Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hawaiian-made quilt

Ok, so it's not REALLY a "quilt" - yet!

My Aunt Judy has a daughter (Debbie) that lives in Hawaii. Now, this is not the Aunt mentioned in an earlier post that I went to see last weekend... this is another Aunt - I have LOTS of them! :-)

Anyway, Debbie gave my Aunt this.... I guess I'd call it a bedspread? It's HUGE - and is made up of some beautiful fabrics & colors! They are simple, oh.... 4" or 5" squares. And it is 100% RAYON. This is a heavy monster! There is a front side (the pretty squares) and a back side that is plain black. The 2 layers are not quilted, not tied... not really "connected" in any way except for the binding, which is really just the back side folded over the front if I remember correctly.

My Aunt gave the blanket to my Mom and she, knowing how much I loved it, gave it to me quite awhile later.

My thought...... is to make it into a quilt! I would have my longarmer do the quilting. And I am not sure, but I might even cut some of the blocks away to make it smaller. I mean seriously, this is a big heavy BEAST and it would weigh a ton if cotton batting was also involved! But I really love the colors, and it is sooo soft!!! It would be such a comfy & cozy quilt to cuddle with!! So, maybe I'll wash and dry it in hot water/heat a couple of times, and then take it to the quilter for her opinion...
Please post a comment if YOU have any thoughts on this.... (comments are always appreciated on my blogs!!)

Another Vintage Top

This is a top that I bought in Tulsa, Oklahoma in December of 2007.

I think I bought it at one of those antique
stores, if I remember correctly. And I think I paid like... $42 for it? Personally, I think that was a heck of a deal since my sister-in-law Carol did as best as she could to verify that it was indeed "a very old quilt top." I think it is, too. But if not? Oh well - I love it, so don't really care in the "big picture."

Here are a couple of close ups of one of the baskets. I think it shows the color better than the not-so-close-up shots do.

Now I have to figure out how I'm going to quilt this one. I have NO desire to do it by hand. Or at least to do it by MY hand... But I'm not sure how a longarmer would make that work..... And would it be worth the $$ that I'd have to pay? I have someone local who has done a fabulous job on two of my other quilts, so I'll probably bring it into her to ask her opinion... We shall see! But for now, at least I can "show & tell!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Charity Quilt

We went to a benefit for the Boys & Girls Club a few years ago ~ I believe it was February of 2005. It was called "The Portland Showcase of Wine & Cheese." It was a huge wine/cheese tasting (and I mean HUGE). There was live music, and both live and silent auctions.

My husband bid on, and won, a REALLY BIG Snowman. I bid on, and won, a quilt!!! It is probably twin size, and is made of 30's reproduction prints on a white background. I don't think it was a WOW background - I'll have to look closer...

I was bidding with/against one other person. At times, I thought she was the quilt maker or something because it seemed like she was really just there trying to get me to up my bid. I can't remember, but I think I paid $250 after hovering over the bid sheet for the last 5 minutes of the auction. I tell you what - I LOVE that quilt! 30's repro's are one of my very favorite (alongside batik's) and the lady did such a beautiful job on it! I used to know her name and I communicated with her a little bit, too. Actually, she sent me the quilt pattern in the mail!

So anyway, the quilt is all done by machine - machine pieced and quilted by machine or longarm. It was done very well because the quilt gets a lot of use by all of us and it isn't showing any signs of abuse (yet?).

As soon as I can remember her name, I will add the name of the quilt maker..... I have to find that pattern first, so it might be quite awhile (as nursing school starts back up in a few days!)....

You know, I have this dream of owning a LOT of quilts. I want to MAKE a LOT of quilts... But the reality is this - I don't really care how I get them, as long as they're not high production quilts (like we would buy in a department store). If it is made the way I make quilts, then I want it!! I can't even explain the feeling that quilts give me. It is something so warm, so..... comforting... I'm just in awe of them. And I want more!

My husband's best gift ever

At least in MY opinion, this is the most wonderful gift my husband has ever received.

His Grandmother made him this quilt. It's a Grandmothers flower quilt and was done 100% by hand - hand pieced and hand quilted. I believe the fabrics came from Grandfather's shirts.... but I am not 100% sure of that.

There are a few minor repair needs, and I do plan to do these once I find some vintage fabric... I hope this happens sooner than later as I'd like the keep the quilt in as good of condition as possible. It sure is a beautiful quilt, though. And, we use it!!

My very first quilt

Well, I'm going to post a bunch of photos of our quilts.... I guess I'll post a separate story for each quilt...?

Ok, so this is the very first quilt I ever made. I was inspired by my Aunt J.
She used to quilt, but hasn't in a long time ~ she went and took up knitting instead!!!

So anyway, I learned about making quilts when my Dad and I went to visit my Aunt. I went home and quickly went to Joann's Fabric to buy some... what else - fabric! By the colors in the center of each block, I think I might have also went to K-mart..... LOL!

Anyway, I knew NOTHING about quilting. I just knew you cut out a bunch of squares and sewed them together to make blocks. Then you sewed the blocks together to get a quilt top, etc.... I knew nothing about choosing fabrics, settings, etc.. SO, what I ended up with were a bunch of 9-patch blocks that were 18" finished!!! hahahahhahaha! Each square in my 9-patch block started out at 6.5"! How hilarious is THAT?!?!?!?!?!???? Additionally, I knew nothing about putting fabrics together, adding contrast, or anything of that sort. You can see that here:

Hey, at least I cut my plaids fairly straight! I have no idea how THAT happened, but.... I must say... for a first quilt, it's not too bad. (but that K-Mart green is horrible, I must say!)

Eventually (at LEAST 3.5 years later) I got the entire top put together (realizing how silly it looked). I had it quilted by a so-called professional long-arm quilter who did a particularly terrible job. But, it was quilted AND had a binding, so it was officially "a quilt."

We do use the quilt. My husband will wrap himself up in it (quite literally, actually) before he sits down to watch a movie. And we also take it for picnic's and to the beach, etc... Quite frankly, it is a quilt I don't care much about. I want it to be USED. It will always hold a place in my heart as my very first quilt, but it's definitely not an heirloom or anything of that sort.

I'm glad I have the quilt. I'm more glad I've moved on! :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Gift of a Vintage Nature

I am SO excited!
I am pretty sure I posted about going to visit my Aunt this past weekend..... This is the Aunt that initially inspired me to learn to make quilts!
We had a fabulous visit. I brought down the quilt I'm about to finish for my DH. And she got out some quilts that she has, both finished and unfinished. It was pretty neat to see what kinds of things she has made in the past, how she does her piecing and quilting, and in what ways we are different (in terms of quilting).

Well... I just received a package in the mail from my Aunt! She and her husband had gone to a yard sale after I left. She came across an old (vintage, I think - but I'm honestly not sure the exact meaning of "vintage" when it is quilt related) quilt top - and she bought it for me! The top is beautiful! )

The quilt was pieced by hand, and I made a promise to my Aunt that I would repair it (see below) and then quilt it - both by hand.

Yes, I said "repair." You see, this is very very old, so it is in need of some TLC. There are several fabrics that have holes, some which are almost completely disintegrated. I need to make the repairs, and I would love to use vintage fabrics to do so. Only I have NO IDEA how to find vintage fabrics.....????? Do YOU know? (feel free to leave a comment!)

Anyway, I just feel so honored that my Aunt would do this for me. And then she sent a note telling me that I have inspired her to get her quilting out and get back to work on it (she is a die-hard knitter, so the quilting has been put away for a number of years, I believe)! We have inspired each other, and that is just such a neat feeling!

Thank you, Aunt J..... Thank you SO very much!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I have this nifty idea

My Aunt gave me a whole BUNCH of quilty books and magazines when I went down to visit her this past weekend. I was going through some of the magazines last night (actually, a LOT of them) and found this beautiful photo of a quilt made with small "snowflakes." You know, the kind where you fold the fabric and just start cutting - and it's a surprise what you end up with!

So, I posted a question to my Yahoo group quilt list "If I send you a couple of fabric squares, will you cut out some snowflakes and return them to me?" I provide return postage. All they need to do is take scissors to my fabric and put it back in the mail!

Then, I will machine applique the blocks onto background fabric as I have time. Some might be more detailed than others, so I do expect that the applique process, even by machine, might be fairly time consuming. But, I would think this would be a really beautiful quilt!

So far, I have 4 ladies who are willing to participate in my project. I'm also considering bringing some fabric to my "girls get together" this Wednesday and asking them to do some, too. They're not quilters at all, so it should be especially fun to see what they come up with!

I am SO excited!!! I plan to add the names of all participants to the quilt label to remind me who made blocks. I might even put the names in the order of the blocks in the quilt. You know, so you could turn the quilt around and say "Ah-HA! Kristina made that block, Janice made this block...." I think that would make it all the more special.

Just had to share. I think the idea is a neat one and I am excited that there are at least a few people who will help me out!!


ps - the quilt will be just 2 colors... I'll have cream snowflakes appliqued onto dark blue fabric, and dark blue snowflakes appliqued onto cream color fabric. The fabrics will vary. I think. ;-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stolen Quilts

The above is a link to a page where a woman has a list of 20 quilts that were stolen from her car in 2005 in Sacramento, California.  

I came across this website tonight.  I realize I've seen it before, but I don't know that it meant the same thing at that time, because I hadn't made as many quilts as I have now (not that the list is very long...). 

It makes me just sick to think that this woman had TWENTY of her precious quilts stolen from her car!  I can't imagine having ONE quilt stolen, much less 20 of them.

The Quilter's Cache website has a link for "stolen quilts."  If you ever have one stolen, you can post a photo of it there (which reminds me to always TAKE photos!).  If you are ever suspicious of a quilt - you could check the site to see if it might be on there.  I would think that there are additional sites out there for postings of stolen/lost quilts.

I know it's already been 3 years, but I really hope this artist finds her quilts...  :-(

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scraps Galore

Ok, so I'm trying to figure out where you draw the line when thinking "this is a scrap I should keep?" I have lots of little piles and baggies of scraps. Not because they're large, but because some crazy section in my brain thinks I can actually MAKE SOMETHING with them someday. WHO AM I KIDDING???

I'm busy making 4 blocks this evening, each a little different than the other, and I'm making plenty of little scraps. I finally figured it out....... If the scrap piece is smaller than 2" square, it is in the trash!

Wow - my trash is full of unscrappy fabric and I feel.....

I'll post photos of these blocks eventually.


(feel free to leave a comment if you have any glorious ideas for your own scraps!)

Online Quilt Group

I belong to a somewhat-local online quilt group. I think there are roughly 25 of us ladies who have as many home-life situations/stories, and who do as many different crafty hobbies.

It's funny - I'm 36 years old, and I sometimes feel like a goob for being "a quilter." But I LOVE the humor and wit these ladies all share on our list! I love hearing the joys of retirement and grandchildren. And the wisdom.... Oh, the wisdom that comes from these ladies!!!!

Not only is it just a fun group, but it is also extremely supportive. There aren't any who are cranky or crabby. There aren't any who are especially good at complaining. We just share when things are going on that we have no control over - someone is sick, someone got hurt, someone has a loved one that passed away - or went to Iraq...... And the rest of us are there to provide cyber hugs, and cyber coffee/treats - and I think we all feel the virtual love!

I'm off for another quarter of nursing school starting on 9/22 - just 11 days from now, and I will miss these ladies "while I'm gone!"

I will also miss sewing for that matter... :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Block of Support

I belong to a small online quilt group. I love this group dearly!
Sometimes, when someone has something going on, we make the person a small
quilt to show our love & support.

It seems that the "Jacob's Heart" block pattern is kind of our "block of choice."
The block goes together nicely & easily, and looks fabulous in a finished quilt.

Here are some pics of JH blocks I have made in the past year or so. I'll add more photos as I make more blocks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Batik Bliss

In early 2007, I participated in a "block swap" with the WASIQ (Washington State Internet Quilters) group. The block was a simple 9-patch made in batik's with either a WOW (white-on-white) or WOB (white-on-beige) background fabric. I made 8 sets of 10 blocks so I got 80 blocks back. At the time, I had sewn all the blocks into 10 strips of 9 blocks, which included an extra 10 blocks I had made for myself. But those strips stayed right where I left them - for a long time!

Well, in cleaning my office/sewing room a couple of weeks ago, I re-found those strips. I decided that I wanted to finish up what I'd started - and finish before going back to school this fall. Of course, I still have 2 borders to complete. But, I'm almost there and I think it is really beautiful so far!

By the way, batik's in bright colors are my FAVORITE!

So, my plan is to add one more "skinny" pieced batik border and then a thicker WOW/WOB border. The binding will be pieced batik also. One friend said that this would take the focus off the center of the quilt. But.... I love the fabric so much that I can't get myself to nix that plan! I'm a crazy girl, but.... whatever! I'm not giving the quilt away, so I think I'll just go with my original plan. If I WAS giving it away, however, I think I would follow the given advice and do the binding as a pieced WOW or WOB.....

I plan to finish the borders before going back to school on the 22nd. Quilting will probably have to wait until I'm done with school, but that is OK. It will be a reward for finally finishing school and getting a job! :-)

This photo represents the first 3 borders only. I'll try to post a new photo when the last 2 are complete!

update (9/13/08) - still haven't added more borders because things have been busy around here. But I did decide to crop the photo so that maybe it would show a little more detail of the fabrics.... hope it works!


I gave David a quilt for his birthday last year. Only it wasn't fully complete. I needed to add the binding. As of a week ago, I still needed to add the binding - and his "next birthday" is today.... OOPS!

So, I decided to try and get it done by today. I'm about 1/2 way there. Maybe I'll be able to finish it. If not today, then in the next couple of days... Hey, at least it is sewn on and I just need to tack it down...... right?

Here is a close up of the quilting:

And this is not quite as close: