Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Farmin' we will go!

Posted by Strlady at 8:28 AM 1 comments
Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you enjoyed this time and celebrated with those dearest to you.

I was able to squeeze in some piecing to keep up with my Farmer's Wife commitment. I actually made one extra... I'm hoping I can make one less next time around! LOL!

This week I decided to make all my blocks in Whimsical fabrics. Here is a look at my endeavor...

Block 2 - Autumn Tints:

Block 10 - Bowtie:

Block 12 - Broken Sugar Bowl:

Block 16 - Calico Puzzle:

Block 70 - Prairie Queen:

Block 72 - Railroad:

All together now:

Believe it or not, I found this one the most challenging, 
just because of the angle of the corner cuts and trying to get the edges to match

This week's favorite was Calico Puzzle. I love the colors and the pinwheel type look.

11 down, 100 to go!

Go and check out Nyshma's blocks this week. She made a REALLY hard one and it looked great! Maybe I need to ask for suggestions on that one.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year celebration!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Farmer's Wife?

Posted by Strlady at 12:48 PM 3 comments
I tried to stay away. I really did.
My daughter convinced me that resistance was futile.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Nyshma and her newly minted husband, came for their first Thanksgiving as a married couple.

I taught her how to use templates. Nyshma will be using freezer paper as her templates to cut her pieces while I have decided to go with Marti Michell's templates for my pieces. We also set a deadline for making our blocks and posting about our progress. And then we were off!

It took forever to decide what fabric to use...

I did alot of pre-washing so I could have an excuse to fondle my stash... and I procrastinated alot.

I finally decided to go with a mix of Lynette Anderson's new line (Secret Garden), an older line of hers (Summertime Friends) and a mix of Whimsical fabrics by Terri Degenkolb.

Yesterday was the first deadline and it was met. Here they are in no particular order...

Block #1 - Nyshma and I did our template tutorial using this block so I thought it was appropriate that I get it done during the first round.

Block #9 - This one was straight forward HST. We are trying to do a mix of simple and complex blocks to keep us from falling off the wagon due to frustration.

Block #13 - This one was actually the most difficult block of the bunch. I had to trim because it was slightly larger than needed. I also had to re-build it a couple of times. I marked it as DIFFICULT.

Block #21 - Then we have this one that was super easy. I am really not that happy with it though. I feel the light is a bit too light when put against the others. I'll hold on to it and see if it will blend in with the other blocks. I told my sister that with 100+ blocks, it just might fit in.

Block #23 - I think this is my favorite right now but I think it's more because it was the only Star block of the bunch... I'm bias, I love stars!

Although, I sort of, kind of, like block #1 too. I think the fussy cut center is so darn cute! My sister hates it though. LOL!

Okay. In recap, 5 blocks down.. Gazillion to go!

Go check out Nyshma's efforts at Starchild Quilts! She could use a bit of encouragement!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I love about the holiday season...

Posted by Strlady at 10:06 AM 0 comments
The Music...

I can play holiday music all year long. Is that weird? I say not! I don't care! 
But I restrain myself after Valentines day and just listen to it in the car.

The Food...

A couple of years ago we went to Williams and Sonoma for a cooking demo and decided to follow all their recipes... Except for the turkey brine, we loved it and go that route. Do you know that the average person gains 20 pounds between Halloween and New Years? I think that if I lose the weight before the season starts, I get a free pass and then I'm good. Thoughts anyone?

The Movies...

I have this thing, where I watch Jane Austen during the season... It's my free pass to force people to watch it with me. Then there are all the Holiday movies that are forced down peoples throats.. The Holidays, Family Man, Family Jewel, Bridget Jones Diary and... DIE HARD!! Yup, I force it down everyones throat and LOVE IT!

The People...

I get to see my peeps during the holidays. It can get stressful and while we are all huddled together we are a hair's breath away from killing each other but we have all year to recover and then we look forward to it again!!

But most of all, I love the Hope that the season brings. Have you ever stood by and watched the kids wait their turn to speak to Santa? The shine in the eyes, the fidgeting, the joy? It's the hope that really gets me going...

This is my 16 year old nephew. 
He is autistic and this year he taught me not to give up that hope.
Go check out what the big guy told him about being too old to visit Santa here:

Friday, October 14, 2011

13 Quilts featured on Quilt Story!

Posted by Strlady at 4:06 AM 4 comments
When I posted the story of my daughter’s 13 quilts, many of you enjoyed it and RC even suggested I submit it to Quilt Story. Well, my sister took it out of my hands and submitted it on my behalf!

Heather and Megan appeared to share your enthusiasm and have featured the post today! That post means a lot to me, not just as quilter but as a mother, and it warms my heart that it was embraced by all who read it.

Thank you all for dropping by, for your encouragement and for simply sharing a few minutes of your day with me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Someone brought home a ribbon...

Posted by Strlady at 1:13 PM 6 comments
Back in August, before the craziness began, I put Beth into the Images 2011 quilt show.

I had never entered a quilt into a show but when my sister told me that the deadline for submissions to the Images 2011 show was almost upon us, I got a serious itch to send in a picture. I was a bit floored when Beth was accepted into the juried show.
When Beth returned from Margaret's I was insanely happy. I knew she would not disappoint.

But of course, with quilting like this...

and this...

I could easily accept that she would impress. LOL!

I was still surprised when I received an email letting me know that my entry had won a ribbon!

I was not able to actually see Beth on display, but I sent a good entourage to represent.

My sister who says I'm a REAL quilter

and my daughter was doing her best to document the occasion.

I can't tell you how happy I am with this quilt and how I'm going to be working hard to get my daughter her own wedding quilt so I can have Beth back at home. LOL!

Friday, September 16, 2011

13 Quilts

Posted by Strlady at 4:30 AM 17 comments
In case you are new here I'll share that my daughter (see previous post) is a quilter. And because she is a quilter, part of her wedding planning was to complete 13 quilts to celebrate the quilter she has become.

The idea of the 13 quilts stems from the dowry quilts our pioneer women would complete before they were married.
"All young ladies were expected to marry shortly after their education, possessing a dowry of quilts, usually thirteen—a baker's dozen. Twelve quilt tops were to be finished before her engagement."

"When a woman was pledged to marry, the thirteenth quilt—called the Bride's or Wedding Quilt—was designed and quilted."
From: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/parkin22.html
It was said that making the 13 quilts would allow the girls to improve on their skills and prepare them for marriage. It also allowed them to bring something to the marriage, in a time when there was very little to spare. With 13 quilts the brides would start life with one quilt for each month of the year, plus a special Wedding quilt.

Shortly after her engagement my daughter, Nyshma, decided to complete a quilt dowry. A lofty goal for someone that had never completed a quilt on her own. She felt comfortable with the sewing machine and had made a few quilt blocks here and there, but making a full quilt from start to finish was never achieved. That first year she came home for Christmas and worked on her first quilt.

A for Andrea (Original pattern by Camille Roskelley)

She learned the basics on this project including raw edge applique.

Next came Stashbuster from a back issue of American Patchwork and Quilting
(sorry don't recall the exact issue and designer at this time)

This one was the most complex quilt she had attempted at that time. She showed some serious organizational skills here. I only gave a few pointers on how to piece on an angle (the bunny ear thing) but didn't touch this one at all.

I think after that one she wanted to make sure Ryan got a quilt to keep him warm while he was finishing his degree in Rochester, NY.

She decided on a very masculine quilt from a book that we picked up from the library. For this she learned to work with big whole cloth pieces. Cutting large pieces of cloth which at times is very awkward.

I loved the next one! I am a huge buggy barn fan but the truth is that I had not been able to figure out the whole stack and slash thing that the most appealing patterns use. I have about 4 or 5 of their books but I never had made one quilt. For this one, the student became the teacher. She threw herself into the project and became an expert!

Hospitality from Buggy Barn's Certifiably Crazy

At this point I was able to convince her to join me on my yearly retreat with the Dallas quilt guild. She was the talk of the retreat because a) she was the youngest attendee and b) she had a very modern looking quilt and was breezing right through it.

Wild Things (pattern by Camille Roskelley)

She put 3 distinct borders on Wild Things and was ready to never put another border on a quilt for the rest of her quilting ventures! LOL!

That is why she altered the Piece of Cake pattern by Camille Roskelley from a lap quilt to a baby quilt. She just did not want to deal with adding borders to the piece! LOL!

Piece of Life was made using Make Life by Sweetwater for Moda

The last quilt she finished in Texas was named The Green Monster. She wanted to make a wonky nine patch but her blocks ended up a bit bigger than she expected. Then the quilt decided that it needed a border and it grew... and grew... and grew...

The Green Monster with all it's borders!

At this point Nyshma was flying solo and was feeling fairly confident. She was ready for a challenge. Shiloh by Bonnie Blue Quilts was selected and she learned to making flying geese with the help of Monique Dillard's Fit to be Geese Ruler. It was at this time that she moved to NH and she was unable to finish the quilt since I, bad mother that I am, did not 'lend' her my rulers. I know! I was EVIL. I just envisioned the 'Let me Borrow it' becoming 'Sorry, you will never see them again'.

Not to dispare, because I bought her a set of her own the rulers (big and small) for Christmas and, as time started ticking off this past summer, Shiloh was completed. This is my favorite of all! And, I got to be the first to cuddle under it while I bound it before the wedding!!

While Shiloh waited to be finished there was time for some simplicity and Nyshma found it in Rachel Griffith's postage stamp quilt along.

Sunkissed Stamps became quilt #9.

And as if on a roll, thanks to T-Brenda who wanted a demo of the buggy barn method,
quilt #10 was started soon after.

House of Stars from Buggy Barn's Star Crossing

We are getting down to the wire here...
I had requested to make quilt #13 (yes, I'll come back to 11 & 12 shortly), which was the wedding quilt. Nyshma selected Bali Wedding Star as the pattern and I started working on it... and then stopped. Call it lack of enthusiasm, loss love, what ever you want, but I could not finish that quilt. BUT, I had finished another quilt that I thought would fit right in and I brought it to the table as a substitute.

Nyshma accepted Beth (pattern Elizabeth by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.)
as her Wedding quilt until I complete Bali Wedding Stars.

If you have been paying close attention you know that we have 11 quilts accounted for, but you might not realize that most of them are still just tops.

With the big day fast approaching and time becoming precious, Nyshma reached out to Margaret (Mainely Quilts of Love) who had recently completed the quilting on Beth, and who had quilted almost everything Nysh has ever made, to see if she could, possibly, take 5-6 tops to be quilted before the wedding. Margaret must have known how much this project meant to my daughter because she stepped up to bat on this one and agreed to do it.

At 4 weeks away from the wedding, I finally convince Dre to allow me to take one of the two quilts left to make, off her plate.

She wanted to make a companion quilt to the piece she made for her fiancee, Ryan. For it to compliment the earlier quilt she wanted to use the left over batik from that quilt. So, she put the fabric in the mail and selected a pattern from Kim Diehl's book Simple Comfort called Twilight Hopscotch. It arrived just in time for me to take to a retreat I was planning to attend and I start piecing immediately.

When I was close to finishing, I emailed Margaret who had just finished the other quilts and crossed my fingers. We were 3 weeks away from the wedding and the top had to travel from Texas to Maine. She told me that she was going on vacation the following week and was leaving on Thursday... BUT... if I got the quilt to her house by Tuesday she would do it before she left. Can you believe it??
An express mail package left my house to Maine on Saturday, it arrived on Monday and Nyshma had quilt #11 in her hands that following Saturday.

To compliment the earlier piece called "Ryan's Quilt", this one was named "Dre's Quilt" (Dre comes from AnDREa - her middle name)

We were 2 weeks away from the wedding with one quilt left to complete and 5 quilts in need of binding. Bindings were attached and some were actually bound (thanks T-Brenda!), but unfortunately, quilt #12 was not completed in time for the wedding.

Family Homecoming (pattern from the book Simplify by Camile Roskelley) was cut, and many of it's blocks pieced, but as the house began to fill with family and friends, the sound of the sewing machine was silenced.

The night before the wedding, as we packed the quilts and prepared to load the car, Nyshma decided to chose a quilt with sufficient emotional value to stand in for that last wedding quilt.

She selected the first quilt I made for her. I was just learning to quilt myself (I'm a first generation quilter - self taught) and she was about 9 years old. Over the years, this quilt has been well loved. It traveled with her to college and now, with a home of her own, it rests on the arm of the sofa in her living room.

First Star made a good stand in for quilt #12.

On the day of her wedding, while friends laughed and danced and saluted the couple,

13 quilts were displayed. Standing as testament to the determination of a new quilter.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. The Venue was very dark.

Thank you, Margaret for your exceptional work and for helping make this dream come true for Nyshma!


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