The splice of life

They often say a quilt is about a journey- in its making and for the quilter.
This quilt most definitely has had a journey in its making, and my journey in making pieced non art quilts.

I've called it "the splice of life"  as it's made up of lots of splices and strips of fabric made into individual 5 1/2 inch blocks, then made into long rows of assembled strips. There probably was an easier way to assemble large pieces with spliced inserts but I wanted to use a lot of scrap low volume pieces so spliced into these with random earthy tones and duck egg greens that suit my parent-in-law's bedroom. Also I made it up as I went and it's only the second large bed quilt I've ever made/finished!

It is for my mother and father in law's golden wedding anniversary this weekend. I have fabrics in there that speak of them....firewood, crosswords and ironing, gold, green, ferns, earthy things, wine corks, cooking, sewing writing, travel inspired fabrics etc.

Individually some of these fabric are not something I'd normally pick but the when thrown together they work and should work nicely in their room of dark brown/charcoal carpet, cream wall and curtains with an accent wall of duck egg green.
You might note its not finished! Yep I'm trying to quilt it myself with a simple leaf design but my  Janome 6500 (which you can't oil yourself but needs servicing) machine was making that horrible squeaking, craunching sound. My needle bar is worn so its out of action for a month waiting for part from Oz! Instead they will get a photo this weekend. However it's taken 2 years to make so what is a few extra weeks and it can be delivered for Christmas instead!
 Its taken a long time for many reasons.
1) I don't typically make bed quilts so this has taken time to piece (with no pattern and cut, assemble, press etc. Often I'd want to work on in the school holidays but it was hidden as the in laws were down.
2) It had to evolve and have my feel in it. I was sucked into using and doing something others had done earlier (jelly roll race) and it didn't work for me, so it got unpicked, cut into and emerged as something much nicer and something I think as more meaningful. I often think as quilters we do tend to want to replicate something we like, but often taking time to add our spin is important - it then reflects us better whether it's our own colour choices or fabrics or taking and adding your 10% change to this is the quilt's journey....
3 years ago I was attracted to this jelly roll - the Hoffman bali brown sugar pops. It reminded me of the Kateriteri beach the inlaw's head to each summer and where we've enjoyed family holidays with wider family and has the earthy tones my mother in law likes.
I'd seen the jelly roll race and I'd tagged these images on pinterest (sorry no refs) of quilts with small inserts. I'd initially thought of putting small photo transfers into those cream squares of memories over the inlaws 50 years of married life.


And so I made the jelly roll race quilt with small cream squares. I hated it. It was drab and did not sing. I played with photo transfers using a multitude of techniques and did not like the way they looked after use/washing.

and so I took it away in the campervan 2 years ago and unpicked the entire thing, resulting in cutting the seams with a rotary cutter after 1/4 of it. I was left with slightly smaller strips now. With a pile of low volume fabrics, I knew I had to go back to what felt harmonious and light and less offensive for the recipient. Of course it also grew from a lap quilt to a queen/king quilt.
I hope they like it as a lightweight cover and have time to peruse the differ fabrics laughing about the different fabrics in there and how they relate to their passage of married life, as the "splice of life" look is like DNA's a pattern of lots of things that represent their time together and as individuals and how that altogether has made their lives much richer as we know that variety is the spice of life, and indeed their memories and experiences are varied and vast!