I wish to thank everyone who commented on what you would like to see in a blog. I heard you loud and clear: pictures, techniques, and tips! With that in mind, I am sharing several things I have been working on and have completed in the last few weeks. November has been a wonderful month for quiltmaking -- and I have been working on being focused on completing things. I have way too many unfinished projects.
First of all, I am nearly finished with a quilt for a dear friend who has hosted a dinner for our book club for the past 5 years. In appreciation for her generosity, we are surprising her with a quilt that has 1) a favorite quote of each club member inked in the tiny outer border, 2) a list of each book we've read since our inception in 2004, and 3) quotes from The Thought Gang, which was the first book we read as a group -- it was painful to read but had some of the funniest quotes in it -- the story involves a professor and a one-armed crook who team up to rob banks. The recipient is not a quilter, but three of us teamed to make the quilt; here is the front of "The Thought Gang" quilt.
And here is the back of this quilt. The quilting shows through very clearly. I pieced the back from leftover fabrics from the front. My friend Jerrianne E made the blocks for the front, and when she gave them to me for the quilt, she also gave me a lot of leftover fabrics. Interspersed inbetween all of the rectangles are some "open" rectangles, where I inked a list of all the books we have read -- along with some of the funniest quotes in the world from The Thought Gang book. This quilt will certainly carry memories for Dot, our glorious dinner hostess.
And here is a close-up of one of those rectangles on the back of the quilt. There are a lot of great things about being in a book club: seeing friends every month, having very interesting exchanges about the book we've read, and "upgrading" the level of reading that I would otherwise do. Without a push, I tend to read nothing but thriller detective novels.
Next: I am a strong believer in supporting community events and activities. And so when a friend called me and asked if I would mind "hemming up some sort of puzzle piece" that would then fly on the next NASA Space Shuttle mission, I jumped and said yes. You see, their son was diagnosed with autism, and they have struggled with appropriate therapies that give him the best chances for an improved quality of life. Autism is a mysterious disorder, and as with so many disorders, research funding is critical. Funding for the Autism Research Institute is being aided through "The Million Dollar Puzzle" initiative. By selling puzzle pieces, researchers can continue their work in solving the puzzle of autism. While I was only asked to "sew something that looks like a puzzle piece," I replicated the logo of the Autism Research Institute; after it flies on the Space Shuttle, it will be gifted to the institute.
The next Quilt Show block-of-the-month is called "Star Crazy" - because it is filled with stars. This quilt is a fairly simple one to make -- with the exception of only a few star-interiors, all of the blocks use either 1-1/2" or 2" (finished size) units. I wanted to give everyone a break from making my usual 1" (finished size) units. Or maybe I was just giving myself a break from the complaints (just kidding!). I have long believed that you don't improve if you don't push yourself to do more difficult things. I wear a bracelet that my friend Cynthia gave me that says "Always do the hardest thing." It's become my mantra - it keeps me focused on learning and growing.
"Star Crazy"84 by 84"
And here is a picture of the quilting in this quilt -- again, I used double feathered wreaths in the border, and inserted a feathered wreath "behind" each of the star blocks in the central part of the quilt. The area around the border of smaller stars is quilted with just fill-feathers, while the outer border has a meandering feathered vine.
I hope you're still with me - I still have more quilt photos to post. My latest quilt is a Coxcomb and Currants quilt. Below is a photo of my rendition of the traditional coxcomb and currants block. Many of the older versions of the block are a bit too "chunky" for my likes. My version strikes me as being almost being "lacy."
And here is the quilt; it still needs to be quilted. My friend Margo has suggested that I "echo" the coxcomb design in the open areas through quilting. I'm not sure that I am skilled enough to tackle that, but wouldn't it be wonderful? I'll give it some thought. I am using this quilt to teach applique at a retreat in Utah in January 2010. Yes, I do quite a few lectures and workshops across the country. If I ever get my act together, I'll rebuild my website (which currently just points to this blog) and list all of the workshops that I teach, along with dates and sites. Teaching is FUN for me! But I digress... here's the quilt:
Phew -- I'm worn out! I hope you all still have plenty of energy to quilt some more today and all of your tomorrows. Until we meet again...
Happy sewing -
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman
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