Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No you are not seeing double!

When I first made this quilt pattern it was made as a wedding gift for a friend's niece and her husband in the summer of 2007. I did not know the young woman and I wasn't sure what kind of quilt she wanted but I knew that her aunt wanted something special. After emailing back and forth I was able to ascertain the colors and designs she liked. C. was very fond of a design by Ricky Timms called Summer in the City. My goal was not to copy Ricky Timms(I am a huge fan of his designs-especially his kaleidoscope and rhapsody designs)I do not claim to have made one as beautiful as his original design but his quilt was my inspiration.) After looking at many patterns the closest design I could find was this Paperweight pattern by Aardvark Patterns, Kansas.
My niece and her husband received the leftover blocks(not bad for leftovers :-) I kind of got carried away making blocks to audition in the first quilt. My quilting friends would tell you that I often get carried away making blocks.VBG
However,I did have to make more blocks as my niece's quilt is a queen sized quilt where as the first quilt was a big couch quilt.

Do you do this, make more blocks than you need in the hopes you will get the perfect combination? I tend to make quilts in sets of two or three. Why make one of the design when you can make three? LOL I think it is because I don't enjoy counting squares and fall in love with all the color combinations. Or maybe its because I like to practise until I get the pattern just right. Whatever the reason, my quilts often have mates or parts of a series... They are rarely stand alone quilts...

I know both couples loved their quilts. Which one do you like better? The smaller one with the border? The larger one with more color variation and no border? (See earlier post for picture of larger one.)

Creating a quilt is an interesting process- sometimes it takes time to satisfy one's creative bug! I hope you enjoy the process as well as the product.
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is my mother in law B.'s 86th birthday. For her 85th birthday last year,I made her these quilts. The quilt is a pattern from Fons and Porter magazine- July/August of 2007. I believe that the name was Summer Star. The matching dolly quilt is a half size block and I added prairie points to make is large enough to cover the doll.
My husband took the quilts to her as she lives on the West Coast(about 1000 miles away) in a care facility. It is a wonderful homey place where she is well cared for and her needs are being met- You see, she has Alzheimer's and needs a protected environment. Alzheimer's is a dreadful illness that robs loved ones of the person - not in one fell swoop but by taking them by inches at a time. It is difficult to stand by and watch the changes.
However one comes to appreciate and value that she is able to live in a comfortable and caring environment. Mum is well liked by the nursing staff,often spending time with them while they are having coffee. Some days she is bright and connected to this world and other days it is as if she is visiting another place. As her children, we miss the vibrant bright articulate woman that she was. She was a devoted wife,loving mother,friend to her in law children, family oriented and oh so many more things. B.loved to paint,sew, make bread, share recipes,listen to classical music and read. She grew up on Canada's eastern seaboard and loved things from the ocean. B. collected rocks and shells,things from the natural world, books and for a time,fabric. B loved baskets and boxes and put her collections in them so that they could be lovingly displayed. She enjoyed puttering in the garden and was very fond of violets and pansies. B loved soft blues and green and the pastel colors that sooth one's soul. She experimented with painting on silk and created lovely watercolor pictures. B. made some lovely artsy quilts for her oldest grandchildren. She and my father in law had a rich life together- even after he suffered a major stroke because of her steadfast support and determination to help him recover. Dad often attributed his recuperation to her assistance and caring. He passed away quite suddenly last fall- we miss him still. My inlaws were devoted to one another and,as the Alzheimer's progressed,my father in law held fast determined to care for her in spite of her growing needs. Through it all, Dad was her grounding wire. As a family, we were able to help provide support, especially my husband's sister and her family who shared a house with them. While the Alzheimer's continues to steal away her language,it can't take away the many gifts that she has blessed us with through out her life. Now we treasure her moments of clarity and the small pleasures she finds in her daily living environment.

My husband will be going away next week to visit his mum for a few days. He is looking forward to enjoying some time with her. Here's to you Mum- I hope you are having a wonderful day!


Friday, September 26, 2008

I am overwhelmed!!!

Thanks so much for all your kind words and the warm welcome to Blogland. I hope that you will continue to want to stop by for a visit. I will post when I can... Life as a teacher is a steady stream of upcoming events and I have learned after 30 years to plan ahead- at least some of the time. VBG

Making a quilt is sometimes like that( needing it for a specific purpose) and other times the quilt just gets to evolve on its own time. The last few years, I have been busy making quilts for people that are important to us. I think that quilts are gifts given from your creative soul, and I remember struggling to part with the first ones that I gave away. I often would worry about whether it was something that the person would enjoy and find pleasure from, when they were wrapped up in the quilt. I wondered whether they would like the colors and pattern, and if it would suit their decor. Now,after parting with many quilts, I am learning to let it go and give them without some of that angst. Once they are given they no longer belong to me. I have made them with love and found pleasure in the creative process (at least most of the time). Has anyone else struggled with this dilemma?

Today's quilt was my second wedding quilt of the summer. It is owned by another lovely niece and her new husband who loved the color blue. As someone who loves color I did not want to just use blue (even though there are many beautiful shades of blue). When we gave it to them I hoped they would love it even though it was colorful and fortunately they did (see there still is abit of angst in giving). The pattern is a pattern called "Paperweight" by Aardvark Patterns, Kansas. It is similar to a spiderweb pattern.(I need to give credit to the creator of the pattern- I hope this is the right way.)

I have just begun two quilts - this September is indeed a time of new beginnings. For the first time in a long time, I am making quilts that I want to make just because- Right now they have no particular destination yet. One is a Winding Ways Quilt that is made from batiks. I hope it will be a beauty, as I so love batiks. The other one is the Wonky Tiles pattern from Mary - scraps from a stash blogspot. Right now they are just a pile of cut up pieces and some blocks. I have been collecting fabric for quite awhile, and like many other quilters, am amassing quite a stash. Both of the fall quilts are made from the stash- Maybe I could become a stashbuster! Nah I love collecting fabric too much..LOL

Soon I hope to add a list of blogs that I have enjoyed reading and figure out how to leave a link to other blogs in my post.
Until next time,
Regards from Western Canada,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do I really want a blog?

Blog or not to blog, that is a question that I have been pondering for many months. I have enjoyed being a reader of blogs for well over a year. Many times I have been asked where is your blog and I have responded " I am content to be Anna NO Blog". I am still not sure about this decision to be the writer rather than the reader. Some of my reluctance comes from my limited knowledge of the technology that goes with being a blogger and the rest of it stems from whether I want to quilt or to spend my leisure time blogging rather than quilting. Like most people, I have a busy life that is filled with the demands of work ( I am a kindergarten teacher by profession) and home. Balance is not my middle name!!!!

However, it appears that I have chosen to leap into the blog world so I hope that you will bear with me while I find my way with the technology.

I first started quilting as a younger woman when I was pregnant with my son. He is now 20. My first attempts to make a quilt was a log cabin "quilt in a day" (more like two years for me) pattern. I used double polyester batting as the center layer. Quilting it was like wrestling with a bear to stuff it through my sewing machine arm space. After that, it was a good while before I quilted again. My son got bigger and I wanted to do something that I could do for my own pleasure so I returned to quilting - this time a little more seriously and I have been playing with fabric ever since. I have been an active quilter since 1996. I have tried a number of techniques, but I guess you would say I am a traditional quilter who makes colorful bed quilts - often large bed quilts . Remember what I said about balance!!!! I have lost count of how many - perhaps one day I will sit and figure it out for you :D

Picture: This queen sized quilt was made for a niece and her husband as a wedding gift in June. It was the first of three wedding quilts this summer.

Until next time,
Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,