Sunday, April 14, 2013

Quilts Finished, Winter, 2013

I headed downstairs to my sewing room in the days following the turn of the year.
It was a time for the warmth of the woodstove, music or an audiobook on the CD player, a time to take out an unfinished project or two and see what else I could create.
Some of the 6 inch blocks which form these star centers were made in Wyoming.
Because no two are quite alike, the work was slow, but made satisfying by the 'play' with
colors and patterns.
I decided to make two mid-sized quilts with slightly different settings rather than the one king-sized that I originally planned.
Daughter Gina immediately put in her bid for a quilt and  presented me with some scraps from one I made for her 3 years ago which she wanted incorporated into her arrangement of blocks.
This is her finished quilt.

I had this machine quilted by a local quilter who used a 'wave' pattern.
This quilter doesn't offer a choice of batting and only a limited selection of backing fabrics.
She prefers that her customers not bring in their own.
Her machine quilting is adequate and the price is very reasonable.

This photo, taken with the blocks laid out in rows, but prior to stitching together with the
sashing and quilting,
is a better representation of the colors.

This is a large lap-size quilt created for our brother-in-law, Chuck.
I had six of the blocks left from making a king-sized one for our son several years ago.
The Primitive Log Cabin pattern seems suitable for a 'manly' quilt.
The Log Cabin variations all work up fairly quickly due to the straight cutting and piecing.
Here again, since each block has different arrangements of fabric strips, the selection of fabrics takes time--and I end up with tottering piles of potential choices layered on my table.
Our local quilter calls this a double wishbone pattern of stitching.

For J.'s dear sister I chose from my stash of flowery fabrics.
I enjoy making quilts with a traditional setting comprised of two distinct blocks.
This is 'Snowball' paired with 'Nine-patch.'
One of the pleasures of such a arrangement is that the finished block size can often be calculated to preference.
In this quilt the 6 inch snowballs easily translated to a 9 patch made with strips cut 2 1/2 inches.
An inner border of dainty pink woven check and an outer border in a spring-time yellow floral finished a lady-like quilt.
The machine quilter used the wave pattern on this one.

With the two gift quilts delivered to the local machine quilter I returned to the pile of 6 inch blocks in my cherished Wuthering Heights fabric.
The inspiration for these star sampler quilts was a book, Keep Quilting, by Alex Anderson.
There were a few of the block centers that I didn't care for, so I searched through other
pattern collections for 6" blocks.

I enjoyed laying out the different elements of this quilt.
I used a setting which alternated four of the 6 inch blocks with 12 inch Double Sawtooth Star blocks.
I needed a dark fabric for the sashing--and this particular line of fabric came out about 2006--it sold out quickly in the shop where I worked.
Knowing that the fabric designers [3 Sisters for Moda] usually release several consecutive lines with similar colors, I was able to find online several yards of a coordinating 'tone-on-tone' in 'Double Chocolat.'

I chose to make all the outer star points from the elegant red prints in this fabric line.
I especially like this block with the inner star center fussy cut from a scrap of a rose print.

I had this chunk of quilt backing in my stash.
It is the perfect compliment in both style and color for the Wuthering Heights fabric in the quilt.
I usually finish my quilts with a French fold binding.  There was ample fabric and heirloom cotton batting on all sides of the quilt to cut to 2 inches, fold over the front and stitch down, mitering the corners.

The machine quilting was done by a creative quilter who lives only a mile or two from my old home in Vermont.  Marion of Knox Hill Quilts chose a simple swirling design to compliment the 'busyness' of the sampler quilt.
Would I make another sampler?
Probably not.
They are time consuiming in both the cutting and piecing process.
Also, a sampler seems more of a display piece than a bed cover.
At the moment I'm without a 'work in progress.'
During the bitterly cold and windy week in early March when J. was working in Wyoming, I dragged out some bits and pieces left from older projects.
One of them quickly became an exasperation.
The other has possibilities for a mid-size everyday quilt.
Both were bundled away in favor of 'spring cleaning.'
A succession of house guests were shared between our home and our daughter's over a three week span.
A break in the weather brought warmer days and I flung myself into gardening.
It is still chilly in the basement sewing room but not worthwhile to start a fire for the hour or two which I might claim for sewing.
My fabric cupboards have been rummaged and need tidying.
Several possible projects are beginning to lure me.
One of them requires some advance preparation of small applique pieces.
Another might utilize the scraps of Wuthering Heights fabric [yes--there is still some left over!]
Then there's that stack of fabrics by Kansas Troubles--lovely dark reds, old gold, butternut brown--surely that needs to be turned into a special quilt!
A few sessions of organizing and cutting should see me with a project or two ready to stitch at a
 moment's notice.
By late May or early June the basement sewing room will become a perfect cool retreat from the hot work of gardening!


  1. Those are just gorgeous. All those hours sure paid off. Your family is very lucky to receive such lovely gifts!

    1. Softie; Thank you! The 'hours'take their toll on me as I can never work in small increments of time. I do enjoy making quilts and haven't met anyone who was insulted with the gift of one.

  2. Your quilts are so beautiful-wonderful colors! You're really inspiring me to learn to quilt!

    1. Jan; Playing with the fabrics is very addictive! I think the key for beginning quilters is starting with a relatively small and simple but lovely project.

  3. these are beautiful Sharon, between you asnd kath, i am feeling very inadequate!!!!

    leanne x

    1. Leanne; I look at Kath's quilts and know I'm never going to be as dedicated and skillful a hand stitcher.
      I marvel over your beautiful baked goods and realize mine taste fine, but are totally lacking in your artful 'decorating.'
      There must be a delicate balance between yearning to do more and do it more skillfully--and in taking satisfaction in the things we can each accomplish.

  4. Your quilts are all so lovely and you can tell that a lot of love and joy of quilting goes into each one.


    1. Lorraine; I can't imagine attempting the dainty, delicate stitchery and beading which you can do. There is joy in 'creating' in whatever medium we choose.

  5. Wow! I'm very impressed, they're lovely.

    1. Janet; Thank you--I always enjoy your crafting adventures as well!

  6. Beautiful quilts, I need another lifetime to learn to quilt, it must give you great contentment when you come to the end of working one.

    1. Thelma; If I had that extended lifetime I would enjoy learning to work with dyes and yarns--and paint--and wood--at this point in time I have to focus on what I can do. I should live long enough to use up all my beautiful fabric!

  7. So pretty! What an awesome amount of quilting you accomplished. Lucky family!

    1. Jane; Today's quilting fabrics are very inspiring. I think of my gift quilts as 'hugs'for family and friends.

  8. Those are so lovely. I must confess, I am not good with "pointy bits" in designs, hopeless at choosing the colourways which all go together, and so I think I had better come and visit so you can teach me how!!!

    Beautiful, all of them, just beautiful.

    1. Jennie; Wouldn't if be fun if we could pop in and out of each others homes! I do think we would get distracted from quilting and likely drag out books or end up poking in the garden or trying to track down ancestors.
      Do try a straight piecing sort of quilt--'pointy bits' can be uncooperative at times!