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I Love Quilts and Quilting
Memories of My Quilting Projects
©Copyright 4/05/12 joaniebaby
Quilts bring back nostalgic memories for me, thinking of the pioneers crossing the west, mothers and grandmothers covering their children to keep them warm, using leftover material or old clothes to make quilts, helping to preserve memories of days gone by, and lovingly stitching pieces together to make a simple serviceable quilt or an artistic masterpiece. Quilts made from old school or sport T-shirts keep alive the memories of those special days.
My Hub includes pictures of quilts that I have made over the years. Some have stories behind them, and some are just quilts that I admired and tried to make my own version of a certain design. Over the years, I have always heard that you should leave a flaw somewhere in what you are making because “only God can make something perfect.” That is definitely something I do not have to worry about, as my productions are far from perfect but they are mine, and mine alone.
As with everything I venture to create, the finished product is usually for a member of my family. They are the recipient, even if they do not always admire what I have fashioned. Whether they really like it or not, they always “pretend it is just what they wanted.” In addition, they are always very pleased that I thought enough of them to spend my time and effort for them. As the years go by and I am long gone, the quilts will remind them of me and our days together. If it causes just a little smile or brings back memories of happy times, the work was well worth my time.
My Bargello quilt is considered my masterpiece and the first photo is one of this quilt. A finished Bargello quilt was on display in our local quilt fabric shop and immediately caught my eye. “This is a quilt that I want to make,” I said to myself, and picked up the pamphlet of instructions. Next, I had to decide on colors and fabrics to be used when assembling the quilt. The clerks in fabric shops are of great value to me for this. This particular quilt required the cutting and sewing of many pieces, but the assembly of the pieces went quickly. Actually, the process was not as complicated as I first assumed. The quilt top looked so special; I decided to have it professionally quilted in our local shop. When I picked up the quilt at the shop, I was simply delighted in the overall result. After the top, batting, and back of the quilt have been quilted, you still need to sew the border on for your finished product. Then you can sit back and admire your efforts and display for all to see. In this case, the quilt was given to one of my daughters for her home.
Crossword Puzzle Quilt
One of my first quilt projects was a crossword puzzle quilt I made for my daughter for her high school graduation. The quilt contains the names of all her classmates, the name of her school, and the year she graduated. It is a little amateurish, but the outcome still pleased me, and her. The time it took to design the crossword puzzle rivaled the time it took to cut out the pieces, sew them together and quilt. The names of the class are embroidered on a square, so this quilt combines embroidery and quilting.
The funny part of making this quilt was that I brought it to the law office where I worked, set it up in the conference room and quilted it there. Needless to say, I worked in a small town where there was not much traffic in and out of the office, and as long as I finished my work, the lawyers did not mind. The office was a satellite of a larger firm in a nearby city. The lawyers each took one day to come to this office, usually not staying the full day so I had excess time on my hands. My daughter displayed the quilt at her 15th class reunion. She attached the graduation picture of each of her classmates to their name on the quilt and hung it up for everyone to view. That display was the hit of the reunion. There were only around 40 graduates in her class and that is probably the maximum number for this crossword puzzle quilt.
Raggedy Flannel Quilt
Colorful Flannel Quilt
Another photo shows the raggedy flannel quilt I made for my granddaughter when she was a teenager. This quilt is highlighted in another Hub of mine describing how to make such a quilt. (See link below.) It is not a full-size quilt, but just a throw, and she used it to cover up while reading or watching TV. Today it is stored away in her closet, but someday she will be able to use it for children of her own and she can tell them their great grandmother made it many years ago. These quilts are fun to make and very colorful, soft, and warm--just what a quilt should be.
Basic Flannel Quilt
Flannel quilts are a favorite of mine as they do not require batting and are warm and cozy. As usual, I made one for a family member, my grandson who was in college at the time. This quilt is made from three different colors of flannel--navy, brick red, and cream. The design for this quilt is one that I arranged myself and was pleased with. The backing for the quilt, and the border, are the same material as the brick red colored pieces on the top. After I sewed the pieces together for this quilt, I decided to have it professionally quilted also. It is approximately 90”x90” and can be used as a full cover for a twin bed, or a coverlet for a full bed, with a bed skirt to match. My grandson now has a home of his own, is not married, but probably will have children someday and my hope is that it will pass on to them.
When my mother passed away in 2002, I discovered lovely handkerchiefs in her belongings. One of the quilting books I purchased was called “Memory Quilts” and, in that book, there were directions for how to design a quilt using old handkerchiefs. How could I be so lucky? There were twelve handkerchiefs and, since I have two daughters, I thought it would be nice to make two wall hangings to display these handkerchiefs, using six of them in each small quilt. Most of the handkerchiefs were fancy white ones, but some of them did have some color, which I could highlight by the material I used for backing, edging, etc. First, they had to be stabilized by ironing light interfacing to the back of each one and then placed on quilt pieces about one inch larger all around. This quilt I did hand quilt by going around the designs on each handkerchief, thus the pattern is different for each block. Basically, the handkerchiefs were the same size (10x10 or 12x12) and that made my task much easier.
Jeans Quilt (my "green" quilt)
Jeans Quilt Block
Denim quilts were a fad about ten years ago and still are a favorite. Old jeans can be used to make these quilts as there is usually much good material in jeans that have worn out or been outgrown. Since denim is such a heavy material, there is no need for batting in a denim quilt. These quilts can be finished by “knotting” or by quilting. “Knotting” is much easier than quilting for such heavy material and has been used on quilts since pioneer days. If you use a contrast color to knot the quilt, it gives the finished article a different look. My denim quilt was made for another grandson who was still in elementary school. Old jeans had to be recruited from family and friends to have enough good material. The backing for this quilt is flannel in a coordinating color. When I sewed the blocks together, I used a different fancy stitch to hold the seams in place and I used red thread to "knot" it One of the pictures shows such a block with the knotting and the stitching.
Family Reunion Quilted Wall Hanging
Our family enjoys reunions every three years and one of my small quilts brings back happy memories of our reunion at Lake Okoboji, Iowa. When we gathered for our reunion, I had each member of the family sign a square of material that I had brought with me. Then after arriving home, the names on these squares were embroidered by me and arranged to make a small wall hanging. The material used to assemble the squares and the border matches that of the bedspread and curtains in our guest bedroom. This memory quilt/wall hanging tells the story of that reunion by the names of family members attending, the location of the reunion and the date. One regret of mine is that I didn't make a quilt/wall hanging for every reunion. It would have been a wonderful collection as we have had a reunion in Clear Lake, Iowa, Cutfoot Sioux fishing resort in northern Minnesota, Estes Park, Colorado, Lake Okoboji, Iowa, Lake Tahoe, California, Branson, Missouri, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky.
T-shirt quilts are memory quilts that also tell a story. The one shown in the photo was made for my granddaughter when she was in high school and very involved in extra-curricular activities. I could not find a picture of the complete quilt, but I think you get the idea. When you make a t-shirt quilt, you have to iron light interfacing on the back to stabilize them so they are easier to work with. Then sew the blocks together with a coordinating fabric between them and as a border and backing for the quilt. In the middle of the quilt, I made a transfer block of some pictures of her.
Another Quilting Project
Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt
Another picture shows a quilted Christmas tree skirt that I made for a co-worker at the law office where I was employed. My daughter-in-law had made one for me and I admired it so much, I copied her pattern to make one for a gift. This skirt was not hand quilted, but knotted. Instead of using yarn to knot the front, back and batting together, ¼” ribbon in colors of red, green and white was used. One-inch lace was sewn into the outside seam of the skirt to give it a lovely finish. My friend has moved away now and I keep in touch but do not see her often. Every Christmas this should remind my friend of the days we worked together many years ago and the happy days we shared together.
American Girl Doll Quilt
Doll Bed Quilt
American Girl dolls became popular probably back in the 80's and 90's and one of my granddaughters developed a love for them. She was probably about eight years old when her parents gave her several of these beautiful dolls. One day I decided to make a four poster bed for her to use when playing with her dolls. Of course, once I had the bed made, I needed a mattress, pillow, sheets, quilt and curtains for the bed posts. Much time and planning was involved in this project but the result was well worth the effort. This picture shows the finished product which she dearly loved when I gave it to her.
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- Would You Like to Make a Raggedy Flannel Quilt?
Raggedy flannel quilts were popular some years ago. Maybe you would like to know how to make one now. They are quite easy and fun and young children like using them.