200 Quilts

Harvesting the Wind

After I finished up the quilting of the Portuguese Tile Quilt, I hung it on the railing over our stairs until I could get to the binding.  I walked underneath it more than once, and studied and thought about it.  So did my husband.  He kept calling it the windmill quilt, even though the inspiration was that tile from Portugal I found.

So since the last step of any quilt is making the label, and affixing the name, I started searching for fragments of poetry from which to draw a name, but instead found some of these fun windmill illustrations.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve done billions of these.  Do we even do them anymore?

Sighing deeply, because I couldn’t find anything, my husband started throwing out names.  Even though I’d originally called this quilt something else, the more I worked with it, I realized that it was the windmill, and the farm scenes, and the bucolic romantic notion of farming that came through the design.

So, the name Dave came up with is the name that stuck: Harvesting the Wind.  As I quilted on it, I kept thinking about my mother, who grew on a farm, and her mother–my grandmother–who used a wood burning stove to cook with in the early days, plus do the milking, keep the farmhands fed and worked by her husband.  There’s been a slew of Farmer’s Wife quilts out there, and Cindy of Live a Colorful Life did a series where she wrote about each set of blocks she made.  It is a life with windmills, fields, flowers, old trucks and lots of work.

For the back, I drew on my stash of Marimekko cottons.  I love the spareness of the magnolia blossoms on the spring branches.  This fabric was originally earmarked for a skirt, but I like it here, in all its growing glory.

I quilted along each windmill with black thread, then made my own plowing lines in the field of black borders.  To make it easier on myself, I found the serpentine stitch on my sewing machine, lengthened it and made it as wide as it could go.

I also thought a lot about my maternal great-grandmother, my grandmother’s mother, while I worked.  She came over from England with a love of gardens in heart, and brought over seeds of many kinds with which she began a garden.  I may have some of the details incorrect, because my mother has not yet started to write her own personal history (come on, Mom–You can do it!), but the sense I have of this grandmother Elizabeth (for whom I am named) is that she felt a kinship to the earth and to growing things, and yes, to the harvest.

The inscription on the back reads:

I took inspiration from a Portuguese tile which looked like a windmill, but because of the fabric, my thoughts soon turned to farm life. I think of my grandparents, who farmed for many years.  They both worked the farm, but she also taught school to make ends meet. While we city folk often romanticize farm life, working the land takes a concerted effort to get that harvest home.

“Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
let fortune’s bubbles rise and fall;
who sows a field, or trains a flower,
or plants a tree, is more than all.”

–John Whittier Greenleaf

This is quilt #101 of 200.  How happy I am to be able to say that!  I leave you with a picture of my granddaughter Maddy, learning to use a needle and thread.  I visited them at the beginning of this week when they cancelled classes on Monday because of a power outage, and we sewed all day one day.  Hopefully, I’m seeing a future quilter!


All My Far Flung Bee Blocks

Krista and two of her Instagrammies started it, invited three others and by early this summer, we were busy sewing and sending out blocks.  Some had other things interrupt them (isn’t that how a lot of bees go?), but I have seen pictures flashed about on IG, so I know we’re still cooking.  Thought I’d do a wrap-up slideshow of my blocks, now that they are all sent.  That’s our logo, above.

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While I truly admire those who make Dear Jane quilts, and they are amazing and gorgeous, I learned I never want to make one for myself.  Cross that one of the Life’s Goals list.  As always in these swaps, you learn a lot about others and yourself, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I’ve received back from two, have three to go, and hopefully I’ll be quick in getting something together to make our deadline of a completed quilt project (although I think we’ve blown past it).

Creating · Good Heart Quilters

September 2012 Quilt Night

The Good Heart Quilters got together the second week of September to teach & learn, catch up and eat, and to hang out.

Lisa showed us the completed Arabic Lattice quilt, everything finished up since our summer get-together.

This is one her daughter Leilani completed–with a horse theme.  Leilani has a horse that occupies a lot of her free time, so she made a quilt to go along with that love of hers.

Caitlin came tonight, showing off her Christmas stockings.  Perfection in a nutshell.  She’s one of our newbies.

Deneese is another quilter new to our group.  Both of these women have small toddlers and babies at home so they can’t always break away, but we’re glad to have them when they come.

Simone’s first night, too.  She likes to ham it up for the camera.  I don’t think I ever got one picture of her with her lovely smile.

Bridget shows off her first quilt.  I believe she participated in the Red and White Sample Swap, but then she made the double-nine-patch blocks to go in between her sampler blocks.

It was held at Carol’s house (in the yellow blouse).  She’s a newbie, too!  Here she is with Karen, and of course, our snack/munchie bar.

Laurel worked on this set of blocks.  Every photo I have of her, her eyes are closed, but she obviously has them open in order to pick such beautiful fabrics.

Karen’s bargello heart.  She is on the quilting now, doing it by hand.

Lisa (Bridget’s Mom) and Caitlyn look through quilt books.  Actually, I think Lisa is working on her half-square triangles, sorting them into colors.

Laying out Simone’s apple core quilt on the guest bedroom bed.  She sent me a snapshot this week, showing that she’d sewn the first row together!

Kelly is another one of our newest quilters.  Although an accomplished sewist, she’d never quilted before.  So she learned to cut with the rulers, stitch a quarter-inch seam, and got working on cranking out a set of blocks.  It’s the end of the night and we’re all tired and walking into walls, but we had a great time.

Because my photos that night were kind of bogus, I asked Lisa to bring her latest quilt top over so I could take a picture of it.  Here’s the close-up.

And here it is in all its glory.  This had genesis in the early days of our group, when four of us began to make “I Spy” quilts: Lisa, Laurel, Leisa and me.  Laurel’s had squares, instead of hexagons.  I don’t know if Leisa finished hers, but I gave all my pieces to Lisa.  She gave me a few back so I could cut them up for my Polaroid blocks, but then she borrowed my templates, cut some more and got it done.  Woo-hoo!


EPP, the Sixth

Finished up tonight, while watching Doc Martin on Netflix (recommended).  The first date I have on this project is February 21, 2012, so obviously I started sewing these at the beginning of the year sometime.

Here’s all six of them together.  I think they look like slices of a kaleidoscope.

Don’t know what I’ll do with them, really.  Just following this journey wherever it goes.

Quilts · WIP

A true, blue WIP list

First off, let me tell you what I’m working on now: Portuguese Tile Quilt.  (To readers of this blog I apologize for showing the top one more time.)  I’m displaying it for my weekly foray to Lee’s Freshly Pieced blog.  Return there to see lots more interesting quilt works, and many many thanks to Lee for hosting this weekly forum.

The above quilt, when it is quilted, bound, labeled (properly finished) will be the first quilt on my list of 200 Quilts, in other words, the above is quilt #101.  A few bits ago while working on my Quilt Journal, I made a list of quilts I need to finish up to add to the 200 Quilts list.  Like women, who NEVER reveal their true weight, it’s an embarrassment for a quilter to realize how many unfinished things she has lurking around the edges.  And I’m not even talking the fabric in the stash that is being held on the shelf for imaginary projects.  Here goes.

Potential Quilts for the 200 Quilts List:
1. Autumn quilt–needs borders, backing, quilting.

Here’s where I left it.  No, I did sew on that striped binding to the left, then I folded it up and hung it in the Guest Room closet.

2. Friendship Quilt

I could have gone on collecting signatures for years, for like all of you, I make new friends and keep the old, but I decided to cut it off at the time I sewed the blocks together.  Now I should get crackin’ and get them sewn together.

3. Wedding Ring Quilt

Yes, I started one of these.  In the leftover Aunt Grace fabrics from the above project.  Which is cut out, but only a little bit sewn together.  I should save this for a summer project, providing I get LAST summer’s project done.  This has a poignant memory attached to it: I took my box of fabrics over to my friend Leisa’s house and we sat and cut and sewed on 9/11, needing each other’s company while we watched and listened.  And cried.  Definitely need to finish this one.

4. Summer Treat

You’ve seen this.  I’ve decided on the border, the backing.  Now I just need to steal some time from somewhere.  And given the quality of the English paper I just graded, I think I’ll give up grading for a couple of days to recover (the student earned a 43 out 100), thereby gaining me some more time.

5. Maroon/Forest Christmas Quilt

This one was made about a hundred years ago in the 1980s.  It’s so not “me” that I haven’t even given it a name.  I would go and dig it out to photograph it, but I am already depressed from grading (see above) and just can’t handle any more disappointments tonight.

6. The famously unfinished Lollypop Quilt, this summer’s gigantor Work In Progress.  I just received my next semester’s teaching assignment and it is a class I have taught before (and loved) so I believe things will align in the Sewing Studio just right in order to get it finished.

The last two are on the first 100 Quilts list, but they are still WIPs:
Hunter’s Star quilt, began when my last child went off to college.  He said he didn’t really like it, so I switched up and made him a different one (each child gets a quilt for their bed for their first Christmas season away from home).  Top’s all done.  Not much else. . . and the last WIP recorded in my Quilt Journal is. . .

Millenium Quilt.  In my memory, I didn’t like it much.  But when I pulled it out of the back of the closet to photograph it, I found I did like it.  Plus those fussy cut pieces of fabric referring to the Millenium (the year 2000) are kind of like a bit of my own personal history.

Now like that proverbial woman who stepped on the scale in front of a room full of people, I have to go and hide for a while in order to recover.

Happy WIP Wednesday!