Monday, 5 May 2014

Guardian Angel , quilt from cross stitch

My friend, for whom I made the dragon gate embroidery (blog entry "Any one with ability.." 13.01.2014) came home from his mission in America, went to University, met a wonderful lady and got married.  I don't appear to have taken a picture of the embroidery I did for their wedding for some reason. 

My friends wife to my delight was also a cross stitcher, a hobby she already shared with her mother (hence an embroidery for the wedding not a cross stitch). So when they shared the happy news of an expected expansion to their family I wondered what to do.  A birth announcement/ sampler would be my normal reaction but in this instance with two cross stitchers already in the family I thought it would not be appropriate.

On a visit with them I was shown the pattern for the cross stitch project she had chosen for the nursery. A Lavender and Lace design titled Guardian Angel.  I said oh I could make a version of that for you, not do her project as was, oh no make a quilt to go with it.  That offer was accepted and a copy was made of the main lines of the image directly from the pattern.  The Lavender and Lace Patterns are of a size big enough to be used directly without any enlargement being required.  

As the gender of the baby was not yet known, the angel image feminine enough for a girl I started looking for blue, a sky effect I thought and a nod to convention if the baby was a boy.

A discount shop which sold material, often seconds of some sort had a roll of marbled blue shot with gold.  I asked for the amount I would need for front and back and the assistant happily rolled it out then paused as the material had a huge printing fault in the middle.  The blue dye had not taken and there was a large area of white (still shot with gold) down the middle of the material.  She apologised that they had no more of the blue and was surprised when I said with some enthusiasm that I wanted the material with the fault.  It could not have been better had I had it especially dyed for the project, now I had a cloud of light in the middle of the sky into which the angel would sit.  

There were other shades of the gold shot which echoed the colours of the original design so I added them to my purchase and set to.

I had earlier made my friend an appliqu├ęd version of the dragon gate (no picture available for that either, pre digital age) and learned a few lessons there.  So every exposed edge was first lightly hemmed, then sewn to the quilt and then satin stitched with embroidery thread / floss.  Some sections were a bit harder than others to get the needle through (lots of layers)  but it came together. Oh and to give it a bit extra impact I padded it and quilted some sections, like the wings.

I had not finished it before the baby arrived, I had the back and quilting still to do.  With the baby's name to hand I included her initials on the back.  This changed the quilt from a nursery quilt to her quilt, later I was to understand that in my mind that decision was more than just for that quilt and an unspoken commitment that would last many more years and stitches into the future.

Back of quilt.

So here she is Guardian Angel, I took these pictures on my old camera so sadly they are not great, I sew a lot better I think than take pictures.  The recipient is herself now at University, were does the time go? Sewn into quilts I guess.

Guardian Angel

How the white fault looked

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