Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heart Mats have new homes

The writer's conference is over. I'd made eleven little quilts to decorate the tables. The speaker, Jane Kirkpatrick, even brought a quilt. She writes historical fiction but has a coffeetable book about quilts. I asked that no one make a big deal about the decorations, but the woman who was the MC wanted to buy one, and she had to tell everyone that I'd made them, and the next thing I knew people were holding out money. I sold five of them in about fifteen minutes.

I've not tried to sell my quilts. Once someone asked me to make a baby quilt for her second daughter because the older one would not share her quilt. She paid me for it, but that was the only time anyone even offered to purchase. Yesterday was a total surprise.

The MC liked the little round one "Pieced but still Blue and Broken" because it spoke to an important experience in her life. Another person liked the colors of "October Hearts" and another wanted "Rose in my Heart" because she thought it was beautiful. One writer debated -- should she buy one for her daughter or be selfish and get "Heart in Woven Ribbons" for herself? She finally said, "I'm going to be selfish" and paid the higher price for the one she liked. Jane Kirkpatrick bought "Confetti Heart" because she "just loved it."

Funny, I don't do this to sell them, and while it felt good to make those sales, what was even better was the delight people had with their choices. Quilts make people happy, certainly for various reasons, but making people happy is incredibly delightful.

Now that the conference is done (and I am off the executive), I've already named my next quilt and haven't even started it yet!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Leftover Reds

Inspired by Wanda's strip-piecing, my red scraps are now a quilt top! There were several colors left over from the heart mats, and a few in my drawer of red scraps. I took them, plus a few smaller pieces stacked in my stash and made 5" nine-patches from the 2" strips and 5" blocks of just stripes from the bits and pieces, some of which had to be first pieced to make a strip.

This was so much fun, and as I watched the leftover pile get smaller, I kept thinking about Wanda and how much I've enjoyed and been motivated by her blog ~ Exuberant Color. I don't know what to call this quilt yet, maybe "Leftover Borscht" but suggestions are welcome.

I've plans now to sort a few more bags of bits and pieces into various color schemes and do the same with them. The blocks may look different and be a different size than 5", but there is huge satisfaction in using up what I might have otherwise been tempted to throw away. Thanks, Wanda!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alzheimers Quilt Initiative

My mother had Alzheimers. Even with her dementia, she kept her sweet spirit and sense of humor. I miss her and wish she could see the wonderful quilts that my blogging friends make, and how many people care about those with this disease and use their quilts to express it. Click on the purple patch for more information.

Mom and Dad lived with us in 1994-95. In that time and the nearly ten years she lived beyond it, I learned a great deal from her about how to face life's challenges. She couldn't remember the names of things, and near the end became disassociated from her own self, but she always remembered family and never stopped being an incredibly adaptable person. One of her sayings sticks with me: "I've been through a lot... I can handle this too."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jen's Kaleidoscope now a duvet cover

A few months ago I posted some kaleidoscope quilts from a class I taught. One of the quilters had never sewn before, never mind tried a quilt. She picked her fabrics and made her colorful kaleidoscope. Her intention was to make it into a duvet cover for a gift duvet that was "an awful orange" color.

Like most of us, she got the quilt top finished and felt she was "done" so asked me to assemble the duvet. I'd not made one before but agreed and did the whole thing yesterday. I lined the quilt top so there are no raw seams on the inside of the duvet. I also put some thinsulate behind the kaleidoscope and quilted some of the seams in the ditch so that section has dimension. I put two 20" zippers in a flapped seam near one end of the backing, each 'zipping' toward the outside edge to make an opening the full width of the cover. I joined the back to the front with French seams. All in all, it looks pretty good, mostly because Jen picked fabrics that are rather amazing.

Her little girl will spend hours exploring the designs on this one. It does look bright - because it is. I wouldn't have chosen this combination, yet had a lot of fun finishing it up for her and am delighted to see a beginner do such a great job.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The mats are done - big cheer!

Finally, they are done, meaning the ten mats that I promised to make for a writer's conference using the theme, "Out of the abundance of the heart the pen writes."

This one is called Pieced but still Blue & Broken for obvious reasons. It is not very large, but I had fun couching the cording around it and sewing on a few beads. Putting binding on a round quilt is super easy, so I have my eye on our round table that could use a nice quilted table cloth.

The next one is called Victorian Hearts. I'm not into this one at all, but someone might like it. I did enjoy the quilting and lace is an interesting addition. The lace ends at the bottom with two 'tassels' dropping down and beaded on the end. This doesn't show up well in a photo, but it gives balance since the heart seems to be too high on the background. Lowering it with those tassels would not work. I used a foundation method to deal with lots of scraps from the other heart mats.

The last one is a total break from all this pink, red, Valentine stuff that I don't like myself (someone might?). I had the idea yesterday and just grabbed some fall colors and made it in a couple hours. I call it October's Hearts because the leaves are still green here (most of them) and I don't want them to turn until October!

I'm glad these are finished and I con go back to other things that are more my style. I don't think I will make another heart motif quilt for a long time!