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10/31/2005

And the winners are...

At long last and with great excitement (and, it must be said, relief at having finished) I announce the winners of the quilt giveaway!

First the numbers.  120 of you kindly contributed.  With one chance per $5 increment, there were 202 chances, for a total of $1010 raised.

My friends inside the computer, you are amazing.

Now the prizes.  Besides my quilt, we have Lynne's magnificent contribution, a quilt she made specfically for this giveaway.  We also have three ferociously aromatic gift boxes from Lush, made possible by generous contributions from Allie G., Shari, and Janna and chosen meticulously by me because I love that stuff.  My most heartfelt thanks to you all.

Finally, the winners, selected in a super-scientific random drawing.  I initially planned to put all the names in a sharps container and grapple at the strips of paper through the needle port, but there were simply too many.  Instead, to assure proper randomizing, I threw the strips in the dryer (QuickTime, 600KB) on air fluff, included a carefully selected mixing sock, and pulled them out once they'd been sufficiently whirled.

Now the names!

The winner of a Lush Bunty box is...Caitlin L.!

The winner of a Lush Serenity box is...Margaret P.!

The winner of a Lush Happy box is...Carrie P.!

(Lush also makes a Relax box, as in, "Why don't you just...?" but, hmmm, how to say?  I questioned the appropriateness of such a suggestion.  As for what the hell a Bunty is, I'm sure I don't know, but it smells very nice.)

The winner of Lynne's teddy bear quilt is...Zoe S.!  It's killing me that I won't see this quilt in person myself, but, Zoe, I hope you'll send pictures.

And the winner of my quilt is...Kimberly S.!

Winners, please check your e-mail; I'll need your shipping addresses.

Now some rambling about my quilt.

Quilter clip artThat's me in the pinafore.  No, really.

The quilt I planned to make started out to be a plain old log cabin, about 48" x 48".  I imagined 16 10" blocks, with warm colors on one side and cool on the other, with hot pink as the center of each block, and borders to be determined later.

And then things got out of hand.

I made the blocks as planned, and began playing with them to see what arrangement looked best.  At that point there was hot pink only in the centers of each block, and the blocks looked flat and uninteresting.  So I changed direction, turning to Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day: Star Log Cabin pattern.

I didn't adhere religiously to her pattern because she specifies a wider strip while I prefer a narrower one, and I didn't use her construction methods at all because they result, in my opinion, in a less precise block.  So I'll say I simply adapted her design. 

In doing so, I'd suddenly bought myself a lot more work, but once I'd added the sashing and stars to the blocks I was a lot happier.  But as I worked with the blocks, I didn't feel my preferred diagonal arrangement — traditionally called Fields and Furrows — looked right with an even number of rows.  So I made another row.

And put on some borders.  And basted it.  And agonized for days about how to quilt it.

I finally settled on simple wavy lines quilted in varying colors on the diagonal through the blocks, with a hot pink spiral in the center of each block and star.  The printed strip in the border is quilted with a zigzag to follow the pattern of the fabric, and the outer border has meander quilting in the same dark blue as the fabric.

Quilt in a day?  Sure, Eleanor, if you live on Mercury.

The quilt, alas, is far from perfect.  I tried very hard to make it so, just as I do with all my quilts, but inevitably there were mistakes judicious design decisions that give the quilt that kind of catawumpus coveted handmade look.  Here is an example: somewhere along the line, after it had been quilted, one of the blocks incurred a tiny tear.  There was no way to repair it without making it obvious in some way, so I sighed, took up my needle, and affixed a little patch, forestalling future damage, I hope.

Here is a full view of the quilt, and a closer look at selected blocks.  On the back I attached a label so that sometime next century, textile historians can ask each other, "Um, who the hell made this?"

It was me, and I loved every moment.

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