One Daffodil — A Small Quilt for AAQI

Daffodils mean the arrival of Spring, but they also always remind me of my father.  Every year he would divide and replant the daffodils forming the border of our yard and the adjacent woods.  Over time there were literally thousands of daffodils which would welcome us each Spring

We’ve had crazy weather in northern Illinois this winter–warm and no snow–and I’m almost surprised the daffodils aren’t already blooming.  I took this photo this weekend (mid-January).  These flowers (I don’t remember what they’re called) are usually one of the early bloomers in Spring.  I’ve noticed that they’ve been trying to bloom since mid-December (which can’t be a good thing).  After a particularly warm, wet few days, the weather turned back to normal for January and the poor flowers are coated in ice.


The daffodil quilt also started with a photograph.  This is a daffodil that I’d picked from our garden.


I played around with the photo in Photoshop using various filters until I came up with this version.


I had the photo printed on fabric ( and then filled in all the background quilting.


I wanted to try to capture the mason jar and I tried quilting it in using a glitter thread.  Unfortunately, the results weren’t good and I picked out all the stitches (without taking a photo before the picking).  Here’s the piece with the quilting completed.  With all the diagonal quilting in the background, it got a bit out-of-square.  No amount of pulling/ironing restored it to square, so I just trimmed it a bit.


To help me decide on the color for the background, I took a bunch of photos of the quilt on different colors of hand-dyed fabrics.


I originally thought I’d go with some variation of yellow or orange, but after seeing the photos, I like the contrast of the purple border best.  Plus, it brings out the purple highlights around the leaves and flower.

I’m continuing my quest to find a quick method for finishing the edges of these small art quilts.  For this quilt, I cut 2 inch strips of the purple fabric, and I cut a piece of heavy interfacing (Pellon #72) which has fusible on both sides.  I fused strips to two opposite sides (on the left below) and then trimmed them to the size of the interfacing.  I then took another strip and cut a 45 degree miter on one end.  I lined it up to the quilt top and cut the miter on the opposite side (on the right below).  Since the inside edges of this border will be covered by the quilt, it leaves some room to adjust the position of the strip so the miters line up correctly.  I fused the mitered strip to the front, then trimmed the miter for the back and fused the back in place.  This technique turned out to be fairly quick and the results were good.


Here’s One Daffodil.  It measures about 9 by 9 inches.


I just learned some sad news about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative — 2013 will be their last year of fundraising.  AAQI has a goal of raising $1,000,000 before the end of the year, so please support their efforts.


Other flowers must have foliage to set them off, but daffodils can stand by themselves in a bowl, and their green and yellow dress brings all spring into the room. A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or no the sun be shining outside.
— A.A. Milne, in the essay Daffodils

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
— A.A. Milne

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