Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time Marches On and an Old Quilt



Yesterday was my birthday.. It was not a particularly special number although my mathematical husband said "that oh yes it was" - It is the same number as there are weeks in a year and there are that many cards in a deck- To me it is just a number-It was a particularly lovely birthday- you can see the lovely collection of gifts from family and friends- People seem to find me the things that I love- glass baubles to wear(there is a pendant that looks like a spiral galaxy from my dear husband) and fresh lavendar scent bags and earrings and a new teacher's Boyd's bear for my collection at school. There is a truly lovely Aboriginal angel that I will take to school to decorate my room and then put on our mantel during the Christmas season. She is wearing beautiful regalia and has a dream catcher to chase away bad dreams. There are gorgeous panda puppets to do stories with my school kids and a new sewing machine light that bends so my work area can be well lit. I felt truly treasured by one and all. The best gift of all was the time spent with good friends and family- those are the moments that are truly priceless.


In celebration my birthday I thought I would share one of my earliest quilts made in the Fall of 1997).I finally managed to take a picture of it. Here is my original lone star-(that I referred to in an earlier posting). As you can see it is quite long, as both my son and my husband are tall men. I remember making this first quilt with many of the same group of women with whom I still quilt. We have foraged great friendships and spent time creating many many quilts over the last dozen years.

One of the biggest challenges with the lone star is to find the right background - this quilt had two or three different fabrics auditioned for the cornerstone blocks. One needs quite a bit of fabric for the corners (about 4 yards)and I began my stash then and there. As an inexperienced quilter, I struggled with color and value. My quilts have gradually become more colorful with stronger contrasts and more vibrant focal fabrics. I enjoy creating the combinations that make the quilt my own creation. I am not much of a kit person preferring to use the pattern of my jumping off point.

Having said that, my friend L, and I went west of the city yesterday to visit a couple of quilt shops. In the second shop I found a kit for a Lonestar that was half price- I so loved the fabrics that I bought the kit. I still will alter it in some way -I will probably change the last border as I find the one in the kit too busy. We went west because I thought I would be less tempted to add to the stash-LOL well let's just say that wasn't the most successful strategy... There are some beautiful new fabrics in my ever bulging stash...
My most successful stash busting is when I go upstairs in my sewing room and pat the stash - That is easier on my pocket book.... but not as much fun...

The lone star has two borders of mini lonestars on each end. It was my first venture into adding borders but certainly wasn't my last. I have continued to play with borders when I get the opportunity. I like frames on my quilt - to me its like framing a picture. The borders can be a design challenge but how long I play with the borders is determined by when I need to have the quilt finished. A quilt will often tell you when its finished- there is a certain feeling one gets when it is complete. Sometimes you have to leave a quilt for awhile to so you can figure out how to finish it. I find that is especially true when I am adding borders.

How do you make the quilt so it reflects you? Do you enjoy the creative challenge of design? Do you like playing with borders? When does an addition to the quilt end up being a distraction from the body of the quilt?

This quilt may be one of my older ones but it is well loved- Its the way I feel after yesterday's birthday celebrations. Thank you dear friends and loved ones for making this middle aged lady feel treasured.

Keep on playing and have a great week!
Regards,
Anna
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