Have you ever browsed the vendors at a quilt show and kept coming back to The One? Come on, sure you have! First you do the walk around to see what's out there, then you walk around to the vendors that interest you, and you keep looking at that one sample. You go around again and think about how that quilt on display is really saying something. You go closer to get a better look. If you listen closely you can just about hear it calling to you, "Take me home; you love me; you want to make me; I would look great in the den..." And THAT'S IT, you have to have it! So you buy the book with the pattern and the fabric pack all bundled just so with a pretty ribbon. Honey, you are HOOKED!
I confess that the scene I just described has happened to me twice, once in Lancaster when I made a "commitment," (story some other time) and again at the last big quilt show held in Gettysburg a few years ago. It has since moved to Hershey, Pa. What a shame- I love going to Gettysburg; this was my husband's first and last quilt show experience. Because he lives and breaths anything Civil War, I convinced him we should go to Gettysburg, AGAIN. He could tramp all the lovely battle fields; I would spend all my time at the quilt show and surrounding quilt shops. He agreed to come to the quilt show on our way out of town on the last day. Remember, this is a guy whose eyes glaze over when I start talking patterns and fabrics. The first thing he said when he walked in was, "Gee, this looks like your quilt room exploded!" And the jokes and comments just kept coming as we wandered around. He had all the women in ear shot in stitches. He even made a comment about the Best in Show - a reproduction of the quilt that Turkish soldiers made during war (you know the one I'm sure): "Soldiers don't sew! They drink and gamble, etc., etc." and thoroughly embarrassing me. But I digress.
I call this blue and cream quilt The Gettysburg Quilt. The book it came from has some great patterns in it, so I'm glad I took the plunge and bought it. I am still using the leftover fabrics in other projects, including the latest wedding quilt.
The all-over floral fabric in this second quilt was bought on the spur of the moment in one of my favorite shops that no longer exists. I went along for the ride with my friend Joann who was shopping for some needed fabric (of course! why else would we be in a quilt shop?) I had no plan to purchase anything on this particular outing. As Joann was finishing up her purchase I turned around and saw this BEAUTIFUL FLORAL FABRIC THAT SHOUTED TO ME!!!! This was one of those omigod moments when in an instant I knew what I would make with this fabric. So I found a perfect coordinating raspberry fabric, Jinny Beyer's line that has the peacocks on it. I wanted to keep the pattern simple because it would have been a shame to cut up these flowers into little pieces. So I used positive and negative churn dash blocks. I had it machine quilted in a pretty swirly pattern. I did not put a label on it but chose to memorialize the day I finished it by writing on the back along the swirls: "Last stitch placed in this quilt at the Old Grove at Savin Rock in West Haven, CT, August 8, 2004. A beautiful summer day spent with dear friends Joann and Barbara and lots of laughter." It doesn't officially have a name so I'll call it Raspberry Churn Dash. It lives in my living room.