Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Artificial Prairie Ninepatch

Yes I know it's an unusual name for a quilt, but it works. I have been working off and on (more off) on this quilt for 11 years. I started making the nine patches for it when I was 12. I went into Mom's sewing room, grabbed up a bunch of fabrics I thought would be beautiful together and started cutting roughly 2.5" squares from them. This was the first quilt I started entirely on my own. And it shows! LOL!

My intention at the time was to offset the nine patches with hourglass (QSTs) made from a civil war repro and butter yellow satin. Yes, satin. I pieced one block and decided the satin frayed waaaay too badly to mess with and settled on plain 6.5" squares of the fabric. Only I ran out. The store didn't carry the fabric anymore so I had to substitute a different repro. This running and and substituting happened 3 more times.

I took my haphazard ninepatch center and bordered it with fried egg flowers. Only my machine was messing up so I left the leaves off the flowers. I tell you, this is the wonkiest, running-out-of-est quilt in the world! I looks like one of those quilts you see from the Oregon Trail days where the prairie women used what they had, ran out of fabric, substituted, etc. Hence the Artificial Prairie Nine Patch. I love this quilt though, it just seems to work. It's the biggest train wreck but it's SO funny!!

To make things worse, I have a lovely, beautiful red toile print to back it with. I was very careful measuring the backing to cut it and piece it, measured wrong--of COURSE and cut it too short. Had to piece another piece along the bottom. Went to pin out the quilt and realized I pieced the backing to the right size, sideways. Instead of running up and down the lovely, beautiful red toile print runs side to side. Sigh. Figures.

I got this about half quilted, getting a free handed (badly, LOL!) spiral quilted in all the plain squares and random wavy lines through about half of the nine patches. Still have to the the other half and then go back the other direction so they cross--if that makes sense. Couldn't work on it anymore, I am having the mother of all migraines again since about 3:30AM and I wanted to get home to lay around. My sisters came with me to help play with babies, well Diantha and Veronica did. Betsy would be so fun to have spend the night (she'll be 2 on the 9th) but she's a BAD kid and I'm just not up to that tonight! LOL!! (Terrible 2's for about 10 months now.) Mom says she loves the quilt, even with all it's quirks and I do too. She offered me $100 for it, LOL! Don't know if I can't let it go. Too good of a story. In fact, I've been using it for inspiration to write a book about making an extraordinary, horrible quilt. Plus, it's already heirloom quality and antique looking..hahaha...


  1. Oh I love it. I love old and it is a great story. Good job. I am sure it will feel good to be done completely!
    I love how wonderful you made a Nine Patch look!

  2. I love it. The quirks just make it endearing.

    Sure you don't want that Bill? LoL :D