Friday, April 24, 2009

My Favorite Quilt

Did any of you participate in the Spring 2009 Online Quilt Festival? It features the favorite quilts of nearly 600 bloggers! I got so wrapped up with the virtual quilt show that I missed the deadline for including my own post, but here’s the story of my favorite quilt.

Back in 1991, I could not have been busier. Our family was bursting at the seams of our first tiny house, and we’d decided to sell it by owner. At the same time, we purchased a lot and started construction on a brand new house in a community about 30 miles away. Every waking moment was focused on our kids, a toddler and new baby, showing one house, checking on construction of the other, cleaning, packing, moving, and oh yeah, starting a new quilt!

My local guild sponsored a quilt challenge that year. I’d been too busy to attend the meeting where the project was proposed, but my friend, Laurie, just knew I wouldn't want to miss out on the fun. Unbeknownst to me, she signed me up as her challenge partner.

We were given two theme fabrics, a cabbage rose and a green stripe, and were required to use both in the center block of our quilts.

For my center block, I adapted a pattern from an 1870's quilt, made by Mary Parks Lawrence in Russellville, Kentucky.

When my block was finished, I swapped with Laurie, who designed and stitched the first border of my quilt, as I did hers. We were limited to elements outlined in the challenge rules (rules and deadlines, just what I needed): four patch, nine patch, saw-tooth, dog-tooth, flying geese, appliqué sprays or vines.  

Laurie framed my flowery block with wonderful spiky points, a great counterpoint to the appliqué. Once a design element was used, it couldn’t be repeated, so I appliquéd floral sprays and vines as my final border.

I finished the project by hand quilting a 1/2" grid in the center block and a 1" grid in the outer border.

Click photo to enlarge
Cherry Challenge
44” x 44”

We hung the finished quilt in our living room so it's the first thing you notice when entering our home. After 16 years on the wall, it's become gently faded, but still serves as a reminder to meet life's challenges with beauty and grace.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Photograph by Christopher Baker
"Martha Stewart Living"
April 2003

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Inside Out



The quilt in the first photo is a log cabin/sixteen patch combination, made by Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color. I bought it from Wanda through her blog shop, Wandaful Quilts. The piece is small, 24" x 40" and I thought I might finish it as a table runner. If you're familiar with Wanda's work, you'll know the quilt is  more my style than hers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool!

Look what I found, hidden in the back of the quilt cupboard! Can you believe those fabrics? Granted, there were few cotton prints to choose from in the 1970's, but even so... Just how would you describe that yellow: neon, fluorescent, dayglow? The historically accurate term is chrome yellow or cadmium. And look, it's got a companion print, which no doubt added to the appeal.

Worse than my fabric choice, I hand pieced these babies. spending hour after tedious hour constructing the Drunkard's Path and Crown of Thorns blocks. I even hand quilted them and made them into pillow tops. Can you imagine the decor they might have gone with? Too gaudy for words!

I dug these out just for you! "April Fool."