Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Update

I can't believe how much time has passed since my last entry! I have a problem sitting down to my computer and spending an unacceptable amount of time documenting all of my quilts, but I know it has to be done because otherwise there would be no accounting of the many, many quilts I have made - for future generations.  My mother was not handy with a needle at all and had no interest in sewing. I must have gotten the sewing gene from her mom, who made almost all of my mom's clothing during the Depression. I think my daughter Laura will be the only one to wield a needle - a knitting needle that is! She is a budding knitter and for that I am very excited. I was into knitting when she was a toddler and I made some cute stuff then. Of course none of it can be found now, but I hope she finds as much satisfaction in her knitting as I do in my quilting.

Here are some of my creations from this past year:

My own Christmas Quilt, 2012

I found this beautiful toile fabric in California, in a fantastic quilt shop called Candy's Quiltworks in Northridge. Soon after, two magazines had excellent patterns that featured toile for Christmas and I had a hard time deciding which one to choose. [I will update the pattern and magazine as soon as I find it in my quilt studio!] I worked on it at two different retreats, so it's taken me over a year to complete. Many thanks to my California quilt lady, Sally, who agreed to quilt it while I was visiting my California family over the Thanksgiving holiday. I think I should line her up for a standing appointment at that time of year! There was no way I was going to ship it back home, so I stuffed it in my suitcase and my daughter shipped my clothes home! I also brought home a new red Christmas toile!

Nancy's Retirement Quilt 2012
You'll have to turn your head sideways for the real view of this great quilt. I can't get it to upload correctly! When my sister-in-law retired in June of 2011, I promised her a quilt to mark the occasion. When I promise someone a quilt, I give them one or two options: color and style (traditional or contemporary). Nancy chose sea glass colors in a contemporary style, which both dominate her home. I knew exactly the pattern I would choose for her, the Zen quilt in an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. Again, I cannot put my hands on this issue!  In my color research, I walked along the West Haven beach and collected some sea glass, stones and shells and then picked fabrics from my stash and bought maybe two fat quarters to complete my selection. I arranged the blocks from light to dark. The backing is a sand-colored marble pattern. I chose a cotton/poly blend for the batting, and my local quilting lady Connie and I picked the swirling waters pattern. Once the binding was finished, I put it in the washer and dryer and it came out so soft and cuddly!

Nancy's quilt back

Tulip Quilt, Summer 2011

This is another of MY quilts where the gorgeous orange tulip fabric (RJR) came from Candy's Quiltworks in Northridge, California! This literally took my breath away when I saw it on the shelf! The pattern is "Forever Blue" by Marianne Elizabeth. My friend Joann and I decided to make this a project to work on together. The inner border stripe is from the same line, as well as the quilt back. I actually sought out the backing on my  next family trip and almost bought something else. Just as the counter person started to cut the "something else" fabric, I found the backing you see here. The quilting is a fleur de lis which mimics the backing.

Karen's Pink Lemonade
This is my sister-in-law Karen's birthday quilt. It took her six months to tell me what color she wanted. I was originally looking for yellow fabric with some red, which was popular at one time, but no longer. All I could find was yellow and raspberry, but it turned out to be perfect for her. I based the color choice on a batik sunflower design that I found from a different quilt shop in California, Cotton & Chocolate. I used the Slash a Stash pattern again because it's a fun pattern to sew, although it can get a bit confusing once you cut up the blocks and sew them back together.

Lydia, born August 2012

Lydia is our new granddaughter, born in August. She is Dominick's sister and the first girl in this generation of offspring! The name Lydia means a business woman; a seller of purple. There was no question of color for this little girl's quilt! Believe it or not,  I had been saving this fabric for about 18 years. I knew it would be used in someone's baby quilt - I just didn't know when! But I was really stymied about the pattern. Because I was choosing some pretty intense coordinating colors, I was afraid that the art deco fabric would get washed out. I finally found the solution in a book, "Maverick Quilts" by Alethea Ballard. What you see is her pattern called "Square Dinkum," where she explains how she selected the border fabric first, a medium, and chose block fabrics that were "rich in color and varied in style." Exactly what my fabric batch was all about! You can see that I went overboard on the number of blocks and used them on the back. Next up for Lydia - something pink!

Joann's Quilt
This IS Joann's quilt. We took this class together and she ran away with making all her blocks. I've only finished three I think. I lost momentum because I was traveling and couldn't go to all the scheduled sessions. But hers came out SO GREAT that she let me take a picture to put up here. It really is breathtaking when you see it in person.
These were the quilt highlights of 2012, but there were others, mostly baby quilts, along the way. I made 3 more baby quilts for which I do not yet have pictures, and one quilt in Dad's memory. He left us at the age of 94 and my mother-in-law will receive this quilt made from Dad's shirts on Christmas Eve. 

I am looking forward to 2013 and all the quilting challenges out there. HAPPY NEW YEAR!