Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How I'm Spending My Summer So Far

Making and quilting trunk show quilts!

I've had a busy time of it this spring and summer and for awhile I was a little behind with everything--too many things came up that needed attention and I did quite a bit of traveling as well. Today (!) I finished the last of 8 quilts I had to make and quilt for trunk show samples to send to quilt shops so that they can display quilts with copies of Remembering Adelia, which came out in March. I did have help with a few of them and that made it so much easier.

I don't send out the original quilts from a book, I take those with me when I lecture. So that means that if shops want to have a trunk show of little quilts from the book, I have to make copies. If I make 2 or 3 sets of the same quilts, then more shops in different parts of the country will be able to display them at the same time and not have to wait months for them to become available.

After researching and writing a book and designing and making the quilts that go in it (along with writing the patterns and drawing the sketches for the illustrations), often the last thing I want to do is make the quilts ALL OVER AGAIN! But authors know that books don't sell themselves and trunk shows give shop customers a chance to see the quilts from the book up close. And even if they're copies, I try hard to match the fabric or colors of the quilts to the originals because that's what quilters like to see.

One of my favorites is the little Tumbling Blocks quilt from Remembering Adelia. This Spring I made 3 (yes, THREE--hand pieced, hand quilted--no wonder I was behind with everything else). But they were so much fun to make and if you haven't hand pieced a quilt yet, try making a little tumbling blocks quilt.

This quilt was inspired by a large Tumbling Blocks quilt made in the 19th century by President Calvin Coolidge when he was about ten. I saw a photo of that quilt in a magazine and knew I wanted to make a little one for myself. If you've been itching to make a tumbling blocks quilt yourself, try this one because it's really a lot of fun AND you can use up a TON of your scraps!

For each little quilt, I cut 168 diamond shapes from 2-inch scrap strips, lining them up with a nifty 60-degree diamond ruler. You can also use a diamond template (one is included in the book).

I found it much easier to sew the "Y" seams, or set-in seams, by hand.

I love this quilt!


Karen said...

Wonderful quilt. I like to hand piece and Tumbling Blocks would be a fun one to make.

Donna K.from N. TX said...

This is a darling quilt. Lots like fun to make.

Ingrid said...

Hi, Kathy--

Love the tumbling blocks quilt. As a matter of fact, I love all the quilts in Remembering Adelia! Which one was the most fun for you, and which one was the hardest to do?


Kathleen Tracy said...

Thanks! The Orange Peel was the most fun but don't think I could reproduce that one for a trunk show--took the longest to make but not really hard. Would like to make some of them over now that I see all the mistakes I made, LOL!

Wendy said...

The tumbling blocks are so adorable, after reading your encouragement I might have to try one of my own. I love all the quilts in the book. Some designers have friends making more quilts for trunk shows, do you get some help with making quilts?

Kathleen Tracy said...

Thanks, Wendy. I got some help with a couple this time but usually have trouble finding quilters who have time to make quilts for me--everybody's busy with their own stuff I know. I also like to quilt them by hand, and that takes time. I wish I had a staff like some "famous" quilters, LOL, then I'd be designing or making a lot more quilts.

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