Saturday, October 25, 2008

Northern California Quilts

These quilts belong to my sister, Jeannie, who lives in the vicinity of Sacramento. Each one was given to her while she was living in a different state. She was good enough to take pictures with her digital camera and send them along for me.

Apple Baskets, machine pieced and appliqued. I made this during a class and worked furiously to finish my homework before each session. I remember my husband and kids leaving me alone one suppertime to finish some applique before leaving for class. I loved this pattern so much I made a second one for myself. Both are hand quilted. Jeannie got this one while living in Ohio (for the second time-she moved around a lot).

Jeannie's 40th Birthday Story Quilt. This was a total surprise for her. She turned 40 while living in Tennessee. After only two weeks on a new job I had to take "time off" to fly down there without her knowing I was coming. As most quilters find themselves approaching the actual "handing over" of the gift, I was stitching away furiously to finish the binding before she got home from work. The blocks in this quilt tell a visual life history. There's the Ohio Star in the center (that was for the 1st time she lived in Ohio; the 2nd time was right after Tennesse); a Smoky Mountain block for the area she lived in; a Road to California (for the 1st time she lived there); a Sisters block; a Connecticut block; and I can't remember the others. I had a lot of fun making this quilt and the look on her face when she "discovered" me and her quilt was memorable - and loud!

Ah, the Blue and Yellow Quilt. Believe it or not, I made this FOR MYSELF in a mystery class! I strongly believe in using fabric that you love in a mystery quilt because if you are not happy with your fabric choices, you won't like the finished product. [That did happen to me and I wound up giving it away to a friend for Christmas who loved the pink/green theme.] So on my birthday one year, I fell in love with the blue and yellow floral during the B&Y craze. I loved this quilt. Then one summer Jeannie came to visit and the only place for her to sleep, other than the couch, was a cot I set up in my quilt studio with this quilt. Well, she just LOVED this quilt and could she please have it - the NERVE! I don't readily recall which state she lived in at that time, but eventually she wound up with a blue and yellow kitchen and living room in California. And now you know "the rest of the story..." As with most of her homes, she redecorates! So now her kitchen has the newest color scheme - taupe, black and white. Her living room is soon to be similar with some burgundy thrown in. [You think she'd send me pictures? Hah!] Oh, and the Apple Baskets were out of style homes ago!

Thanks Jeannie for the blog fodder! I love you! Please send pics of the new kitchen and living room!

Monday, October 20, 2008

California-Bound Quilts

My Town Green
This is what I see every morning on my way to work and why autumn and crisp weather is uplifting. I just had to stop and take a picture. Someday I will put all these wonderful colors together in a quilt.

Crazy Hearts

Good Vibrations
These quilts are for twin girls born last April, very early. Except for backing, both quilts were made with stash fabric. And although each has the same backing, the quilts are different, signifying individual personalities. Good Vibrations is aptly named because the photo makes the orange stripes "vibrate" (but not in person!).

In the Pink
This quilt is for their sister, who is 3. I just can't get away from that lovely lime green! I've been putting it in almost all the baby quilts I've made in the past couple of years. Quilts will be on their way to California this week. Hopefully, Mom will send back pictures of the girls with their treasures.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slash-a-Stash: California Quilt #4

Oh, how I had fun with this quilt!

This quilt was started in a class at a quilt shop that is now, woefully, gone. I had one particular fabric that I bought in a great shop in Willimantic, CT, and had been dying to use it - a purple with electric green dots. This pattern fit the bill.
This bright, happy quilt was part of my living room inventory when Kim saw it. She loved it right away and asked if she could have it (the nerve!)... Of course I said "not a chance," but it wound up as a Christmas gift for her the following Christmas. One of her commenters on House of Prince wanted to know more about it after seeing a picture of it draped on the rocking chair in Kyle's room. Here's your answer!

This is a technique where you sew fabric around a central square, then cut that up and reassemle, using parts from different squares. It can be a nightmare trying not to repeat a sequence, but it's fun too! Then when you lay it out to sew all the blocks together, you have to be careful to hopefully not butt the same fabrics together! Aaagghh! But just look at the results!

I didn't have enought of the purple plaid for the back, so made do with leftovers from the front.

California Quilt #3

This little guy has nothing whatsoever to do with anything California - I just wanted to put him up here for your enjoyment. My hand was not steady and as a result Dominick has "stars" in his eyes - very artsy. He is 4 months.

Now back to my documentation project:

I don't think I have a name for this colorful quilt. It gives me a feeling of something Arabian, or perhaps Italian tile? This is one of many of my quilts that currently live in California.
Once I began putting quilts on the back yard wall, I decided to get creative. I've got a bowl of fruit and a vase of flowers on the wall holding the quilt top. The bougainvillea adds a special splash of color.

I had purchased the border/background fabric on a whim (what other kind of purchase is there?) because I loved the Eastern flavor of the design. Then it waited patiently for the right pattern to reveal itself. Inspiration came when I received one of my copies of my favorite quilt magazine and I was off and running. The bright clear colors, drawn from my focus fabric, were just the ticket.I love this quilt, and I know my California family loves it too!