When I lived in Tokyo long long ago, I bought books by their covers or translators. Especially by translator because that grantees good and interesting reading (I mostly read non Japanese writers). And I came across the first book published in Japan by O. R. Melling, ‘The Hunter’s Moon’ on one of those days just wondering book stores to find something interesting. Yep I read fantasy novels but nothing else.
I fell in love with that book. All the magical things in Ireland in a modern time.
And around that time, my favourite band brought Irish trad musicians like Altan and Kíla, to Japan. And they were also exciting too.
So I came to Ireland to see the life here. And still here almost 24 years on.
Last year, I found her on Twitter and started to follow. Almost instantly we contacted each other and met which was a totally mad moment for me!
And a while later, she asked me to make a quilt for her daughter which was unreal as you can imagine!
Her request was a blue quilt with some yellow and sea/wave themed. Probably a lot of quilters reaction to them would be bargello quilts and so was mine. But the other request was calm and gentle which was an opposite of what bargello is….
To achieve that and still staying with bargello technique, those steps became 1/4″ rather than usual half or full width of strips and sub-cutting width became wide.
The second challenge was bringing in yellow. Sunrise? Perhaps but not too straight or too big. Just smudge. I also added a bit of sky above it. And at the very bottom, there is a white part as a beach.
The next was fabric hunting. I had some blues but not enough variations especially the darker side. Off to online shopping because I know one quilt shop never have enough blues and mixing up as many as is a part of fun. The hind side is you never know what colour of blue you are getting until you open the packets(says a online shop owner! I try my best though). So I bought few extras just in case. Yes, some were too green and others too purple and I ended up with those selections.
I cut them up 2 1/2″ with and strip piecing began. In order to not confuse myself I did this section by section.
And it grew….
It was really complicated when adding yellow bits and for that reason I forgot to take any pictures at that stage. Anyway, all horizontal pieces were added for the top part and all the waves were connected.
I quilted with five different blue threads and five different wave or swirl patterns. The quilting patterns decreased in size as it went away to the top, horizon.
All the pictures here are taken on the backing side because it was almost impossible to see with all those print and fabric variety on the top side even in real life.
Do click each picture to enlarge.
The rays of sunshine and wispy cloud lines were added on the sky part.
91.5″ by 93.25″ without quilting shrinkage.
Ms. Melling came to my studio yesterday to pick it up and we had a lot of chat again. I was really glad to hear she is happy with it.
Thank you for the opportunity and trusting me. I was really honored working on this quilt!
I am really looking forward to her new book coming out this year!