So much of last year was a blur. Because Jim and I were gone a lot, and because of the quilts I chose to make, I made fewer than I usually do. Three of them were particularly time-consuming and spread out over a long time.

One took especially long because it started last year as a UFO. By early July I had the top done. And some time in late August the top was quilted. But I think it was December before I finally got the binding on.

Its name is “Union.” Many quilts seem to name themselves, and occasionally I’ve asked you for help with names. This one took a lot of thought. The overriding factor in its name has to do with the six-pointed star, or hexagram that centers it.

The caption of the image in the wikipedia entry:  “A regular hexagram, {6}[2{3}]{6}, can be seen as a compound composed of an upwards (blue here) and downwards (pink) facing equilateral triangle, with their intersection as a regular hexagon (in green).”

In other words, the hexagram is the union of two equilateral triangles.

The symbol has been used for centuries around the world and within many religions. Many of us are familiar with the Star of David in Judaism, but it also is an important symbol in Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In Christianity, it is called the star of creation. Islamic artifacts and mosques feature it, as well.

Besides the religious connections, there are many others. If you watched the movie based on Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you saw the interlocking triangles used to indicate “the divine union of male and female energy, where the male is represented by the upper triangle and the female by the lower one.”

Union. To me, the six-pointed star, which began this quilt and literally centers it, represents union or connection. We are all connected.

Union. Finished December 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

The photo shows it is a bit ripply. This is due to the wool batting. I used remnants of wool from other projects. Some of it was thick and resilient, and some of it was very thin. Because of the irregularity of density and loft, I just kept stuffing more wool in as I went, trying to get a fairly consistent thickness through the whole quilt. Besides the rippliness, this has to be the heaviest quilt I’ve ever made.

Here are a few close-up pix to show the quilting and the loft provided by the wool.

This quilt was a puzzle from the beginning, which is why it started 2017 as a UFO. After a long journey, it is finished. It’s not a perfect quilt. When I look at it, I know there are things I would do differently if I were doing it again. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with how it turned out.


24 thoughts on “Union

  1. allisonreidnem

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing the story of your quilt. I especially like the repeats of the six-point stars in the border and the carefully crafted quilting patterns.

  2. Paula Hedges

    So much more goes into a quilt than making it, like the time to name it! The name just has to fit. I love how puffy your quilt is and can just imagine the warmth. I have never used wool batting, but it is in my future Thank you for sharing your talent and letting us know you as a person better by sharing your thoughts and desires regarding the name.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’ve used wool batting a number of times now. It works well for some quilts but it takes a bit of management, and its loft and texture aren’t necessarily consistent the way something like Warm & White or Hobbs 80/20 or Soft & Bright is. Try it sometime and you might love it (or maybe not!) Thanks, Paula.

  3. KerryCan

    SnarkyQ is right–the last photo makes the quilt look much more touchable and appealing! How nice to be finished and to have arrived at a name that completes the package!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It lies nice and flat on the floor, so I don’t fault it too much for not hanging flat. 🙂 And yes, it does feel wonderful to run hands across, thick and luxurious. Thank you!

  4. snarkyquilter

    I’m so glad you included the last photo which shows the texture and colors much better than the first photo. I want to run my hand over Union to enjoy the peaks and valleys. The 6 pointed stars in the final pieced border look tricky, and really enhance the quilt. The word union could also apply to all the point matching in this one.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you, Joanna. It does really feel wonderful. 🙂 Those little stars in the outer border were not hard, but I used paper-piecing to do them. (A year ago I didn’t know how to paper piece, so then it would have been hard!) Thanks.

  5. Kerry

    This is probably my most favourite of your quilts. With the “rippling”, it makes it look like an antique quilt – and ideal for this winter to snuggle under regarding the batting. I think you have the perfect name for it too.

  6. katechiconi

    It’s gorgeously soft and puffy-looking, a great contrast with the disciplined geometry and the orderly march of the squares around the borders. Another kind of union, softness and sharpness…


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