My co-worker and her husband are expecting their first baby in the next few weeks. The nursery is yellow and gray, with painted chevrons on the walls. I managed to knit a sweater and hat in the proper colors, but drew a complete blank for a quilt. It was the gray that stumped me. Gray? For a baby?
Being reasonably intelligent, and able to swallow my pride, I posted my dilemma in the question and answer section on the QCA website. One lady suggested I look at the gray as silver. That was enough to nudge me out of my block, and off to the fabric store I went. Happily, there was a quilt show later that week to augment the first batch.
That silver really adds a nice touch, don't you think?
I've been working on the Double Wedding Ring for about a month. I have about half of the melons made, and got a few units put together.
Finding blue batik fabric proved more difficult than I had thought. I got some at two local shops, but then thought I'd like more variety of blues. At the NQA convention, I bought just about every blue batik there, and only had about 10 different fat quarters or half yard cuts.
I visited Goshen, Indiana a couple of weeks ago, and stopped at a shop that had a few more to chose from. There was a new quilt and sewing machine next door to that one, so I found a few more. I think I have enough, now. :)
I have decided that even though some fabric is downright ugly, it can still "work" and add to the finished product. The ones I don't like are dark, blotchy things. They end up a great background for more sparkly fabric.
The Thousand Pyramid quilt in the frame waiting to have the other half quilted looks a bit forlorn. If I keep a good pace on the DWR, it won't be too long before that one is back in the front of the line.
Two weeks ago, a very dear 93 year old lady passed away. In our town, she is well known for making Double Wedding Ring quilts. If anyone wanted one, they would drop off the fabric, and she would put it together.
One time, I had mentioned to her that I was intimidated by the curves, and small pieces, so I was not sure I wanted to try to make a double Wedding Ring. She encouraged me that they were really easy once you got the hang of it, and that she'd rather make that kind than any other. I tried a 9 ring, then a king size, and then another 9 ring. She was right; they are addicting.
I quilt with a church group in our town. One Wednesday morning, Oleta handed me a plastic container with some cardboard in it. She told me that she couldn't see very well any more, so she didn't need the templates for her Double Wedding Rings anymore. Besides, her daughter would just throw it out once she died. She figured I'd like her templates. Oh, boy, do I!
Today, i was asked to make a quilt in her honor, in her favorite color, blue.
There is no question what the pattern must be, because nothing but a Double Wedding Ring will do for Oleta.
The weekend of January 21-23, I got to go to Northern Indiana so two of my teenagers could go to winter camp. After dropping them off, I went to a lovely quilt shop named Caroline's Cottage Cottons in Rome City. She carries lots of Civil War, as well as a fantastic assortment of pretty much everything.
I needed border fabric for a Civil War-ish wall hanging, so I looked around, eventually telling Caroline that I was looking for paisley. She had just gotten in "Adelaide" from Marcus Fabrics. It is perfect! I got a green subtle leaf print for an inner border.
I also needed border fabric and back for a very bold, very cheery Thousand Pyramid. Caroline had the right fabric for that, too.
After I spent all my fabric money, I went to the hotel I was staying at, and sat in front of a fireplace while I pieced a block for the Civil War-ish quilt. The snow was falling light and fluffy. I was warm, cozy, and quilting! Oh, the bliss! By Sunday morning, the block was finished, put on the quilt, and the setting triangles were all in place. It just needs its border.
At home, I started working on the inner border, then found out I didn't buy enough Adelaide paisley. I looked it up on line, and it seems that a few local shops have it, so I will be going next week for some more. My husband offered to take me for lunch when I go get it. Lunch out with hubby and a quilt shop! Wonderful!
Meanwhile, my applique heart wal hanging from an Anita Schackelford class is bound, and almost ready to hang. The sleeve just needs to be tacked down. My husband thought is it quilt-show worthy. It does look nice. (Pictures forthcoming, but the camera is broken.)
One down, ready to hang, two in various stages of border. If all goes well, the Civil War-ish wall hanging will go in the quilt frame by Valentine's Day.
I have so many quilts in various stages of progress that it would be funny if it was not so sad. It would be far better to have them all done and enjoy them rather than stored in their little boxes waiting for me to finish them.
Thus, the Year of the Finished Quilt.
I had a twin/full Civil War-ish quilt in the frame for almost two years. It was really in the way, because the only place for my frame is in the living room. I bound it New Year's Eve, as a precursor to the official declared year. My camera is on the blink, so pictures will be forthcoming once the camera is happy.
Two years ago, Anita Shackleford came to my area to teach ruching and applique. I had a ball making a block. That project went on vacation with me, where I learned a valuable lesson. If you take a project on vacation, always take a photocopy of the instructions. Otherwise, the original will mysteriously disappear, and you will be left scrambling to figure out how exactly it is put together.
Last year, in January, I got fabric for the borders, but there it all sat, until New Year's Day. The border went on, and it went into the frame the day after. It is almost half quilted, and ought to be done by the end of the month.
I have a Civil War wall hanging done by hand that I have been taking back and forth to kids' gymnastics classes. It keeps getting set aside while I knit a pair of socks, or learn to knit Gansey sweaters. I am finally on the last block, so all that is left is to assemble that one, and add it to the rest of the already-assembled wall hanging. If all goes well, it will go in the frame the first part of February and hopefully out with in the month.
Then there is my 11 year old daughter's twin neon and insects Thousand Pyramid waiting on a border and quilting, a king Lone Star waiting to be set and quilted, and a Shop Hop quilt I am making with a daughter that only had 6 blocks made.
If I don't get them all done, that's okay, because Life happens. All good plans go awry. But if I get only part of them done, I can always make 2012 the Year of the Finished Quilt, part 2. No matter how it shakes out, I'll have the joy of making them, and the joy of seeing my kids use them. That's what it's about, anyway.
This was made as a guild challenge in 2008. We received a fat quarter of the fabric used in the border. It was my first effort at paper piecing. I hand quilted it with variegated thread, which gives it a bit of sparkle.
This weekend is the annual Ohio Mennonite Relief sale. In conjunction with a quilt auction, and woodworking auction, they have a "Quilters' Corner" where they sell donated quilting items, including fabric. Usually, I buy lots of fabric, both in pre-cut lengths and fat quarters. The prices are very reasonable, to almost downright cheap.
This year, though, I noticed a box of old looking templates, and some rotary cutter rulers. I had fun picking out some templates that are old enough to have been made out of manila envelop, and cardboard. And then a ruler or two made its way into my hand.
Just down the table from all the templates were two boxes of books. My daughter was starting to pick on me, that I was buying too much stuff. That's when I saw a book by Carrie A. Hall. I picked it up, and nothing was going to make me put it down again. The asking price was fifty cents.
I hurried up and paid for my things, thinking they may change their minds and add a few zeroes to the book's price, but they didn't. All of my rulers, templates, and my book came to exactly $25.
On the way to the car, I opened my new book for the first time. It was the third printing of the first edition, from 1935! The title is The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America. It had been a library book from Tupelo, Mississippi. I'd love to know how it made its way to North Central Ohio. It doesn't have a stray mark on it anywhere that I have found.
The quilts photographed for the book are absolutely stunning, even in black and white. There are photographs of quilted dresses and undergarments as well.
I now have at least 3 quilts added to my, "Boy, I'd love to make one like that" list. And that's only from the briefest of looks through the photos.
What a find! And for 50 cents!
Oh, and the three quilts added to my list are Ohio Rose, Labyrinth, and Irish Chain with Scottish thistles in the white blocks.
Wedding by the Sea was made for the Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale in 2008. I pieced the top, thanks to Fons and Porter's inspiration for the colors, and John Flynn's faster piecing method for the assembly. It is hand quilted by the ladies of Kidron Mennonite Church. It was the top selling double wedding ring, and had a companion 9 ring wall hanging that I did as a single needle quilt. The large top sold for $1,250 and its companion for $250.