Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Quilters

Here is a post that appeared on my main blog, A Colorful World this week.  I am copying it here as it tells about my quilting journey....

The Quilters
For Linda Kay's Wit and Wisdom  (awesome writing meme on Senior Adventures!) I would like to share a special legacy....

My mother is a quilter.  My grandmother was a quilter, and every aunt and great-aunt and my two great-grandmothers and on back through my lineage.  It was fore-ordained that I would quilt.  The days of the quilting joys of my grandmother and great-grandmothers were born of necessity.  The quilts were used to warm their families against the winter cold, and were worn out after years of faithful use.  Not many of them survived.  They were made of scraps of clothing and of feed and flour sacks.  Nothing was wasted.  The batting was often hand-carded cotton.  Women's work was truly never done in those early days, and they went to bed to sleep under their hand made quilts, bone tired from the long days.  When the quilting was to be done, a group of women would gather around a frame suspended from the ceiling, to do hand quilting and visit.  My mother sat under that suspended frame as  a child and watched the needles go in and out, snaking across in long lines of loving was the perfect fort.

Mom took me to the quilt shop to buy my first fabric for my quilt.  It was the early 80s and life had progressed to templates, and purchased fabric to be cut up into shapes, and sewing machines to put it all back together.  The rotary cutter was new also and soon became the norm.  Prices started soaring for expensive cotton fabrics needed to make heirlooms that would last for generations.  But, as I began to learn the techniques involved in piecing and creating quilt blocks, I also wished to pay homage to my roots...and make an old-fashioned quilt, hand-quilted.  My Mom often hand-quilted her quilts back then too, and she tried to teach me, but I just couldn't get the hang of that rocking back and forth motion that was needed.  So, as you can see from the photo above, I did my first hand quilting by going IN and OUT!  Not the most effective method, but I was comfortable with it.

What I love about the photo, is that the feed sack fabric the quilt is created from was some of my grandmother's fabric.  She was no longer quilting, and she gave me these pieces.  The frame was my Mom's....and she soon after gave it to me as she had moved on to using a hoop.  I love the feed sack quilt, which unfortunately I have never finished hand quilting (perhaps this is the year!) and I love the quilting frame.  Both are treasures!  I do my quilting on the machine now, because hand quilting by my archaic method was just too darn slow!  But I at least know how to properly hand quilt now.  I have made a few quilts, and several wall hangings or other small projects since that day in the 80s when the photo was taken, and I know I will quilt until my hands will no longer hold the needle that I can't see how to thread!  When that day comes,  I hope I will be happy with all I have accomplished.  I know it has given me great joy over these years.  After all, how could it not?  Me being a quilter was truly fore-ordained.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Second Wall hanging Gift Finish!

I have been working on two wall hangings for my sister-in-law and niece for Christmas....and today I finished the second one, ready for mailing!  My sis-in-law loves baby ducks and the colors navy and bright yellow.  Her wall hanging was in this post HERE.  My niece loves is hers!

This was the first time I had ever attempted "thread painting" a technique I learned about at the Quilt Guild.  I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We Have a Winner!!!!

Many of you may remember that we were doing a raffle of a quilt made by myself and three others in our church sewing circle, to help out with expenses for Wade Robinson's family.  Wade has SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophe).  The drawing was supposed to occur on November 11th, but we wanted Wade's Mommy, Nici, to draw the winning ticket, and Wade was in the hospital all that month.  He finally got out two days before Thanksgiving (a blessing!!) and was able to go home.  Today we went by the Robinson house and Nici drew the winning ticket.

The winner was Paula Padilla who bought a ticket that was being sold by Nici's Dad at the Thornydale Post Office where he works, and where Paula also works.

Me on the left, Nici and Paulette George (our other seamstress on this project, GayNell Gagner was unable to join us for this)

Helen Spicer, Nici and Paulette

Paulette called the holder of the winning ticket and the winner, Paula, squealed with delight at the news! :-) We learned she was working at the Post Office.....

So off we went to the Post Office to deliver the quilt to its new owner!

Paula Padilla and her new quilt.

Nici's Dad came out and joined us...he had sold Paula the winning ticket.

What a wonderful blessing this was for all of us!  We were thrilled for the winner, and happy to turn over right at $600. in ticket sales to Nici and Ryan Robinson to help out.  I was walking on air this morning!  Praise to God for this opportunity to be part of this!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Quilt Documentation

Yesterday was the Quilt Documentation.  They do it twice a year, and I've missed the last two.  For my first documentation post click HERE.  The quilts are examined, described, their stories documented, and they are put on a national database.  A label is also attached to the quilt itself with it's computer database number, and the date it was documented.  It's wonderful to have a historical record!  They do it all over the country if you are interested in participating:

 This beautiful Double Wedding Ring quilt was made by one of my great-aunts (a sister to my great grandmother).  It had been purchased by my Mom to help defray medical expenses on another great-aunt who was very ill, and was given last year to my daughter who loved the quilt and asked her grandmother for it.

 It was photographed and examined and all the information will be placed in a national database.  The quilt was made approximately 1976-1979 (possibly a little earlier or later than that bracket of time) and cotton as well as synthetic fabrics were used, scraps I am sure owned by the maker from clothing items.  It is rose, brown & light blue with little touches of other colors on an off-white field.  The quilt was completely hand-pieced and hand-quilted.  It is treasured.

While there, a lady didn't have her camera with her to take pictures of her quilt so I offered to photograph it for her and send her the shots in an email.  She was very happy about my offer!  You aren't allowed generally to photograph the other quilts, unless you have permission like I did.  I saw many gorgeous quilts in the two hours I was there!

Theirs was also a family heirloom.
Also, here is my latest finish (just have to do the binding).  It's a wall hanging Christmas gift to my sis-in-law who loves baby ducks.  I posted this on my regular blog as well.  It's pieced and appliqued, with embroidery and fabric paint embellishments:

And a few of the "show and tell" items from the last Quilt Guild:

A beautiful top made by my friend Paulette...the picture can't do it justice.  It's really gorgeous!

This little girl made this quilt under the tutelage of her grandmother.  It will be entered into our Junior Division at the Quilt Show.  She was VERY cute showing it to all of us!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Of the "One Block" kind and otherwise....the guest speaker for the Tucson Quilt Guild was Maxine Rosenthal who wrote the book One Block Wonders.  She is such a hoot!  My goodness we enjoyed her talk!  Paulette and I attended both the night and morning meetings because we were still selling raffle tickets.  See info about that HERE.  So we got to hear her twice and see her quilts twice, but we were also happy to get to see two different groups of show and tell quilts from the members.  Let me start with a few of those:

A top hand quilted by Paulette for Quilting for Others

A new member's very first quilt top!!!!

Now for one of Maxine's quilts....
That's Maxine in front explaining her method of using octagons and hexagons repeating to make her overall design.
 She had a lot of others in various color combinations and designs.  For images of her wonderful quilts, go HERE.
Enjoyed being at both meetings but starting next month we are only going to be attending the morning meetings.  Going at night became too difficult!  It's mainly for people who work, anyway, and none of us do.  There are huge groups at both meetings but I love it!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September Meeting

I belong to the Tucson Quilt Guild, which is a very large group of whom I only casually know a very few people, but the speakers are always amazing, and the show and tell awesome...and the guild does a LOT of quilting for charity and the community.  I enjoy the meetings very much.  My friend Paulette from church has been attending with me for well over a year, and now GayNell has also joined us.  This month I was able to attend twice (they divide the group into a night meeting, and a day meeting to accommodate everyone) because we were selling raffle tickets for our quilt to help out the Robinsons with their son who has SMA.  See post about that HERE.  The speaker was Rob Appell of Man Sewing!  See his website HERE.  What a delightful presentation!  He is high energy and entertaining, and has so much to share!  I was so happy to discover that he is a Christian, whose journey from alcoholism is inspiring, and he too does a great deal of charity work, supporting causes to help the world's endangered species, and supporting returning combat veterans.  His enormous Iwo Jima WWII Memorial inspired quilt will be auctioned off soon...the opening bid is $25,000!  This one quilt will raise an enormous sum to help the families of these returning veterans.  Awesome job, Rob!

One of his amazing ocean quilts!

Two more gorgeous ocean quilts!
One of Rob's quilt kits he sells to benefit organizations that help preserve endangered species!

Another of his animal quilt kits!

Here are a few items from Show & Tell....

A raffle quilt for "Quilts for a Cause," to benefit  breast cancer research....The Guild also supports a Homeless Women's Shelter, and the Diamond Children's Hospital with "Quilting for Others."

And a quilt made by a Vermont Quilt Guild Member, which was sold and the proceeds were sent to women in Africa to help them start a business of bee-keeping.  They got $2700. for the quilt!  Our Guild was asked to participate in this project, and I made two of the flower squares that were cut down to hexagons for the quilt...Paulette made five, I think.  I loved the pattern for the flower and saved it.

And finally, here is another item I made for the Children's Home (see our trip to the Home to take all the quilts and things to the kids on my main blog, HERE)  His corn and hat might make him hard to cuddle but I couldn't resist adding those elements.  They can strip him back to just his overalls so he will make a good bed buddy....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Something Special

This is a raffle quilt our sewing circle at church made to sell tickets to benefit a child in our church with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  This is SMA Awareness Month and if you would like to learn more about this serious, debilitating disease, please click HERE.  If any of you out there would like to buy tickets ($1. apiece, or 6 for $5) or give a donation to the family, please let me know!  The quilt is 72"X 70" and is machine pieced and largely hand quilted. We will be doing the drawing on Veteran's Day and I will post the winner.  The quilt would be great for a special Veteran because of its colors, or as a Christmas present....or just to keep for yourself! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Few More Finishes

Here are a few more things I have recently finished.  The first is a doll I made for a child in our church that was to have a several day stay in the hospital....

Secondly, a pj set and bunny for the Children's Home...I plan to make another bunny in  grey for a boy....

And finally, another quilt for the Children's Home....this one is a panel and I just added the borders with some applique/fabric paint embellishments, and quilted it.....

Quite unintentionally there's definitely a "bunny" theme going on here! :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Two Recent Baby Finishes

If you follow my quilting blog you know our church provides items for the Children's Home at the Tohono O'Odham & gently used clothing, new & gently used toys, also diapers and wipes, and we ladies in the sewing group all make baby and child-size quilts, plus things like bibs and burp pads.  We received a huge blessing when we took items there before Christmas last year, and will be going again next month.  Here is my most recent child's quilt for them:

I had an old piece of "soft book" fabric that I cut up and used for the letters and other elements of the quilt, and did some of my own applique as well. It was fun to put together.

closeup of top half

Close up of bottom half
I also recently made a "play mat" for a child in our church out of the scraps from the quilt above.  Wade has SMA and can't use most of the muscles in his body.  He is about to turn 2, and cannot sit up on his own, and has limited use of his arms and hands.  I thought hanging this in front of him would give him incentive to try to reach and play with the objects and keep his mind stimulated.  His mother tells us that he loves Baby Einsteins on an ipad they have.  Being a toddler, and not a baby, I geared some of the items to his age level, but this play mat could be adapted to a younger baby and hung on the side of a playpen or crib.

All the items are "removable"...a slinky, flashlight and morraca, plus softer toys.  In the bag are foam shapes and also numbers 1 through 5 and the letters of his name. 
There is a Warriors For Wade facebook page here:

And here is the cutie himself, taken from the facebook page:

Just wanting to get the word out there about Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and hopefully generate some prayer for little Wade and his family.