My Baltimore Album Quilt

I thought this day would never come.  For years I created blocks for a Baltimore Album Quilt, many based on patterns from the book Baltimore BouquetsBaltimore Bouquets by Mimi Dietrich.  Being the creative sort, I can't leave well enough alone, so to some of the patterns I added my own multi-part flowers.  Others I enriched with painted details and many are enhanced with beads.  One day I decided that I had to do something with all of the blocks I had created so far or a quilt would never materialize.

To begin, I arranged the blocks on the bed and proceeded to rearrange and then arrange again a few more times until I was satisfied with the plan.  Next, I determined the size and colors for the filler panels and sashing in order for the quilt have the desired coverage and drop.  I assembled the top according to my plan and, in a moment of clarity, decided that it would never be finished it I were to do the quilting on it myself.

I have devoted many hours (read years) to get to this point and felt the resulting opus cried out for hand quilting.  Baltimore Album Quilts are created using hand applique techniques, so machine quilting just seemed inadequate.  I felt that turning to a mechanized method for this quilt would diminish the years of fine handwork that I had invested, ranging from the hand applique to the hand painting, along with my own unique handmade additions and the beadwork.

At this point I decided who better to quilt than the Amish?  I took the quilt along on a visit with some Amish friends of ours to see if someone would be interested in completing the hand quilting.  My friend arranged for the hand quilting by a very talented woman.  

The results are more than I could have hoped for.  Every applique is meticulously outlined and the open areas of these blocks are stitched with angled lines.  The sashing is defined with a cable-style stitch and the filler blocks are completed with a double lattice pattern.  All in all, the hand quilting consumed 650 yards of thread, which is a testament to the incredible detail of the quilting.  I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome!  I hope you enjoy viewing the photos and they serve as inspiration for your own creations, whatever genre they may be.

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