Friday, December 28, 2007

What's on my bed

Nothing like picking up on a blog topic weeks and weeks after everyone else has posted. Oh well - better late than never, right?

We have only a couple quilts that are big enough for our bed. (I hope to do something about that this next year LOL!) One of them is the blue log cabin quilt that you've seen in the past. Currently that quilt is upstairs being used as a snuggle quilt on the couch. The other quilt is also blue, and it's story is almost as amusing as the story of my first quilt.

I went to my first Clark County Quilters guild meeting in June, 1989. That was the last meeting of the year, as they start a new year every September after having no meetings in July and August. I enjoyed myself a lot, and eagerly anticipated the September meeting, especially since one of my new quilting friends was installed as guild president at that June meeting.

In September I eagerly joined in on whatever activities I could, including the block of the month. A copy of a quilt block was distributed at the meeting, and I could make as many as I wanted before the next meeting. My name was put in a hat for every block I turned in. I really went to town the next few weeks. It was an easy to piece block and I had plenty of fabrics in my stash. I knew next to nothing about putting together prints so I played it safe (read boring!). I turned in 20 blocks at the next meeting! I was thrilled when my name was drawn to win half the blocks (which included a bunch of my own - no surprise there!)

Well, I started playing with the blocks I'd won and discovered a problem right away - almost half of them measured 12" instead of 12 1//2"! Some new quilter - who knew even less than I did - didn't know that a 12" block should measure 12 1/2" unfinished. She'd carefully cut all her blocks down to 12" unfinished. Not only that - the blocks were BORING!!!!! The required colors had been dark blue, medium blue and muslin. It looked like a disaster. I left them on the design wall for days and days, switching them around and around. Nothing made them more interesting. It wasn't until I was home from work with a bad cold that I suddenly realized what they needed was something to spice them up. Red was perfect. So I pulled a bright red solid from my stash and added a very narrow border around all the blocks that were too small. I added muslin sashing and red setting squares. The quilt went from boring to lively.
The next year I was lucky enough to have my name drawn as the member who could have her quilt in the frame at our quilt show. So for 6 days many, many guild members and show attendees quilted on it. After the show I finished the quilting. It's now very faded from sunlight and washing, but it's still fun to see it on the bed.

The pillows are blocks from a class I taught at work using the book Quilts, Quilts, Quilts. I didn't want to make them into quilt but they made perfect bed pillows to go with this one. They, too, are faded because the dog loves to take his nap in the middle of the bed on top of the pillows.


Norma said...

It is the stories behind the quilts that makes the quilts interesting. I love the bit of red showing around some of the blocks in this quilt--excellent choice--the red does make this quilt sing!

Kristie said...

I love your stories they are always so interesting. I love the quilt on your bed and I think it has just enough red in it to be perfect.

kjquilts said...

That's pretty smart thinkig for a rookie quilter! I love the red, it was the perfect thing to add.

DPUTiger said...

There is a wonderful woman in my mini-group who just can't wrap her brain around the fact that 12" finished = 12.5" when you measure just the block before it's pieced into a quilt top. We all adjust. Sashing is your friend! Love that quilt. Nicely done :)

andsewitis Holly said...

I really like this quilt! I wouldn't have thought to use red to sash around the too small blocks in red. That was brilliant.
Happy New Year, Patti!