Saturday, May 2, 2009

Celestial Stars and Fabric Collections...

My husband Bruce's passion for Astronomy, has enriched our lives in many ways. It has introduced us to many wonderful people, like Ed, over the last 20 years. We have attended social events and developed lasting friendships with others, who share a love for the night and day sky.

When Bruce's friend, Ed was ill in the hospital, Bruce asked me if I might consider making him a quilt. This is the design that I made for him.
Ed loves music as well as the stars. He would, sometimes, get extra tickets for opera and give them to my husband and I. Though Opera is not my favorite musical form, it was always nice to see some live theatre. I am often surprised how many pieces of music that I am familiar with in spite of my limited exposure to the Opera. It must be all those years of Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes!!!

Ed's Quilt is a pattern from the book "Rotary Magic" by Nancy Sreboro- Johnson. I have made other quilts from this book- the original feathered star pattern and my parent's flower wall hanging (both quilts are shown in earlier posts) are some examples of quilts from this book.

This star quilt covered his single bed nicely and was useful to tuck around him when he was in his wheelchair. I used fleece on the back of this quilt and used a large free form star to make the label. I think he found the quilt homey and comforting. I loved the brightly colored border of planets and other celestial objects. The star blocks are all made from different star fabrics. I made this quilt about 2004 and I still collect star fabrics. I am sure I will want to make more star quilts and star fabrics are not always available in the quilt shops.

It is interesting how fabrics change- I was in a quilt store yesterday. I had gone on a little shopping trip and one of my stops was LQS. It is a lovely shop where I had built up enough points to cash in a 50 dollar coupon(it took me over 2 years to amass the points. I bought a book called "The Art of McTavishing" by Karen McTavish. I bought a few other things too :O)

The McTavishing book was recommended to me by a friend. It provides information about machine quilting techniques. When it comes to the actual machine quilting, I have a limited repertoire. I enjoy meandering, can do stippling and do quilt in the ditch. Anything beyond that, is not within my current level of experience- I have experimented with feathers but not on a large quilt. The book has a DVD so I hope that it will give me some new inspiration and ideas, when it comes to the actual quilting.

While I was in the shop,I noticed that there were lots of large design fabrics reminiscent of the 60's and early 70's. The colors were either soft or vivid with lots of bold patterns. The quilt patterns were simpler in design as if to balance the detailed and bold fabrics. The walls of the store were covered with some beautiful quilts that were samples for courses, that they were offering in the summer. I will have to take a look at their brochure- perhaps I will take a summer course. One of the best parts about visiting the shops, is the inspiration that happens, when you see the beautiful quilts that are being made.

Part of visiting the quilt store included adding fabric to my stash( two small pieces of batiks, and some sunflower fabric). My stash has grown large- I try and make all my new quilt projects from my stash- occasionally I look outside the stash for a particular piece or for the back of my quilts.
I have collected some speciality fabrics like star fabrics, sunflowers(my favorite flowers) batiks, and the occasional novelty fabrics. I also have a tone on tone collection and some 30's fabrics and the rest of the stash is sorted my colors.
I tend not to buy fabric lines - my first choice is to visit the stores clearance sections. It is true that it is not the newest designs, but the fabric is of good quality, and often offered at a much reduced price.

What do you do to keep your quilting costs down?

In reality, I probably would not need to go to a fabric store for a very long time - I bought batting and thread recently, so those are the things that would run out of first. Still, it is always fun to see what is new and to add to the collection when it is financially possible. If I have really limited funds then I go and visit my own stash- it will sometimes fill the need for retail therapy. LOL

Today is a lovely outside and there are some other things beckoning- some school work, a quick trip to the dollar store, and some beading project repairs.. I am still looking for a project for my little ones to make for their moms for Mother's Day. The search is on and time is running out....

Until next week,
Be well
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