Sunday, April 21, 2013

Some Projects

Well, February, March, and now April, seem to have flown by!  I've been working on projects left and right trying to catch up on my projects.  Between various interruptions, including when my grandmother (she's almost 85) fell and broke and dislocated her hip (Needless to say lots of back and forth for family in travel and phone calls.), I feel like I got a lot of things half done and very little finished.  Hopefully, I'm not the only one who does this.

I did finish some bee blocks.  A couple of Bee White Black months--string blocks and a pinwheel.  Both are nice and easy to make, so even if you're new to quilting, give them a try.  For the string blocks, we followed the Film in the Fridge tutorial and for the pinwheel, we used this pdf tutorial from Sew Mama Sew.

Do you see the little gecko?

This is not a color I would choose, and yet I like the result with the black and white fabric.

Then there's the quilt I'm trying to get done for my grandma's 85th birthday.  I don't think I'll get it done on time, as there have been plenty of interruptions, but I won't be going up on her exact birthday, so I've still got some time. 

I used a cream background (Kona Snow, I think) and plum, peach and blue solids with butterfly prints.  Each butterfly print is different, making a total of 80 different prints plus one more which will be used for the border.  (Yes, I've been saving up butterfly print charms for quite some time for a special quilt.)  I picked butterflies because the quilt she made for my parents when they got married was an appliqued butterfly quilt.  The pattern is called the Disappearing 9-patch, which has been around for awhile.  If you've never made one before, here's a good tutorial.  (There are many out there, including some YouTube videos.)

I ran out of peach ones at the end there, but that's okay.

I thought for awhile about doing a modern quilt, but my grandma tends to like the more traditional styles, so I thought this was a good pattern for something inbetween.  I've still got to finish sewing this middle part together and add the border.  Here's the other half of it, I was fast running out of room!

Please parden the pile of toys there in the corner.  Stars likes to be whereever I am, so the toys keep him off the quilts!

The other quilting project that I acquired is to make four quilts that my grandmother had started years and years ago (like in the 70's and 80's).  She had originally planned to make one for each grandkid as they got married.  (There's 32 of us...I think, I'd need to sit and count.)  And so far she has, well, for everyone except me.  She also hadn't done the ones for my siblings as they haven't been married, but she made it clear that they probably wouldn't get done.  (It's a long story that comes down to her holding a grudge against my dad for becoming a school teacher instead of going into real estate like his dad.)  Well, I've tried for years, as has our family and one of my aunts, to convince her to, if she wasn't going to make them, at least give us what she had done so that I could finish them.  That way at least we would get them.  For years it was a no go, then, after her hip surgery, she decided to hand them over.  So, when my dad and sis went up to check on her, they brought back a bunch of boxes with quilts. 

Or rather quilt parts.  Mostly there are cut pieces with a little here and there sewn. 

And boy are those pieces bright!  Opening this box was like time traveling to the 70s.

It's a big job---4 queen size quilts in pieces.  All hand cut (not nearly as accurate as rotary cutter) and very minimal, if any, instruction.  I started a little of the one for my oldest sister and went through each and wrote down what is there and what is still needed.  I've decided that once I finish the birthday quilt, these will be my regular Sunday afternoon project.

This one had all the print/solid pairs cut and half the white, along with two finished blocks and one with the diamonds already sewn.  I remember her saying she had difficulty with getting the points right.  The white pieces are curved but the print/solid parts aren't, so it should be interesting putting the two together.

This is the quilt that was for my oldest sister.  Grandma called it Worlds Without End.  I need to cut some more white, but fortunately I have some of the white she used originally to finish with.

The fabric also is not all regular cotton.  Some polyester, some lighter weight, some heavier--the solids are almost all a lighter weight than today's quilting fabrics.  But at the time, there really wasn't nearly the range and availability of quilting cottons.  A truly scrappy quilt.  I figure though that early pioneers worked with whatever fabric they had on hand, so this will be an adventure.

Very cheerful fabric, isn't it?
My grandmother never had quilting classes or quilting books and television shows growing up.  She learned to quilt from her mother or, if not available, just figured it out herself.  My grandmother has made way over 40 queen sized quilts, countless twin and lap sized, not to mention all the baby blankets, pieced fleece "quilts" (literally at least 100 of these, many of which were donated to charity) and denim tied quilts throughout her life.  She used to handquilt her quilts until she got older.  The quilt that used to be on my parents bed when we were growing up was made by her.  So we all grew up with her quilting.

You might be wondering why I'd take on such a project and make her a birthday quilt.  I mean afterall, she wouldn't even bother to finish making me one for my wedding (one that was all cut out and basted down ready to applique).  She's often been quite unloving to our family, especially my dad.  She didn't care at all if my siblings and I never received those quilts.  So why bother?  Well, despite her plain onery self, she is my grandma and I still love her.  I think one day down the road it will mean something to my family to have those quilts.  Besides, after all those quilts she's made through the years, the only one that was ever made for her by someone else, was the one she received from her mother when she got married.  Time to change all of that.

So, normally I challenge my readers to try a new quilt block or sewing pattern, but this time the challenge is different.  Here it is:  Go and forgive one person who you feel has wronged you.  Doesn't matter if they care (you don't even have to tell them if you don't want to) or that they accept your forgiveness or that they change at all---forgiving someone is about how it changes you.
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