Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
I really love the look of a little doll quilt that is quilted very simply. In this quilt I quilted in the ditch around the inside of each block, then quilted inside the black part and just a simple stitch through the center of the colored cross part of the block. The sashing will be quilted with a few straight lines and I have not decided what I will do on the border yet.
My favorite quilting thread is YLI quilting thread. I'm very partial to the light brown as it gives a nice antique look when stitched on both light and dark fabrics.
I'm clearly not an expert and my stitches could be a little smaller and straighter, but it sure is fun and I love the look of a little quilt that's hand quilted. If you haven't taken the time to do any hand quilting, try it out on a small quilt. It doesn't have to be heavily quilted--just try stitching a straight line or Xs in the blocks to get yourself going. Even a little bit of hand quilting gives a special look to a quilt. And, don't forget, if you make a mistake, it will only add to the charm.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I became very upset one day last week. I love watching the beautiful cardinals that come to my backyard feeder. I think of them as MY cardinals. Well, the dog started barking at the window and I turned around just in time to see a huge hawk swoop down from the tree, snatch a cardinal at the feeder and fly away with it. I felt so sad most of that day. Call me silly, but I hate witnessing this predator-prey aspect of nature. For goodness sake, I live in an URBAN area. We pretend things like that just don't happen.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I fed the dogs, made myself a cup of tea, took some Tylenol, and sat down and checked my e-mail. There was a message from the Dear Jane e-mail list I'm on that contained a little note from Karan Flanscha that I wanted to share with you. I know some of you are making your own Dear Jane quilts or have already finished one.
I have exciting news . . . I have finished my big Dear Jane "In Time of Recollection" . . . started 1-1-1997 and finished today, on my birthday . . . 1-18-2012. It will be part of an exhibit "Covered By Glory: Civil War Commemorative Quilts" at the Grout Museum of History & Science in Waterloo, Iowa. The exhibit will be open from Jan. 27 - September 1st, if any of you will be traveling in the Midwest. There will be around 50 wonderful Civil War era quilts, and reproduction quilts shared by quilters like Barbara Brackman, Brenda Papadakis, Mimi Dietrich, Kathy Tracy, Judi Rothermel, Fons & Porter, and many others.
Here is a quote that sort of sums up my Dear Jane experience:
"My whole life is in that quilt. It scares me sometimes when I look at it. All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces . . . I tremble sometimes, when I remember what that quilt knows about me." (Credited to "an Ohio great-grandmother reminisicing to Marguerite Ickis".)
There are so many wonderful memories associated with my quilt, and some sad ones too . . . quilters who have 'crossed over to Glory' ahead of us. For those of you working on your blocks . . . a 'Tilde thread' a day will keep you moving forward . . . most of my blocks were stitched in 'found time' . . . little bits of time here and there that have added up to so much more. Thanks to all of you who have been part of my journey!!
This is just what I needed to motivate me. How exciting it must be to finally complete that quilt! I felt so proud of and happy for her. Before long, the Tylenol kicked in and I started to feel better. Or was it reading Karan's inspiring message that made me feel better? Probably a little of both. So, in honor of Karan's completed Dear Jane quilt, I decided to take some time today to finish another block of my own. Thanks, Karan! Wonder if I'll be able to finish mine in 15 years??
I first saw Karan's almost-finished quilt in 2010 when I taught a workshop for her guild.
Every time I look at these photos I become inspired. I will be in Iowa again in less than 2 weeks to teach at the Grout Museum Cabin Fever Retreat and to see the Covered by Glory quilt exhibit Karan talked about. And Karan's Dear Jane quilt. Can't wait. I hope she lets me take more pictures so I can show you. I'll bet you'll be inspired too.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
These were a few of my other border choices and I hope I picked the right one. Which one would you have picked? All of them would have looked cute.
Have fun and show me your quilts - either in the Yahoo group photo album or on Flickr. Next week I'll try to motivate you to quilt it before we begin another small quilt for February.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Only a matter of time before his voter registration card arrives. This is an election year and we live near Chicago where every vote counts . . . sometimes twice.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sometime next week we'll work on the sashing and borders and, before you know it, the quilt will be finished
Are you still with me??
Monday, January 9, 2012
Jerry has done programs like this in the past with my other books. I've heard good things about them and you and I know that clubs are a great way for you to actually get some quilts made. Sometimes all you need is a little nudge. Online clubs like this are terrific if you cannot take a class at a local quilt shop. You can still join in the fun. Even better if the fabric is already chosen for you and delivered right to your door.
Knock, knock. Who's there? Fabric.
Okay, so I tell jokes like a three-year-old, with no punchline, but you get the point. And, if you join the club, you get Fabric. Every month. So check with Jerry and see what she has in store for you beginning in March.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Did you know that there are patterns for at least 40 small quilts, or doll quilts, in all four of my books? (If you count the large ones there are even more.). That's a lot of quilts to choose from. I know not everyone likes ALL of the quilts and many of you have made some of them. There are some of you who would really like to make a few more. This is what you tell me when I visit your guilds and I show my quilts. Why else are we inspired to buy the books if not to try making the quilts?
Here are some of my friend Julia's small quilts. Isn't this adorable? She's as crazy as I am. Imagine, at the end of the year you could have your own little stack of quilts just like this . . .
Every month there will be another small quilt assigned from one of my books and you can choose to participate in all or one or none. No pressure. But if you do participate, just think, by the end of the year you will have 12 small quilts completed! Not bad.
Also, we will be doing this as a sort of Small-Quilt-a-Long. In the yahoo group (maybe here too) I hope to prompt and motivate those of you who are doing this to keep working on the quilt. The first week of each month I will choose the quilt and try to encourage you to begin choosing fabrics and maybe cut your pieces. The second week I will try to prompt you to sew them together. The third week is for sashing and/or borders and the last week I will encourage you to quilt your little quilt and finish it. Sound like fun??
Of couse, it's all easy for me because I have already made all the quilts, LOL. Some of them twice - or even three times (!) so my part is simple. You guys have to do all the work and make the little scrappy quilts you tell me you love so much. But honestly, they take very little time to finish. They're so SMALL. And - at the end of the year you can have your very own Wall of Quilts to rival this one that belongs to an antique doll quilt collector! I never get tired of being inspired by this photo. You can even make 2 every month in different colors and give one to a friend.
You can still participate even if you are not a member of the Small Quilt group. Only members can view the files and post and view photos of the finished quilts, however.
This is a wonderful way to get the New Quilting Year off to a great start - and feel good about making some of those quilts from the books that are beginning to collect dust . . .
So get out your books, quilters, and join the fun. Make a small quilt a month. I know you can do it!