Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Quilts?

Above is a quilt I pieced and mostly machine quilted last year (the spots are sun spots). I did the applique in the two end segments and hand-quilted a cross hatch around them. This is not the applique that was on the original pattern...I did not care for the original very much.

In the quilt center, I used cream thread and machine-quilted a loop pattern all over except in the red 4-piece squares on point. I hand quilted a square within a square in each of them. I used the same print for the backing as the binding...a dark green with red leaf shapes.

Just when I thought the quilt was finished, I realized that I could not be happy with the machine quilting. I could not for the life of me get the thread tension perfect so that the cream did not show from the back (on the dark green) and the dark green bobbin thread did not show on the light cream fabric on the front. Although it seems like it will take forever, I plan to unsew all the machine quilting and hand quilt diagonal lines on it. I've already done a corner. It's going faster than I would have thought it would. If I don't do it, I'll forever be plagued with a quilt with dark green "polka dots" of thread on the front and cream ones on the back. I don't care if it takes another whole year, I've made up my mind.

Above is a close-up of the border. Because I haven't seen my camera since we went to GA for Thanksgiving, I'm at the mercy of my sons. I am using their camera, and I cannot crop pictures. That means you get the view of my jumper edge and grey fleece slippers. You're welcome.

I used a holly printed cream for all the background. The green chains and the quarter-square reds are all scrappy. If you've been reading here long at all, you know that scrappy is my favorite!

Now on to the title of this post..."Why Quilts?" I've had a few adventurous readers suggest that they'd rather hear about my family that my quilt-making. They think that would be more interesting. Well, maybe it would.

I started a blog a little over a year ago. My initial reason was because Bonnie Hunter made me, LOL! I was participating in a mystery quilt she designed, and she forced me at rotary cutter point to post pictures of progress on my (then non-existent) blog. Once the mystery quilt was finished, I started sharing about the rest of my full life...children, DH, recipes, couponing, etc. I didn't want anyone to think that all I did was quilt. Because of the nature of blogs (being public and all), I didn't want to reveal too much personal information. That is the main reason that I don't post much about my children. The other is that most days I feel like I'm floundering as a wife and mother and don't want the world to know about it. But now you do.

~Off to join the masses once more...Joan

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Quilt

This is my foyer this Christmas season. I finally finished and hung the blue nativity quilt. I've had some write and ask where the pattern came from. It is a commercial pattern, but I can't find it to see what the name is or the publisher. I changed it from the original just a bit. There were supposed to be small stars down both sides and across the bottom. I just added more blue squares and the embroidered panel across the bottom to give glory to the King! I also wanted the center star to be more prominent. I'm not sure you can see it in the picture, but I quilted rays coming from the baby's head and an "X" in each of the squares. This was my first needle-turn applique project. I liked doing this a lot.

Here's a close-up. The colors aren't as bright as they look in this picture.

Focus on the real meaning of Christmas this season.