Friday, October 28, 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

As you can see, I'm linking to Amy's Creative Side's Bloggers Quilt Festival.  There are lots and lots of wonderful quilts be sure to check it out.  You won't be sorry but you will need an extra Diet Coke or cup of tea!  She's an incredibly creative quilter and sponsors this opportunity for additional sharing among bloggers throughout the world!

This little quilt has had a long and unwanted life.  I finished it about 2 years ago and even put the binding on -- just didn't stitch it down.  I loved it but never could decide "who" it should be gifted to.  So, it lingered in the UFO pile and I'd pull it out, do a little stitching on the binding, and put it up.  It was truly an orphan.

I had finally decided that our four poster bed needed a quilt and that one done in 30's reproduction fabrics would be perfect.  This block has lots of names, I think, but it was called "Grandmother's Choice" in the pattern book I found.  I downsized the blocks to finish at 5" because I thought smaller blocks were more appropriate for the tiny motifs in the fabrics.  I calculated I would need 72 pieced blocks for the full size bed.

I WAS WRONG!  By about half, I think.  Ultimately, I made the 72 blocks and started to lay out the quilt and all of a sudden, it was a large lap and a long way from being a full size quilt with some drape.  I was done -- I had no desire to repeat history and make more blocks.  It was time to move on and do something else.  All of that probably contributed to my apathy in getting it done and presented to someone.

But, the good news is that "all's well that ends well".  Our search for a home has been a journey with lots of twists and turns and our realtor has been a gem.  We have used her twice before and she's been wonderful when we decided to retire and return to Kentucky but couldn't find a home that met what I was looking for.  She actually "cold called" the people that ultimately sold us their home.  She had seen a "for sale by owner" sign months earlier and knew the location and size were what we were looking for so she called to see if they would like to do a private listing for some "out of town" clients.

Once our sale was final, she scheduled some much needed and fairly serious surgery.  My husband asked if we had a quilt for her as a token of thanks and I knew exactly which one to give her.  We just had to have  our furniture delivered so I could find it!  All I had to do was finish the binding to give it to her before her surgery this week.  I think this must have been who it had been waiting for as it's perfect for her.  So - it has a home, she has a snuggle quilt to use in her recovery over the next month, and I'm happy it's finally where it needs to be.

I hope you're finding lots of time to quilt (and are NOT having math issues!).  Jan

PS - don't you love the shadow of the "invisible man" behind the quilt?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Over and over and over....again

 Another wedding quilt...but with a slightly different approach.

I learned very quickly in the making of this quilt that I am not cut out for 80 blocks of the same fabrics and same pattern.  I thought this would never end...

This pattern was selected after the mother-of-the-groom and I went on a great shopping trip for fabric.  She had never shopped for a quilt before but she knew exactly what colors she was looking for since the bride said she wanted to decorate her bedroom in brown and a deep rich red.  Easy to say until you get a in a great shop with lots of selection and then it's not so easy -- but it is such fun.

Ultimately -- she chose beautiful Moda fabrics in those colors (with a little bit of blue) and I used various creams from my stash.   And from there, I had to choose a pattern and then make 80 blocks!

No more!  The wedding quilt made out of scraps that I'm working on these days is much more satisfying.  I had always thought I'd make a two color quilt -- they are so elegant -- I no longer think that's likely to happen!

I hope you're finding time to piece!  Jan

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Repurposed .... and loved

This will never go down in history as one of my "most creative" or "most intricate" quilts -- but it may be one of the most appreciated.

When my brother-in-law's aunt died, he and his brothers were charged with cleaning out the house and dividing up property since she had no children.  As the only quilter in the extended family, I was given a little cardboard box that had these eight pieced blocks, the cardboard templates, her little rusty pins, her drawing of the block on the back of stationery from her work (I love that part!) and the scraps of leftover red fabric and what appears to have been a sheet or a man's shirt that was being repurposed.  One block actually has the writing from the cleaners on it.

Now -- what in the world do you do with this?  You put it on the shelf and forget about it -- that's what you do!  And I did.

A few years later, I found the box and was looking at the blocks -- can you see the boo-boo she made in setting one of the corner blocks--and decided maybe I could make my brother-in-law a quilt for Christmas out of Aunt Hortense's blocks.  He did not have a quilt from me and I wasn't sure he would really even like to have one -- but I felt certain that he would appreciate the effort.

So - I played with layouts and knew that to stretch eight hand pieced blocks into a large lap quilt, it was going to take a lot of fabric, setting blocks, and letting go of some of my "rules".

And it began: I laid it out a number of ways, "scooched" and wiggled the blocks to square them, and made this quilt.  All I can say is -- it was so worth it!  This is a treasured and appreciated piece by my brother-in-law and may be one of the most loved quilts I've made.

Perhaps someone will come along who doesn't know me and finish something I've started one of these days....I hope you're finding time to piece and quilt!  Jan

Friday, October 7, 2011

Is patience really a virtue?

I want to quilt....

I don't want to

~ clean
~ deal with contractors who don't show up on time
~ make decisions that really don't matter
~ live without furniture and most of my fabric
~ buy stuff that's not fabric or for people I love
~ feel anchor less

But -- for another 2 weeks, those things have to happen and I have to squeeze in a bit of quilting and a bit of family and a bit of "me" time.

I know it will be worth it because I see the progress but I miss my furniture and having a comfortable chair to sit in.  Somehow, sitting on the stairs doesn't really suffice!

I will have to continue to whine and live through all the wonderful things you all are doing.  Have you seen Janet's Trailing Vines quilt -- while I have 15 Lollypops blocks by Kim McLean to do -- I think I want to do the Susan McCord quilt that Janet is graciously writing instructions for.  See -- I have better things to do than clean....

Keep piecing and I'll try not to whine again!  Jan