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Feb 28, 2011

22 Pillows for Christmas

Feb 28, 2011
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February seems to have been the month of Pillows....  with Sew Mama Sew's Pillow of the Day and frequent tutorial posts, pillows are on our minds!

I thought I'd celebrate the last day of Pillow Month with a special family story.

Meet Grandma Hattie.  Well, actually great-grandma Hattie.  She was my husband's maternal grandmother's mother.  Did you follow that?  Born in 1909, she was the youngest of eight children.  Her sisters and aunts were quilters and farmers wives in Michigan.  She was a smart and progressive lady, learning to drive at the age 13 and attending university for 2 years.  After having her first daughter, Marjorie, she still worked part time as a bookkeeper for her two brothers' hardware and grocery store.

Between bookkeeping and 4 children, she still found time to sew and quilt with the women of her family with babes in arms and children under the quilt frames.

This photo was taken circa 1976 or 1977.  Hattie had 4 children and 18 grand-children. She made pillows for all of them for Christmas that year.  An unbelievable 22 pillows!  Of course in the 70s, there were no rotary cutters, so all of these pillows' patterns were cut with scissors using tracing paper.

Many of these pillows are still displayed in my husband's families homes.  Remembering her for the great woman she was.  I only met her once that I can remember, and it was before my quilting days.  I never got the chance to absorb any of the craft from her before she passed in 2002 (at 93) shortly after my husband and I were married.

One of the things that draws me to quilting is the legacy of it.  Someday I would love to have a stack of quilts or pillows a mile high to pass on to my children and grandchildren, just like Hattie.  And hoping they know the care that was taken in selecting the fabric and sewing each stitch with love.

Hattie's story and these pictures were put together with the help of Hattie's daughter, Patricia.  Thank you so much for sharing Aunt Pat (she is a quilter herself and we have had a good time chatting about all these things!).

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Feb 23, 2011

Finally! That Quilt-Along Finish

Feb 23, 2011
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This quilt has been finished for a while, but with all the posting about the Love Nest Quilt Contest, it's been on the back burner.  This was my first quilt along!  Yea to finishing!

I learned some things about myself by doing this quilt.

1.  I cannot choose fabrics from a computer screen.  Remedy:  The Kona Color Chart + a choir of angels

2.  Wonk is a verb, and I'm not sure I like it

3.  $15 and a one hour session are my ticket to quilting larger quilts.  I told you about my first experience quilting on the Avante... I just can't get over doing a quilt this size in about an hour!

Photo snapped by Beth at the CMQG Sew-in

Quilt fresh off the poles (with the leaders still attached!) - Beth's photo

Draped on my favorite beadboard shelf that hubby made

This quilt may end up a gift... I haven't decided yet.  It may be hard to give away my first quilt done on the frames!

Quilt Stats:

Name: The Great Experiment

Size: 43" x 68"

Piecing: Me

Quilting: Loopy meandering by Me (on the mid-arm machine)

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Feb 16, 2011

Love Nest Quilt Contest Finalists

Feb 16, 2011
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THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the Love Nest Quilt Contest here at Gen X Quilters.  Those who entered quilts - Amazing!  I love being able to see the bedsize quilts.  Because truely, to dedicate your time and $$ into a quilt so large says a lot about each quilter as an artist.  Thank you for sharing your endeavors with all of us.

Now... the viewers at home have voted.  1,719 votes!  Here are our Finalists! 
(click on the picture for the link)

3.  Criss Cross Applesauce

6.  MacKenzie's Garden

23.  Yellow and Grey Lady of the Lake

28. Color Wheel

35.  Red October

40.  Whirrlygiggle

These 6 quilts will be reviewed by our judges Amy Smart, Vickie Eapen and myself.  Each judge will select their top three - and the results will be revealed tomorrow.

Wish each of the top 6 finalists best of luck!
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Feb 14, 2011

February Bee Blocks

Feb 14, 2011
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**If you haven't voted yet, make sure to check out this post and cast your vote for your favorite quilt in the Love Nest Quilt Contest.**

Sew Fresh Fabrics Scrap Bee
Happy Valentine's Day!  Today I am sharing with you the bee block I made for Sew Fresh Fabrics Scrap Charity Quilting Bee.  It's wonderful that Peg and Becca put together this great bee - all the blocks will be assembled into a quilt for donation to Project Linus.  If you haven't signed up for the next round yet, be sure to drop them a note!

I was super pumped to be working on the 'girly' quilt since I've made a ton of quilts for my boys.  Here is what I received in my bundle of scraps. 

I really struggled with what to do with these fabrics.  The 3 fabrics on the left were very large prints in scale - something I normally don't choose.  And I have recently realized my stash is predominantly green, so these colors were totally out of my comfort zone!

I decided to try a totally new technique for me - strings.  I used Elizabeth's tute featured on Sew Mama Sew last week.  Guess what?  I love strings!  Paper piecing wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought.  I enjoyed working with the linen (khaki center cross and teal print) which was new for me.  Only I wish I had some other solid that matched to use as a border, so I had to use the large pink floral that I had tons of.  Hope it will blend ok with the other blocks?

{Sew} Beautiful Bee

Emily chose Drunk Love blocks for February in the {Sew} Beautiful Bee.  This block was new to me too - and went together very easily!  This combination of Anna Maria Horner prints and Kona Ash/Coal went together like peas and carrots.  Fun!  Hope she likes it!

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Feb 7, 2011

Twister-inspired Quilt

Feb 7, 2011
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I love this quilt. I made this one for my neice and nephews, but let me tell you, as soon as it started coming together, there was a certain little man who insisted we have one too. 

With all the circles cropping up in quilts lately, I somehow decided that I must make a Twister quilt.  The game is a classic....and quilts tend to be why not combine the two?  It would look awesome on either a girl's or boy's bed - so bright and colorful.  Plus, you can actually use it to play a hilarious game!

It started out with me and a 9" dinner plate.  Trace, cut.  Round and round we go.  I cut enough for 2 Twister quilts.

The next part is the crazy part.  This is actually a whole cloth quilt.  Yikes.  I pieced two large white sections together, then fused the circles in place.  Measure and remeasure for even spacing of the circles.  Oi vey.  I wouldn't do that part again.  I thought the whole cloth look would make the quilt as a whole look so much cleaner, but the sheer fact that it is super time-consuming will have me applique-ing the circles on blocks next time.

Nonetheless, I pressed on with the gameboard!  Applique circles were secured by machine with a tight zigzag.  The center motifs are hand embroidery.

I cannot believe I will embark on a second one of these, but my boys definitely need one.  My 4 year old was just too excited to play it every day until we had to wrap it up.  Poor guy, I was so worried he'd get it dirty before we gifted it, that every time he came near it, I asked to see if his socks were clean.

Then when his cousins opened it, he proceeded to give them a lecture on how you must wear clean socks on the quilt!

Quilt Stats:

Name: Twist and Shout
Size: Twin size
Design: Whole cloth applique, based on the classic game, Twister
Piecing: Me
Quilting: Kathy Balmert (Quilty Pleasures Long Arm Quilter) and her Gammill Statler. Circles all the way!

I'm linking up here:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations


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