My string block quilt.
A few weeks ago our Parish Priest, Fr. Casey Mahone, announced that he was being transferred. Although he has only been at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church for 4 years the Community was stunned at this announcement. He was a perfect fit for St. Xavier and St. Monica's.
Of course, right away I said to myself I must make a quilt. I thought about it, asked friends but I just couldn't come up with a quilt idea. Yes I own a million books, magazines, free downloaded files but nothing, absolutely nothing was working for me. So I gave up on the idea. Sunday (4/20) morning I woke up and said "the string blocks, they'll be perfect, the string will represent the people of our Parish". God does work in mysterious ways!!!
About 2 years ago I was in a swap to make scrappy string blocks. Things were going sour in the swap so I dropped out but made my blocks. Afterwards I looked at them and thought "what was I thinking" ... I hated them so I put them in the cabinet and closed the door. Awhile back I showed the blocks to the Heartstrings group and had decided to cut them in half to add plain fabric on one side. Thank goodness I didn't move forward with my idea.
When I woke up Sunday (4/20) I knew exactly what I wanted to do. So right after breakfast I got started. The top was finished on Monday morning; Monday afternoon I stopped at Sheryl's looking for the perfect backing ... a red backing. I found it, perfect red with just a touch of gold fleck .... it's by Blank Fabrics. Blank fabric are so nice ...... it came out of the washer/dryer just like it was on the bolt ... absolutely no ironing .... beautiful. Tuesday morning I loaded the quilt on Prince Charming (Nolting longarm) and got started. Tuesday about 9:30PM the quilting was done, quilt was trimmed, bias was made and binding was on the quilt. Wednesday I got to work hand stitching the binding to the backing ........ it's done, it's done, it's done with days to spare.
I used the Trailing Vine pantograph by Lorien Quilting. Now I'm fairly new to longarm quilting and points are alittle hard for me. I decided to make the inside section of the leaf rounded. I'm telling you this in advance because when DH (who is an ordained Deacon) looked at the finished quilt he said "WOW I love the flame and fish" (popular religious symbols) motifs and I thought "What, flames and fish?". I then said "it's a vine, honey". I have to admit that because I rounded that point inside the leaf sure enough it does look like a candle flame and the other leaf does look like an eyeless fish. Perfect!
By the way it was only after I had the binding on that I noticed the fabric had a tiny leaf design. I couldn't believe it ...... double perfect.
I like to make my labels by hand using the IdentiPen by Sakura. I sew the label with my Janome 6500 sewing machine to the backing fabric "before" quilting. Too many quilts are stolen and labels are removed .... when the label is quilted into the quilt it's pretty hard to remove. I do want to give credit for the label wording to my very best friend, Irene. I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't put it into words. I sent her a HELP email and in less than a minute she responded. The label wording is all Irene's. Thank you Irene.
To end my long write up ......... I LOVE the quilt. Here are a few photos..........
Do you see Flames and Fish?
575 reservations ..... the largest local dinner ever in a Catholic Community according to the Vicar, Fr. Peterson. Over 100 parishioners volunteered to setup, cook, serve, clean up and more.
Fr. Casey and his brother.
Fr. Casey and his quilt.
Joe giving Welcome speech and Fr. Casey's story.
Our gift to Fr. Casey from St. Francis Xavier and St. Monica's Parishes
Much better photos here by the Church Photographer.
Good bye Fr. Casey .......