Wednesday, 13 January 2016

My la passacaglia top is finished

Today was a very special day.  I finished the hand piecing on my la passacaglia quilt.  I'm so pleased with how it's turned out.  I can honestly say that I wouldn't change anything about it.  I love the colours and the fabrics, and I'm excited to quilt it in the weeks ahead.

January 2016

I first became aware of la passacaglia back in October 2014.  I was immediately drawn to the pattern because I love intricate, clever quilt designs.  As soon as I realised it was all hand stitched, I knew it would be a big undertaking, and I wondered if I'd be able to do it.  I had done some English Paper Piecing before, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to hand baste all those tiny pieces and then sew them together.  I've got a mild form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and my hands get very stiff and sore in the winter.  Fortunately I discovered glue basting during my research, and I love it.  Glue basting has saved my hands and enabled me to complete my quilt.



I started my quilt on 1 January 2015, and finished the hand piecing on 14 January 2016.  That's one year and two weeks that I've been working on it.  Of course, there have been periods where I've put it aside and worked on other things.  For the first six months I just made rosettes in all my favourite colours without adding any stars to them.

May 2015

I wanted to plan my layout before I added stars to the rosettes. Each rosette has a different number of stars, depending on where you place it in the design.

In August 2015 Shirley Mooney and I agreed to speak about this quilt to our quilt guild.  That commitment gave me the push I needed to start joining up the rosettes. I thought it would be nicer to show them a section of the quilt, rather than just 25 loose rosettes.

September 2015

Then we were asked to speak at another guild in November 2015, so I made another big effort to add a few more rosettes.

October 2015

Now Kaffe Fassett is coming to teach in Wellington in January 2016 and I would love to show Kaffe and Brandon my finished quilt top.  It has at least 20 of their fabrics in it and I think they would like it.

January 2016

I guess my advice to people making this quilt would be:
1.  accept that it's a long term project and allow about one year
2.  spend as much time as you need planning, because then there's less unpicking required
3.  set a few milestone dates to work towards - they provide good motivation
4.  join the Millefiore/la passacaglia facebook group.  We have nearly 5,000 members and there's so much support available from people all over the world.

I've already sorted my border fabric and I'll add the borders at the weekend.  Then it's straight into the hand quilting.  I don't really have a plan yet, I'll just see what works.

border fabric is Effervescence by Amelia Caruso for Robert Kaufman

There's more information about how I made this quilt on the la passacaglia - Millefiori Quilts tab at the top of the page (including links to all my previous posts).

I've been working almost exclusively on this quilt for about 6 weeks now.  I feel strangely free tonight - like that feeling you have when your exams are finally over.  I can work on whatever I like now.  When I look back at all the hours I spent pondering fabric choices in 2015, I think I'm going to be so much more productive in 2016.  The decisions for this quilt really did take longer than for any other quilt I've ever made, but I'm very happy with the outcome.  It was all time well spent.

40 comments:

Granny Maud's Girl said...

Hurrah! Well done, Wendy! It is a real achievement.
I cannot believe how quickly you have sewn all of this by hand. That is focus!

sue godfrey said...

This is a fantastic quilt, wonderful achievement. It is solo beautiful, well done. Can't wait to see how you quilt it. Xx

Oops-Lah said...

It's been great to see your La Passacaglia grow into this stunning top! I think the border fabric you've chosen is just perfect. Bravo and well done!

Her Indoors said...

Kaffe and Brandon will LOVE it as much as we all do - well done Wendy!

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

Knew you would do it. Loved seeing this from start to finish. Beautiful!

Bobbi D. said...

It is amazing! I love it. I also have RA and have been very skeptical about doing any handwork. :( I am sure it would take me longer than a year, lol. Great job! I hope you get to show it to Kaffe Fassett. Do you have a link for the FB group?

Judy@Quilt Paradigm said...

Congratulations!! Watching you go through the process of making this quilt has just been fascinating to me. Your discussion of fabric choices, seeing the different pieces come together and now seeing the finished top, your creativity and commitment to this project has been truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey with this quilt top! I hope you continue to share the journey as you quilt it :)

Ruth said...

It's stunning and the border is perfect.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

WOW - you have done such a wonderful job on this quit. I wish I had wanted to do it but after trying it out I knew EPP wasn't for me and I didn't want to try to hand piece it. That border fabric that you chose is perfect for it. In fact I love it so much I might do a search and see if I can find it and put it aside for using on one of mine in the future

SuzeQDesigns said...

Simply Amazing! Wendy you have inspired me to join the la passacaglia train! I picked out my first couple of fabrics and and ready to go. I've also joined the facebook group.. Keep your beautiful blog posts coming on your projects - you a truly a talented beautiful person!

Staci said...

Wendy it is just INCREDIBLE! I think it is the most beautiful version of this quilt that I have ever seen. It's just beautiful--and what an amazing accomplishment!

allthingzsewn said...

Absolutely beautiful and perfect border fabric. How long till the show you want to be done by?

Carol Q said...

fabulous Wendy. What a joy to behold. you must be very pleased! I'm absolutely in love with the Effervescence border fabric.

SJSews said...

Congrats! It is absolutely beautiful!

Linda said...

An amazing job, Wendy! No order you want to show it to Kaffe Fasssett - he will love it. All that colour, flower motifs, pattern and design, just his kind of thing. You must have a huge amount of patience and perseverance to accomplish so much in just a year.

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

A special day indeed! Congratulations, it turned out so beautifully!

Paula said...

Congrats on a really stunning top. It is just magnificent. I love your choice of border fabric, it is going to finish off the quilt perfectly.

OPQuilt said...

This is so gorgeous! I saw it over on IG but had to come over here to leave a proper comment. I am totally impressed with the colors, the pattern and its intricacy and how you've interpreted it. You are pretty amazing to get it done in just about a year--I'm still only 1/2 the way through the hexie project and it's been 11 months since I started! I love all these photos of your quilt, as I could look at them nonstop. Congratulations on such a fine finish!
Elizabeth
PS I love your border idea!

Sandi said...

When you showed your photo last night on Instagram I was awestruck! It is beautiful Wendy, lovely choices. The border fabric looks perfect, your different photos each show something new.

Congratulations, I'm almost inspired to make one....almost!

Anja said...

This is so absolutely beautiful. I loved seeing it come together and the finished top is amazing. Congatulations!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Stunning! All hand pieced - what an achievement Wendy! I love the border fabric you have chosen, and it looks quite big too, what's the finished size?

HeathersSewingRoom said...

You have been a real inspiration as I watched you plan, start and now finish this awesome quilt. I am taking your step 2 into consideration and spending time in the planning stage! This will be a very cherished quilt with lots of memories I think.

Maria - Pink Pony Design said...

I'm absolutely blown away! This quilt is so insanely amazing! The colors and fabrics chosen are just absolutely gorgeous, the layout nothing short of brilliant! I really, really can't wait to see this baby finished! And those border fabrics are just perfection, the cherry on top! Amazing! <3 I literally can't stop staring at it! =D

If you don't mind me asking, what is the border multi coloured border fabric?

Maria - Pink Pony Design said...

Sorry, I got a little over excited and didn't read the fine print, found the name of the border fabric now! ;)

Vagabond Quilter said...

Just beautiful! Congratulations! Great start to 2016 - look forward to following the hand quilting progress.

Melody said...

Amazing, beautiful, brilliant. Words are just not enough to describe how wonderful it is.

Linda H said...

OH wow, it is just absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on your finish. You should be so very proud of yourself, that was a huge commitment. What an amazing heirloom it will be!

Jenny said...

Congratulations!! That's a really big job you've done, and I can tell you are just bursting with pride. And rightly so too.

Julie said...

Congratulations Wendy - this is a major achievement. Love all the colours, this one is destined to be a family heirloom.

chromatobalomata said...

Congratulations Wendy,your quilt top is absolutely wonderful! I have started too but I have 'locked' because I don't like my colors so much...I am wondering if it is better to choose the fabrics first or on the way? You made a great work! Have a nice weekend!

margaret said...

wow and more wows this is splendid and amazed it only took you the year to do. Yes you must shoe Kaffe he will love it A real quilt to treasure and the fabric and colour choice is spot on

Wendy said...

What a stunning quilt! every single fabric choice and placement is perfect and show such skill. Well done on getting this finished in ONLY a year, I would take decades!

Ruth said...

Its really beautiful Wendy and so you in colours - in awe of your work this past year - really like your border fabric too!

Kat said...

What a gorgeous quilt! Lovely colors.

Heide said...

Stunning! Looks like a stain glass window.

Cynthia Hogan said...

Beautiful!!

Michele Hill said...

WOW Wendy……I just came across your blog via Karen in the US (I'm from across the ditch!) and just had to drop by and say how gobsmacked i am with your latest quilt…..the colours are simply gorgeous! And what a lovely blog…….just loved your cross-stitched Xmas decorations especially the etuis and houses. I will be sure to keep up with you now! Happy stitching and hugs from a neighbour! x

Judy said...

So beautiful, this is amazing work, congratulations!

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Oh Wendy! It's all kinds of wonderful! Congratulations ... what an achievement! I'm inspired to keep sewing mine even more now :)

Mary Huey said...

Magnificent!! Your advice about how to maintain momentum on a project of this scale is spot-on!!