Tag Archives: style

Stars and Quilts

She slipped out of the house, closing the door with a soft click. No need to wake the rest of the family. She skirted around the toys of her younger siblings and headed for a clearing in the front yard.

She tossed the quilt on the sandy desert ground and sat down. For several minutes she just sat and stared at the stars above and soaked in the cool night air. Finally, she said aloud the words that were in her heart.

“Please send me somebody to love me for me. Someone who will accept me the way I am and not want me to be someone else.”

She began to trace her fingers around the well-known outline of the hexagon shaped pieces of the quilt. So many different contrasting, and competing fabrics sewn together to create a beautiful quilt.

As she traced the shapes the words filled her heart. “I love you the way you are. I don’t want you to be someone else. I love you for you, I created you that way.”

She smiled softly, “I know. But, could you also send someone real? Someone who will allow me to feel safe and love in his embrace.”

There was no immediate answer. Still, the girl felt better being she was okay just the way she was, she didn’t need to be a genius, or a fabulous typist, or a social butterfly, she was okay as her.

Six months later. Attending the college of their choice, in a state far from her friends, she met a man whose arms sheltered her when she hurt. A man who loved her not for who she was, but because she was her. They were together thirty four years before he went Home.

Joining up is Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday. Check out the other bloggers playing along and why not come join us? The rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back at Lisa Jo’s site, here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf
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X Quisite and X Quarter Quilt Blocks

Finding words, quilts, ideas for each letter of the alphabet that have quilting in common has been much easier than I’d thought it would be. I mean, even Q was easy. Hello? Q? Quilt?

Others with different themes may have struggled with the letter Q, but not me.

However, X was a different story.

According the the Maggie Malone Book of 5500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS, there are two X quilt blocks. The X Quartet and the X-Quisite.

An X Quartet Quilt Block from planet patchwork.com

I could only find one example of the X Quartet quilt block, maybe others call it by another name. After all, it looks fairly simple and easy. Half square triangles set in the pinwheel pattern. Half-square triangle blocks together with solid blocks around the four sides of the pinwheel,  and solid blocks in the corner.

 

For the X Quiste block, I found this  baby quilt  by Mary, of the Tulip Patch done in that pattern. Isn’t it cute? I’m sure the parents of the little boy who now owns it were thrilled to receive such a cute quilt for their little one.

X Quisite quilt by Mary at the Tulip-patch

Lucky you. Since I found a couple of X quilt blocks you were spared the Xylophone quilt idea. I’m sure there are other X quilt blocks out there and now I’m on a quest to find them. Do you have an X quilt block?

Still playing with the A to Z bloggers. Up Monday, is Y, and yes, I have a quilt story for Y.

 

 

D- Designs for Quilts

Quilt designs are varied, from organized chaos (now often referred to as “improv” quilts) to those with intricate designs and everything in between.

This family quilt is a good example of organized chaos. Uniform sized blocks make up the quilt. However, the blocks are compilation of fabric in various sizes and shapes, the quilters used available fabric, to make the blocks, giving it a very scrap look.  Embroidered names, of family and friends, on the fabric swatches give added meaning to the quilt. The quilt, owned by a descendent of one of the quilters, is close to 100 years old.

Neff family quilt

Here is a more planned friendship quilt. The quilters of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Eufaula Oklahoma made it a couple of years ago to honor their founding members.

Quilt made by the Piece Makers Quilt Guild of Eufaula Oklahoma.

Quilt made by the Piece Makers Quilt Guild of Eufaula Oklahoma.

Friendship quilts like these were usually designed to honor someone, as the second one. We have no idea why the first quilt was made. It is a beautiful piece of history with our ancestors names on it. Often times women in the community made and designed a friendship quilt to welcome or send off a preacher or teacher.

Here is another scrap quilt, this one designed to use the light and dark fabrics to form stars. It took careful planning, a precise stitching to get the large star which formed the smaller stars. I’m not sure who made this quilt, I took the picture at a quilt show.

Stars upon stars

Stars upon stars

A little less intricate, and still using scraps are these versions of traditional designs.  This first one is the rail fence design, or at least my version of it. It uses all pink fabric since I made it for my granddaughter.

HPIM1311.JPG

 

This second one is the traditional Bow Tie pattern, however the quilter used dimensional center for the bow, a more modern method for completing the design. bow tie quilt drappedSometimes the color makes the design. This quilt of simple squares and rectangles becomes special, with the use of orange, black, white, and Oklahoma State University prints. Made by an Oklahoma State Mom and displayed at the Stillwater Quilt Show in 2012.HPIM0544.JPGThe final design today is a super simple one. It’s pre-printed on the fabric, often called a panel quilt. I only had to add the batting, backing, and binding. Although, I didn’t even add binding. Instead, I used the pillowcase method.

Bear Sheriff Panel qultThese are just a few of the thousands of quilt designs available. Because, really, the design of the quilt isn’t limited. The quilter selects, and often changes, the design of the quilt.

Do you have a favorite quilt design?

Linking up with the A to Z challenge, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Both have some great bloggers linking up. Go read some of them, they’re great.

 

 

 

 

 

A is for Applique

For our ancestors an applique quilt represented wealth because of all the fabric used. They are not traditionally patchwork. At least not small patches.Not only were scraps not used in making the blocks, but these quilts had extra fabric on them!

Applique represents a wealth of time. Actually, appliquers don’t have any more time than other quilters. They just enjoy applique and are willing to spend their time stitching them. Of course, there are several methods of applique, some more time intensive than others

Maybe it’s a wealth of love that the quilter was willing to take the extra time to stitch down the applique pattern. An entire quilt can be made using applique blocks.

There are several methods of applying fabric to fabric to create an applique.

There is the needle turn, which almost makes the design look as if it’s floating on the background. This needle-turn Sunbonnet Sue was made over thirty years ago. Thank goodness my sewing skills have improved!

Sunbonnet Sue 2 - needle turn

The quilt with these little girls has long since bit the dust. However, since it was made for my daughter (she loved it to pieces) and the “dresses” are all feed sack fabric from her grandma, I saved the “girls” to be reused in another quilt at some point.

When I use applique now, I prefer to use a zig-zag stitch. It can hide a raw edge and makes using applique go much faster. When making quilts for six grandkids, fast is sometimes important. Another advantage of zig-zag applique is the sturdiness, which makes it the perfect method of children’s quilts.

Overall SamAnother hand sewing method is to do the blanket stitch by hand. It’s a pretty look, but much too labor intensive for me. Not to mention I wouldn’t keep my stitches even, and it looks best with even stitches. Heather Nelson, a young lady in our quilt guild used thirties reproduction fabric for her girls. Don’t you agree, her even stitches makes the applique?

Heather's Sunbonnet Sue

There are other methods of applique, do you use one of them? While I do my appliques by machine, I love the look of the hand work. How about you, do you use one method and enjoy the look of another?

It’s all about Me Applique

It's all about me button

I love blog hops. It’s an easy way to find new blogs to follow and meet new people. It’s also a fun way to learn new things, and sometimes acquire new friends for your blog. The All ABOUT ME, is a just for fun blog hop for me. I’m not giving anything away, and my blog has been all but abandoned these last couple of weeks while I worked on other projects. It’s also slated for an overhaul, which was supposed to happen BEFORE this blog hop. 🙂 It didn’t, and the hop goes on.

Making the fun little quilt was a nice diversion from my other pressing matters and I enjoyed it. Thanks to  Madam Samm, and, Marlene,  of Stitching by the Lake for doing all the work and making this “meeting” of quilters possible

Of course, I’m running behind as usual. I finally finished by block in the wee hours of the morning. This is after I realized I didn’t have the pattern so generously donated by Amy Butler. Then, there was the issue of downloading, then sewing, and now trying to post.

Lucky for me, Amy designed a cute, easy to follow pattern. Not so lucky for me, I didn’t have all the necessary supplies and such. However, since I’m not much for following directions anyway, I just used the pattern as a suggestion and came up, much to my surprise, with a kind of cute wall-hanging.

Because I was in a hurry, and I’m not a fan of hand sewing these days, I used fusible, raw edge applique and quilted around it. I think I’ll try my hand at another one, just for fun now that I’ve made this one.

I made the hair longer, since my hair is long. I used muslin for the blondish color of my natural hair then quilted it with gray thread to give the darker look my hair sometimes has. I went with a stripe background, because, well honestly, that was handy last night. Since I normally wear dark colors (to hide the fat don’t you know), the dress is a black and white print. Which shows very clearly that black isn’t necessarily all that slimming.

I stuck the pincushion on my arm, since that’s where I usually have one, and my glasses are pink, a little like my natural glasses. Since I live out in the country, I used the fabric designed to look a little like leather for the word “biased.”

I think every fabric came from a different source. But then, I’m a little of a mixed up person anyway so this blending of differences suits me.

It really does look too much like me for comfort. What do you think?

IMG_0003Nin, cropped from others 2012

 

 

 

 

Nin 2011.jpg

 

Don’t forget to check out the other talented quilters to see how their little quilt turned out.

You can find them all at Stitching on the Lake, if these links don’t work.

Buzzing and Bumbling
Cherries Prairie Primitives
Kwilty Pleasures
Sew On And So Forth
Sew. Darn. Quilt.
A Stitch In Time
Doodling In My Mind
Moosestash Quilting
Vickie at That Other Blog
Susie’s World

And, if you missed out yesterday, don’t forget to check out these talented quilters:
Just Let Me Quilt
Sunshine Quilting
Karen at That Other Blog
Grammie Q
Gracie Oliver Arts
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
SnippetsNScraps
Sowing Stitches
Pigtales and Quilts
Stitchin’ByThe Lake

 

Sewing and Family Thanks

Today I’m thankful for my sewing machine.

It allows me to make quilts for friends and family. I can sew on other projects that enter my little brain. The sewing machine helps me retain my sanity.

Any sewing machine could do that though. This machine is special, not special enough for a name, I don’t name inanimate objects. I guess I could call it Bernie? J

This sewing machine is special because it was a gift from my husband. Money was always tight for us, and a new sewing machine seemed like an extravagance to me.

I’d had a couple of used ones over the years. Then mom gave me a department store special. It worked well for several years. Finally, it was on its last stitches. In fact it was skipping stitches.

David told me to find a sewing machine. Yikes! Good new sewing machines were expensive! Prices started in the triple digit range, for a “cheap” one. One day in the local sewing store I noticed a machine on discount because that line had been discontinued. The price was still in that triple digit range, but at least it was a good quality machine, which made it an amount I could justify to myself.

I had no money with me that day. The owner agreed to hold the machine for me if I sent her a deposit the next day. I did. A couple of days later my daughter-in-law and I were shopping in another town and the store owner called.

She told my husband the price of the machine wasn’t what she’d quoted me, but three hundred dollars more. David said I still wanted the machine.

In the meantime, while shopping I had second, and third, thoughts about spending so much money on a sewing machine. I decided to try to get my deposit back and buy another cheap machine from the department store.

David had other thoughts. When I told him my decision, especially in light of the fact the new machine was now creeping toward the four digit area he said, “no, get the good machine.”

It’s not even a fancy machine. It sews fabric together. It does do a buttonhole, and it does have a limited zigzag stitches, but mostly it sews. It doesn’t embroider, it doesn’t sew by itself, it doesn’t come close to washing the dishes. There are machines that seem to do everything except the dishes you know, mine isn’t one of them. It stitches fabric together. That’s it, nothing special.

“But, honey,” I countered “It’ll cost almost $1000 by the time tax and everything is added.”

“Do you like that machine?”

“Well, yeah. But…”

“If you like it buy it. We spend money on other things, you should have it.”

The look on his face, more than the words from his mouth convinced me. I went to town a few days later and purchased the machine. I even splurged and bought a walking foot at the same time. It did cost slightly over $1000.

I know, I know. I can hear you all going, “What?” Especially those of you who don’t sew, and are thinking “that’s a lot of money for a sewing machine.”

Maybe, but it’s not too much money for a cherished memory. And now, I can sew quilts, clothes (sometimes), and other projects.

 

train postcard for one of the grandboys.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m grateful for both the machine and the memory.

 

 

On the blog here, I listed my children and family on my list for Nov. 1.

Part of my family.

They keep me going and make me smile. Every day I’m thankful for every one of them.

My three children call and share their lives with me. They call to see how I’m doing and to invite me to events in their lives.

My six grandchildren give me lots of opportunities to sew for them. They make me laugh. They add color to my life.

My sister and brother keep in touch, and visit. Often siblings lose touch with each other after the parents are gone. Not us, we still call and check in with each other, we still add to each others’ lives.

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members all add to the mosaic of my life, making it more beautiful.

However someone we are related, I’m grateful for everyone in my family and hope I add to their lives as much as they add to mine.

 

From the Trash Can to the Bed

Convert that box of scraps can be converted into a quilt (or thirty). Rather than throwing out the scraps of fabric, many quilters follow their grandmothers’ lead and make string quilts. Here are some string quilts to inspire you to put those scraps to good use.

These first two are from String Quilting Primer. She and a friend joined up to give directions. They use a solid color for the base and allows it to show through.  There are other quilts for your viewing pleasure on the website.  In addition to the quilts on this website, she lists other string quilters.

 

These quilts posted on the Scrappy String Quilt Gallery, I’m not sure who made them, but I like her plan.  In January 2007 she resolved to make one string block every day for a year. By the end of the year she had 30 completed quilts. Here are some of her numbers:

365 blocks
30 quilts + 5 blocks to grow on
1,460 squares
Average of 5 pieces of fabric per square
7,300 pieces of fabric for quilt center panel
A total of 7,480 pieces of fabric including the borders.

Not all string quilts are strips. Check out this one using a fussy cut print for the center of the block by Deb and shown on Quilts by Kathie.

Even traditional patterns can be made using strings. Like Chinese Coins  from, Mary Quilts.com

And this tumbling blocks quilt, also made by Mary

String quilts can be made using foundation fabric, ffoundation paper, or no foundation (depends on your strips). More string quilt links can be found at Heartstrings Quilts . I hope you enjoy the quilts, and maybe they inspire you to make your own. Have you ever made a string quilt? Go ahead and link to your quilt in the comments.