mis·tral mstrl, m-sträl)
A dry cold northerly wind that blows in squalls toward the Mediterranean coast of southern France.
I fell instantly in love with a quilt pattern named “Mistral” by Toni Whitney. “She” intrigued me- such a beautiful horse. I purchased the kit for two reasons- 1) The artist absolutely new what she was doing 2) I, did not.
My sister Jo had previously made a couple of horse kits into full size quilts for gifts- they were incredible! My Mom always says, we do things different, we can’t ever follow a pattern- and it’s true. I chose this horse to be my challenge. I followed her pattern exactly. Then I did my thing to it …..
It’s funny, what you think you want in a finished quilt can change in an instant. For example in Allie’s Quilt, I based the entire quilt on a particular piece of fabric. It was to be the main fabric and all my picks “became” off of it. It was never used at all. These quilts have a funny way of letting you know.
I had this in mind until I was half way into piecing the face. One fabric made the cut. I have a drawer of fabric collections that I throw together when I’m out & about that I refer to as my “fabric in waiting” You never know when a piece of fabric might inspire me. A while back I had found a gorgeous piece that had a lot of depth & movement to it- I put together some beautiful accompaniments that day and in the drawer it went. I knew that someday I would create a quilt that replicated the circular movement in the fabric. I knew that someday it would come to life. It was a perfect fit for this project ❤
I started the horse on New Year’s Eve day, and worked on it the entire New Year’s Day. I left for Hawaii the next day and had a numb thumb (from cutting like a mad dog those two days) for the entire 9 days lol . In this Picture you will actually see the original background that the horse – was- fused to (17 X 22)… more about that later.
I was excited to watch this quilt develop- I was now in the “circular” mood. After coming up with a block that I was happy with, it literally came together very quickly.
Here you see some of the ivory rolled back and stitched. Such a difference from straight to curved.
Looking good so far…
It’s always nice to get a second & third opinion…
With the brunt of the quilt done, it was now time to figure out the horse measurements and sew her down! The fused horse was peeled off the original background- I know… crazy. And that’s when I had the pleasure of talking to Miss Toni Whitney herself-I never thought she would answer her phone when I was needing more fabric! Now came the sewing of a ton of cut & fused pieces!!! This required a run to the store for perfectly matching thread… this was just a few.
It took two days of sewing the pieces down- I quite enjoyed the process.
Next, it was me outta the gate with putting it all together : ) decisions & measuring…
Just one thing left, the borders….
I could not be more pleased. By the way, the main inspiration fabric ended up as my back. This is now ready for my quilter(s) – yes, two! Terese & Norma are tag teaming on this for possible international quilter competitions. As for me, I will be hopefully heading for the MN State Fair…. We’ll see!
She was a beauty to begin with- Thank you Toni for your unbelievable talent! And I am thrilled to say she’s done and everything I invisioned ❤