Tag Archives: alex anderson

Quilts, Tied, Unsewn, Washed and Versatile

Playing catch-up today.

Tied or tacked quilts are most often relegated to the functional uses. In fact there are some, like my father, who don’t consider a tacked quilt a “real” quilt.  In his world, a tied quilt was a comforter and a stitched (quilted) one was, well a quilt.

My father isn’t alone. There are quilt shows that limit the exhibition to those quilts that are stitched together.

I think it comes down to how you were raised and what type of quilts you were exposed to. In my father’s case, his mother made both stitched and tied quilts. However, the stitched quilts were the ones given as gifts, and with the more intricate designs.

The tied quilts were those the family used every day. Thus, for him, a tied quilt wasn’t a real quilt.

I didn’t grow up with quilts or quilters and taught myself to quilt, with the help of my mother-in-law. For me, a quilt is a quilt and I love them all. Plus, every quilt has a story, tied, or stitched.

What about you? Are tacked quilts “not real quilts?”

Tied quilt my mother-in-law made, probably in the late 30's. The 9patch's are flour sack fabric.

Tied quilt my mother-in-law made, probably in the late 30’s. The 9patch’s are flour sack fabric.

Almost every quilter has a manually operated Unsewing Machine. Otherwise known as a seam ripper. However, a few weeks ago, Alex Anderson unveiled the latest in sewing innovations, a stitch eraser. Enjoy.

Quilts are one of our most versatile household items. A quilt can wrap and calm a crying baby. Give comfort to a grieving adult. Children love hiding in, and playing pretend in their quilt forts.

There are quilted table cloths for both fine dining, and picnics at the park that can double as a cover up should the need arise. Quilts are perfect cushions at outdoor events, ready to be used for warmth should the  temperatures drop.

A quilt can be folded and placed on the foot of the bed for decoration, yet still available as a cover.

Quilts can be made into clothes, stuffed animals, and totes. Whatever the need, the versatile  quilt is sure to be available to fill it.

How do you wash your quilts? My quilts are made for everyday use, they get thrown in the washer and hung out on the line. However, I do have some special quilts that don’t get washed.

They don’t get used, I place them on the bed from time to time to relax the threads and let them air out. Other than that, no washing.

If a special quilt must be washed I wash it in the bathtub. Actually, it soaks in a solution for delicate fabrics. The water is then squeezed out and the quilt rinsed, and re-rinsed. Then, it’s placed on a sheet outside, with another sheet covering it (to protect it from direct sun and bird droppings) until it is dry.

Yes. It is a lot of work. No, I don’t do it often. However, there are times when a washing is just what is called for.

How about your quilts? Washable? Non?

Time Travel

Looking back. Sometimes it’s a good thing to look back at where we’ve been.

On  Katie Ganshert’s blog today her main character, Bethany took over. Katie is looking forward, or at least planning, on allowing Bethany to return to her hometown. The planned trip has Bethany looking back, way back to her growing up years. So far she doesn’t like what she sees, will the view be different close up?

While Bethany is looking at a real traveling visit, The Quilt Show.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, on their Facebook page today asked, “When you chain piece do you sew all the pieces for all the blocks at once, or do you piece a few blocks at a time?”

To answer the question quilters have to look back, in their memories, at quilts they’ve completed by chain piecing and remembering how they sewed the quilt. The answers, on the Facebook page, vary, and are fun to read.

What we can’t read though are the actual memories. Memories about a particular quilt and the problems it caused, or how easily it went together; memories of the reason for the quilt. Sometimes those memories are happy, we are making a quilt for a loved one to enjoy. Sometimes the memories are sadder, the quilt will never be seen or cover a loved one who has left and gone home. Whatever the memories, they’ve been relegated to where they belong, the past, until we are asked to mentally travel back to that time to answer a question.

Returning to our past, either in our memories or physically will help us today. We can see the mistakes we made, both in quilting and in life and adjust our actions to avoid those same mistakes. Staying in the past isn’t good for anyone, but visiting once in a while can help us tremendously.

One thing I learned when I traveled back to answer the quilt question was that I need to sew one block before chaining the entire quilt. That way I’ll know if I’m sewing them right, not upside down or backwards like I did with this leaf block. You can see it looks nothing like a leaf. Ten blocks had been sewn before I

This is what happens when you get in a hurry to finish a block.

realized the mistake. Most of them were ‘unsewn’, however a couple weren’t. The mixed up blocks will be used in the quilt as “crumpled leaves.” Also, traveling back to when the quilt blocks were made, reminded me to take time and verify the correct order of sewing the patches.

This is how the block is meant to look:

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (New King James Version)  “For lo, the winter is past, the rains is over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.”

Have you traveled back to your past, either physically or in your mind? How was the trip? Did you learn anything that can help you today?