The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

History Sunday

A number of years ago, I finally did something I had wanted to do for a long time. I joined a local quilt guild and learned to piece and quilt. I had collected quilt books and patterns for a few years before that, even, but the demands of raising a number of small children precluded me from doing very much craft-wise for quite a while. Once we moved to Arizona from Germany, however, the children were all finally in one school or another and I found more time for needlework interests. I made a number of small doll quilts which were given away, and I participated in several group quilt projects. I made a few small wall hangings for myself and others, and some small quilts as baby/child gifts. I still have two large quilts in the quilting portion of the project, and two or three still in the piecing stage.

This is the largest quilt I have finished to date. And it's not that large, anyways. It's a lap/nap quilt in the Trip Around the World pattern which I made for Barbara and finished eight years ago. It's not very large; I laid it across the bottom portion of my queen-sized bed and it just fits without hanging over the edges. The fabric was all purchased at WalMart because there was no other fabric store in town at the time and Tucson trips were few and far between in those days. The blocks were 2 1/2 inches cut and 2 inches finished size. Three borders of varying widths were added to frame it.

Here is a detail photo of one of the corner border blocks. I quilted in the ditch on all the seam lines. An allover diagonal lines pattern was quilted in the center section. In the wide purple border I quilted an undulating line of feathers; the circle pattern went into the four corners of the purple band (eliminating the need to figure out how to turn the corner with the feather pattern!! Yes, I wimped out!), and the dark purple print outer border had three parallel lines quilted all the way around. I marked the feather and circle patterns in pencil to quilt them; all the other lines were marked with masking tape. The entire quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted. It won the merit award for quilts that year at the County Fair.

I haven't done any quilting or piecing for a while now. Not too long after finishing this quilt, I went back to concentrating on cross stitch and then wandered back fine thread lace crochet. Now I am almost exclusively knitting, but the quilting is whispering my name very unobtrusively lately. I think I'm going to start a bit of non-demanding quilting here soon to balance the knitting out. A bit of variety in life can be pretty nice.

Tonight we head back up to Mesa because the moving van comes tomorrow to get Nana's big furniture moved to my house (and garage). Finding good homes for all the things she is not keeping for herself has been occupying a good portion of time lately. Family heirlooms have been divided among the children as well as useful items; much has been given away to a children's shelter and other charitable organizations. Now only the big furniture is remaining to be dealt with. It's difficult at times breaking down a household into now scattered pieces, but a great deal is still able to remain in the family and a good bit of it is remaining here in our house where Nana will still be able to enjoy some of the furniture and many other things she has always lived with. Hopefully in the end the combining of the two households will be an enhancement to all concerned.

Happy rest-of-the-weekend to all of you. Mine will be busy, and colored tomorrow with the remembrance of five years ago. 9-11; let us never forget.


Blogger Allena said...

i love your quilt! it very beautiful. i alwasy love looking at quilts! i've made one that i gave to my sister. it wasn't very good though. i've got the fabric to make one for my bed i've just not started it yet. i've been itching to start making one though. you're pictures are inspiring me!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

That's an amazing quilt! I've always wanted to learn but just haven't had the opportunity. Maybe someday.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The quilts purples and deep blues? blacks, are so lovely together.

How busy you have been. Wishing you some quiet time to knit.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy D. said...

What a truly amazing quilt this is, the colors and details are highly interesting to look at!

3:03 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Wonderful work. Bravo on your county fair win! I am firmly in the section cheering about your color choice. Lovely, subtle, a bit unusual. good job!!

You can piece and quilt and not ever give up your knitting because you can't take a quilting frame in the car. (You can even knit simple stuff like stocking legs in the dark. Movie knitting!) Knitting is very generous and does not begrudge your love of other crafts. But you gotta share pictures!

6:40 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

What a beautiful quilt! I love the colors (amethysts and greens are a favorite combo in my book!) and you did just an amazing job with the quilting!

11:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very beautiful quilting Pat! Good luck and take care in all the moving and adjustment to a new phase of life for Nana. :)

8:58 PM  

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