Thursday, April 30, 2009

Still More Hearts!

This is one of my favorite heart quilts. It is made by my mother, and since she had it sitting out I decided to snap a few pictures and share it with you all.

Mom's Heart Quilt

Obviously the few appliqued red hearts jump out at you the most, but the majority of the hearts are in the quilting. Every solid square has a heart quilted in it.

Mom's Hearts Close

Mom's Hearts Close

Hi Mom!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Cleaning

So I have been cleaning. I should say I have been trying to clean. I have been sorting through my huge overflowing piles of fabric and supplies, trying to turn a critical eye towards it all and decide what I MUST have and what I can get rid of. I've spent some time this year reflecting on the topic of stash and whether or not I need to reduce mine. While logically I can easily talk myself into keeping it all because it is all a part of the creative process, I finally realized that I WANT to reduce the amount of stuff I have. At the end of the day it feels out of control to me and feels like a burden. I think I will be happier if I reduce. In the same vein, my wardrobe is also on the chopping block. My book collection will very likely be next.

The problem is that I keep coming across certain supplies and thinking - I will just whip this up into a quick project in order to move it out of my stash. And the problem with THAT is that "whip this up into a quick project" is not really something I do.

Case in point: a set of five heart-themed blocks made by a friend of my mother's in the 80s. Mom was going to get rid of them, and since I am incapable of resisting a heart theme, I had to take them. So then I came across them while cleaning the other day and thought...that's right, "I'll just whip this up into a quick project." After all, in this case much of the work was already done for me.

Heart Sampler

Problem is, I wanted to try to modernize the blocks with the setting, but I was having a hard time thinking of a good way to do that, and that was impeding with the whole "quick" part of the process. In the end I decided to go with something simple - if it looks like it could be from the 80s, well so much the better, I say. Parts of it look a bit brown in this picture, but the colors are really mauve-y pinks. I was planning to put more borders on to make it more of a medallion style, but when I finished the first border it was a nice size for a baby quilt and honestly just looked finished to me. And it's well suited for a baby quilt, so I thought why not just go with it.

Here's a close up of this block that doesn't show up very well in the overall shot (even here it doesn't show that clearly - it so hard to photograph those subtle colors!):

Heart Sampler Close Up

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quilt Spectrum

Here are a few pictures from the local guild quilt show that was last weekend. While I love the "big" quilt shows, I also enjoy guild shows that are focused on letting members show off, regardless of if they are doing flawless "show quality" work or not. Let's face it, most of us aren't, including me!

Lauren's Choice by Susan Carney. The maker had her five-year-old pick out the fabrics for this and I think she did a really great job.

Lauren's Choice

Lincoln Museum Quilt by Connie Guhlstorf

Lincoln Museum Quilt

Churn Dash by Barbara Miller and friends - the churn dash blocks were a 60th birthday present from many friends.

Churn Dash

The Art of This Quilt by Kimberly Travers

The Art of This Quilt

No Polar Bears Allowed by Georgia Cluver Dawson. The upper section was part of the guild's progressive quilts program. The beluga whales are an original design.

No Polar Bears Allowed

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Oldest Work In Progress

Flannel Horses

Remember the grunge phase that swept the nation in the early nineties? Smells like teen spirit? Long hair? Ripped jeans? That was the context (umm...sort of! not really!) for this quilt. As a junior high school student at the time I went through a few years where I wore flannel shirts and hiking boots almost exclusively. It was around that time that my mom got me going on this quilt, probably as a way to keep me entertained in the summer, probably when I was eleven or twelve. It helped that I was also a little horse crazy (this was not related to the grunge movement as far as I know). I did the buttonhole stitch applique and embellishment (ears, eyes, and tail) on all the blocks at that time and set them all together without the borders, but that's as far as I got. Then it got moved from box to box to closet for about fourteen years.

Flannel Horses

Years later when I began to get seriously interested in quilting I hunted around for this project intending to finish it. All it needed was the borders for the top to be completed, but somehow when you've been not working on a project for over ten years it is easy to continue to not work on it. However, I had it specifically in mind when I went through my beginning of the year assessment and goal setting this year, and I bought the border fabric the first week in January. Now at last the borders are on and I can put it in the queue to be quilted. I haven't decided if I want to do it by hand or machine.

Flannel Horses

It's a different look from most of what I'm doing these days, but I guess you can probably expect that from fourteen year old works in progress...

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