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Archive for June 2008

It is now time for my second instalment of my list of firsts.   But I don’t know where to start.  I realize now, I should have just kept writing, and split the post in two, when I was done.  Hmmm… I think I was called away, and that is why I ended it off… as well as it was getting quite lengthy.

So where were we….  ah yes… I ended with the pillows… which would have been the Spring of 2006, and the creation of “My Dad’s Quilt”.

In Part 1, I described how I designed the quilt, and posted the EQ version of it.

My quest was to look for eagle fabric.  In Canada, it was quite difficult.  I was fortunate to find some on eBay.   Buying the rose fabric was relatively easier.  On a trip to visit my Mom, I stopped at a couple quilt shops in the Greater Vancouver area.  I also bought some Moda Marble in different shades of blue.

The background fabric I used some of the 4″ charm squares I bought from eBay, and I also purchased a few quarter yards of tone-on-tone ecru.  Each of the three quilts I made was an improvement on the last.  I realized when I had finished the first, that some stabilization was needed for some of the shirt fabrics.  They stretched unbelievably… my first introduction to bias cuts.  If you don’t think fabric stretches on the bias… try cutting a poly type fabric in a half square triangle, and then sewing it to another triangle.  So I stabilized with some interfacing I had.  I only have pictures of the first two… I wanted to deliver the third, and forgot to take pictures of it before I did.   Each rose and eagle on the quilts were stitched around each element.  My first attempt at free-motion quilting… but I didn’t know I should be using my darning foot, as opposed to my walking foot.  A couple stitches, lift foot, turn, couple stitches… boy… have I learnt a lot.  I do not recommend this “technique” for anyone.    Putting the corners onto the borders and even adding borders was also a first for me.     The pictures I have, do not do these quilts justice.

The first of my Dad's quilts.Finished Fall 2006

Second Dad\'s QuiltFinished December 2006

I found making My Dad’s quilts very therapeutic, and it helped me through the grief.  There were times when I wanted to give up, it hurt to remember him, wearing that particular shirt.   There were times when I put them aside.   Perhaps this summer, when I have a few more of my projects in progress completed, I’ll start working on mine.  Now that my quilt’n room is almost complete, I can hang it above my computer.

In April 2006, I participated in a Guild Demo night.  They showed us how to do redwork.  What fun!  I didn’t really think I would do hand-stitchery, just this point in time, my life is very busy.  Little did I know.  Within 2 weeks, I had a design for my first red-work quilt in mind for my Mom.

In December 2006, I started my first Mystery Quilt.  I finished it in February 2008.  Before my Mom’s Quilt… Star Bright was my first large quilt.  Another first for the Star Bright quilt… I free motioned the entire thing.  I had no idea what I was doing… I just did it.  Meanders, stars, leaves, and a few other things I can’t remember what I put in.. .the little fellow that received it and his friends searched the entire quilt trying to find them.  Star Bright is also the first quilt I sold.  It was so sad, because it was sold before I finished it… I never got a chance to enjoy it in its finished form.

The great thing about belonging to a guild… all the opportunities to learn/try something new.  For the first two years as a member, I didn’t want to do everything, as I was not interested.  Then I realized, I should anyway… one it helps support the teacher, two it is a chance to socialize, three the opportunity to learn something new.

There are several things that are firsts for me.  Some I have already written in other blogs.   So when did I become a quilter?  I’m not entirely sure.

I have found in quilting an inner peace (piece?).  It brings its frustrations, but in the end, it is bliss.  Now that my quilt room is a little closer to being set-up the way it was intended, I will find it a much joyous place to be.

When did you become a quilter?

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Have you ever thought about when you became a quilter? Was it when you couldn’t stop buying fabric? Was it the very first project you started? First project finished?

Do you remember you first quilt? I do, and this blog is about the story of my first quilt… as well as my other firsts in my quilting adventure.

When I was about 9 or 10, I started my first quilt – a “patchwork” quilt. I don’t remember now, why I wanted to make a patchwork quilt. All I know, is I started gathering fabric. A pair of PJ’s I had favoured since I was 8, was cut up. Other clothing too small, was fair game. A few pieces of fabric my Mom had used to make us clothes. A few blouses from my grandmother who didn’t require them anymore. A pair of jeans from somewhere. I cut squares/rectangles and pieced them together in a row. Then stitched the rows together. And continued for about 6 strips or so (sew?). A life change happened, my parents split up, my sister and I took a bit before we settled again, and this quilt was forgotten, for a time.

It all began with this?

Then my second first occurred. In a grade ten class, I learnt to make a star quilt pillow. As you can see, it is not a star, even back then, I changed things to suit me. I gave the pillow away to my grandma as a gift. They shortly moved away, and I had forgotten about that pillow. After the passing of my grandmother, and the subsequent move of my grandfather into their condominium and my “new” found interest in quilting, I asked Mom, if it was possible that Granpa still had my pillow. Amazingly enough he did. With Mom’s visit at the beginning of the month, she brought it to me.

Is this where it began?

Amazingly enough I kept the instructions… for some day! I’m not sure when it happened, could it have been the course at school? My quilt from when I was 9 or 10 surfaced again, and I added a few more pieces to it. Again, finding favourite clothes to small, or bits of fabric from a sewing class in grade eight. I wanted to finish the thing… so the patchwork pieces became much bigger. Other interests became important, and the poor quilt was put away again.

More life changes – graduation from high school. Marriage and children. A couple of moves. My eldest daughter was interested in doing some sewing. I think she was just beginning her teen-age years. She discovered my unfinished forgotten quilt, and wanted to add to it. Unfortunately, that never happened, as life does that from time to time.

Fast forward to the end of 2004, beginning of 2005. My eldest daughter was expecting her first child. When I had my first two, they were made quilts my their grandmother. I wanted to do the same. The only experience I had was from the class… many many years before. I designed my first quilt… using a spreadsheet program… easy to make squares! I have not made that quilt yet, and I have since redesigned it using EQ5 software. It is on my must-do list!

First Quilt Design

Now to 2006. With the passing of my father, from a short battle with cancer, I decided I wanted to make something. My father did not have much by way of personal wealth or belongings. A plan started to form… something for my two sisters and his common-law wife. Something to treasure and remember him. I asked his CL wife, what she had planned with his shirts. She didn’t want to give them away to the thrift store yet, as she didn’t want to see other men walking around town wearing them. I boldly asked if I could have them, that I had an idea. Without anything further, I got his shirts. She had some difficult times after his passing, and I would come and stay with her for a few hours in the evening, or overnight, to give her some peace of mind. During these times, I started designing a quilt, using his shirts. Still had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to incorporate his favourite things… the colour blue, roses and bald eagles. His initial would be made from his shirts. I chose an off-white tone on tone for the background.

What was I thinking... or not knowing any better.

I started reading a little bit about quilting on the internet. I needed a stash. This leads to another first! Building one’s stash. I thought the best way, and possibly the cheapest was to buy fabric from eBay. WOW, I can get 48 patches for a couple bucks. I went on a shopping spree. Several hundred 4″ squares later… I came to realize, this was not the most efficient way to build a stash.

While thinking of making a quilt to remember my dad, I thought I would revisit making those pillows. After all, I did it ummm… 20 plus years ago, I can do it again. I brought the subject up with my youngest two, and asked them if they would like to spend a weekend making pillows. They would get to choose their fabric (which meant a shopping trip), and off we went. My first quilt fabric shopping trip. Little did I know, that poly-cotton blends would not necessarily make the best quilt (not going to go into that debate). We got the three pillows made.

Now I think I am ready to tackle my dad’s quilts… I can make it using triangles (after all, I just made 3 pillows and isn’t that the best way.

But before I tackle my Dad’s quilt…. need to get the pillows finished I started with the kids. Here are the three we made together… this time using the star, or the instructions as intended.

This is the beginning of my firsts. I will continue listing my other firsts in my next blog entry.

I have my UFO listed on a Quilting Community I belong to. I needed to update it, and thought I would also include the list here on my blog. The idea on the Quilting Community – Quilting Friends, was to list only 10 UFO’s, and once one was finished you can start a new project, or add another UFO to the list. This list is a little different, it will list all my UFO’s, and the progress, or what remains to be done.

  • Flutterbys: sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Mom’s Red-work Cat Quilt: cut, piece, redwork 12/12, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Sunflower placemats: bind 2/4 complete
  • My very first quilt (when I was 9 years old): fix, size, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Landscape Quilt – Sunrise over Bayne’s Sound: sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Curve Play quilt: piece 9/24 blocks completed, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Bear’s Paw quilt (Oldest DD): 3/6 blocks completed, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • My Interlocking Block Quilt: sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • Bargello #2: piece, sandwich, quilt, embellish, label, bind, post pic
  • Guild Challenge 2008: piece, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic

Completed Quilts:

  • Community Charity Quilt: bind, post pic COMPLETED!
  • Mystery Quilt – Star Bright: piece backing, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic COMPLETED!
  • There’s a Dog on My Quilt: sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post picCOMPLETED
  • Stained Glass Rose Wallhanging: sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  • COMPLETED!

EDIT: The Mystery Quilt is completed!!!! – 12 Feb 2008
EDIT: There’s a Dog on My Quilt – 21 Feb 2008
EDIT: Rose where did you get that red (Stained Glass Rose Wallhanging) – 12 Mar 20008

It seems like so much has happened, but I haven’t gotten much done. Ever had days like that… or weeks?

My eldest daughter graduated from Grade 12. I’m very proud of her, and happy she went back to do it. She had invited my Mom to the grad ceremony. It was a busy weekend.

I didn’t get my Mom’s quilt done, but I did show it to her. She was very pleased and surprised.

I have added another UFO to my list… which reminds me… I need to update that list. Yesterday (Saturday, 14th) our guild ran a “Wimpy-All-Nighter”, which ran from 9am-9pm. We worked through a mystery quilt. My youngest daughter is a junior member of the guild. She and I worked through the quilt together. She pieced, while I cut and pinned. The different fabrics that everyone chose, will surely make this quilt a beauty. We started the day with 9. A few had to leave early, due to other commitments. There was 5 of us that made it through the day. The last few hours saw us all a little goofy, having to read instructions 3 or 4 times, only to come up with 3 or 4 ways to do it. it was a great day. My youngest daughter was motivated, that she is determined to finish the quilt for our Quilt Show in March.

Some exciting news from this last week… I received a phone call from Quilter’s Club of America, on Tuesday advising me, I had won their contest. The only thing that came to mind, was that they were going to feature me on their website… oh dear! This is the conversation:

Me: Hello
Voice on phone: Hello. May I speak to Alice.
Me: This is Alice
Voice: Hello this is “so-and-so”, from Quilters Club of America.
Me: Hi (wondering what is going on, are they calling about my subscription, and will be offering something).
Voice: I am calling to advise you, you won our May Contest, and will be receiving a notion in a week to two weeks.
Me: (very excited, and confused). Wow. That’s cool. What do I need to do?
Voice: *chuckle* Just sit tight. You entered the contest “How do I find time to quilt”. Your entry will be posted on the website and in the newsletter. Do you have any questions
Me: No, (trying to remember what I wrote, and if I had a copy of it). But you have made my day today. Thank you.
Voice: Have a great day!

After sharing this experience with my husband, and then my good friend, I remembered emailing my submission. I quickly checked my sent messages, and voila! I found it.

Here is my submission:

I don’t find time to quilt, I make time. I make that distinction, because I was always looking for time, and never finding it. Having my own space now, makes it easier to make my time. I don’t have to worry about cleaning up, and I can leave a project in progress, and it will be there when I make the time to come back to it.

I make time, by telling my family that “blank”day is my day for quilting. I also make time some evenings, when I am not too tired from work.

I worked at it for some time, to get it to the 100 word limit. My hubby wants me to write a book… with all the quilting books out there, I’m not sure if I have any “refreshing and new” ideas. After reading Mark Lipinski’s blog about Book Reviews, I am more than ever reluctant to follow that adventure. If you haven’t discovered Mark’s blog, I recommend it, if you are looking for something a little different on views of quilting, and life in general. I like Mark’s idea about writing/reading Book Reviews, which tell it like it is, not some of the super fluff that is written. Many of Mark’s readers tend to agree, judging by their comments.

I am feeling a bit like a yo-yo right now. I have several UFO’s to be worked on, but I also want to try some “new-to-me” techniques… in particular embellishing with beads. I’ve been looking on the internet for ideas, but haven’t found anything. I don’t want to make something, that someone has made before, I want to learn how to decide if beading on a quilt, will work with the piece. Where do I start? I was fortunate that a guild member at our spring retreat, gave me a piece she was working on. I really enjoyed doing the work. Selecting beads, and making up a design as I went. *thought to self, did I take a picture of that piece? NO.*

Another bit of news, I am leaving my second job. Although the little bit of money I was getting was nice, the negative aspects outweighed the positive. I was very tired coming home, and grumpy. I think part of it was because I didn’t have the time to work on my creative side aka Quilting. Too tired to quilt, wow, I didn’t realize how much quilting has had a positive influence on my life, until I wasn’t able to do it. I’ll be in the full swing of things again.

Now that I have wrapped up my week, my neglected sewing machine is begging me to come and play with it for awhile. Not sure what we will create together, but that doesn’t matter, as long as we have our quality time together.

Take care of yourselves!

-Alice

A few blog entries ago, I mentioned, have you ever wondered who visited your blog, when I discovered that Mark Lipinski had visited mine.

I have another discovery, and I think it is a cool site.  Quilting Bloggers.  This site is all things Quilting and blogging.  It is a directory of all quilting blogs they have discovered, categorized by Country.

It was launched May 28, and already they have 562 blogs catalogued.  WOW!

Check them out.  On The Quilting Gallery lots of neat stuff to read about.


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