I started quilting in 1998. My first quilts were art quilts, as much paintings as quilts. And, most definitely, made for the wall. I decided I wanted to make a quilt that was utilitarian. My brother had just graduated from college and was moving to North Dakota for graduate school. I decided that he was the perfect candidate for my first quilt. I wanted something simple and warm. A friend suggested that I use two layers of double loft batting, so that it was more like a comforter. (It was quilted by a longarm quilter, too.)
My brother has used this on his bed ever since. Recently, there were a few holes and the binding was completely coming off. So, I started repairing it. Let me tell you, this quilt is so different than how I quilt now. (Two layers of double loft batting?) I guess I would use the same colors again, but that's about it. It is really heavy. I talked to my brother about it, and he says that's why he likes it, it's warm.
Ranger approves of the quilt.
JoAnn's has kona cotton solids 50% off. I stocked up today. I love the plumish color on the bottom.
Another way that you could help in Haiti is through craft hope. They are setting up a site on Etsy to sell donated handmade items. All proceeds will go to Doctors without Borders. You can donate an item or purchase a handmade item (when the shop opens.)
For December, Heidi had us follow crazy mom quilts' star quilt along. I was given week 4.This was definitely out of my comfort zone, from fabrics to a traditional block, but I had fun with it. I had been planning on following Modify Tradition , but didn't have the time earlier. This may have inspired me to catch up.
This was a HUGE amount of quilting for me, especially since I didn't do any quilting for about 4 months due to moving. I also made a few other Christmas gifts and decorations for house, too. I had fun, but sometimes felt overwhelmed with the amount of quilting I brought on myself. Most of these quilts were gifts, though I did make a couple for our use as well. I did try to sell a few on etsy, but I didn't enjoy making those as well and was not successful either. I am ok with this.
In this new year, I already have a long list of quilts I want to make. If someone tells me some news, I am probably thinking "I wonder what type of quilt I can make them. Or, do I have time to make another quilt?" I want to make a few quilts for charity, give away several to friends/family, but I would also like to make some for myself. Not as a thought for a bed, but just a quilt that I want to make and explore without thoughts for whether someone else will like it. I may try to do this in mini quilt size to start.
I really intended this blog to not just be about quilting, but that seems to be all I've done artistically this year. I take photos constantly, mostly of my children. I would like to continue to improve in my photo taking (definitely in my photos of quilts.) I do want to get back to drawing and painting this year, but that will have to wait until we get the rest of our stuff in storage (where all of my supplies are.)
I had been thinking about making a tshirt quilt for awhile. Allen's older brother and family moved this fall to a new town. I thought this would be a good time to make a quilt with tshirts and memories from the town they left. I made this quilt for the oldest, Hannah, because I figured that she would have more shirts and moving tends to be harder for older kids and teens.
I wanted to add fun fabrics to make blocks for the shirts, rather than just using t-shirts. I used a small strip of black or green around each shirt, then finished them off to 15 inches with black or polka dot. I used the green again for the binding. I stippled the quilt, but if I was to do another t-shirt quilt I would not quilt over the shirt design. My machine kept skipping stitches. I think it turned out looking like a fun, young quilt, which was my goal. The finished quilt is 75" square.
Vicki had asked me a few months ago to make her a quilt that made her think of her grandchildren. She left how I did that or any color choices up to me. She did mention that she had a burgundy recliner where she planned to curl under the quilt. That was it. I toyed with the idea of names in the quilting, photos, etc. I decided that I did want to include faces, but I wanted it to be a bit subtle.
I decided to make log cabinish blocks that mostly read as solid color. Vicki likes pink, so that started the color palette. I love so many of Amy Butler's pale pink and yellow fabrics, so I decided on the yellow for the center. There are 8 grandchildren, but I wanted a square, so I made 9 yellow blocks for the center, surrounded with pink.
For the quilting, I outlined the yellow squares, and then quilted a line portrait in burgundy of each of the children on a square. I'd made quilted portraits before, using tracing paper to sew over and then removing. This time, following these suggestions from Kristin, I used a tear away stabilizer. I'm not sure which I liked more, but I remember with both feeling like I was ripping out the stitches as I removed the paper. I wonder if I would prefer transferring my drawing directly onto the fabric. I'm not sure, though. For the pink squares, I did a simple stipple with variegated pink thread. Anyway, here are a few closeups.
The center square says "Grandchildren"
My pictures aren't great. The weather wasn't great for photos, and I was completing this down to the wire. Anyway, I'm happy with the completed quilt. I think I would like to do quilted portraits in other quilts, but perhaps as a continuous line drawing. I practiced doing that as well, but thought it didn't work as well for the children.
Of course, a photo of the back. The finished quilt is 75" square.