Birthday Quilt

I mentioned in the previous post that I had a ‘birthday quilt’ on my list of things to finish.  I finally got it bound and cleaned up two days ago.  It is ready to be put in the mail.  I stippled the entire surface this time.  I wanted a particular variegated thread and thought I had been lucky enough to find it until almost a third of the quilt was completed.  ARRRG!  It wasn’t white, red and brown, but green!  Duh, I should have twigged onto it when I read the label and it said ‘Holiday.’  The technique was done with my new free motion foot.  It will take some practice to get better at it.  I learned it is necessary to keep the speed of the machine consistent and move the fabric a little at a time.  Of course the tendency is to move faster as the machine goes faster and the result is stitches that are too big.  I am getting the hang of it and am looking forward to trying other free motion patterns with subsequent projects. This effort is not perfect, but I am still thrilled with the way it turned out.

Here is what it looked like to start —

I had a bunch of pre-cut squares in various sizes and thought they would be a good choice since the recipient’s favourite colour is red.  Some you might recognize as fabric from the quilt I made for my father’s 90th birthday.  Because the squares were all different sizes, it required some math and mental gymnastics to figure out how to assemble them into some sort of pattern that would work.  I thought sewing them into strips the width of the quilt would work the best and for the most part it did.  Stretching and compacting each strip to get them to fit resulted in a finished product that does not lie perfectly flat as the full image shows.

Still, I think it looks great!  This colour palette is one of my favourites. I never thought I was so partial to red until I organized my stash one day and realized how much of the fabric I had purchased — was.

The birthday is tomorrow.  Somehow I doubt that Canada Post will get it there by then.  Better luck next time…



My Grandmother’s Quilt

2 Timothy 1:5   I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

In 2011, shortly after my father’s birthday, my grandmother turned 93.  If you have read the post “My Father’s Quilt” you might wonder about this.  Let me know if you’ve figured it out.  She is a very special lady, loving, warm, a strong faith, and a godly mentor.  She has given me so much sage and valuable advice throughout my life.  She has also given me unlimited love and encouragement in so many ways, not the least of which has been prayer.  The Holy Bible only mentions grandmother(s) once, in the quote supplied above.  How appropriate that it speaks of the faith living in a grandmother.  She is a true gem.

I decided to sew my grandmother a quilt as well.  She was so pleased, saying she felt ‘spoiled.’  My grandmother is a crafty person, she taught me how to  knit, tried to teach me how to crochet.  I love this quilt.  It was a bit of a pain because all the blocks were individual.  I was using up scraps.  There was no sewing 2″ strips of blue and beige/white together and then cutting them into 2″ widths to make the four blocks.

The pattern was followed but I made a mistake, the large beige/white blocks were supposed to run in lines at right angles to the large blue ones.  I think it  turned out better this way.  I didn’t do any fancy machine quilting with this one.  I stitched in the ditch with variegated blue thread and used a dark beige thread for the two lines in the border.

I was a little concerned that it might be too masculine with all the plaid and the blue, but the white/beige contrast really ‘prettied’ it up.  Did I mention that I loved this quilt?

My Father’s Quilt

In 2011 my father celebrated his 90th birthday.  Its a long time to accumulate everything you could ever want or need.  What could I possibly give him?

My latest ‘fun’ has been quilting.  He’s colourblind and sees red the best.  I settled on a beige/brown/red lap quilt that I managed to finish enroute as we travelled to Ontario for the gathering of the family.  It was a splendid time.

He seemed pleased with it.  I asked if he would have a use for it, napping on the couch possibly?  He protested that he didn’t nap on the couch (although the day following his party he did, a little weary from regalling his guests with stories and jokes all night perhaps?).  He intends to use it when he is keeping the fire in the wood box going.  That requires he sleep in the recliner in the basement.  The woodbox only has the capacity to burn for a half hour at a time.  My mom dismissed that option immediately.  “It will smell of smoke and get full of burn holes before you know it!”  Better that than sitting folded in a closet somewhere.

     I attempted free motion quilting for the first time with this quilt.  The effect turned out alright, considering I had the incorrect presser foot for my model of sewing machine and I had to use duct tape to keep the foot slightly off the surface of the quilt.  I’ll  know better next time!