Monday, April 7, 2014

Lovely Quilted Baskets

A tisket, a tasket, some lovely quilted baskets. That's what I found in my mailbox this past weekend. What a wonderful surprise!
 

A few months ago, I posted this picture of an antique basket quilt on my Facebook page. It was from an Etsy listing.
 
 
Marian, my blogging friend from Australia, also saw the quilt and fell in love with it too. However, I didn't love it enough to spend whatever the seller was asking. Marian did and she decided to splurge and buy it for herself. She e-mailed to tell me this and to make sure she wasn't sweeping it up before I had a chance to buy it myself. I thought about it and then quickly decided no, my daughter needed textbooks this semester much more than I needed that quilt. (Oh, the many sacrifices of motherhood!) I made sure Marian agreed to take good care of it and asked her to send me photos now and then. It felt good knowing that this beautiful quilt had a good home.

Antique basket quilt ca1880s

The quilt seems to be doing okay living with Marian. . . .
 
But the story continues and I think my story may inspire some of you who need a kick in the butt to begin fulfilling some of your own dreams. Not too long ago I was in a reflective mood, thinking about my quilting journey and the career path it led me to pursue and wondering where it would take me next. Ten years ago this past February I had just finished the manuscript for my first book, American Doll Quilts.  Martingale & Co. liked it and published it in 2004. You can imagine what a thrill this was for me, a novice quilter, and so, yes, I decided to mention the occasion on my Facebook page and also mention how grateful I was for the support of all of my fans. When Marian saw my FB post about celebrating my 10th anniversary, she decided to do something nice. She made me my very own basket quilt (that looks VERY similar to her lovely quilt) to help me commemorate this event. Can you believe it? How lucky am I to be surrounded by such generous and loving quilters? Turns out that American Doll Quilts was the book that got her started making little quilts and so I guess she was feeling nostalgic too.



Emma Jane now has a quilt for her cute little bed.
 (Emma Jane was made by Victor Brandt and gifted to me several years ago after some of his Gail Wilson dolls were included in my second book, Prairie Children & Their Quilts.)


Thank you, Marian. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(E-mail me if you want to buy a bed just like this one to display your little quilts.)


This was the first quilt I made for that book and I still love it today. 

I will always be very grateful that I took a chance on myself and decided to jump in and attempt to do this "book thing" despite all the odds. It meant changing my part-time career from a freelance college textbook editor (after quitting my full-time job and deciding to work at home while my kids were young) to a full-time quilter. And a beginning quilter at that. What were the chances? So many people I knew "tsked tsked" at this - it was a huge risk to start a new career (and a small business) and there was a good chance of failure. What then? My husband supported me and my efforts 100 percent though and that's all I needed.

Inspired by my young daughter to make small quilts for her dolls, I was soon motivated to learn about children's quilts from the past and women's quilting history. And I felt compelled to share it with all of you. Because of my children and their fascination with American history as they were learning it, I became inspired to incorporate some of that into my quilt patterns and books. Many of you fell in love with my creations and ideas. So I've stuck with it.  The fact that I've continued to do this for 10 years, well . . . that's definitely something I need to celebrate. Thank you for all of your support over the years. And here's to ten more (if I'm lucky).


American Doll Quilts is sort of out of print now but there are still lots of copies floating around. I have a few used, signed copies (in good condition) available here, on my website or you can probably get a used (but not signed, if it matters) copy on Amazon.com. If you don't make small quilts yet, it may be just what you need to get started on your journey.

*   *   *
If you didn't see this item on my Facebook page the other day, read about the famous Rose Percy doll and her fascinating life and career here



27 comments:

claggle said...

I think there is some saying 'what goes round...comes round' and I think that ...in the nicest possible way...that this applies to you. What a nice story. Beautiful quilts.

Linda said...

So sweet.. such a wonderful gift! Happy 10th anniversary Quilt artist!! I enjoy your blog and FB posts.

Colleen said...

What a thoughtful thing for Marian to do. Love the big and small basket quilt :)

I just got your first book from Amazon and made your cover small quilt. I had some sorta repro fabrics that I've had in my stash for a LONG time. I never cared for the quality of the fabric so that's why I never used it. I made the nine patch and it turned out great...even with ugly fabric..haha.

Thanks for all your hard work and especially your inspiration.

Sue Bennett said...

Marian has to be the sweetest person. Love your little quilt.

SueB in Virginia

quiltgrannie said...

OH Kathy!! Your new quilt from Marian looks so nice on your bed.
That was so thoughtful of her to make that for you. And congratulations again on your 10 year anniversary. That was the first book of yours I bought and I love it to death.

Susan said...

What a sweet little quilt, and such a kind gift from Marian. It's lovely.

Heartsdesire said...

How lucky you are to have such a caring friend as Marian. Her little quilt is so sweet, and looks right at home on the doll bed. I saw your FB post about the Rose Percy doll and found her to be gorgeous. Wish I had one. So glad you decided to pursue your "new" career. I love your quilts and the way you play with fabric, have all your books and patterns, and have made quite a few. I'm now starting another.

Ann in PA said...

Kathy, This has to be my favorite post ...Happy 10th Anniversary! Tsk-tsk to those nay-sayers....there are many of us who are grateful that you followed your heart. I love the basket quilt story -how sweet of Marian to gift you with one of her beautiful creations. Your husband is a "Keeper" for supporting you. :)

ann hermes said...

I thought that little basket quilt looked familiar ! :)

regan said...

Marian's little quilt is lovely! What a sweet gal to send that to you! And Congrats on your 10 years! Awesome!

Leeanne said...

Oh what a wonderful story! Good for you, you are living the dream! Happy 10 years!

Louise said...

Really enjoyed your blog post today. A very touching story.
A beautiful gift from an equally lovely friend. I have all of your books and enjoy each and everyone of them over and over again. Thank you for sharing.

Candee said...

What a wonderful gift from Marian! It looks perfect on that sweet bed. Congratulations Kathy. Glad you took the risk.

Karen said...

Congratulations, Kathleen on 10 years of quilting bliss. You found your path and it seems to suit you so well. You have been such an inspiration to so many of us through the years. I have learned so many things about the history of doll quilts and the people who have made them from reading your books and blog. Your little basket quilt is beautiful. Marian must have felt a special connection with you knowing how much you loved that basket quilt too. It was such a thoughtful gesture that she made a small replica for you to have in your home. It's adorable and looks so nice on the little red bed.

Susan Smith said...

Happy Anniversary! That was such a sweet gift from a very thoughtful friend! Thank you for taking a risk and creating such wonderful patterns and books for us!

pandchintz said...

She's a gem, our Marian! Congratulations on all your wonderful achievements, Kathleen.

jane nj/wi said...

What a fine way to start the day. Elegant post, inspiring. Marian is simply a grand person and a terrific quilter who has leaped two feet and two talented hands into small quilt land. I am a basket lover and both the large inspiration basket quilt and your gift from Marian has me wanting to ditch all the "need to dos" today and pull out a mini basket quilt project sulking from neglect in my lateral file drawer.

Congratulations on your tenth anniversary and thanks for the peek into how you made your way there.

Have a great day. You have brought some sunshine into my rainy gloomy looking morning.

Jane NJ

Anonymous said...

Loved the update. I love the basket quilt. Seeing it is the 10th anniversary of your first book, can we look forward to a new one? Keep up the great work you do here and on the group.


Christine in London, Ont

Anonymous said...

Kathleen,
Thank You for continuing to inspire us all with your creativity of creating little quilts. Love your books, fabric and your blog. Best wishes to you!

Barbara Stillman
Cumming, GA

Radka said...

What a lovely story :-)
Congratulations! And yes, I am lucky to have your lovely book too (and Remembering Adelia), you have done so well.

Cheryl Barkdoll said...

What a wonderful gift to receive for your 10th Anniversary. The quilt looks like it was made for your doll cradle. Marian is a very thoughtful friend but then my mother always said that to have a good friend you also must be a good friend. I think that you have a long list of friends Kathy.
Happy 10th! Cheryl B / IL

Annemieke said...

Congratulations on your 10 years of having your own small business and all the things you did. Your name as someone who writes about quilting and fabric history and as author of your books is also very well known here in my country (The Netherlands). I have seversl of your books as well and am still enjoying them very much. The little quilt gift is beautiful. The doll bed is lovely too but a bit difficult to get to mu country I think?
Groetjes
Annemieke

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Liz L said...

Congratulations Kathleen. Wish Marian was my friend. Guess I'll have to make a basket quilt myself. I love all your books not only for the little quilts but also for the historical information.Follow your dreams.
Liz L

Chris said...

Hi Kathleen, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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