Monday, March 31, 2014

Orca, a "whale" of a quilt!

When my now, 14 year old grand daughter was younger, she was in love with the Orca whale. She wanted to be  a trainer at Sea World more than anything else. I told her she could if she wanted to, but alias... now at 14, Orca trainer has kind of fallen by the wayside!She does still love the whale, but as with all teenagers...things change in those years!
 
So I made her this Orca quilt. I looked high and low for orca whale fabric! Online, in stores, everywhere I could think of.. and no orca whale fabric. I was upset as I really wanted her to have this quilt as a memory of her younger years when her passion for the Orca whale was so meaningful to her.  One day, I went to the thrift store and bought several bags (gallon ziplock size) of fabric. I couldn't see most of the fabric in the bag, stuffed full, but the outside fabrics I could see were cotton, and for $3.99 I figured I'd find enough in there that I could use. So I bought 3 bags of fabric.

Once, home, straight to the laundry room I go with the bags of fabric. I am opening them and pulling out the fabric pieces and  all were pretty good, and then IT happened...
.I thought my heart literally skipped a beat.. I know I caught my breath as I opened the fabric and saw.... yes you guessed it.. here was this big panel of Orca whales!  I thought my eyes were playing tricks, but no..it was a beautiful panel of orca whales! I couldn't believe it! After I pulled myself down from the sky, I opened another bag and there was 2 yards of her second favorite animal..dolphins! It was kind of a toss up which she  liked better...Orca's or dolphins, she just loved both of them! Here I searched everywhere and finally.... it found me!

So I used the Orca panel to make the one side of the quilt....it is a twin size. I used a deep blue to "resemble" the ocean and did a meander FMQ all over. The whales , the coral reef and the upper mountains there, I outline stitched so they kind of popped a bit away from the "water" area. The back  I did my first attempt at the Bargello pattern! I was excited about doing this, and it was okay. I learned alot. I wanted a wavy pattern but got this...and realized that the reason I got this... and not a more wavy pattern was because I was cutting rectangle pieces instead of an even square piece. However, this turned out pretty nice and she really liked it. I intended for the waves to mimic the ocean waves hitting shore, with the browns at the bottom to be the beach and the white the caps of the waves...however, it was a bit weird as the brown is at the bottom for the beach, but also at the top  due to the wave adjustments of the pieces. So I told her it was a "reversible" quilt...can be the beach each way you look at it! I put on a border and a binding and it was done.

 I did a meander fast motion stitch... my first real effort at it. Turned out pretty good. I also learned about batting. I used a thicker batting thinking it'd be puffy and cuddlely. Wrong! The close meander made the quilt very stiff and not puffy at all, so it is hard for her to wrap up with the quilt, but she has it on her bed as a bed spread. and it keeps her warm... to warm she says, but she still loves it!





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Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!





12 comments:

  1. What a thoughtful gift. I am so glad the perfect fabric found you.

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    1. It was rather amazing that of all places I looked and didn't find it, and the only place I would have NEVER thought to look...and there is was!

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  2. Aren't you glad you bought that bag of fabric! I love the quilt. And think of the upper brown on the back as an island. I have an oceany looking quilt in my near future and haven't decided how I am going to get the effect I want. Bargello is one option, but since I've not done it before I'm holding out. (Visiting from Freemotion by the river)

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    1. I have been buying most every bag of fabric they have since! I look to see if it has double knits and if so, don't buy as I don't use that, but the cottons I have seldom been dissapointed with. A bargello isn't hard, just very time consuming both in choosing the fabrics and the order they should be in and then you have to have a place to lay it all out in the motion you want and then just sew strips together. Just cut squares and not rectangles for a more curvey wave effect.

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  3. I think your quilt beautiful, the back as well as the front, you put a lot of work in, and it's loved!

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  4. Ok - You don't have a back to a quilt, you have a reversible quilt! Awesome job! Just love it!

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  5. That's what I love about thrift stores... Treasures await! You scored big time and made a gorgeous quilt for your grand daughter. What a special quilt!

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  6. This caught my eye immediately. So beautiful and peaceful, wonderful job. She's going to love it! By the way, it's probably good that she's given up on being an Orca trainer. There's been a lot of conflict lately about Sea World keeping them in captivity. The whales are starting to rebel, apparently, against their confinement, and a lot of trainers are getting hurt. These gorgeous creatures need wide open spaces, and I love that your quilt shows them in their natural habitat.

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  7. That is a super thoughtful gift and so pretty! Clearly you were meant to make her the quilt you desired for that fabric to show up right in front of you. I love quilt stories like this.

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  8. Wow, what are the chances of that! I am so glad you bought those bags of fabric! I am sure she will treasure this quilt for a long time! :)

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    -Lindsey
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

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  9. oh so beautiful! I would have to hang it and stare at it all day!!

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