Saturday, August 31, 2013

once upon a time... {in a forest}

How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountaintop, it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make — leaves and moss like the marmots and the birds, or tents or piled stone — we all dwell in a house of one room — the world with the firmament for its roof -- and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track. 
John Muir,  John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)


...And wilderness week is finally winding down ;)  {Not a moment too soon!}



Short story short, I stumbled across this quote by self-proclaimed "poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc. !!!!" John Muir while perusing outdoors-inspired prose the other week.  And fell in love.  And decided to incorporate it into this quilt.



Short story long, I always wanted my muted forest to feel like a storytime quilt, but otherwise I had absolutely no idea how to go about assembly or quilting (and that was assuming my machine could manage the wicked thick seams to begin with!).  Once I abandoned the original Ringle/Kerr "Once upon a time" layout concept, I decided to preserve the narrative spirit of that design by using some sort of "text quilting."  

I quilted the letters (helvetica neue black condensed) using Aurifil 2000 (blocks+borders were pieced using 2024).

Alas, how quickly it occurred to me that I had no idea what that text should say.  I suppose I could've composed an original tale, but {fortunately} I first consulted google and found someone (read:  a legend) who captured my sentiments better than I ever could have hoped to.  

Those black+white striped stamen (I think that's what they are?) might be my favorite detail.

To me, Mr. Muir's words deeply resonate with my philosopher-environmentalist soul.



But I know they're not for everyone.



(When I read this to my dad, he paused for a moment before responding, "Well what the heck is that about?"  ...We're alike in too many ways to count, he and I, but really, sometimes I'm more like the orange that fell from an apple tree.)


I cut 12" triangles from some leftover strip-pieced sections used to "frame" each block, and paired them with my go-to organic bamboo goodness.
...Then I realized I had omitted the final border from my calculations and added some opal owl grain in violet ;)

So if you, too, are less than moved by the message, I hope you'll still enjoy the imagery:  a camp of forest creatures surrounded by one glorious {stitched} starry sky for a roof:



The end. ;)



Edited to note:  I've moved the pre-quilting close-ups here and have updated the remainder of this post with new photographs.

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60 comments:

  1. Yours turns out gorgeous!!1 love the whole look of low volume!

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  2. Me again.. i so love your scrappy look and the forest with flowers!!! Amazing. Hope you win!!!

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  3. Amazing! I mean really amazing and kind of magical. I envy your colour choice. I was wondering what will you do with all the blocks in such colourway, but the result is way beyond what I was expecting. Extraordinary!

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  4. wspaniała praca! kolejna moja kandydatka do nagrody głównej... kolory niby blade i mało wyraziste dały niesamowity efekt na całości... i te maleńkie elementy dookoła każdego z bloków... ogrom pracy ale efekt powala na kolana... super!

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  5. *sigh* I love this quilt so much.

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  6. Your quilt has turned out beautifully! And I love the quote. To not leave a track is, I think, harder than anyone appreciated in the 1930s but I love that you've incorporated this message into your quilt and I hope it inspires others as well :)

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  7. Incredible, a veil of magic lies over this beauty!

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  8. That is an incredibly beautiful quilt! Really, really gorgeous!

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  9. Oh my goodness I have never seen anything so beautiful! This is a masterpiece :)

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  10. This quilt. I have no words. It is truly spectacular. It's so scrappy, it's like the colors swirl around each other and then you look closely and you have these amazing forest blocks! I am honestly more impressed by your borders and sashing than the blocks, which is a lot coming from a fellow paper-piecer. :) Insanely awesome.

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  11. Wow - that is absolutely gorgeous. I love the palette and all the little details you added to the borders.

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  12. Breathtaking! Truly an incredible quilt! Every inch of your piecing looks amazing and I ADORE the text quilting :)

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  13. You are magical. This is stunning! I LOVE the word quilting! Definitely want to try that soon - and the binding is perfect, too!

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  14. Oh you did amazing....I am confident that you will be chosen as the top entry...absolutely stunning!

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  15. I just wish i could come up with the words for how extraordinary this quilt is...
    Maybe if i saw it in real life the words would come, hint hint ;)
    This isn't working, is it?

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  16. Gorgeous gorgeous! I love how subtle the color scheme is and your quote.

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  17. Sounds like it was quite the marathon quilting session :) It is just stunning! So glad you finished it. You did a beautiful job--good luck!!

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  18. Hi! Your quilt is amazing! I love the beautiful, calm colours and you have made amazing job with the pieced sashing! Just adorable! x Teje

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  19. wow! It is ooooh soo beautiful! Hard to describe but so special. Congrats on great finish!

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  20. So gorgeous. Your inner borders set the blocks off perfectly - like aspen trunks. They keep the blocks from fading out and heighten the sense of the woods. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. I have no words. This surpasses all the other quilts Sarah - absolutely stunningly beautiful. You are incredibly talented my friend!

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  22. A true work of art. It is just gorgeous.
    xo jan@sewandsowfarm

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  23. amazing. Truly, truly stunning work. Your idea to quilt the quote into it is simply BEYOND. (that white Memoir print is my #1 favorite binding fabric, and perhaps my #1 favorite fabric of all. It perfectly suits your low-volume quilt.)

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  24. This looks awesome! I love the colors that you choose!

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  25. I too am speechless at the beauty you have created!!! You have definitely crested the mountain and made a unique masterpiece along the way. Well done! Outstanding!!!! Love the quote :)

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  26. It's brilliant. I just love the look you've created with the tiny pieced borders around each block.

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  27. I love, love, love this quilt! The muted colors are so beautiful! I love the quote that you used for the quilting, and the way that you quilted the quote is just brilliant.

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  28. Gorgeous...in an ethereal kind of a way of course.

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  29. Oops...I already commented. Tadge bit stalkerish methinks.

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  30. Oh my gosh! This is just stunning! I love how you incorporated the quote into the quilt, and the color scheme and piecing... well, it's breath taking! Well done!!

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  31. Wow, this turned out spectacular! I love the low volume look for the blocks, and it was brilliant to quilt it with text, especially the quote from John Muir. Fantastic job! (understatement of the day :))

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  32. It turned out so beautifully! I adore the subtlety of it.

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  33. This is stunning! Takes my breath away! I found it on the link up, so nice! Janelle

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  34. That's gorgeous, if you don't win a prize it's a travesty.

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  35. Love this quilt! All of the neutral colours, low volume prints, triangle back, ah perfection! Also love the quote and think the quilting is absolutely spot on. Great finish!

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  36. This is so freaking gorgeous! I love how they all came together. The sashing is like the salt in a sweet dish,it just makes the whole thing. Oh, and those triangles in the border are to die for.

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  37. Beautiful - both the quote and the quilt!!! The quote sits well with me, I love the outdoors and the odd thing is we just got back from camping. I got goose bumps reading your post today, thank you for sharing a glimpse into your soul.

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  38. Your finished quilt turned out even more amazing than I imagined! I love the triangle piecing you added, both on the front and the back. Congrats on the win in the QAL. You deserve it! Your dad's reaction made me laugh! So cute! Wonderful job, Sarah!

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  39. Congratulations! I love your amazing quilt! x Teje

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  40. Congrats! Your quilt is amazing and I'm happy that you're one of the winners:)

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  41. congrats on your win!!! I love this quilt!!

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  42. I am blown away by the beauty of this quilt. I am speechless. You have inspired me to be more creative. You have challenged me to lift my game. Thank you.

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  43. Congrats on your win. This is lovely.

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  44. Wow, that is such a beautiful quilt. Really, amazing! And what a perfect quote to go with it. Just wonderful.

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  45. What a gorgeous quilt. I love the muted, gentle colors and subtle color combinations. I would love to fall asleep under this quilt!

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  46. Such a pretty quilt! The quilting is a great idea, I bet (the whole quilt) is wonderful to see up close!

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  47. I bet your father thinks about that quote, musing it over. Not everyone "gets it"... Fellow Orange from an Apple Tree

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  48. I love it! Very pretty. The muted colors give it a really cool feel! The story quilting is neat.

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  49. Hello, i LOVE this quilt very much. i wish i had seen your Blog in time to participate. Is it possible to purchase the pattern now?
    Thank you for the inspiring ideas!
    Marise

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    1. Thank you so much, Marise! Actually the pattern is 100% free over at Joanna of Shape Moth's blog: http://shape-moth.blogspot.com/2013/03/forest-qal-comming-soon.html -- you should definitely check it out!

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  50. Your quilt is amazing. I just saw the Forest QAL after it was almost finished. I was wondering if the blocks are anywhere all in one spot?

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    1. Thank you thank you! And yes, Joanna has all the links to the twelve blocks here: http://shape-moth.blogspot.com/2013/03/forest-qal-comming-soon.html

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