Friday, July 29, 2011

Nesting Robin

What a fun year I've had working on my Nesting Robin.  Do you wonder what a nesting robin is?  It's like a round robin or a row robin but it nests at our own home.  In other words, it's not passed around to other friends to work on; we work on it ourselves.  We're doing the nesting robin as a group in our guild chapter -18 of us are participating.  As usual we each pick out our own color palate, a theme, decide if we want to do a row or a round robin, and what size the blocks will be.  What makes it unique is that each month we randomly draw out of a hat to see which block we’ll all use for the month.  There are 8 categories in the hat and we decided we'd do 5 rows or rounds - what blocks we make is the luck of the draw. 

The first month the drawing was for "Classic or Traditional" blocks.  I decided on a theme of "Quilt My Own Story".  Along with my blocks I'm writing the story of the various places I've lived and some memories associated with those places.  This first row represents where I was born and raised  - in cold country - Wisconsin & Minnesota.  The main block is an 8 1/2" needleturn applique block called "Winter Still Life" - a pattern by Blackbird Designs that I found in one of my quilting magazines.  The blocks on either side of it are 4 1/2" paper-pieced blocks and are called SeeSaw - which was my favorite past-time when I was small.  Here is the first row I made:

The second month we drew "Stars".  I decided to do a swag with a couple of stars and a double star on it that I could use along the top of my quilt.  The stars represent the many friends I made along the way.  Since we moved every couple of years while I was growing up, it was always a case of making new friends and leaving old friends.  The story I'm writing to go along with this row is about some of the friends who enriched my life along the way - the "stars" in my life.  Here is my second row:

The third month we drew "buildings".  My row is a paper-pieced cabin block with some log cabin blocks around it.  Since my theme is about the places I've lived I may want to emphasize this block a little more and this row may undergo some changes when I work on putting the rows together.  Here it is so far:

The fourth month we drew "things".  I decided to make quilting related tools and quilting things since I spend so much of my time quilting.  There's a rotary cutter, a thimble, a button jar, a spool of thread, and a tape measure/ruler - just in case you can't tell from the picture.  My story for this row is about the time I've lived in Arizona and fell in love with quilting.

It's the fifth month and we drew our last category - it was "flora or fauna/plants or animals".  I decided to applique flowers that are either the state flower or flowers that represent/remind me of the various states where I've lived.  Since I've lived in more than 5 states, some states needed to be grouped together.  Somehow it all worked out and I was able to finish it last night.  Yea!  Here is my last row:

Now we'll take about 2 months to put our quilts together, maybe add filler rows, sashing, or whatever.  Then we'll quilt them and have a reveal tea to show them to each other.  We've shown our rows at our guild meetings as we went along, but combining them and putting them into a quilt will be a secret until the reveal tea.  After the reveal we'll take them to our guild meeting and show them to the whole group.

I can't wait to see everyone's quilts.  Here are a few pictures of some of the rows that others have done:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Mom

We'll miss you Mom!  Sadly, my Mom passed away yesterday after her battle with cancer.  She lived to a ripe old age of 90.  She was so happy that she was able to stay in her home until nearly the end.  She really disliked nursing homes and fought like crazy to remain in her own home.  It was only the last 2 weeks of her life, when she rapidly declined and couldn't be managed without medical care, that she was moved to a Hospice Hospital.  I was able to go and visit her in Colorado a month before she passed.  At that time she was still doing pretty well and we enjoyed our time together. 

Here's a picture of one of the quilts I made her that she's been using to cover herself when she's taking a nap in her chair.

Here's a picture of my Mom.  My sisters brought a friend of Mom's into Mom's home to give her a haircut and style.  This was only 3 weeks before she passed and I think she still looked pretty good considering what she was going through. 

Here's a picture of Mom with my two sisters on July 1, 2011.  Sister Sherry, on the left is my older sister and Ruth, on the right is my younger sister.  I also have 2 brothers so my Mom must have been pretty busy as a young wife chasing all of us around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Simple Stitcheries from the Heart Quilt Top Finished

I'm happy to say I finished making a quilt top this week.  It's a redwork embroidery quilt using brown embroidery floss and brown fabric with an accent of red.  I've been taking this embroidery project with me to many of my quilt gatherings for over a year now.  Talk about a "forever project"!  I'm so pleased to finally have the top finished.  I have the backing cut and pieced together and some wool batting cut and ready - I actually pieced 2 chunks of leftover batting together using large hand stitches that look like big "Xs".  Hope it works out - want to use up that pricey wool batting.

Jamworks.......Simple Stitcheries from the Heart

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fragrant Memories Quilt Finished

While we were driving to Colorado, I was able to sew down the binding on my Fragrant Memories Quilt.  I started on this quilt 4 or 5 years ago.  I had the center all finished but still needed to applique the borders and quilt it.  I also stalled a little bit on picking fabric for the final border.  Thankfully, I got input from the ladies in my guild chapter and off I went to the quilt shop with some ideas in mind.  They were so good about helping me there too.  And now, it makes me happy to say, that it's finally finished, and is hanging on the wall by the bay window in our eating nook.   Here is a picture of the quilt and a close-up of the quilting:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilts for My Colorado Family

We're Back from our trip to Colorado to see my ailing Mother and our relatives who live there.  I gave her a comfort quilt, the "Heart of Gold Mini-Baltimore" from my last post.  Unfortunately, she's confused enough that she didn't realize that it was me who made it for her.  She misunderstood and thought it was made by my daughter-in-law.  I think that after some time, and telling her a few times that it was from me, she finally understood.  Regardless of who she thought gave it to her, she said she loved it and appreciated it.  That made me feel happy.  We hung it on the wall where she could see it and I hope it will make her feel loved when she looks at it.

I also made my Mom a wallhanging for her 90th Birthday which we celebrated while we were there.  I thought the sentiment was so meaningful.

While we were there we got to see my youngest son, Scott's, new home.  It's his first home with is new wife, Andrea.  They live in beautiful Fort Collins, CO.  I wanted to make them a housewarming gift for it so decided to make a wallhanging for their entry.

About 5 years ago, Scott's then girlfriend - now wife, Andrea, helped me pick out some fabric to make a quilt that matched one I had made for him.  A his and hers kind of thing.  I finally took it to her on this trip.  The first picture is the quilt I made for her and the second picture is the one I had previously made and given to my son.  The layout, sashing, and borders are different on each of them but they both have the same color log cabin blocks.  They selected the colors for the blocks, but Scott wanted his accent to be black & white, and Andrea wanted hers to be a jungle print. 

My niece has 4 little girls and they love quilts.  I had a quilt I had made previously from "ugly fat quarters" that I won at a quilt gathering at our mountain home last year.  I thought it looked like a quilt for little girls, so decided to go ahead and quilt it, and give it to them.  Coincidently, it was also one of the little girl's Birthdays while we were there so we had her open the "package".  It was funny to me that it was such a hit and yet it was made from what others think of as ugly fabric.

I usually bring a gift for my sister when I get to see her every year or so.  Her favorite colors are pink & blue so I thought I'd make this little Sunbonnet Girls wallhanging with blue floss and put a border of pink and blue fabric on it.  The label I put on it was, "My Sister, My Friend".

Can you see that the disappearing marking pen had not yet completely disappeared on the wallhangings when I snapped these pictures?  Oops.