Today, everyone is posting about the quilt tops they received, so make sure to check out all the blogs and see what this fantastic group of women has created.

Back in February of 2012 I asked a few bloggy friends (Annabella, Katy, Danny, Susan, Helen, Hadley and Dianne) if they wanted to join me in a traveling quilt bee. We had been talking and commenting on each others blogs for a while and I knew these women were talented and friendly. My hope was that we would create a group of friends, although living 1000's of miles apart, but our own little sewing circle.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would grow to have such a close bond.  We not only comment and email but have texted, spoken on the phone and I have even met a few members in person. Come this July, at the Fat Quarter Retreat in London, I will have met everyone except Annabella! I guess a trip to Marrakech is in order, soon.
Meeting Danny for the first time May 2012

Di drove from Czech Republic to meet me in Vienna July 2012
Meeting Katy (and Jack) at Sewing Summit October 2012



We each chose a theme or design idea for our quilts and made a starter strip or large block (or two) and also picked one fabric and used it in everyone's quilt. This was the fabric I created on Spoonflower to use in everyone's quilt. It is a text print with everyone's name, blog name and city written on it.

fabric created on Spoonflower

The idea of the bee was to create a block or strip and add it to the quilt when it arrived at each members home. Since this was an international bee and shipping costs would be high as the quilts grew, we decided to send our contribution to one person and each of us would be responsible for putting one quilt together for one person.


I wanted a word themed quilt and left it up to each person to add a word and a strip (10"x 70") based on a word that they thought was a representation of my loves and likes.
When this parcel arrived on my doorstep last week I was shaking as I opened it. I could not believe how excited I was to see it. You see, this was a secret bee. After making our initial strip or block we never saw our quilt tops again or knew what was added to it.
I started mine off with the Bloom strip...for my love of gardening.

This quilt makes me cry. All I see is love when I look at it. It is probably one of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received.
Just look at all the special details and thought that everyone put into it.

The first strip was created by Annabella. We have spoken on the phone and not just about quilting. She knows how much I love my husband, whom I refer to as Mr. Romance on my blog, and incorporated our long marriage and a few of my other likes...sunflowers and country dancing. 

Next is Katy's creation. She knew that my family is everything to me and did some applique blocks to represent our FAMILY, which is made up of 3 dentists, a fireman and a chef and sewn together by a patchwork of love for our growing brood, that includes our son's wives and children.

Weather...Di and I talk about weather and gardening a lot. You see she lives in the Czech Republic where they actually have weather. I am always commenting on her snow and rain and she on our sun and heat. We both enjoy gardening as well as sewing. Her embroidery embellished blocks are just beautiful.

Hadley knows me well. I enjoy a nice glass of wine and love a good celebration (like my 60th birthday party last year). She made the most perfect paper pieced wine bottles I have ever seen in some of my favorite colors.

Danny and I have talked about what we are reading (or listening to on Audible.com) and so her row of books was perfect. Those letters are so precisely cut and appliqued, at first I thought she printed them on the fabric.

The Queen Bee...that was me, so Helen had a great idea. She used some really lovely fabrics in her patchwork and paper pieced the bees. The one on the right has some of the tiniest pieces I have ever seen in a project. We also share a fondness for tulips.

Susan was the one who sewed all the strips together and couldn't have finished the quilt top with a more perfect saying...Live, Love, Laugh....Sew. And she couldn't resist adding a tomato because come summer tomatoes seem to show up a lot on my blog. Susan did a beautiful job fitting all the strips into a perfectly squared up top and now the big question is...however will I quilt this beauty?

That's a topic for another day. 
Come back tomorrow and see what I contributed to everyone's quilt.

34 comments:

Jennifer said...

STUNNING. The only word I have for it! I can't wait to see everyone else's. What an amazing idea, amazing bunch of quilters, amazing end product. Cherish it, you deserve it!

tusen said...

Oh, I've been dying to see it. It's so lovely and fun, just perfect.

Lynz said...

Oh, it's wonderful! ! I saw Katy's row last summer, they all fit so nicely together. Having had my own travelling quilt arrive home last week they really are a treasure, aren't they?

Canadian Abroad said...

I am so proud to be a part of this quilt top. How on earth you got such a good photo of it is beyond me because it is huge! It is also beautiful. I was so scared when it came to my strip as I had so much to live up to having all the other strips in my possession and seeing up close how perfect they are. Thank you so much for asking me to be part of this!

Annabella said...

I too am hugely proud to have contributed to this gorgeous quilt. It was such fun to make your strip an I really wanted to capture the love which is evident between you and handsome Mr. R...btw, that is Mr. R in the cowboy hat! Lovely post Di. xx

Patchwork and Play said...

What a fabulous collaboration! Everyone has chosen something really special about you to include in this very special quilt! Of course, now I am sorry I said no! (Boo hoo!)

Dianne Neale said...

I am so lucky to have been part of this bee, thank you for inviting me to join in. You have a wonderful quilt, and whenever you need a little rain or snow, you can go to your quilt!!

Sarah said...

so lovely to see the first of the "sneaky secret" quilts! so cool, i'm sure you'll treasure it :-)

moonlightsewing said...

Oh, Di! It's wonderful! I have a group quilt that came of a free form robin I was in last year and it's so much fun to see what everyone added to the project!

Rachael said...

Absolutely beautiful! And it's great that it so special and has so much meaning, it really is lovely :)

Rachael

Leanne said...

It is a wonderful quilt! I have been waiting and waiting to see how these quilts turned out as clearly everyone had a lot of fun making the blocks.

Cynthia said...

Oh what a beautiful story! The journey of a quilter! That is so wonderful that you have built such strong friendships through quilting, I just love the quilt!

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

WOW! This is so amazing and so special and everyone did such an awesome job. I'd love to do something like this. Such a really neat and special idea. :)

Cindy said...

I've waiting for your final piece. It is a beauty. Can't wait to see the other quilts on everyones blog as well.

Flying Blind... said...

Oh Di, I have to say that yours is rightly the star of the Bee. I am so happy that you love it so much, and that we got to make such a treasure for you xxx

Katy Cameron said...

I was so glad to be a part of it, thank you for inviting me :o) I think everyone's have come out amazingly

Danny Heyen said...

So glad you invited me to join this bee! I have had so much fun making each block and getting to know each lovely lady better. Your quilt top is beautiful!

Catherine said...

Oh wow, that is absolutely amazing!

Valerie said...

Wow-that's amazing! How special each part is-I was teary just reading this post. What a treasure!

suemac said...

Such a meaningful round robin. Congrats.

Geri said...

This is a most amazing gift! I bet you will cherish it forever. The little girl in the picture looks a lot like Davis!

Carla said...

Wow! Fabulous quilt

Trudi said...

It's such a beautiful quilt, and sums up everything I know about you in one place! They did goooooood! And look at all that negative space for quilting in too! What a wonderful year you've all had :) x

verykerryberry said...

Such a touching and emotional quilt, wonderful!

Archie the wonder dog said...

It's terrific!

Salley said...

Wow. Your fellow bees certainly pulled out all stops to make a quilt so lovely. This tour around the blogs is heartwarming. Clever Queen! to initiate it.

Selfsewn said...

This has to be the new way to sew a quilt, each quilt I've seen from this bee is wonderful, thanks for sharing x

Laura Jane said...

Brilliant Di! Such a cute and personal quilt :o)

Debbie said...

Very cool! I can see why this one is sooo special to you!

Lindsey R. :: LRstitched said...

What an absolute treasure!! Wow, it turned out so lovely. I would be crying too. I need to go check out the others.

Sally Nicol said...

I love this and it is so personal, a beautiful quilt.

jeifner said...

Oh that's lovely. It must have been like getting a christmas/birthday/best friend present all wrapped up with a dose of "people love me, know me and get me".

Mareenchen said...

Oh, it's wonderful! Great how well you know each other. What a keepsake!

Sarah said...

I love it! I read all these ladies blogs and love them all. They all seem so friendly and all of you respond to my comments, which I love. This quilt is so special. You have a real treasure here. these ladies know you so well. I hope to build such close friendships through quilting myself.