Friday, June 13, 2014

Let me start with this - Really early quilts

Well I have wanted to get this started for a long time now,  so here goes.

I have only been quilting for three years and two of those I did not quilt. But I am no newcomer to the sewing machine as I have been sewing since I bought my first real machine when I was seventeen.  I caught the sewing bug using my mom's gorgeous wood treadle machine. From that point I was never far from my machine as I sewed dresses, suits, underwear, and lounge wear.  I sewed most of my wedding party's dresses and my own wedding dress. When my daughter was born I loved sewing mix and match outfits for her, that was until she decided she wanted designer clothes.  

Twenty years later I found myself waiting while my daughter went through a long labor and a few days in hospital. I really needed something to keep me busy ...why not make a little quilt?  So off I went to the local fabric shop.  Over the next 24 hours I made a beautiful little red comforter with fun bug print flannel backing for Scarlet Grey and promptly caught the quilting bug.  

I had no experience with quilts and so went to the neighbourhood quilt shop where I took a basic quilting course and learned about 1/4 inch seams and basic patterns.  My first quilt was a beautiful but simple quilt for my 80 year young mom with our names and birth years, the four generations, embroidered on the pillow corners. Everyone thought I was crazy for using a muted colour scheme, but it matches her room, she loves it, and that is what really matters.

I experimented on my own, making a couple simple and bright quilts for my granddaughter Sam and for Scarlet, even free motion quilting the tops.

Although I took a couple more classes I just could not get interested enough to make flying geese or other traditional quilts I fell in love with fabric dying and printing and modern quilt ideas.
A fun wall hanging I did in 2011 was made with dyed cotton fabric and a fun shaving cream and drizzle dying process. It measures approx 13 x 48.  The process is more suited for kids but I fell in love with the delicate images that emerged from the shaving cream. And, it fits right in with my décor!

I love the rich pink colour contrasted against the delicate shaving cream designs.  
Later that year I discovered that I could manipulate photographs and print them on fabric using my home printer.  I took pictures of our backyard trees and produced a wall hanging called Pinwheel Trees - approx 36 x 50" cotton, beads and embellished with leaves.

The project is not complete yet but I will post a picture when it is done.  
I took a class on making kaleidoscope quilts. Each student got to choose a fabric that was available.  I chose last and  got a funky pink material.  I decided to give it a try and to give the finished quilt to my sister-in-law. part way through the piecing my sister-in-law told me she changed the colours in her bedroom to muted greens and taupe and my granddaughter Sam's room just wouldn't "do" the pink thing.  mmmmm...  so it sits, unfinished for the moment.  Fun none-the-less!

I did a couple other projects like my first rag quilt (below) that I embroidered all the names of pets we have had over the course of our marriage on one side and a free motioned doodle on the other.  

I did a couple other small quilts like a free motion sampler quilt, a photo quilt, and a doll quilt that were great to do but not great enough to show.  I finished 9 quilts and started another four.  In all it was an exciting quilting year. 

And then life interrupted and now it is 2014. 

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