In the arms of the angels: she soars

So, it’s done.

You know how you make plans to sew all day? Yeah… No. I’ve scraped together a total of a day and a half over the past three days, mainly because the stitching had to be done standing up, with the quilt hanging on the wall so the wings were in the correct position. It’s hard on the back and my poor tired feet. But it’s been enough. The idea I had for making the wings strong and powerful-looking has worked. They’re not flat and limp, but have bulk and dimension. The wing panels are backed with stiffening, and in stitching them down, I’ve applied lateral pressure to bow this stiffening down the length of the wings and make them pop out. You get a good shadow under the wing, so I haven’t had to fake a shadow with a piece of grey tulle laid onto the fabric underneath it. I’m really, really pleased with the effect, and am very happy with the overall result.

Do you like the tiny stars, adding a little sparkle as the light moves over them? I wanted something that tied back to the text on the label, and this seems to fit the bill. They’re applied with fabric glue as I’d have gone totally bonkers if I’d had to stitch them on. I’ve stitched a hanging pocket on the back, as this isn’t a bed or lap quilt, and you can see that I’ve added a pretty minimal binding, just to finish the edge. It’s not going to get much wear and tear, so a narrow binding will be OK.

It’s time to launch this quilt. I’m delivering it today to a director of the Trudy Crowley Foundation. She’s already expressed her determination to do battle in the auction to ensure she becomes its new owner. However, Trudy’s own father is also in the running, so let the bidding war commence! The auction will take place at the Twilight Dinner to launch the Foundation on 30th March. I hope it’ll prove worthy of its purpose and raise loads of money to help launch the Foundation and the work it was set up to do. And finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed blocks, ideas and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Here are your wings, Trudy. Now, go fly.

โ€œOnce you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.โ€ Leonardo da Vinci

77 thoughts on “In the arms of the angels: she soars

  1. Cath says:

    Truly gorgeous Kate … a beautiful quilt to honour the memory of a wonderful lady

  2. Nanette says:

    Just…..breathtaking!! Well done you. How are you feeling now it’s finished?

    • katechiconi says:

      Pleased, proud, tired, relieved… and hoping for a good result in the auction. Some useful learnings to take away, too: It’s hard to fold a quilt with wings on it!

  3. Lynda says:

    This is a stunning piece. I really like you hand work in the borders – clouds! And what a nice day for photographing your finished work too!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m afraid it’s machine quilting, but it IS in silver thread, so there’s a nice twinkle to it. I was so afraid we’d get rain today, but the weather gods have favoured us with bright, hot sunshine and just a little bit too much wind โ€“ I have loads of shots of the quilt and wings flapping enough to take off!

      • Lynda says:

        I went back for a closer look and the sparkle is definitely there! It must truly be a stunner in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • katechiconi says:

        There’s a bit of a twinkle from all the blocks in the darker ‘frame’, where the quilting is silver. There’s also a twinkle in the wings, where each feather has a ‘spine’ of silver down the centre, and some stitching also on the little wings at the bottom of the banner. Once I got the hang of quilting with the silver thread, I just couldn’t stop ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. This song/hymn comes to mind. I prefer it performed by a local band here, Blacksmith, but here’s Randy Travis!

  5. tialys says:

    Well done Kate – you have excelled yourself with this project.
    I had a little tear in my eye when I thought of Trudy’s father wanting to bid for the quilt too. It sounds as if this one is going to be really treasured by whoever gets to own it.
    I know it’s a very small Foundation but it’s a shame they haven’t got some sort of headquarters (if they haven’t – I’m only guessing) because I could imagine this quilt hung on the wall in Reception for everyone to see.
    I imagine you are are over the moon with it but will be quite pleased to have a rest or at least move on to something else now.

    • katechiconi says:

      They don’t have an HQ; the director’s house is probably the nearest place to it โ€“ she’s likely to have the space to hang it, too. It has finished at W60 x H72 inches, which is fairly substantial! I must admit that I’m quite glad not to have the pressure any more, even though I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved between us.

  6. Emmely says:

    Oh Kate, it’s turned out wonderful! Your hard work really paid off, the details are just great. Will you be present at the auction?

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    Every time I see this I end with tears in my eyes. It’s beyond perfect.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m so glad you like it. I’ve looked at it so much recently that I’ve stopped ‘seeing’ it, so it was great to get such a positive reaction when I delivered it earlier today.

  8. craftycreeky says:

    Wow! It’s absolutely beautiful,stunning. You have surpassed yourself with this one, the design in wonderful and those angel wings, well…

    • katechiconi says:

      Yeah, those wings… To be honest, they turned out even better than I hoped, but not until the eleventh hour, when I hand-stitched them on and could get the shape into them. I’m very, very happy with the whole quilt, but next time I won’t be designing something so complicated on a short deadline ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. knettycraft says:

    What a great work you all have done! It is a stunner! And I so admire your never ending creative ideas – like esp. the wings here. I absolutely love the cloudy quilting!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      Next time, I’ll allow myself a bit longer to achieve the ideas, though! The cloud quilting seemed to be the right choice, considering the wings are waiting in heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. claire93 says:

    what a unique masterpiece that is!

    • katechiconi says:

      I think it should get a good bit of interest in the auction. And it’s been great for learning about stuff, like quilting with metallic thread, and how to create the 3D effect on the wings, and the quickest way of turning all those feather strips!

  11. KerryCan says:

    This is amazing–the idea, the execution, the inspiration! The wings turned out so well, and the colors are rich and deep . . . I am just blown away!

  12. mlmcspadden says:

    Absolutely breath-taking. The quilting is perfect for it, and the wings and how they stand out are magnificent. You’ve outdone yourself with this one. Here’s hoping that lots of money is raised for a wonderful organization.

  13. Breath taking. Absolutely beautiful.

  14. Spectacular! This work of art triggers an out powering of emotions….

  15. Dayphoto says:

    Beautiful! Beautiful!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!

  16. Absolutely inspiring quilt. It also inspired me to look up Trudy Crowley, then to look up Nude Lunch, then to look up the signs of ovarian cancer, so those glittering threads and airy wings have done quite a bit. Thanks Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m very glad it has achieved a positive result there. I was in our local Icon cancer centre yesterday delivering the quilt. I overheard a breast cancer survivor telling a nurse she had had a clear Pap test and therefore knew she was OK for ovarian cancer. I could not restrain myself from telling her that the two were completely unconnected, and referring her to the ovarian cancer website. It probably wasn’t what she wanted to hear, but so many people confuse ovarian and cervical cancer…

  17. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Oh wow, this is soooo pretty !!

  18. magpiesue says:

    I have tears in my eyes as I look at this finished product. What a masterpiece. It will be cherished, I’m sure. Too bad there isn’t a HQ where it could hang. Maybe there’s a clinic that specializes in treating cancer patients that would be pleased to display it – but of course that will be up to the new owner.

    • katechiconi says:

      There is such a clinic, but whether it’s interested in purchasing the quilt I wouldn’t know; the Icon centre is for all cancers and this is very much an ovarian cancer quilt.

  19. Terri says:

    Absolutely fabulous!!! You and everyone who contributed to this work of are should be so proud of the end result. I hope it raises a lot of money at the auction.

  20. Kerry Davidson says:

    I just love to see the final result of anything imagined in someone’s head coming to fruition. It’s hard for someone else to imagine, and so this has been amazing to me to see each bit that looked a little disconnected coming together into something so amazing. Awesome work everyone.

    • katechiconi says:

      I generally show a simple black and white sketch at the commencement of any quilt project, but it doesn’t show the colour or dimension or scale of the thing, so I agree, it’s hard to share the vision. This one, I feel, has really worked, thanks in no small part to the speedy and generous response of the others on the Ovarian Cancer quilt team.

  21. kathyreeves says:

    It is just perfect Kate, your vision is a real live masterpiece! Those wings are amazing!

    • katechiconi says:

      The real miracle is that I was able to make something that looks like what I imagined. So often it doesn’t live up to my hopes. I’m thrilled it worked out for this tribute to Trudy.

  22. beyond beautiful. I love the structure of the wings.

  23. Sorry my friend but my I saw this a couple of days ago when u posted it but for some reason my comment would not go …


    You are so very talented my lovely friend…. I love it… I keep going back to look at it.. Iโ€™m going to share so my friends can see your beautiful work… it will be on Facebook… is that ok ??

  24. The three-dimensional elements of the centre panel are both technically brilliant and beautiful. You did a fabulous job, Kate. May it raise lots of funds.

    • katechiconi says:

      Amen! It was a bit nerve-wracking right at the end because I couldn’t be sure the wing panels would pop out as I wanted, but they performed beautifully.

  25. rutigt says:

    Itยดs beautiful, Kate, so beautiful!! Such a great work you have done with all the blocks, the wings and the quilting! Iยดm stunned!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      It was a nervous couple of days at the end: would I get the wings to do what I wanted them to do? But it all worked out in the end, and I hope it will be a big success in the auction.

  26. It will surely fetch a high bid. Another gorgeous piece, Kate.

  27. You really are amazing, to create and coordinate such beautiful art โ™ก

  28. Joanne S says:

    What a wonderful and unique quilt! The planning and hours of work this took . . . I am sure that this quilt will bring in competitive bids!

    • katechiconi says:

      I hope so… There are two people closely related to Trudy who are bidding, so one way or another it’ll go to someone who’ll value it for its meaning.

  29. I’m trying to catch up here and but so glad I caught this one. It is STUNNING!!! I can see how much work went into it with all the quilting on the back of it.

    • katechiconi says:

      What you don’t see is the hours of standing-up hand stitching to attach the wings to the background :-/ But the finished thing makes it all worthwhile. It’s one of my best pieces, I think.

      • It’s one of your many best pieces. You do amazing and impressive work. I read that you did much of the quilting standing up. Your tenacity to do the work exceptionally well overrides your body’s desire to not be in pain. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t think that will change anytime soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • katechiconi says:

        The pain isn’t going anywhere and I need to keep moving forward; stagnation is death, and I can’t let the ‘meat’ dictate the terms! It’s why I gave up the good painkillers; they were zombifying me and I didn’t like the terms. I’d rather be in pain and able to think and create.

      • I agree with every word. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • katechiconi says:

        I knew you would. ((Marlene))

  30. […] those of you who previously worked on Ovarian Cancer quilts, you’ll be happy to know that the In the Arms of the Angels quilt is hanging prominently in the main meeting area for all to […]

  31. […] 3 is entirely recycled. The scrappy log cabin background was made for the In the Arms of the Angels quilt but wasn’t used as other blocks simply worked better in that space. (To the maker: You know […]

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