Sunday, September 1, 2013

All in the Family

I was gifted a quilt made by my late grandmother a few years ago. It is one of my most treasured possessions. Some might think it's weird but it is on my "five things" list. You know, your house is on fire, you have FIVE minutes to exit the house safely what do you grab. First of course is people and pets. Then, I'd grab these hard-to-replace items and run:

  • Purse 
  • Personal papers folder
  • Computer back-up drive
  • Car keys
  • Grandmother's quilt
I'd also grab my shoes and a coat. You need shoes to run, right? Wait, that's more than five. Anyway, I digress. The quilt was hand quilted around 1948 or 1949. Before I was even a twinkle in my father's eye.

It is approximately a full-sized quilt. The pattern is called a Dresden Plate. It looks as though it was pieced using old shirts which were hand embroidered. The first quilt I ever made was hand stitched, it took me over two years. I promised never to do that again. I love my sewing machines more immediate gratification. I believe that my grandmother had a sewing machine but she and my aunts preferred to hand stitch the quilts. 

Here is my version of the Dresden Plate:

The quilt is slightly larger than my grandmother's. I used African fabrics to make my plates. I also added Flying Geese blocks around the border of the quilt. I have never been fond of the color green, but I really like the way the plates stand out in contrast. I have a really busy back because I believe that the back side of the quilt should be as interesting as the front.

What I did on my Summer Vacation

I have decided that my favorite part of quilting is the piecing, that is making up the top; cutting up little pieces of material and sewing them back together. At any given time I probably have 3 or 4 tops that need to be quilted.

One of my resolutions this year was to finish or quilt a top for each new project I started. I have completed a couple of baby quilts (see previous posts) with a couple more to go. But here are a couple of the latest quilts I've finished.

This is a throw that I pieced a couple of years ago, see how long it took me to quilt it? It is made up of half square triangles and four five inch center blocks. This is the quilt I made as a test before I made the quilt destined for my sister.

This fun little quilts uses blocks by Loralie. Instead of purchasing one of her set designs, I purchased all of the block separately. Good because I could use the blocks I liked with no waste, bad because it turned out to be quite expensive. It was also challenging because not all of the blocks were the same size so I had to use a fabric for the background which would disguise the many seams.

I took the quilts to a local park to take the photos: Saguaro Ranch Park. It actually used to be a working ranch, but the owners passed away and no one in the family wanted to continue the tradition, unfortunately the land was worth more than ranching. 

I have two more quilts finished and will post them as soon as I bind them.