Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fabric Stores

Don't you just love fabric stores?  Well, I assume most of you reading this blog would say yes, but I know not everyone agrees with me, especially my kids.  I love being able to go to the fabric store and just take my time, surround myself with all the colors and textures and let the ideas flow.  Of course, that doesn't happen when you  have 2 little boys really not wanting to be there - or wondering if they can get candy "if they're good."  

Wyatt, my oldest, actually has picked up an interest in quilting and has made a few projects himself.  I usually just give him a large piece of fabric, layer it, and let him go.  His most recent project I have been teaching him to get his stitches smaller.  He really does do a good job and I love that even though I don't have a little girl to pass this quilting experience on to I can interest my son.

Back to fabric stores, here in Vermont, there are lots of small, fabric stores and I have only had the pleasure of visiting a few.  Usually if I am in a hurry I run to the ol' large chain fabric store because it's so close and I have the 2 sons with me.  However, on the rare occasion I have time to browse I love to go into the small shops.  

Most recently I went into "Sew Many Treasures" right in quaint Williston Village.  It is such a cute shop!  What I loved the most is on their shelving they had cute sayings that all had something to do with quilting or fabric.  How unique!  This store gives you such a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I love the fabric, all lined up by color, just makes me want to go crazy and do nothing but quilt.  

Last March I was in Chester, Vermont, and went to Country Treasures and was in fabric shop heaven!  What an awesome store!  (  This store is huge - I thought I was in an unending store - it was just room after room after room with great sales!  I got so many neat ideas there of things I never saw before.  I could have spent all day in there and more than likely, I will be back.  I've seen great reviews of this store on other blogs as well.

There are many more shops I want/need to visit - if anything - so I can blog about them, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grandma Cline's Quilt

Hello all, this is Marty - Beth's husband. I'm taking this moment to talk about my Grandma's quilt.

Growing up, my brother and I would spend weekends at Pap and Grandma's house. They owned a smallish farm that had a creek that flowed through it. Dirt and adventure abounded for small boys. During the evenings Grandma would make us all the popcorn we could eat while we watched TV. We'd sit in a brown overstuffed La-Z-Boy and cover ourselves with this quilt. The top is scratchy wool, but the back is soft cotton corduroys. It was my first memory of how comfortable of sitting in a chair with a blanket could be.

It's a simple quilt, tied, and probably made for utility rather and artistic expression. I have a memory of Grandma saying that it was made from old men's coats, which fits her style. (That generation knew what recycling really meant.) The top is scratchy wool that has aged well, while the back and edges have worn a bit making it even softer. Many of the ties are missing, but it's still warm. You can see more pictures by clicking on the slideshow on the right.

Grandma is gone now, but I have her quilt to remember her, and it still lays on my lap during cold evenings.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Sew" many things to do!

So much going on! 
I'm planning a halloween party for my cub scout pack next week, 
wrapping up the cub scout popcorn sale,
 working more hours,
 assisting with homework,
 husband's working late & weekends,
 trying to fit in quilting to boot  

However I consider this all a "good" kind of busy.  We are blessed to have been introduced to a great uplifting organization such as the Cub Scouts, we are blessed to have jobs, we are blessed to have 2 great boys and I'm blessed with the desire of creating quilts (just to name a few of our blessings.)  

You could say we are recession proof (minus our 401K and kids college accounts tanking) - for now anyways - thanks to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Program.  I just heard on the local news that the food bank here in Vermont is really struggling to keep up with the demand and that the new people coming in are young to middle age families (aka middle class families.)  That devastated me because that is me!  I'm very thankful we don't need to go to the food bank - but I just wish I had more money so that I could help the food bank!  Think of all the money going into the elections -- wouldn't that be a lot of money to help heat homes, feed families, buy prescription medications or whatever.  I realize money is very important to elections - maybe more now than ever - who knows - but it's sad that people in our own country have to make decisions between food, heat and medications.

I hear all the negativity around me and I just can't help but be thankful for what I have and the loved ones in my life and just feel - it will be okay. Otherwise- I'd be depressed all the time!


Friday, October 17, 2008

My First Sale

This is the very first quilt I sold.  I worked at a restaurant in Akron, Ohio, for a while when my husband and I first were married.  They asked me to make them a wall hanging to display in the restaurant and wanted it blue and white.  This was also the first time I did the Log Cabin block.  It went together so easily and was lots of fun to do.  Originally I tried hand appliquéing a heart in the middle of this wall hanging but I was not pleased with it so I redid it without the heart.   As usual, I hand quilted it.  What a simple project!

I was so excited to actually receive money for doing something that I love to do.  I have sold a few baby quilts since but not many.  I would really like to get into making quilts to sell but I'm really nervous making a hobby into a job.  I'm afraid I won't be good at it or that I won't love quilting anymore.  Do any of you who do sell your quilts run across this?  Lots of books tell you to find something you love and then figure out a way to make money at it - but I'm afraid that I will stop loving to quilt if it becomes my job.  Any advice is welcome!

Have a great weekend!  We're taking our boys to a cub scout halloween festival tomorrow and that will be lots of fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wyatt's Baby Quilt

My mother-in-law made this baby quilt for my first son.  She got the pattern from me and I had gotten it from my grandmother. As all her quilts, she hand quilted it.

What is really funny about this quilt is that she started it before Wyatt was born and had done the wording at the bottom and put in "March 2000" leaving a space to put in the date when he was born.  However, Wyatt had other plans and came early and was born in February.  So instead of ripping it out she put "oops" where the date was to go and underneath put "February 28, 2000."

Isn't it funny how we think we are being so efficient and then it turns out not to work out?  How many times has this happened to me?  I remember one Christmas I was on the ball and bought gifts early and on sale.  So Christmas comes and goes and sometime in mid-Spring I was cleaning out a room and found a gift I had purchased for my husband hidden away that I had forgotten about!  Not very efficient if you don't remember doing it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mom's secret quilt stash

This is another vintage quilt from my mother's house.  When we had to clean out her house to move her in the back of a closet were quilts that no one seems to remember.  I was so thrilled because I got them all.  This really cute quilt is made of obviously authentic vintage fabrics and has a scalloped edge.  I love the pastels and the few bold prints.  This is such an easy pattern - one block is a 4 patch and right next to it is a block of 2 triangles.  Easy and cute.  I just love the edging though.

So we suspect these quilts were made by one of my Great Grandmothers dating this back to the early 1900's.  What a find!  You just never know what you will find when you clean out a house!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One from the friends

This is an awsome quilt.  This quilt was given to my by dear friends and co-workers where I use to live in Ohio.  When my husband and I decided to move to Vermont - they had this quilt made for us.  Each person signed a rectangle and left really sweet messages on them.  They then had a quilter (whom I know) put the quilt together.  It was such a surprise.

I bring this up because today it was a year ago this week that we left all our friends and family in Ohio and moved to Vermont. 

This quilt is a display quilt - as you can see - and every time I look at it I think of my family and friends back in Ohio.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Harvest Wall hanging - Finished!

I finished another project! 

 This is a wall hanging made out of fall colors.  On the back you will see I used a black pumpkin fabric to compliment the front and black binding.  This basic baby quilt pattern was really easy to piece. 

I strayed from my norm and machine quilted it but I wish I would have hand quilted it.  I was not real happy with the final project but I was under a short deadline because this was for my boys' school to raise money for the PTO.  It was given as a donation for a silent auction.  

When I went to the Harvest Festival I noticed all the items up for silent auction.  This wall hanging didn't have a very high bid on it.  My husband heard someone say that they wished it had been hand quilted. I guess there are people who like hand quilting as much as I do!

My husband really liked the colors in this quilt and asked me to make one for us.  I might.

The solid colors I used are fabrics from my Grandmother's stash, and I couldn't match 
them to anything in the store (imagine that).  So I was sweating it out and actually had JUST ENOUGH  of each.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Angels Among Us

Angels - we all could probably use more of them.

I made this rose and teal angel wall hanging for my mother-in-law, Bobbie. She loves angels. In the Spring of 2008 we went to Amish Country in Holmes County, Ohio, and she saw a wall hanging with an angel on it. She mentioned that she would love to have one. I replied - funny, I know someone who could make you one. She hadn't even thought of that.

I told her I would make her one for Christmas, however, that Fall we moved to Vermont from Ohio and it got put on the back burner. Instead I made this wall hanging (which matchs her bedroom) and gave it to her for her birthday.

The angel in the middle is really cool fabric art which I purchased from an artist on the internet. I corresponded the colors around the angel and Bobbie's bedroom colors. It turned out nice and was a quick and easy project.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crazy Times for A Crazy Quilter

Hello - I have been out of town visiting family and haven't had a chance to update my blog! I do have a travel story though that involves a quilt!

My son's and I made a quick trip to see family this past weekend. I had some room in my luggage and decided to stuff a queen size log cabin quilt (the one shown) into it.  I thought I would take it to my mother-in-law to have her fix the binding. She is the one who made this quilt and gave it to us when we got married. This quilt is always on my bed and well loved. Unfortunatly, our flights were cancelled and rebooked with a different airlines and I was freaking out that I would lose my luggage (my quilt actually - who cares about the clothes)! Luckily, this story has a happy ending - my luggage made it to my destination and I was very relieved! Funny thing - when my mother-in-law took a look at the quilt she said "wow, I think I'm going to have to make you a new one." Oh, darn!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandma's Fan - Literally

This is a Grandma's Fan quilt - and literally probably from my Great-Grandmother. This is part of the "found in my parents closet, have no idea where it's from" collection as previously mentioned. I love the old fabrics used in this quilt. If you look real closely at the bottom right of the quilt, down on the red border, you might be able to see a golf ball size critter hole. A couple of the quilts I inherited from my mother's closet have these holes.
I use to have this hanging in my bedroom but now it's in my living room. I read somewhere that you should have a touch of red in every room. I cannot remember why but I think it brings you joy or something like that. Who knows - I read it so it must be true, right?

Every time I look at this quilt I find another imperfection. Funny, but I love finding those in these old quilts because that means I'm normal because I make mistakes in mine. I also like to look at these quilts and think about what I would have done differently. For instance, in this particular quilt, I love how the "handle" of the fan is red - but notice how there is red in some of the fans as well - I would not have done that, I think it distracts the eye.

Antique vs. Vintage

Antique vs. Vintage.... that's my question. I wanted to know how to properly describe this quilt but I don't know the difference between antique and vintage. I went searching on the web and it really confused me even more. One site told me that antique was defined as being 100 years old or more and vintage are things made in the 1960's and 1970's. So what about those years in between? Then another site said that Antique is an item (furniture, quilt etc.) that is really old and vintage is a timeframe not an item. So I guess if I go by those standards then this is an antique quilt but by the previous standards this is not classifiable. If anyone knows for sure I would love for you to leave comment.

Anyway - this quilt was a treasure found in my parents home when they downsized. It was tucked away back in the corner of a closet (with others I will introduce in the future) and I had no idea it existed. Actually, neither did my Mom and therefore has no recollection of where it came from nor who made it. However, she does suspect maybe her maternal grandmother might have made it. Looking back in my genealogical files that dates this quilt being made somewhere in the late 1800's or early 1900's. If any of you are good at aging quilts - I would love your opinions.... including what pattern this is.

Another question I have for all my fellow quilters - why did they make quilts square? This is square and so are most of the ones I discovered and now have inherited. Were their beds square back then or were they just laid on top of a bedspread? I've asked this question to a few quilters and no one can give me an answer. I have not done any research on this and might if no one can answer this question.


Bob The Builder Quilt

As stated in my last post, I made a quilt for one son, Jack, about trucks and for my other son, Wyatt, I did this Bob The Builder quilt because at that time he loved Bob The Builder. I found a lady online who machine embroidered the Bob The Builder squares for me and even did one that says "Wyatt The Builder" which I put right in the middle. This was a very easy quilt and was done quickly. I hand quilted it, like I do with most of my quilts. This is currently on my son's bed even though he has grown out of Bob The Builder - it's more like Legos and Star Wars now. That's the problem with doing theme quilts for kids - by the time you make a quilt of something that interests them - they have moved on to another interest.

I'm thinking aloud here, I wonder if there is a quilt I could do to look like Legos? Does anyone know of a pattern or have any ideas as to how I would go about that? I would be the coolest Mom ever if I could figure out how to do this one! Oh my, now my brain is going to town. Please, if anyone one has any suggestions I would LOVE to hear them!

Speaking of Lego's how many of you know what I'm talking about when I say I'm so sick of stepping on Lego's? When the boys were younger they used the big mega sized Legos, those were easy to see and avoid. But now we have graduated to the more complex Lego sets which have these wee tiny pieces and then if they are clear - well, the only way you find them is by stepping on them! I always threaten to throw away any Lego I have stepped on, but have you seen the price of Lego sets? I can't afford to throw them away! Besides, Wyatt would somehow know that piece was missing - he seems to have them all memorized and numbered!

Keep On Truckin'

This is a cute twin size quilt titled "Keep On Truckin'" from the book More Quick Rotary Cutter Quilts by Pam Bono Designs. I had intended on making 2 of them (and even cut all the pieces out for 2) but after struggling to finish this one in a timely manner the second one got scrapped (literally). I love the bold colors in this quilt, they match my son's bold personality. Most of the fabric is vintage which I inherited from my Grandma. Some of my tires are flat from not being real precise in piecing but I justify it by saying "Some trucks have flat tires."

This is the first time I had worked on a quilt with all the little pieces used to make a picture. I kept making mistakes so I did a lot of ripping on this one. I really like this quilt, now that it is done, but I didn't like it at the time of making it. I took this to the Belmont County Fair in St. Clairsville, Ohio, (where I was born and raised) and won first prize with it, but I must admit I didn't have any competition in my category (perhaps that's too much information).

I still have all of the scraps I cut to make the second quilt, maybe some day I will, you know, when I run out of projects (yeah right)! I have so many ideas and not enough time - but isn't that the typical quilter's dilemma?

Double Wedding Ring FINISHED

I finished a quilt! I'm so excited! This is a blue and green and white double wedding ring quilt.

I bought the pieces as a pre cut quilt in Holmes County, Ohio, from an Amish fabric store. An extended family member hand pieced it for me and I just finished quilting it.

I don't know what to do with it! I don't know whether to sell it, to keep it for one of my boys down the road if or when they get married or what. Right now, I am just enjoying it! I can't put it on my bed since I have a queen size bed, so I have it draped over my rocking chair in my bedroom. The satisfaction of having a quilt done is awesome! You want to yell it from the roof top - except not everyone really cares!

On to the next project!

Welcome to Quilter's Nook

Welcome to my new blog. I had started a previous blog bug have decided to make a few changes. So here we go with round 2.

My name is Beth and I am a wife and a mother of 2 boys - and I LOVE TO QUILT. Not only do I love to quilt, I love reading about quilting (fiction and nonfiction), I love seeing quilts, I love visiting quilt shops, I love talking about quilts, I love going to quilt shows and I love showing off my quilts.

I grew up around quilts. I remember my Grandma making quilts when I was little and my Grandpa helping her. I have always slept under quilts made by family. I really got started doing it myself in 1995, my first project being a Christmas gift for my parents. I have not stopped since.

I am what you probably would call an old fashion lap quilter. I enjoy having that warm quilt on my lap while I quilt. I realize I am in the minority these days. I admit I have machine quilted (with a regular sewing machine) a few small projects, and although I had them done really fast, I did not enjoy it nearly as much. I just am of the mindset that quilts should be loved and used and maybe not perfect. I think quilts that look too perfect arn't usable - I know that probably upsets some quilters.

As I said, my Grandmother, my first memory of a quilter, hand appliqued quilts with other women in her community and then sent them to be quilted. I have distinct memories of being at her house and my Grandfather on the floor cutting out her applique pieces. I have a couple of quilts by her and they are very treasured. The pictured one above, is my favorite. I slept under it most of my childhood. It is purple, is twin size and VERY worn. I now keep it safe and secure in a cedar chest. I have no intentions of having it fixed, I love it just the way it is. The second quilt, I have from her is one she gave me whan I got married (shown below). This quilt is also in my cedar chest only because it is a double bed size and I have a queen size bed, so it doesn't fit.

In future blogs I plan on expanding more on my quilt collection, those family members who have quilted, quilt questions I have, funny stores and mishaps, quilt stores and shows I have been too, books I have read, and perhaps I'll even get pictures of my quilts up.

I am hoping that some of you can help me with questions I have. I am self taught and so I am sure I am doing things the hard way. Perhaps I can even help you with questions you have. I find sharing information is the best way to learn, since I really don't have time to take classes.

I look forward to hearing from all my fellow quilters out there, especially if you are from Vermont - contact me! I'd love to make all kinds of new friends and talk about quilts!