BQL Challenge – January

Back in 2007, Michael and I were getting ready to live in Oxford England for two months while he acted as a Research Fellow at Merton College. In getting ready for the trip, I came across a Yahoo Group (remember those) called the “British Quilt List”!!

In 2008, the BQL hosted a year-long, monthly challenge. Each month we were presented with a certain style of quilt and were challenged to make our own version. Oh did I forget to mention that these quilts were only 12-inches in size!!

It was a perfect challenge as it didn’t take forever to make but still gave me a chance to try new things.

The first one was free-hand circles…..

Since I decorate with blue items in January… my “January Blue” collection, I chose blue as my base color but used a little yellow to lighten the mood.

It was a fun start to a year of quilting!!!

Springtime Irises

Last week I posted about a quilt that I made for my friend’s son. This week I wanted to show a quilt that my friend made for Michael and me.

First, the backstory……

My husband is a Professor in Genetics and has spent his career studying natural populations of Irises in the swamps of Louisiana. They have beautiful flowers…..

Sandy knew of our love of these plants and she designed a gorgeous applique quilt based on them. At the time, she was highly interested in Celtic Knot applique and she did an amazing job of putting the two together……

Her applique was perfect….

….the Celtic knots added a level of interest to the quilt……

And, the background quilting helped the flowers to really shine…..

It is a favorite quilt and graces our walls every spring!!

Thank you Sandy for such a sweet memory!!

The older the better…

For the last few weeks, I have been showing some of my Mom’s quilts. She LOVED the art, making her first quilt at age eleven!! She took a hiatus for a bunch of years but returned to the art in the 1970’s as part of the Bicentennial quilting revolution.

This quilt was one of the first ones that she ever made. If I remember, she said that this was her second quilt and it is one of my favorites…..

It is made from 30’s fabrics….well…because it was made in the 30’s!!!!

I love the cheeriness of the blocks…..

As I looked at these two blocks side by side, I realized that the flowers are in different orientations. If you look back at the quilt, you can see that the block on the right is a mistake….the only one in the quilt. Or maybe, it was a “design decision”….right??

I am ashamed to say that her blanket stitch in her early teens was better than mine is now!!!

She used straight line quilting in the blocks and fun flower designs in the alternating blocks…..

And, this quilt is H…E…A…V…Y!!!

The cotton came from the field across from her house and, if you feel around on it, you can find bits of chaff that didn’t get carded out!!!

I don’t tend to display these older quilts too much in my home, but I am thinking that I need to find a good place for this one in my Spring decorating!!!

Do you have a favorite family “heirloom” quilt??

Charity Quilt Practice

Back in 1990, our guild decided to begin making quilts for the local battered women’s shelter. The idea was that the families often left home in a hurry, not able to bring any of their possessions with them. We decided to provide a stash of quilts for the safehouse so that the kids could pick a quilt that was theirs to KEEP…..FOREVER!!

I was SO excited about this opportunity and especially excited because it gave me a REASON to keep making quilts. You see, back then, I thought that I had to have a reason. Don’t worry, that idea has changed now!!

At the time, I was early in my quilting career and wanted to try some machine applique using a satin stitch. I found a cute pattern and WENT FOR IT……

It was one of the first quilts that we donated and I love to think about some scared and hurting child being comforted by this sweet quilt!!

Do you have a favorite charity that you make quilts for????

Yellow Rose of Texas

My Mother was two things……




One of her favorite songs was “The Yellow Rose of Texas”…..especially when Ernest Tubb was singing it…..

She would sing the first few lines over and over and over!!!

So, I guess that it was no surprise that she chose to make a quilt called “The Yellow Rose of Texas”……

It contained so many of her loves…..Texas….Roses…..Needle-turn Applique…..Embroidery and Hand-Quilting!!!

In her patient way, she created 25 rose blocks…..EXACTLY THE SAME…..

….each complete with a small embroidered bee…..

And to set it off, she added the scalloped border….what a great touch.

She quilted around each of the roses and then added the same design in the alternating blocks…..

The result is a bright and cheery quilt and I break out into song every time I see it.

Thanks, Mom!!!