Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inspiration: The Quilts in our Home

I am embarking on some serious quilting projects. The bunk bed quilts are in full force, I am springing into action on Project Improv, and fabric combinations keep bouncing around in my daydreams. To kick this quilt-a-thon off on the right foot, I went around my house today snapping shots of our handmade quilts. These span three decades and each have a special story.

This was my quilt when I was a baby, given by a friend of my parents. I love the soft cordouroy (rarely available anymore) and the vintage fabrics. What I love most is that the quilting, and the corners, are imperfect......much like Big B's baby quilt, which was the first quilt I ever made. I didn't know a thing about binding, or machine quilting, or pinning, or basting. I didn't press anything. The corners on this thing are ridiculous, but it was made with deep love for the growing soul in my belly, five years ago. The only quilting techniques I have learned are from the master herself, Papa's Grandma Wilson. I was honored and humbled to have worked on a quilt with her a few years ago, along with her daughters and granddaughters. She showed me how to hand quilt and applique. Her hand quilting is impeccable. This is the double wedding quilt she made for Papa and me, almost seven years ago.I love how she used the backing as a thin binding and worked with the rings themselves as the border. I cannot even imagine how much time went into this masterpiece. She has made quilts for each of her six children, her thirteen grandchildren, and several great grandchildren.Would you just look at these fabrics? So darling. And the green and yellow in the centers of the rings were inspired by our springtime wedding, which was held on her land beneath the pines.This quilt was also made by Grandma Wilson, for the birth of Big B. She sent me a swatch of it while I was pregnant that I stuck into my pregnancy journal and felt almost every day. The fabrics she used for the dragonflies are exquisite.The glistening wings are meticulously embroidered and the hand quilting is just incredible.When Big B was still crawling, I made this queen sized quilt for Papa. I used tie quilting and cheap batting and I have learned my lesson! I don't think any of the knots have held, and there is batting coming loose everywhere...but it is well loved and well used. I do look forward to replacing it on our bed with the Project Improv king-sized quilt. When I was pregnant with little b, I had several gifted baby quilts under my belt and was ready to move beyond the simple square patchwork. A great new fabric store had just opened up in our community and I decided to splurge on some batiks. By the end of my second trip to the store, Sue had talked me into trying my first log cabin quilt. I am so glad I did.Because I bought all of the fabric and batting from Sue, she agreed to let me use her short-arm quilting machine to finish the job. See the Christmas decor in the background? I was literally nine months pregnant when I quilted this. I loved using this machine! Instead of moving the fabric to quilt your design, the machine allows you to move the needle, making it feel like you are simply drawing a pattern on your fabric. Little b is snuggled beneath this quilt right now, sweet as can be.

5 comments:

Rose said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing. That wedding quilt is gorgeous! I can't believe you've never shown that to me. Sadly, no one has ever given me a quilt. I think I'd explode with joy and excitement if someone did!

Can't wait to see your upcoming projects!

kangaroo said...

Thank you Rose! The wedding quilt is protected, away from little hands--it doesn't come out much. Papa and I are scheming a way to display it safely. I'd say it's our most prized material possession.

amandajean said...

what a great post! i loved reading about the quilts in your home. how wonderful each one is-and in love that they each have their own story.

Green Kitchen said...

Talk about freaky -- I have been mulling over a post about the quilts in our home. We have so many wonderful ones made by loving friends and family. They deserve several posts.

Sara said...

What beautiful quilts and all with a wonderful story to tell. They are beautiful and I can tell you cherish them! Thanks for sharing!