As I’m sitting at my sewing machine, working on the binding for a 20″ preemie quilt, I was thinking about those who have inspired me in my quilty life.
I started making my first quilt in high school, after visiting my grandmother one weekend. She took me to visit my step-great-grandmother, who lived nearby. This old woman seemed about a foot shorter than I was (and I was tall for my age then), hunched over because of osteoporosis, and yet she had this large quilt frame filling up her living room with a quilt she was working on. In my arrogance as a teen, I thought, “If this little old woman can make a quilt, why can’t I?” And so I started. And found out quickly it wasn’t as easy as it looked! I still have that first quilt, even if I still haven’t finished quilting it yet:
I suspect this is my personal quilt-that-will-never-ever-die. The construction is bad, the binding is awful, and the blue on one end is faded from sunlight (it was on my bed in grad school, and I left my curtains open a lot). But the dang thing has survived any number of washing machines, not always on the gentle setting, and it has not yet come apart in the more than 20 years since it was made.
Just recently I had short discussions with two bloggers I’ve been following. I started following Erin’s My Patchwork Life last fall, when I found out she was making quilts for victims of Superstorm Sandy. I joined in the project, ended up putting some of the quilt tops together for her because she was overwhelmed with donated blocks, and made a great new friend. Her blog has partially been my inspiration for my own. (My discussion with her today was about how she was having trouble making updates, so the posts there right now might seem a bit old. Give her a chance to get back on again, it’s worth it!)
More recently I’ve been following Eric’s Eric The Quilter blog. He is a fairly new quilter, but has been extremely prolific in the short time he’s been quilting. He’s also honest about his struggles with depression, and how quilting has helped some with that. He’s also created some funny e-cards and shared some great memes. Nothing like quilting with a smile on your face. 🙂
And then there is my mom. She is more of an artist than I am: she can draw things that look like they are supposed to (I can’t, unless you want a hand or an electrical outlet; long story), she does beautiful picture quilts with applique and a wonderful family quilt that she finished for her 50th wedding anniversary. We talk quilting often, and she sometimes sends me fun fabric for my birthday (this year it was the official Wisconsin fabrics from a particular shop hop near her home).
My husband deserves lots of credit. He is creative in his own ways (see my previous post about Mazz Press!), and has never had a problem with me buying fabric, or making quilts to give away, and he quickly learned to compliment me on my matching points. 😉 I made a scrap quilt for him early in our marriage, but it really wasn’t him; too floral. So, I’m now working on one that is very definitely him:
You can tell I’m still hand quilting this one! I’ve finished the first row (right of the hoop), and am on the 3rd block on the second row. Six rows total, so not too bad, but it’s flannel-backed so the AC really needs to be cranked for me to work on this in the summer. 🙂
Oh, and here’s a shot of that preemie quilt I’m trying to finish:
The binding is really the backing fabric folded over to the front; it’s pinned right now, just needs to be stitched. I bought this wholecloth square from a vendor at a quilt fest a few years ago, and decided it would be a good project to practice my quilting running stitches. (Normally when I hand quilt it’s using stab stitching, but occasionally I try to do it “correctly”.) Finished the hand quilting this weekend, and realized it’s the perfect size to send with the other preemie quilts I have ready to contribute to a Facebook group.
Back to finishing that small quilt. Have a great day! 🙂