Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quilting for love- summer 2013


This summer I decided it was important for me  to make some dedicated time for quilting. I wanted to know what I love about quilting . I got to thinking about why I quilt, when I was reading on a quilt forum that I read regularly, someone posted the question:" Why do you quilt"? What keeps you quilting? How did you become a quilter? What inspires you to keep you quilting?

In some ways they are very separate questions and in other ways they are very much related. I have always loved quilts but did not have any relatives who were quilters. I am told that my father's mother made quilts but unfortunately none of her work remains. As an aside, I made a Double Wedding Ring quilt a number of years ago in tribute to my grandmother.( By the way, there is a Double Wedding Ring challenge going on right now. If you check Bumblebeans blog on my sidebar - Victoria  Finlay Wolfe's blog, you will find some information about it) but I digress..

My answer to the quilting question is reflected in the following photos.
Quilts provide ways to support causes that need support.
 Recently, I bought this lovely little quilt from the Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative project that was created by Amie Simms in 2006. This piece was made by a lovely lady by the name of Michele Bilyeu who has contributed 75 quilts (9X 12 in) to aid and support the fund for Alzheimer's research. Do check out this post Alzheimer 15,000 quiltfor more information about this important research.

Another reason that I enjoy quilting, is that I love fabric. I have been collecting fabric for the better part of 20 years and have some gorgeous pieces just waiting to be used in the many in my head quilts that are waiting to be made. These fabrics are ones that I pulled from the stash(mostly)for a recent project- a wedding signature quilt. Since this photograph I have completed the signature blocks for the wedding and am waiting for some of the blocks to be returned to me so that I can put them together in a top. The layout is a free pattern called the Fourth of July and can be found on Bonnie Hunter's quiltville website. If you are not familiar with her website, you may want to check it out. Bonnie is a prolific teacher, designer and quilter,  who does amazing things with scraps. She has a number of books out and is generous with her ideas. Her blog is one of the first blogs that I ever followed.

In June,2013 there was some horrific storms in a city named Calgary that lays 200 miles to the south of the place where I call home. In the surrounding areas of High River, Canmore, Bragg Creek, Kananaskis and Siksika Indian Nation areas, the heavy rains created significant heavy flooding. Some areas like the downtown area of Calgary had flooding that filled their hockey/ entertainment arena well up into the seating areas.
 One sometimes wonders what can a person do, besides donate money to help support others in their time of need. For some of us, it means that we can create quilts to wrap around and provide comfort and warmth, to those who may have lost much. That is one of the reasons why a group called Quilts for Calgary was born.

 Here in Edmonton , a long arm quilting studio called Sparrow Studioz, provided a place for some Edmonton quilters for 5 Sundays in July, to donate their time, talents and materials to create quilts for Calgary.
A big thank you go out to Matt ( manquilter) and Bradie Sparrow for their generosity. This quilt top was made
  by my mentor teacher and friend, Linda and quilted by Bradie on the long arm.
 It is a one of the many beautiful quilts that are on  their way to Calgary.
 I loved this purple and black one that has a medallion design.

Here Ms. D., is putting together some beautiful batiks that were donated from a local quilter's stash, to create a disappearing 9 patch. It is going to be a stunning quilt.
This one is a top that I have recently finished up- the blocks came from a quilting friend who lives in the area around my hometown of  Red Deer. I will take it tomorrow to the ladies who use the long arm quilting machines and then I will bind it and add it to the ever growing pile of quilts
 Below are two more of the quilts that will head to the Calgary area.
I have to say it has been a wonderful opportunity to contribute to my community in whatever small way I could. Quilters made bindings, pieced batting  and backing together, or, sent in fabrics for backing and blocks, and even whole tops to be quilted and shared. There were companies that donated batting, fabric while other places helped to defray the costs of shipping and getting them to Calgary area. We were only one of many individual/ groups of quilters across the province who were busy making quilts for down south.
Back to the original question of why I quilt- In some ways its simple- 
Quilting feeds my creative spirit and allows me to play. Being a kindergarten teacher, I know about the importance of play in life. We all need to play whether we are 2 or 92. Play helps us to have balance, solve problems or provide us with opportunities to socialize with others. Quilting has introduced me to some wonderful friends that I would never known without the sharing of our passion for quilting.
Quilts give me a way to express my love to friends and family- Like most other quilters I know, my quilts are gifts from my heart, whether they are for a loved one or a stranger. The quilts form a big hug around its owner , when they wrap the quilt around themselves. 
This little poster hangs in the washroom of the Sparrow's studio. The mat says" Keep off the grass and buy a standard sewing machine." I like the playfulness of  this poster. That playfulness is joyful- something that I feel when I am quilting. 
So why do you quilt? 
Wishing you time to play and create with whatever brings you joy..

Warmest regards,
Anna
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