My Hawaiian Irish Princess Tiger Lily (P.I.T.A.)

My second daughter is a treasure and a miracle, who came to us only after we suffered thru the losses of three other babies. Much as she is loved and adored, ever heard the adage "be careful what you ask for?" This child sparkles, her sense of humor is quick and certain ... on the other hand .... Stuuuubbbboooorn! "When her mind is made up, it is made up," is her other middle name. She knew what she wanted as her quilt and she expected me to "just figure it out".... Good thing she is worth it as it has become my P.I.T.A. (Pain in the A__) quilt!

Like her other choices, she knew she wanted to pick out her own fabrics. She knew she wanted traditional Hawaiian Poakalani applique, and she also knew she needed to have this favorite illustration from "Flora's Feast - a masque of flowers" presented by Walter Crane in 1889 incorporated somehow...

To create Poakalani designs, one folds fabric like we used to fold paper to make snowflakes and carefully cuts with very sharp scissors to make flowers found in Hawaii, then each design is needle turned and hand appliqued onto a background fabric. I traced the outline of the tiger lily drawing to create a stylized applique template with another tiger replacing the nymph and blew it up to fit inside a three foot square. I will embroider Crane's quote around the design. She picked out fabrics she wanted to represent the colors for the Hawaiian patches and for the tigerlily design.

We finally compromised* on a reversible quilt with Hawaiian blocks on one side and the applique on the other (P.I.T.A. - *what she wanted all along). Construction was going to be a huge challenge I knew, but I had an idea ... This daughter likes really warm covers, even in the summertime, so I figured I would just make two tops and a quadruple quilt sandwich (quilting thru four layers - P.I.T.A.) ... Good idea until I realized the top quilting pattern I intended would not work with the tigerlily patch applique, so somehow I would need to quilt this piece twice (P.I.T.A.) with double layers of batting (P.I.T.A.) so that I could applique the tiger lily fabric segments thru the top two layers invisibly once the Hawaiian side was complete (P.I.T.A.)

I cut out, basted and appliqued each Hawaiian patch using needle turning (P.I.T.A.) and put the first top together. After six months, this is where I was in the project in time for her thirtieth birthday in August 2008:

I am echo quilting the Hawaiian flowers (the center four are complete in the photo). I chose a Celtic Knot quilting pattern for the sashing - this daughter took Irish dancing as a child and a reminder of that was important to me as a connection between my own mother, my daughter and me. I am using some lovely soft yellow-to-lavender tatting thread from in my Grama's sewing box (nearly 100 years old at this point but still strong and beautiful) to embellish the edges of the quilt squares and pull all the colors together with a subtle shadow effect:

After August, I put the quilt away and concentrated on Winter Stuff. My goal for Summer 2009 is to finish the primary quilting and then ... (P.I.T.A.) ... begin to design and apply the tigerlilies. GOAL REACHED! This quilt will be shown in the Ladies of Lake Falling Leaves Quilt Show twice; once for each side. Here is the completed side one:

and a detail of the stitching

Finished just in time for her 2010 birthday (but she doesn't get it until after the Quilt Show <G>)! Here is my adaptation of "Lilies turned to Tigers blaze, Amid the gardens tangled maze."

This quilt is definitely heavy with both fabric and thread. Here is a shot of the entire back ...

As I said before... good thing she is worth it ... this quilt taught me lots, so I am glad I let her have her way ... by the way, she is also our Angel Baby <g>. May she have the sweetest dreams as she sleeps under this quilt! With this quilt, three down and one to go to complete my goal of a "DBY" (designed by you) quilt for each of my four grown "kids."