Saturday, March 16, 2013

More of my older quilts . . . .

Going through all the quilts I've made starting with the first one (started in 1974) and moving forward is a great exercise.  I encourage all of you to do this, so you can see how you have grown as a quilter.  It also helps you realize just how many quilts you've made - probably more than you think you've made, unless you are a very new quilter.  I've shared the first quilt I ever made on the blog, and a few of my older quilts - until now.  I'm enjoying this memory exercise, and I hope you are also.

For lack of a better name, I call this "Marsha's Precision Piecing Sampler 2".  I completed the top in 1993.  I still was choosing a "focus fabric" and picking other fabrics to go along with it, but was willing to add quite a few more fabrics to the mix.  I'm sure there are at least 20 or more different fabrics in this quilt.  That was really pushing my comfort level at the time.  I taught a class called "Precision Machine Piecing" many times - the first several for Clark County Quilters and the last two for Daisy Kingdom.  For a "textbook" I used  Lessons in Machine Piecing by Marsha McCloskey.  It was published in 1990, and still is a fabulous resource to help you improve your piecing skills.  I believe it is long out of print  and I don't know whether or not it is available second hand.  This sampler is the second "class example" I made to advertise the class at Daisy Kingdom.  I still use it in my fall decorating.  Edited to add:  This book is still available from third party sellers on Amazon.  They have a used copy for $0.01 - wow!  I repeat - it is a great book if you want to improve your piecing.

This quilt was pieced, hand quilted and bound (by me) before I started tracking, which means it was finished no later than 2002.  Called "Mountain Pathways", it is from an early Quiltmaker magazine.  The pieces finish at 1" square.  The background fabric had a tiny print in pinks, purples, teals, and blues, which determined the colors I used.  ( I think the colors used in the magazine were the same - I wasn't confident enough at this time to change the colors.)  This has WAY more fabrics that I usually used, because I just followed the picture and instructions.  These were OLD fabrics even then.  I love how it turned out, but I don't have it any more.  I believe I remember selling it when I participated in a twice-a-year cooperative quilt sale in Portland, OR.  I may just make another one one of these days, as it is a fabulous pattern for using up narrow strips of older fabrics. 

This quilt was made from the blocks I pieced when teaching Precision Machine Piecing to Clark County Quilters.  These are REALLY old fabrics, calicoes from the early '80's.  Started in 1997, it was finished  in 2004.  The machine quilting was done by my friend Jo Stubing.  In order for the students to make as many blocks in class as possible, I made block kits with all pieces cut to size ahead of time.  It was a great way to use up a lot of the calicoes in my stash.  I still have this one, and display it on the back of the couch with the "Red, White, and Blue Summer" decorations.

This quilt was made in a class I took through Northwest Quilters (Portland, OR) in 1990 from Roberta Horton.  The class on using plaids and stripes in quilts used her new (at the time) book called "Plaids and Stripes" which is another great book if you can find it at a second-hand store.  My selection of plaid and striped fabric was very poor at the time - I probably have 10 times as many now.  I finished this one shortly after piecing it, with a utility stitch, "crow footing", which I talk about in this post.   Edited to add:  This book is still available at Amazon and other places.

I taught one class at Daisy Kingdom using the traditional pattern "Burgoyne Surrounded".  I wanted to make the quilt, so I asked to teach the class.  This sample that hung in the store was pieced in 1993 and completed in 2008 using my longarm.  I hang it in the front hall in January, when I decorate with blue, white, and snowmen.

The red Burgoyne Surrounded was pieced as I demonstrated during class.  One of my students completed a top with the fancy zigzag border; everyone else used a plain border.  I finished the piecing two years after the class was over, and machine quilted and bound the top in 2008.

Another Daisy Kingdom class sampler made using a pattern from their files.  Called "Pinwheel and Four-Patch", it was pieced in 1990, hand quilted in 2004, and sold through the quilt cooperative sale.

This "Twisted Star" baby quilt uses still more blocks pieced in several "Precision Machine Piecing" classes. The first blocks were pieced in 1992, and the quilt was hand quilted and bound in 2003.  This also sold through the quilt cooperative sale. 

"Fireworks" is the name of this pattern from an early Quiltmaker magazine.  Another Daisy Kingdom class sample, it was pieced in 1992.  I started hand quilting it shortly thereafter, and finished the quilting in 2007.  It covers our dining room table during our "Red, White, and Blue" summertime.

Finally I leave you with this quilt, which graced our bed for many years.  I first joined Clark County Quilters in June, 1989.  I wanted to participate in something right away, so I took the pattern for the "block drawing" and made 12 blocks.  I had so much fun, even though the block was what I'd now call "super simple".  12" square, the modified 9-patch was to use white muslin and a medium and dark blue.  I was so afraid to try mixing prints that I played it VERY safe.  I turned them in at the next meeting and was thrilled when my name was drawn to win the blocks.  I brought them home and discovered two things . . .  the blocks were VERY boring when set together, and almost half of them were too small!  Another beginner (besides me) thought that a 12" block should measure 12" exactly before sewing together.  I didn't know what to do.  I played with the blocks, thinking I could cut the others down to size.  No matter what I did, the blocks on the design wall looked REALLY BORING!  (And that's an understatement.)  So I left them there and contemplated them for awhile.  And one night when I lay in bed the solution jumped into my head.  I would edge the too-small blocks with a narrow red border to make them 12 1/2" unfinished.  Then I'd set all the blocks together with white muslin sashing and red cornerstones.  It was truly amazing what the addition of that red did for the quilt.  I became so thankful that almost half the blocks were too small.  I loved the top when it was finished about two months after I won the blocks.  Two years later I served as guild president.  The quilt "in the frame" at our quilt show each year was a quilt top belonging to the president.  I marked this one for quilting, using a rope cable in the sashing, an anchor in each cornerstone, and a wider rope cable around the outside border.  During the week long show only about 1/3 was quilted.  I love looking at all those stitches - some very small and some very large.  Each person who did some quilting signed their name on a big muslin square, which I used for the label on the back.  I finished the rest of the hand quilting myself, and the quilt began to grace our bed sometime before 2003 (the start of the UFO spreadsheet).  I still have this one - it is in a stack of quilts on top of the quilt cupboard in the living room.  I could look at the label for the finish date, but I can't reach it without a stool and it is too late for me to be doing that anyway LOL!

The three pieced pillows are from another beginning quilting class I taught to a group of ladies at work.  It made sense to make the blocks into pillows - I had enough red, white and blue quilts!


Vicki said...

So lovely reading about those quilts, thank-you. They are lovely. I'm sure everyone reading the post will have a favorite. I had 4 I believe. Wonderful eye candy.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Wow what a great quilt show!! I loved everyone of them. Thanks for sharing!! It's always fun to see others beautiful quilts.

sewkalico said...

I felt like I've just had a thrilling show and tell in my own home! Wonderful quilts with interesting histories. You're amazing!

Linda J said...

Patti, I saw your note to Cher on her blog and just wanted to say that I am happy to see you are back and blogging. I've missed seeing what you are up to and the lovely projects you were always working on.

Sometimes a break is in order. Family, work and/or home obligations can get in the way. Crafting obsessions change too. Anyway, good to see you! I'll read back to see what you have been doing.

Kigwit said...

I'm loving this trip down memory lane! I like how you solved the problem of the too small blocks with the red. Very creative.