I finally finished it after fourteen years of fits and starts. At the time I was a die-hard traditionalist so I wanted a cotton batt. Well it was so hard to needle I could only get two stitches on my rocker needle at a time and it was *not* a pleasant quilting experience. The top was complete in 1995, cotton batts have improved a lot I'm told, but I don't think I'll ever attempt to quilt another quilt with a cotton batt!
These are friendship blocks created for me by members of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild, of which I was a member at the time. When my name was drawn I was allowed up to twenty blocks, with the understanding that I'd 'pay back the block bank for as many blocks as I asked for. So I chose twelve instead.
I have loved wreaths and floral spray designs for more years than I can count, so an "X's and O's" selection of blocks seemed like a good idea. I collected a few traditional patterns: Rose of Sharon and Laurel Wreath, found a few current day patterns and drafted a few of my own. I chose the colors and fabric, provided the pattern in a kit and my friends applique'd the blocks.
Then I chose the layout, pieced the top and quilted it. When I finished it, I attempted to contact the 12 women that had helped me create this beauty... I wanted to thank them for their part in the creation of this quilt and to share a picture; for it really is one of my favorites and I'll never make another like it. But so much time had passed I was only able to get in touch with about a third of the twelve. Some had dropped out of the guild, others had moved away and no one knew how to reach them.
Last year I entered it in three local fairs. At the community Redwood Empire Fair in my town, it received Best of Show and was displayed in the winner's circle in the Home Arts building. At the county fair it was up against some National ribbon winning quilters and it placed Second. And at the end of the summer I entered it in a local quilt guild's annual Show and it placed Third. =) So all this confirms what I've thought all along... I make quilts for the pleasure of the process, the beauty of the finished product and the enjoyment of myself, family and friends. Quilt judging is subjective at best.