Goodbye to an old friend….

 

Back in 1993 our guild decided to put together small quilting groups of four people each and that each group would work on a mystery quilt….one clue each month.

At that point, Michael and I  barely had enough money to live on, much less to go out and purchase fabrics for a quilt that I had no particular use for AND no idea exactly what it would look out.

So, I decided to use the fabrics that I had on hand and to make it scrappy rather than a planned format.  I had a wonderful time with my three bee mates and was thrilled with the final product….

F's

This quilt became our family “comfort” quilt.  We used it for our kids to sit on when we ate dinner in the living room, we snuggled under it when we were cold, we were comforted by it when we were sick or recovering.  Basically it was our “go-to” quilt.

Now, after all of these years, it looks like this…..

DSC00644

Many of the fabrics have rotted and shredded, probably because I didn’t use the best of fabrics……DSC00645

This hole was the final straw…..

DSC00647

When my feet went thru the quilt I decided that it was time to put this old friend out to pasture.

Now the question is what to do with it.  I am not sure that I can throw it away but not sure that I want to store it for the long haul!!!

I guess that I really need to finish up the quilting on the piece that I started to take the place of “comfort quilt”!!

Bedtime Bears on Christmas Eve

This post is about a quilt that I made in 1992 for my daughter, Jenny. She was never into Dolls, but she LOVED her Teddy Bears, so I decided to make her this quilt for Christmas.

I found wonderful patterns, many that reminded me of Jenny’s pursuits.P4211166Then there was one pattern called “Lonesome Bear” and I felt that he couldn’t be on the front with all of the other bears, so I decided to piece the back and include poor little lonesome bear. The idea behind the back was that he walked all around the edge of the quilt and then curled up in the window and fell asleep….

P4211171 This quilt has been much loved over the years and has survived thru two disasters….the first being a black pen breaking on top of it (note the black spots) and the second being a can of pink hair spray leaking on the front. Jenny was horrified when these things happened, but I think that they just give the quilt more character!!!

As with many of us, I had planned too much for the holiday season and was running low on time to get it finished. The reason I remember this quilt at Christmas was because of a poem that I wrote to read when I showed the quilt at my guild Christmas Party……

Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the house, not a creature was stirring….except for Mama Mouse.

The stockings were appliqued, quilted and hung with care, in anticipation of the goodies that would soon be there.

The presents were wrapped before Turkey day and now law under the tree in much disarray.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of “Baby Crimp and Curl” and “Super Mario” danced in their heads.

Many hours ago, Dad had gone to bed, while Mama went searching for needle and thread.

And now she sat sewing binding on the sides of a quilt made for Jenny who was then only five.

The idea was born in September with much love and care and……”Yes Dot, your right. It must have a bear”

Or two or three or maybe eight plus five or whatever it takes to make the quilt alive.

That special brown print was bought from Melissa’s store and Dot and Dale sent bear patterns galore.

The patterns were enlarged to make the size just right and that polar bear block wouldn’t go together without a fight.

The Ballerina must have a Tu-Tu of net. Now the blocks are together, the top is finished and yet….

It still needs a border to set it off right. What about Bear’s Paws…..so I sew with all of my might.

The back of quilt must be special too. It needs a lonesome bear and more Bear’s Paws…at least a few.

But now it’s Christmas Eve and time is a slippin. Oh not another mistake…I dont have time for more rippin.

At last now it’s finished, the final stitch has been taken. Once it is all wrapped up, then the kids I can waken.

And so I exclaimed as I wrapped the present tight. “Merry Christmas my Jenny and may it keep you warm many nights.

I hope that you have finished all of your Christmas projects and that you can dream tonight of the many new quilts to come!!!!!

Star over Bethlehem

_B283443 (2)

This quilt was made in 1985 and was my first foray into the world of machine piecing.  The pattern came from a magazine, but the top part of the star was not part of the original design.  I hadn’t done a lot of quilting at this point and was NOT at all confident that I could make the needed changes to the pattern.    I knew that if I pieced it by hand, it would take a week to do and then I still might not be able to do it.   SO, without really know what I was doing, I set out to piece it one the machine. 

I did EVERYTHING wrong in this process….at least based on what I know now.  I prepared the templates out of cardboard, and then drew them onto the fabric.  I cut out each patch, adding  the quarter inch seam allowance.  I matched the corners and lines and then sewed along the line.  

But, the upside was that it only took a couple of hours to piece and I was able to make the changes easily. 

It is fun to look at this piece and remember how much I worried about making such a simple change.  I have come a long way in the past 24 years and hope that, in 24 more years,  I will look back at today’s quilts and think about how much more I have progressed since then.

Thanksgiving is Here

P4211088 (2)

This quilt was made in 1997 and is the November quilt that hangs in my entry way.  I found the pattern for the Cornucopia and executed it with Machine Satin Stitch.  I was excited to be able to use a marbled fabric in the corn husk.  This had been dyed in a guild workshop.

The border blocks were an appliqued version of the “Turkey Tracks” block and the pieced turkeys came from some block pattern that I found and translated it into squares and half-square triangles.

After finishing the top, I realized that the back fabric was simply too white and garish and did not look good in the quilt.  I debated for some time about whether or not to Tea Dye it, but wasn’t really happy about dipping the entire top into a vat of strong, boiling tea.  My friend, Sandy, came to the rescue when she suggested that I do the stipple quilting using a light tan thread and let the thread take the edge off of the white.  Up until now, I had only machine quilted with monofilament thread. 

I was really pleased with the final result!!

Halloween Harvest

 

P4211101 (2) This is the quilt that adorns my entryway during the month of  October.  It was made in 1995 and was a LOT of fun to make!!!   I  had tons of Halloween patterns that I was dying to use so I decided to use them all.  I picked out the patterns, determined the sizes and then worked with graph paper to figure out where to place them on the quilt.

It is funny how quilts evoke memories of when they were made.  In this case, I remember how excited my kids (ages 8 and 10) were about the upcoming holiday.  I also remember that my husband, Michael, was doing a lot of deer hunting during this time and he would often leave super early in the morning and I would get up and sew before anyone else got up.

It was also the first time that I   had used a striped fabric for the binding and I was particularly happy with the result.