Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One in a Melon

The first birthday of Miss Mia is fast approaching
and Jenny is planning a watermelon themed party for her.
So in the spirit of things I decided to create some watermelon themed accessories.

Can you see the little pink bathing suit pinned on the quilt?
I appliqued some watermelons on it!

I found this cool watermelon fabric when I was at Rosies Calico Cupboard
in San Diego.  I was hoping to find a coordinating watermelon print fabric
here in Phoenix.  Unfortunately I didn't find any and I didn't have enough
fabric to really complete this quilt.  So I decided to add a white border
and make some cornerstones out of the leftover piecing.

Here is the quilt top with white borders and leftover pieces for cornerstones.
Now the fun part begins............I'm going to add some applique.

Yesterday I loaded my longarm with this Nativity panel.
I've been having significant problems with my longarm lately.
A couple of months back I purchased new wheels to upgrade my longarm.
Unfortunately the new wheels have created a problem with static electricity.
The static electricity has arced and messed with the electronic with my machine.  Fortunately the folks at APQS have been really helpful providing a grounding kit and technical support.
I haven't wanted to load customer quilts until I have had this problem resolved, which I think I may have done yesterday. 
The Nativity panel came out pretty good.  Only one blip with the machine.

I'm hoping to quilt Mia's quilt tomorrow and that will be the final test.
She checked out the top today and told me that she likes it!

Blessed are the piecemakers,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Design wall Monday

Awhile back I posted a picture of an antique quilt that found it's way into my studio.  My friend Carole had a friend who wanted this pieced top quilted.
This is the picture of the finished quilt on my design wall.

Since I had never really quilted an old top on the longarm I was fraught with indecision.  I was afraid that the longarm needle would be too much for the delicate old fabric.  The quilt did not lay anywhere near to flat.  Almost every curved block had a little pooch in it.  Numerous background fabric had been pieced.......the grainlines went every which way.  The quilt was no where close to being square.  The top measured 69" and the bottom measured 65" ......a full 4 inches different.  The sides were pretty close to being the same at 85".
I was pretty scared to do this quilt.......what if I ruined it?  Should I improve on the piecing?  That would mean taking it apart......AND changing it.
Finally I just jumped in.  I figured that the people who wanted this quilt finished wanted it for sentimental reasons and would want it to remain as it was originally pieced.

So I put it on the longarm figuring to baste down the top and sides and if the fabric held up I would tack it at the intersections.  The fabric seemed so thin and fragile, but I soon realized that it was actually made from old flour sacks and was pretty durable.  So I ended up outline quilting the blocks and curved pieces.  It worked out great.

Whenever I work on a quilt I can't help but think about the person who will be receiving the quilt and trying to quilt alot of love into it, but in this case my mind kept wondering about the person who had pieced this quilt so long ago.
What was she like?  Why did she make this quilt?  What was her life like?
I was really fortunate enough to get some of these questions answered about this particular quilt.

This is what I received:

" It was made by Ola Streety who was born in 1900. She said it was her 1st quilt and it just never got completed. She was between 13-18 when it was done (they think) and when they found it, it was quite a surprise as the other family had already been through the house and taken anything of any value or interest. This was found in a box in a shed or attic and is really the only thing Jim (Tonya's husband) got that was his grandma's. I was able to make a pillow case just like you showed me to put it in. She wants to meet you some time to thank you herself. I told her what a special person you are and how you really connected with the quilt. Thanks again!!"

I am so happy to have been part of bringing this special memory alive in such a tangible way to this family.  I hope that they enjoy this quilt for many years and can feel the loving arms of Ola around them when they snuggle in this quilt.

This is the unquilted picture of the quilt.

I always like to close my post with a picture of my sweet grandbaby.
This is my current fav pic of her:

God Bless,