Sunday, April 8, 2018

Friendship Quilt -- The Feel Good Quilt

This is the third quilt in the exhibit and I apologize that the photo of the whole quilt is so bad.  The exhibit is now hung at the library and I think it will be easier to take good photos of this and the other quilts in that venue.

You can see the block that Terrie Jensen made is dated '98 and this is a 20th century quilt.  The genesis of this quilt was painful employment, to be honest.  At the time I was manager of business operations of the health management and informatics department at the University.  It was brutal; just a real nightmare.  The stress was overwhelming -- both emotionally and physically -- and I was very expressive about it to my quilting buddies in the Lucky Block group.

In those days many people were on the internet, but not all were so there was still a lot of letter-writing.   Sindy Rodenmayer (TX) organized this quilt among the ladies of Lucky Block and some of the other round robins in which I was involved.  The block design is very simple:  just a muslin square on which you could write, paint, embroider, or applique anything you though might cheer me up.  You can see some of the samples here. 

When I received this box of blocks in the mail, it was totally a surprise.  Imagine how much joy it brought me to see each of these blocks, each festooned with joyful, warm, positivity designed only to make me FEEL GOOD!  It was a big, LOUD message that I was loved and that friendship and love can overcome.  It still makes my heart swell when I see it and think of all the love that went into it. 

The blocks were made by Addie Stedile, Iva Lynn Martin, Wanda Stivison, Joyce Ilona Koch, Susan McGrath, Joan Williamson, Tammy Townsend, Ferrell Wojahn, Nancy Schaub, Marcia Anderson, Dale Ritson, Carol Beltz, Alvera Dothage, Lily Thomas, Lucy Radatz, Carla Drvenkar, Margaret Hawtin, Helen Bravington, Terrie Jensen, Sindy Rodenmayer, Elizabeth Boswell, Florence
Edmonds, Marji Rhine, Jennifer Moore, Jeanine Kelsey, Betty Dippy, Myra Hill, Edith Tibbs, and Isabelle Sanders.  The border was created and constructed by Terrie Jensen (genius) and it was machine quilted using the clamshell pattern.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Friendship Quilt Exhibit -- My Right Foot

My Right Foot quilt, ca 1995
This is the second quilt that will be hanging in the Friendship Quilt exhibit at the regional library.  Titled "My Right Foot," it was inspired by my having broken my ankle on April 4, 1994.  I'd been working in the garden planting corms and bulbs and seedlings since around 7:30 am and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink all day.  It was about 4:30 pm and Sabryin was sitting on the other side of the yard making a watercolor.  I remember wanting to get a drink of water, so I went inside and did just that and was walking back down the hill when I stepped on a sweetgum seed pod, which propelled me up into the air and down on the ankle.  I remember laying there on the ground lifting my leg and realizing my foot wasn't attached by bone!! As luck would have it, we live only five minutes from a very cool emergency room and I was in surgery only a couple of hours later.  But I still hadn't eaten anything.  My only meal of the day came at 10:30 pm but it was the most delicious chicken sandwich I ever tasted!! 

This was the theme for the My Right Foot quilt, which was produced as a group effort by the row-by-row robin organized by Wanda Stivison of New Plymouth, OH in 1995.  I made the 2nd row from the top -- the golden figure that seems to be falling (that's me).  The top row was made by Carolyn Nelson of Cobury, OR and the 3rd, 4th, and bottom rows were made by Jeanine Kelsey of Ogden, UT, Shoni Toledo Dee, and Janys Toledo of Chinle, AZ.  As the robin packet was making its way to us, Wanda learned that Jeanine had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was told she didn't have long to live, so we were all asked to put a rush on finishing our rows for her quilt. 

Jeanine did pass away but not from the heart failure.  They later discovered she had cancer and that's what took her.

This quilt was made during society's transition from snail mail to e-mail, so each of these ladies got individual letters from me in which I complained about realizing I was not only right-handed, but I discovered I was also right-footed!  I couldn't use the foot pedal for my sewing machine with my left foot and I was jonesing from not being able to sew.  Of course, that was just a minor inconvenience compared with all the other traumas I had to endure while not being able to walk.  The doctors put me in a cast and gave me a pair of crutches which I could not use, so I turned them in and got a folding wheelchair.  Smart move because it enabled me to  actually go to work within two weeks.  Gardening was an even bigger challenge; basically, I crawled around planting seeds and pulling weeds for a few weeks.  You can see how they responded to my complaints; they filled their rows with reminders of how I would soon be back at it once the ankle healed.  And it did!

The top was full of such wonderful color and fabric and incorporates many techniques including applique and embroidery and also embellishments of ribbon and beads.  I was flummoxed when it came to creating a border and complained about that to the extent that Terri Jensen volunteered to create the border, which I think pulls it all together.  She's a genius!

Next time:  The Feel Good Quilt


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Friendship Quilts Exhibit -- The Marching Band Quilt

In April our regional library is having an exhibit of friendship/signature quilts -- tops created with blocks or rows by different people and assembled and quilted by the recipient or someone else.  I am very, very lucky to have many friendship quilts; I must have over a dozen.  Normally, I don't enter my quilts in exhibits, but this time I decided to submit three to the curated event because it's local and the quilts will be displayed in such a way that people really won't be able to touch them.  Amazingly, all three will be included in the exhibit! 

Marching Band quilt from Lucky Block ladies, 1992.
This is the Marching Band quilt that I received in  1992.  The block party was organized by Alicia McCarty from whom I had adopted the Lucky Block lottery group.  Each block was made by a different member and their signatures are in the little strip blocks on the right and left borders.  The fabrics are all plaids and the pattern is simply a nine-patch consisting of five smaller nine-patches.  I never met a nine-patch I didn't love and this one is sheer ecstacy!

I received the blocks by mail in a big box and assembled them, placing the signature blocks in the border.  On the bottom border I added a white strip on which I wrote "Plaid Marching Band blocks made by Lucky Block members and presented to [me] in December 1992 by Alicia McCarty".  Next to the strip I appliqued two red hearts slightly akilter for drama. 

The block makers were from all over the country and some from other countries:  Jeanette Anderson, Christ Church, New Zealand; Wendy Beckett; Catie Blouin; Patty Jo Brown; Florence Byler; Cheryl Coville; Nancy Davis; Kim Smiley Dublin; Lynn Froese; Kathleen Freeman, Milwaukee, WI; Donna Marsh; Lorey Martin; Alicia McCarty; Joan Williamson, Winnetka, IL; Jo Anne Ward, Artesia, NM; Susan Wallace; Lily Thomas, Snohomish, WA; Theresa Stojan, Houston, TX; Wanda Stivison, Cambridge, OH; Jean Smith, St. Louis, MO; Addie Stedile, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada; Connie Sager, Nashville, KS; Laurie Rolan; Sindy Rodenmayer; Rebecca Patton; Penny McEachin, Creswell, OR.
Bad photos, but #2 shows the strip and hearts and #3 is a signature block.

Love this quilt!  If you're interested in the pattern, just leave a comment.  In the next few posts I will highlight another quilt that will be included in the exhibit.  xoxo

Monday, January 15, 2018

Kaffe Fasset Quilts in Ireland

Love my public library! 
So, yesterday I worked on the North Wind quilt, finally making all the blocks and sewing them together to make a top.  Now I need to design the border(s) and then put it together with the batting and backing, bind it, and voila another quilt!!

We are so lucky to have one of the most fabulous regional libraries in our city and I use it several times a week to check out dvds and books.  Currently binge-watching "Midsomer Murders" and always have a "Don Matteo" dvd on hand.  Saturday I found this newish book and in it found a quilt I would like to try.  It's made using the paper piecing method, which is very wasteful of both fabric and paper, but it is a really lively looking quilt and I can't resist.  We shall see.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

North Wind

North Wind pattern in Kaffe Fasset prints, 9-1/2" blocks.
Well, I made some progress with the sewing mojo problem!  I have 27 of these blocks so far and am aiming for 30; so by the end of today I should be done with block making.  From that point on, I don't know how it will go, that is to say how many borders I will add or what they will be.

All I know is I do not feel I was adventurous enough with the fabric combinations and I didn't have enough Fasset lights to make all the blocks I needed so there are three other prints in here that are not KF (so sue me). 

Another thing I know is that I did not enjoy working with the KF prints.  I do not think the quality of the fabric is equivalent to the price paid; it's too wimpy . . . I don't even think starch would help.  The print designs are glorious, for the most part, and worthy of much better quality fabric.

This, by the way, is a very fun pattern and especially useful for using up scraps.  I am happy to share the pattern; just leave a comment. 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

BHG American Patchwork & Quilting 1985

I have a large collection of quilt books purchased mostly BTI (before the internet) and I always enjoy browsing through this thirty-two year old volume.  There is now an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, and I assume that came about after the success of this book. 

It's full of classic patterns, excellent instructions, interesting techniques, and great ideas.  It did inspire a few quilts and I loved making the Ocean Waves picture frames.

This book features some fashions of the times (mutton sleeves, cutter quilt jackets and vests, patchwork skirts), unfortunately reminding me of Ralph Lauren who caused a crisis in the quilting community by starting the trend of cutting up quilts to make fashion. 

What I like the most about this book is the blend of classic and modern and the presentation of techniques that deviate from the classic quilt-making methods.  In the mid-eighties we were redefining "quilt" to include many more artistic versions.  And this was also BTQK (before the quilt kit), so if you wanted to make a quilt you had to go out and find, buy, and cut all your own fabrics BY HAND. 


Friday, December 29, 2017

A birthday treat!

Thirty years ago, the Queen of QAYG!  $19.95

Who remembers Georgia Bonesteel?  Remember Lap Quilting, something we fondly nicknamed "quilt as you go."   This is her book published in 1987, original price $19.95 plus tax.  Although it's full of wonderful quilt patterns and fabulous photos thereof, I made zero quilts using this book.  Typical.

The other day when I was at the library I found a book by a young author (all the quilting books these days are from young authors; if only there were new ideas) called Quilt as You Go Made Vintage, a follow-up to her previously published Quilt as You Go Made Modern.  Of course, the difference between the "old" 20th century QAYG books and the QAYGMM books is the fabric. 

Oh, there are other differences, too.  The old 20th century books are hardbacks for durability.  Also, the approach is more dignified, scholarly, artistic.  The "modern" books are all about FAST, EASY and focus on the fabrics. And they constantly rename old block patterns . . . all part of the modernizing process or the copyright issues, I dunno. It's all good, though.  I mean, whatever it takes to get people interested in making quilts and buying lots of fabric, right?

This is one of the gifts I got for my birthday this year.  Unfortunately, my camera did not do it justice.  It is a handcrafted seam ripper with a beautiful wooden handle (Indian Rosewood) made by Marlynn Dexter of Kearney, Nebraska.  It was purchased at Bluestem; you might be able to find one at their website.  Marlynn also makes pens using beautiful wood.

And, then, I tell you I got my sewing mojo back today.  I made five blocks with the Kaffe Fasset prints and I hope to continue making more tomorrow.  Stay tuned!  Oh, and stay warm!!  xoxo