The first quilt I made was the Santa wall hanging pictured on the front of the Debbie Mumm pattern. I still have it somewhere, in a box. I keep it to show myself how far I have come. Quilting is math. The pattern, for the Santa border in this case, calls for a certain number of squares, that you sew together with a quarter inch seam, that will equal the length of the body of the quilt. That first quilt is a fine example of the different things that can happen to not make the two measurements equal. Like poor pressing, too big a seam, etc. But it also taught me to enjoy the process and see the beauty of the big picture.
The second quilt I made was for my Dad, for Fathers Day. It is called Birdhouse Row by Lynette Jensen, from the book on the left. Dad loved birds, trees, animals, gardening, etc. Basically the outdoors. We often went for walks together when I would come home.
Turns out this is the only quilt I made for Dad. He has been gone for thirteen years now. Still miss being able to talk to him and make him laugh. Dad was one of the few people I could talk to about anything. Now I have the quilt and I bring it out every spring/summer.
There are many reasons to make quilts – special occasions, family, friends, your own personal enjoyment, etc. But sometimes there are people and organizations that are deserving of quilts as well. Here are a few quilts I have made for that purpose.
The picture on the left is from allpeoplequilt.com, if I remember correctly. The nursing home where mom lived had a family day in the summer and part of that was a silent auction. People contributed baskets of items for people to bid on and I believe it benefitted the activities department. I donated the table runners above. The quilt on the right was from 101 Fabulous Small Quilts. I gave a copy to Kim one year and marked all the pages that I thought we should both do – it was a lot of pages! Americana Nine Patch, by Karen Costello Soltys. I really need to get back to some of these small quilts. Kim and I exchanged ‘kits’ one year, which she of course has completed and I have not. I think that will be my goal for next year, finish the projects I already have on the shelf!
Another worthy group are Quilts of Valor. I have made two, but can only find a picture of one of them. I love patriotic quilts and I have one going for myself for a change too, once I get all my gift quilts made…
The pattern is for a runner from Pieces from my Heart called Pride and Glory. I appliqued little stars and added more stripes. It’s only math. 🙂
The Hands of Friendship Guild in Litchfield has also made Quilts for Beds. The local Rotary Club builds twin size beds for kids in the county that don’t have one and we donate quilts. Kim & I made one over a spring break, but again I don’t have a picture… This is the second one that I have made. Jeanette quilted it for me and I need to get a picture of the quilting from her. She did a great job!
The pattern is Rail Fence, just three strips next to another block of three strips placed perpendicular. This quilt was featured in an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in fall of ’17 under the feature Charity Quilts. Went together in a day. Very easy, yet the black gives it a cool shadow look.
Bundles of Love is another organization I like to support with my time & quilts. I saw the block on Pintrest and thought it would be a fun one to play with and see what kind of secondary pattern the eye sees. Fabrics were all from my stash & a simple machine in-the-ditch quilting and it was complete. Win-win. A little one gets a quilt, and my stash is down a smidge.
A few years ago my SIL gave me an Elizabeth Hartman pattern, Fancy Forest. Wasn’t sure when I was going to make it but it is just as the name says, things you would find in the forest. Then I heard my cousin and his wife were having a baby! They love living up north and Sam’s wife, Larissa, was studying to teach biology. Perfect fit! It was a lot of fun to make, but I chose to use minky for all the black places – nose and eyes. Thought it would be a great texture change as you felt the top of the quilt. Never again. It worked great that way. But what a mess to work with. Black fuzz everywhere.
I think the owls were my favorite. Those eyes! But the Butterflies turned out gorgeous as well. The fox and rabbit – adorable. Even the thistles are pretty.
Penny, from Gone To Pieces quilt shop, did the quilting for me. Kind of a wood grain look that fit the theme. Love how it turned out. Larissa took Anders picture with it every month his first year. Makes me happy when I know a quilt is loved and appreciated.
When I heard they were having a second child. I knew just what I wanted to make. Her next pattern was called Awesome Ocean and by now Larisa was working at the aquarium! Again it felt like the perfect fit.
As I finished a block, I often sent a picture to Phyllis, the excited grandmother.
Love the Manatee – and the Seahorse! But how cute is the Octopus! And the Whale! The Puffy fish – adorable. This time Jeanette did the quilting. Love how the air bubbles come up from the fish and the wavy motion makes the kelp sway.
This year, Greta gets the monthly quilt picture! These were fun quilts to make. This year for my birthday I got the next pattern, Delightful Desert. Not sure who will get that one. Might have to make a mixture of my favorite animals. That would be fun, but could be tricky getting all the blocks to mesh.
One of the blogs that I started following early on was Humble Quilts. For the past few years, in April, she has hosted a doll quilt exchange. This is the first doll quilt I made.
I agonized over it. It was 2015 and Mom had just died and I thought this would be a great distraction for me. But of course when I am stressed, I tend to over think things. There are few requirements, size and civil war era fabric. But I hadn’t done much with civil war era fabrics yet at this time so how do I know if a certain fabric qualifies? Especially when I only wanted a fat quarter of it, but the salvage didn’t have a label. And those that did, didn’t always give an indication of time period. Stress. Also, I am making this for someone else, that I don’t know, so I want it to be perfect. I found a block that would have been fitting for the time period and started making basket blocks. Didn’t use a pattern so then had to figure out setting triangles, hand or machine quilt (I did hand quilting) and continued to agonize over its worthiness. In the end, I was very happy with how it turned out. Happy enough that I signed up to do it again the next year.
I love bowties!! This was a joy to make and wish I had made one for myself at the same time. No worries, again hand quilted, done on time, and had fun playing with colors, placement, and every step of the process. So once again, I signed up to participate the next year.
2017 was a busier spring so was a little more stressful and had a few more issues getting it all put together and in the mail on time. Still happy with the end result, but I think I want to go back to bowties. I believe the exchange has become so popular that in 2018, by the time I got to Lori’s blog to sign up, her roster was full and I couldn’t participate in her exchange. So Kim Allen and I decided to do our own exchange, a little later…
This is part of a Kim Diehl pattern. This time I actually made myself one at the same time! Although mine has yet to be quilted… Many thanks to Lori for hosting such a wonderful quilt exchange. There are so many gracious, talented quilters that participate. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to participate.
Quite a while ago, I asked Donna her thoughts on a really cute quilt pattern I thought of making for my nieces, her granddaughters. She gave a thumbs up and I ordered the pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts.
Before my trip to Portland, I cut out all the blocks hoping that there would be a free day that Donna and I could work on them together.
Aren’t they adorable! We got half of them done! They are all a little different. I used the same fabric on two of them and another two have a similar color.
This week I was able to finish it. Jeanette will quilt it this fall and then I will just have to remember to get it in the mail on time. I think that is kind of the most exciting part. I have a Christmas gift almost done and it is August 1st!! That is not normal in my life!
Hard to choose favorites as each quilt seems to have its own beauty, whether it is design, color, quilting, etc. I didn’t take the time to read all the identifying tags – just too much to see!
Cherrywood challenge had an exhibit of the Van Gogh quilts. Amazing work! In the picture on the right, Van Gogh’s picture is from the quilting.
At the Minnesota State Quilt Show I saw a quilt of 365 challenge. In Sisters I saw another one. They are amazing! Someday I hope I will make one.
Last, I really need to thank Donna for planning a great trip!
So many quilts to see and not enough time to give them all the attention they deserve. It was such a hot day, but Donna and I persevered. Primarily modern quilts were on display. All of them beautiful. The following are a few of my favorites.
There were a few standouts. I love the way color is used in contrast, the light and the dark.
More next time….