Friday, April 30, 2010

Flying geese

Bee Imaginative blog has the above tip for making an easy flying geese. Check it out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our weekend Ruthathon!!!! Check out the fun we had this weekend with Ruth and my daughter Emily. Three days of quilting fun and accomplishment.....and I even had to taste their spinach fruit smoothie. So wonderful it was. I cannot wait till the next time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Homemade Garden Quilt

Scraps from my stash with an old orphan flower block makes this quilt... which is finally finished. This picture doesn't do the vibrancy justice, but I couldn't wait to post it. I remember where I got each and every fabric..a memory with the love of a fabric collector!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Samuel's welcome quilt

Peggy and Vic have a new grandson adopted from Ethiopia. He is smart and fun and as you can see, he is totally adorable. This is the grandparent quilt that I made to celebrate Samuel's arrival. Hugs and kisses to him.

Red work by Grandma and me

This is more like the last post. I looked around the house for more examples and this is what I found. This quilt hangs in our foyer during "red" holidays. The pillows are on my bed. All are hand embroidered by Grandma, machine pieced and hand quilted by me. This quilt was finished in 1995, but Grandma did the blocks much earlier.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not Red work, but Blue work......

More of Grandma's work! Here I sent her cat blocks that I had traced onto muslin. The cats were from a Better Homes and Garden magazine...I think in the late 70's...not sure. Anyway I mailed them from Miami to Grandma in Arizona and soon I had them back in my hands. I put them together into this quilt about 4 years ago. I have machine stippled the quilt.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stamp Basket, 1979

This stamp basket quilt I machine made and hand quilted. It hung over our piano when we married in 1980. I had the postage stamp that was just like it in a little frame next to it. It then spent years being loved on my daughter's toddler bed. When I look at the soft faded fabrics, I cannot believe it was so long ago. I do like the pattern. Maybe I will try it in modern colors one day.1

My yummy purple "X" quilt..mmmm

The lovely backing..........
Being artsy like Kaffe......................
The purple fabric is 100% cotton with little nubs...would love to know the name of it. I just love it. In order to quilt quickly and anchor it solidly, I love to use the "wiggle stitch". See this close is so relaxing to do for a comfort quilt like this. Is a great tutorial. The things I did she said making the square a bit bigger. I cut mine 4 and 7/8 inches and it was perfect. I also lined up the lines in the ruler with the lines on the cutting mat before sizing the block.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lavender Sampler from 1979

This is my mother, Alice, this last Christmas. She has Parkinson's disease and lives in an assisted living facility. She will be 89 in three weeks. My mother cannot walk anymore, she cannot get in and out of bed by herself , she cannot bathe herself or dress herself. At times, she struggles with eating and shakes and slumps. BUT, my mother can wheel herself to her computer and write poetry. She just published her second poetry book.( Daydreams, Circle of Love) Inspite of her shaky hand, her creative brain is working very well, thank you very much. She is a poster woman for resilience and positive attitude and playing a poor hand well. When I want to whine about my aches and pains, I think of my mother and remember that attitude is a choice.

This is a quilt that I made for her years ago. She had it on her bed when she lived in Phoenix and continues with it on her bed here in Charlotte at her assisted living. She is one of my biggest fans and has my quilts hanging on the walls in her room. I am one of her biggest fans too.
I am not crazy about this quilt because I think that the workmanship is poor, but it was a beginning quilt.

At first I so hesitated to show you this. So why am I...well my mother loves it and I had given it to her. I just took it home to wash it and decided to take a picture of it for the record here. It is one of the first quilts I made. I took a beginning class from Irene McLaren in Miami at the new quilt store back then, Quiltworks in 1979. These are the sample blocks. I do not mind the blocks as they are all hand applique, but I choose a lace blend for the background which is now pilling. Then I chose a lavender gingham blend instead of 100% cotton and the batting is all clumping from such little quilting in the lattice and border. It does remind me of how far I have come. But, my mother loves it, so I am showing it to you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snowball quilt tutorial

Last week at Irish quilting, we were looking at my snowball quilts and some of you wanted to know how to make them. Here is a good tutorial for the snowball.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vintage 40's Yellow and White Irish Chain

I fell in love with this quilt. It was in perfect condition and it was sooo soft. But, the real reason I loved it was because of Terry, age 82 who made this quilt in 1945. It was in an antique store in Phoenix, Arizona. I had gone home to visit my family just before we moved from Miami to Charlotte 16 years ago. While there, I popped into that store and saw it. I do not know what came over me but I tried to bargain the store owner down from $80 and she wouldn't budge. I flew back home without it. It was very stupid of me. Once home, all I could think of was Terry up in heaven wondering what value would I put on her work, especially when she had been so proud of it, that she embroidered her name and the date on it. Now it was lonely without family in an antique store. Boy did this quilt addict do a number on herself!! Lucky for me, my brother -in-law at the time was going back to Phoenix to see his parents. He agreed to go back to the store for me to see if it was still there. I just know that this quilt was meant to be with me. It has some wear on it now as we have used it on our bed on and off. Terry's quilt is now part of our family in Charlotte, North Carolina!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cross stitch baby quilt

All I ever had to do was to send Grandma something to sew and it was done and back in the mail in the next week or two. Somewhere I found these transfers and put them on muslin and sent them to Arizona where Grandma always lived with our family. She would sit in her chair watching her soap operas and embroidery them for me and my mother would mail them back. Such joy. I made these into this baby quilt (my hope chest!). The blocks are hand embroidered and I machine pieced, but hand quilted the piece with an all over fan design. She embroidered the date " 1981 from Great-grandma " on the corner. She was 85 at that time. This is my dog Mollie admiring our work.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Solids of Forever

Well as you know, I have fabric collected for about 50 years...OMG ...just cannot part with the dear things. These solids are 25 years old from Mae's Discount Fabric wearhouse in Miami...long defunct! My sister also had the solids and she is not as bad as I am for keeping things. She gave her solids to me to give to our guild. Instead, I gave them to my own solids drawer(: Just couldn't give them away. So finally, I decided to make a series of quilts with solids to use them up. Point!!! There is no such thing as using things up..more scraps are made. When you keep fabric this long, especially in Miami, there are fade lines on the folds. So I had to make string quilts to avoid all that. The blue one is not quite finished yet, but I was eager to do the post. I never use solids, but I got so into these that I actually bought a few extra Kona and Wendover solids at the Hancock Fabric sale to use in future quilts....the fabric-holic keeps on going.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Amish Abstractions and nothing new under the sun

I just bought a beautiful new book, Amish Abstractions, Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown. It is so lovely that I am looking at it and touching it with great care and in awe. Last post, I was pondering the nothing new under the sun deal and how, when I think I have done something cool and different, I soon discover that another has done something very similar. Some of you are familiar with Joe Cunningham...sometimes known now as Joe the Quilter. I have know his name for a long time, as he was the partner of Gwen Marston for years on Beaver Island in Michigan. Time has passed for sure and he is now curator of one of the museums in San Francisco hosting the exhibit from which this book came. He has written an essay for this book which has helped me with this "nothing new under the sun" thing. Joe says, "Every quilt has a story and every quilt tells a story." In my mind this is what makes the quilts special. A quilt is not just for pure design, it is for love or for gifting or for touching and feeling or for gazing upon with wonder and delight. So this is the way I will look at my quilts from now on. I will look at them, not just for how they look, but for the feeling they give to myself and to others...for their essence. Never again will I say...oooo someone else has made a quilt like mine...either today or 100 years ago. I will remember now, that my quilts, as are all quilts, full of the story and the comfort. Each quilt is therefore special.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nothing new under the sun

Well I am working on finishing up a group of solid quilts. I think of course, that they are original and wonderful. Then, I start looking at blogs and someone has published an almost exact quilt..OMG..Then I start relaxing in the finally sunny day with a new/old quilt book of maybe 20..30 years ago....and quess what...there it is again...OMG did I not see it then...something almost just like it. So, original means original to me...and that is ok. Just a bit surprising..although it should not is a bit of a surprise again today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Made fabric, part 3 meets orphan block

How to use the made fabric and the four inch blocks....Well a look around a very messy quilting room came up with a few orphan blocks I made a few years back in a Marylou Weidman workshop. Stuffed in some bag were a few stars, misc blocks and this flower. Adding them all together, the beginning of a quilt is born. Just like flowers, first a seed is planted..then it is watered...weeks go by...then a little fertilizer....and a little something is growing...soon voila...a plant or quilt....(In this case...a few years went by..) Oh it is. Gotta start somewhere.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rose of Sharon from forever ago

Well...I see that here is another story. This is a group quilt started by quilting friends of mine in Miami. We called ourselves the "Rose Quilters"..probably because my husband grew roses back then. Actually he had about 80 rose bushes before we adopted our two children. Children are expensive and time consuming...thus, all the roses died and our antique quilt collection stopped. It was ok...nice new things came...Anyway, the exchange blocks went thru this group, but since I was ambitious and wanted big, I also sent them to my husband's sisters in Ireland and to my grandmother and sister and friends, etc. I ended up making a few extra to complement the quilt size. It was lovely and just what I wanted. That was 25 years ago. And it sat and it sat and it sat. I took it out to share with my group here in Charlotte and they noticed brown mildew spots starting to form on it. Oh...I get it now...nothing lasts forever? So I made a huge decision and went against all my downhome values and sent it out to a longarm quilter by the name of Deborah Norris in Gastonia, NC. Now this hurt. It hurt my pride that I would never hand quilt it and it hurt my pocket book and it hurt my fantasy that there was no time limits on life. Reality is tough stuff. Now the good part. I love it and it is done and I love it again. Deborah did a wonderful job and I still have all the memories of blocks hand appliqued by friends and family... some long passed on to another world...(ps the spots came out) And so, now I show you my Rose of Sharon from forever ago.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Made fabric, Part 2

At the bottom of this post is a piece of fabric that I showed in a former post. This post shows how I am using it in this quilt I am making.

I cut the above scrap fabric into 4 and a half" squares to give character to the quilt that is in progress.

Tompte bag

My grandmother sewed until she died at over 99 years old. Some of her favorites were Scandinavian Christmas cross stitch. Here, I cut out the tompte (elf) design she had made and appliqued it onto fabric, quilted the fabric and made into a bag. I think I will keep it to use at Christmas with my grandchildren.