Friday, June 28, 2013

Made for the Fourth

I got a new camera!  And my garden is blooming!
I was made for the fourth anniversary.  The traditional gifts, flowers and fruits (especially when you dessertify them) are some of my favorite things.  It's so much easier than the leather anniversary (I gave him permission to buy a pair of boat shoes) but not as easy as paper (a card - I mean, hopefully we'll be doing this for many years to come, so let's try to keep expectations low, right?).

Lucky for me a couple weeks before the big day Gesine Prado posted this fruit tart on her blog with the kiwis shaped like fleurs and I was like, I see fruits and flowers. Done.

And done:

I love this recipe – a custard that doesn’t get cooked on a stovetop (I’m an excellent custard curdler) and such a unique and lovely shape.  It’s the easiest recipe I’ve done of hers, and the bake time was exactly right. 

I ended up with both extra crust and extra filling, and I’m still kicking myself for not using my little tartlette pans to make a couple individuals as well.  I was in a rush and serving it right away, so I skipped the jam-glaze top.  I expect I’ll be making this again soon.  Different designs on top will be fun to do and how else am I going to use up the graham flour?

Now for the quilt! While not an anniversary present, I do consider this my marriage quilt; a fabric chosen by each of us (you'll never guess who chose the red) and made for our a king-size bed.

The quilt top is the Orange Peel (oh, see, this does tie into fruits and flowers!) from Denyse Schmidt's Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration.  She does it applique, but the thought of appliqueing 162 x 4 moons made me want to cry.  Also, I consider myself pretty amateur at everything from free motion quilting to paper piecing, but there is one thing I do expertly, and that is sew a curve!  So I made some plastic templates and sewed 648 moons.  I kept to a strict and disciplined schedule (this was back  in the world of two daily baby naps) and sewed eight squares a day. There were some miscalculations (oh right, the squares are on point! Twice as many!) so I got to know the ladies at the Cambridge Quilt Shop real well.  It took me two months.

As for the actual quilting, which is just the most lovely thing, echoing the pattern of the piecing, this was done by Georgette Gagne of Black Wolf Quilting Studio.  I wanted it quilted the way it was in the book, which would have meant stopping, clipping threads and starting over again six times for each square and no long armer in their right mind wants to do that.  I mean, that's just crazy.  So we came up with a design that would be similar, using one continuous line.  But in the end Georgette decided that the design we'd come up with looked too much like a spider's web and did it the super-hard, time-consuming and annoying way ANYWAY.  I can't tell you how much I love and appreciate it.

164 times, people.
I plan to sleep under this myself for many years to come, so it's incredibly satisfying to look at the quilting pattern and know that it is just right, just how I wanted it, no compromises.  So thank you Georgette, for what must have been a hard week!!

You can really see her work on the back, I unintentionally got a reversible quilt!

I had it back from Georgette, in a corner of my room for about six months, thinking it was going to take forever to bind.  But when the weather got a little warmer and the Killing started up again, the binding went pretty quickly.

For our wedding we wrote our own (matching) vows and someone had the genius idea of memorizing them.  Of course I forgot one.  So I embroidered it onto the edge that would fall on his side of the bed. “I promise to protect you and take care of you and allow you to take care of me.”  

The quilt top came out to 108 by 113 inches, which turned out to be too big, so I cut off a row and made pillowcases out of it.  Here it is all together.  I never have the heart to move sleeping cats.

 So happy fourth babe!

I hear the for the fifth you should be making me something out of wood, so get planning!


  1. The best part is obviously the pillow cases. And just as food items are better toasted, quilts look better with cats on them.

    1. Agreed. At least on the toasted nuts and cats-on-quilts thing.

  2. The quilt is just gorgeous, Julie. You are so productive - I mean, the products you produce! You'll have that forever and ever. And DJ can't wait to make tarts with you! But, as always, he has suggestions: Put blackberries down the center and raspberries around the edges. And "squirt some frosting on top of each raspberry." He also wants to sew with you - he has in mind a waiter's apron he can put his money in when he does lemonade stand sales.

    1. I'll have to keep my eye out for some lemon fabric!

  3. This quilt is just stunning! Great job! I can only dream for making such a big quilt one day. Haven't dealt with really big quilts yet.

    Happy Anniversary! It was very sweet of you do embroider line from your vow.

    1. Thanks Malini! You might be ready to do your own big one on the long arm now that you've had some marathon quilt practice!

  4. Congratulations on 4 years of marriage AND making such a fabulous (and big) quilt!!! I love the embroidered vow, the perfect detail:-)

    1. Thanks! It's good to have such a big project done!