“The Journey”, is a quilt designed for my son-in-law when he entered medical school. It was his dream to become a doctor of medicine from the time he was a little boy. When he was accepted in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) it was the beginning of a long awaited for “Journey” to reach his destination.
As I thought about his quilt I decided it was going to be red, black and white, UAMS’ school colors. As time went on and the quilt got pushed aside for various reasons, I decided to include all the other schools that were a part of that journey. I added a gold and black square for the University of Central Florida where he got his undergraduate degree and met my daughter – definitely part of “the journey”! Then he went to the University of South Florida for a year to get his Master’s, so the colors green and gold were added. At this time I had the quilt top almost completed, but I decided to wait and add one more block for his residency: wasn’t that part of “the journey”? So the final block was added when he was accepted at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where the colors were gold, black, green and white. Perfect, now time to finish the quilt.
Let me share a little of “my journey” designing the quilt. I designed the quilt on Electric Quilt 8 around the Studio 180 Design tools. The V-block units of the quilt came along with me as I vended for Studio 180 Design at various shows around Florida. Maybe you saw a demo in Jacksonville, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, the Villages or Daytona. I made Hour-Glass blocks for this quilt with my Tucker Trimmer. Then Deb Tucker came out with a new tool, the “Four Patch Square Up”. Perfect – now I could use it to make sure all my four patch blocks were just as nicely squared and trimmed as my other units. It’s so much fun and so less stressful when all your units are the right size and fit together so precisely with all your points showing. That is what the Studio 180 Design tools do for you. Eliminate stress and make your units fit as they should.
Next came the quilting: it’s one of my favorite parts of the quilt making process. I make a black and white photo of the quilt, and begin to draw all the possibilities. When I have an idea where I’m going, I begin, but may change things up a bit as I go… nothing is written in stone. On this quilt I changed the background to a grid which added several more days of quilting to my schedule. This prevented me from presenting the quilt at my son-in-law’s graduation from UAMS, but I like how it added a circular element to the background.
The best part of my quilting journey was seeing my son-in-law’s excitement as he got his quilt. Isn’t that one of the reasons we quilt? Seeing the joy other’s receive as they wrap themselves up in all the love that goes into making a quilt.