Thursday, June 14, 2012

Memory Moment

Sometime back in the '80's, I had heard of a 'Quilt Show' happening in a small town truly out in the middle of the Toolies.. so I went to it.  Finding the town was probably more exciting for me than the actual show..except for one quilt.  It was a crib blanket.  As I was walking around looking at the quilts on display and trying to understand how some real 'shoddy looking' pieces received a ribbon..I spotted this white blanket at the very back of the room ... with no ribbons on it.. I was intrigued to go look at it, because it was white.  No other color.  Nothing that would draw you to it..except that it stood out amongst the gaudiness and terrible examples of quilting.

When I got to the blanket, I saw that it was totally hand stitched in white thread.  The owner had done a meandering stitch and as I looked at it, I could see that she had maintained an almost even quarter inch space between the rows of stitch.  What blew me away was that she had sewn 9 stitches to the inch throughout the blanket.  My mind was reeling.  I had taken hand stitching classes and was proud that I could do 5 stitches to an inch; and this one had 9.

I found myself examining it in quite a bit of detail.  I was totally impressed with everything about it. I was so caught up in the blanket that one of the ladies from the show came over to see what was capturing my eye.  In chatting with her, I asked her why this piece hadn't received any ribbons, because I couldn't believe that the ones that received the ribbons were better than this piece.  (Keep in mind, I was still young and tactless.)   She asked if I had any questions about the blanket and I told her that I would love to talk to the person that made this piece to ask some questions about how they did certain things.  She admitted to being the maker of the quilt.  So we chatted for a good half hour.

My conversation with her taught me quite a few things.  She showed me several tips for sewing: from not knotting the thread when sewing, how to do cross-stitch without leaving the visible line of stopping and starting, holding the needle when 'in and outing' for running stitches, and etc...etc...etc..

What I truly learned is that your stitches matter.  

Your workmanship to the piece makes the piece functional (a work of art), or sitting in a drawer or hanging in the back of the closet (a piece of garbage that will get thrown out long before the material is wore out).

Pushing them out..

Well, I have been working on the second quilt top .. this one for Tori.  I had colors picked out, but a conversation with her grandmother...and I have changed the colors a bit to match her new bedroom and for her personal preferences.  It seems that Tori likes green a lot and blue not as much.  I had planned on doing green, yellow, and blue as the color scheme...Soooo .. I am doing green on all blocks and then half the blocks will also have yellow and blue, and the other half will have orange and lavender.  I am in the process of cutting out the shapes.  I did about a third of them today and hope to have them cut and ready to sew by the weekend.

Here are the colors for Tori's quilt.

So, while I have been working on this quilt top, I also have been agonizing at finding all the right fat quarters to do a black and white quilt for Jaci.  This idea came totally from her grandmother.  Jaci is 15 and with her new bedroom, and trying to be "cool", Kathy thought something that 'popped' might make her happy.  And as I thought about it..I wanted to add a touch of red to the mix for that 'popped' look. 

Here is a look at the colors so far.  I need a better pic because I have added more colors, but still need one more light color.  I plan on cutting out one red block.  I then will replace one square in three different blocks with the red piece.  Going to center it out across what will be the top of the spread.  I found a very cool piece of teal fabric I am going to include in the border going around the quilt to act as a highlight.

Here is the layout of colors gathered so far for this one.

As I start putting them together better and switch out I probably will, I will add pics..  It is all a work in progress...;-)