In July I made a quilt to participate in the Modern Quilt Guild’s “Make a difference challenge”. The theme was trees and the proceeds of the challenge went to Trees for the Future, an organization that wants to end hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land by planting trees that protect the soil.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make but then I remembered that I had started an improv trees and stars quilt using Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in 2018. At some point I got stuck on how to proceed so I only had a pile of blocks. With the trees theme I thought these blocks would be a great start to quickly assemble a quilt top. I used most of the blocks I had made and pieced it all together filling in the gaps with scraps. The shape started to get a bit weird quite quickly and because I didn’t want to make more stars or trees and ran out of background fabric, I decided that the best way forward was to make a non-square quilt. It was always meant to become a wall hanging anyway.
The back is a single fabric that kind of reminds me of tree bark and the batting is Quilters Dream Poly Select. I like this batting for wall hangings.
In the sky I wanted to quilt something swirly, very loosely inspired by Van Gogh’s starry night. This would be a pain to do with a walking foot because it’d require constant turning of the quilt. My FMQ skills are definitely not up to that level so I decided to hand quilt with perle 8 cotton and embroidery floss. And there went my “finish a quilt quickly” idea…
I wanted a denser forest so I quilted more trees, using different shapes to fill the outlines to add a bit more interest. Through the forest runs a path that is partly hidden by the trees. This is what the title “I’ll walk you through the forest” refers to. This quilt is going to hang in my youngest daughter’s bedroom and it signifies that I’ll also be there for her in those moments that her path in life might seem a bit less clear.
To make the deadline I added the binding before I finished quilting and this worked quite well. Usually I attach the binding by hand using the invisible ladder stitch, but this time I used some big stitches which was definitely faster and also looks quite nice on the back.
I am very happy that these blocks have finally turned into a quilt. I still need to add a label and a hanging sleeve though. The curved top makes the latter a bit of a challenge, however. If anyone has any brilliant suggestions on how to hang this quilt without the top flopping down, I would love to hear them!
Your quilt is utterly delightful. It must have been lots of fun to make it.
I am sure you will come up with an engineering solution for the hanging sleeve. Good luck!
Thank you! Yes it was fun to make. I hope I’ll figure it out…
For the top edge, you could get floral wire (ubiquitous in chain craft stores in the US at least: ~10 gauge wire wrapped in green or white paper) and either thread it through the binding, or just whip stitch it to the back. It’s a good mix of lightweight, stiff enough to hold its shape, but still malleable enough to match to the curve. Beautiful quilt!
I think I have something similar and may give this a try. Thank you for the suggestion!
What a lovely ‘wonky’ quilt and so perfect for your daughter’s bedroom wall. I love the hand quilting and the idea behind the title.
Thank you! At first I was a bit sad that it turned out so wonky but now I think this is much better than square.
I think the wonkiness definitely contributes a lot to its charm. It wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it was square. Regarding the floppy top edge: I had a similar problem with a quilt I made where the whole border was round shapes. I made a second rod to hold the top edge, out of clear perspex, and I made a small pocket at the top of each border circle. You couldn’t see the second rod unless you were right there, and it held the edge perfectly. I tried with wire, but it also flopped forward – just stiffly!
I now think I am going to try a rod at the widest part and a ring or maybe a small rod at the top. I use a wall hanging system that attaches to the wall near the ceiling that has these clear strings with hooks at the end to hang things from. It usually comes with 2 strings but I could add a 3rd for the top.
We have something similar here, and that would work very well. In fact, I use that same track to hold up my design wall; I fed the hem of the flannel sheet through the track and it holds it perfectly straight and flat.
Now that is clever!
Oh!!! That is utterly brilliant! Hope it is going to be in the Modern Guild show!