Monday, April 10, 2017

Spell it with an E!

I have been an Anne of Green Gables fan- some may say addict- since I was twelve years old.  It all started with my mother picking up a VHS tape from a garage sale containing two episodes from the tv series Road to Avonlea.   My brothers and I loved it so much my mother looked into finding more and discovered that the same producer also had filmed Anne of Green Gables... and that's how it all began and I really could go on and on, but I won't.  I already have a website or two for that.
Last November I was informed that there was now Anne of Green Gables fabric.  Waiiiiitttt!  Did I hear that right, Mom?    While still on the phone with my mother I started to search the internet for it and yes, my mother's information was correct (really, should we ever doubt our mother?).   I called the local quilt shops and most had never heard of it or just said they didn't have any so after much searching on-line to find who had the largest variety of the prints I wanted at the best price I bit the bullet and ordered.
Then it arrived and I drooled over it and imagined what I wanted... but didn't really have a big vision.  I knew I wanted classic blocks that would have been common in the late 1800s.    I searched through the books as did a friend and the only pattern besides crazy quilts (which I did not want to attempt- I'm crazy enough by writing most of my patterns) there was an Irish Chain.  Fun, but I really wanted something a bit more intricate and personal... and then I came across a pattern with sawtooth stars and an Irish Chain.  Now were talking!  I'd been wanting to do a star pattern for some time and now my creativity was flowing with ideas.   If I did twelve inch stars then I could do a six inch center and have a scene from the book in the center.  Sweet...
I was a member of an Anne/RtA/WaMB forum for years and am friends with many of these people on Facebook.   I asked for key things from the books and movies and got a wonderful response and waaaay too many ideas to possibly use (just means more Anne quilts in the future, right?  I mean, I still have some left over fabric because I wanted to use it sparingly).

So my Anne quilt was born.  My only regret is that I didn't stop to completely envision the quilt.  I just hoped in with making the squares.  I kind of wish all the stars had a white background as what I ended up doing made the stitching a bit harder to see... but hey, I wanted a scrappy look and scrappy is what I got.

When it came to the Irish Chain portion my husband responded to my sighs of frustration and helped me figure out an easy way to design it as well as figure out how much material I needed.   He's pretty sweet like that.  He knows math and I are frenemies.

 My aunt gave a lot of quotes in her recommendations and it really made me want to incorporate them, but how?   Then I came up with the idea of stitching quotes from the movies and books around each star.

 For the general background I did a stipple with small flowers.  It took a while to get the hang of it and some are pretty horrid looking, but that's okay as it's realistic.  Flowers aren't perfect but even the ugly ones can be beneficial- like smelling really bad so they keep rabbits out of my garden.
 There had to be Green Gables... not super happy with how it turned out, but it required some skills I'd never before used so I'm happy with it!
For anyone who has read the books they know that cats are essential and a must to be on the quilt.    I used a quote from Captain Jim that is one of my favorites.
 What is an Anne quilt without a glass of raspberry cordial?  If you've never tried raspberry cordial you really should!  It's quite easy to make and is *so* good!    Search for a recipe and you'll find quite a few.   I had it at my wedding and unfortunately it was all gone before I could have some. :(
  The dress was the first block I made.  My husband said the sleeves really did need to be puffed so I stuffed 'em with some cotton.   I've never before done applique like that before!  Definitely another learning curve- especially since my sewing machine does not have a proper applique stitch- well zigzag, but I didn't want that.
A lot of the inset patterns I came up with myself... the dress was simple... draw a dress on a piece of paper, cut it out, and use it as your template.   Gog and Magog are from a block book I have though I did modify them.  They were originally a cat!  I change it slightly and then appliqued their spots.  Technically they should have more, but in this case less is more.  Don't want to over do it, that's what.   The tea cup is from the same book but I got the doily idea from an Eleanor Burns book.   When I saw the doily I *had* to do it.  I have to at least attempt to keep up with the Gilleses!
Lover's Lane was fun.  I wasn't sure if people would know what it was but my husband reassured me that it didn't matter; it's my quilt and I know what it is... but we're both sleeping under it at night so shouldn't he know what it is too?  Yes, he really is sweet enough to let such a girly quilt be on our bed.  Actually, I think he's just happy that I can settle with just one quilt on the bed...
Books play such an important roll in the book... there's Ben-Hur, the Pansy books, the Life Book of Captain Jim and so many others!  Walter's book of poetry... but how to showcase Montgomery's love and appreciation for literature?  Ah, a bookshelf with a few books, that's how!
Not all the fabric used is the beautiful Anne fabric.  I found some nice fillers locally.  Hobby Lobby had some great fabric (the tea cup fabric came from there).   JoAnn's had a fabric I felt worked pretty well for a border.
I apparently didn't manage to take a photo of the back of the quilt but I found a print at JoAnn's as well that I felt really suited the quilt.  Normally I just use a sheet for the back to save money but this quilt was special and I decided I could splurge just a wee bit.  Don't tell Marilla, though, she'd say it was ridiculous and say I'd have to walk through the door sideways... or some such stuff and nonsense like that.  

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