Friday, November 6, 2009

My Quilts - Part I

Awhile ago I promised that I would show you my quilts. My earliest memory of quilting is being home with the measles or mumps and wanting to quilt. I asked my mother for some scraps, a needle and some thread and she gave them to me. I have no recollection of what happened to that first one, but here are some that I’ve made and kept track of. Most of these are tops that NEED TO BE QUILTED!!

This is the first quilt I completed. Anyone else remember Holly Hobby? As best I can remember I started quilting in 1980 or 1981. I know for sure that I only had one child. DD#2 was born in 1982 and I was quilting a lot then.

This belongs to DD#1 and is the first bed sized quilt I finished. It’s for a twin bed and has been loved to death. She asked me to fix it, but it’s really beyond repair. It’s a sampler quilt from a class I took at the Fort Meade Recreation center with Barbara Schafer. With the exception of the borders and binding this quilt was machine pieced and quilted. The second picture is of the back.

Grandmothers’ Flower Garden was the first bed-quilt I started. I've worked on this quilt for years and it’s still not finished. Pieces of the colored blocks were cut and placed in baggies with their paper cores. It’s easy to piece as each hexagon is basted to a paper center. Then the hexagons are stitched together to form the larger hexagons. Then individual hexagons are stitched to muslin hexagons. Sounds way more complicated than it is. As with most things worked on over time, this holds a lot of memories for me. I would cut a bunch of blocks and carry them with me where ever I went. I stitched in doctor’s offices, dance lessons, basketball games, you name it. The most poignant memory is working on this with my mother and sister (niether of whom quilted), in a hospital waiting room waiting to see if another sister was going to live. She did, so there are no bad memories associated with this one. I’ve started hand quilting this one, but it’s been put away for awhile. Maybe I’ll work on it over the winter.

This one has the most pathetic story attached to it. I only worked on this on New Years’ Eve night for several years. As a single mother, even before my divorce, I never went out. One year I decided that I’d start a quilt and only work on it on New Years' Eve. The first year, I selected the fabric and cut the strip sets. The following year I made the blocks and so on. On what I though was going to be the last year, I selected the final border fabric and sewed it on, only to discover that I sewn the final border on upside down! The next year I fixed the final piece of the border. By the next year I’d met Harold and while we normally don’t go out, I’m not alone either! I’ve got mixed emotions about this one. Every time I pull it out to finish, the memory of those years surface and I put it away again. Maybe I’ll finish it one day, maybe I won’t.

So this post doesn’t end on a somber note, here’s a class sample. Years ago I taught Beginning Quilting workshops. One of the biggest thrills I’ve ever had in my life was to attend a quilt show and see a student’s completed full sized quilt. She gave me credit for teaching her the block and said how much she enjoyed the class!

As you can see, I normally make large quilts. Until now, I haven’t had a space large enough to display them for photos. I can do it now because, THE RENOVATIONS ARE FINISHED!!! We’ve lived here for eleven years and it’s taken us til now. But it’s done and paid for so we’re both happy campers!



ColetteS said...

I've been watching the PBS Craft in America series on-line and have become interested in quilting. Thanks for the lovely post. Those are beautiful quilts.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Those quilts are fabulous! My grandmother in Georgia use to make a quilt each year for my sister and I. I'd love to take up quilting. Also, I love your new quilt space.

The Gingerbread House said...

Oh My!What a lovely space to work your crafts in...I would wear that dress and celebrate again ;o)
I loved your quilts ..they are all so lovely and the workmanship looks very good too :o)...every project always seems to have a story... I love working with my crafts, they help to keep me sane.

cici said...

What a lovely collection of quilts. I always wanted to do quilting, but never got around to it. The new space is great. I know you are going to enjoy it.

Sheila said...

I can't say enough about your beautiful quilts... I really want to begin quilting. Oh and your sewing room is to die for!