Friday, August 8, 2008

Just to prove that I CAN patchwork & quilt....

when I have the time.

Since having a child (6 years ago) I have had a very hard time making time to quilt, patchwork, sew, anything! Of course, I do small projects now and then but it has been a long time since I've done something substantial. I"m hoping that once my daughter starts school this fall that I will miraculously have new time on my hands. It amazes me when I see my friends' projects especially since they have more children than I do! This is something I must really work on...making time for my passion. I have a HUGE stash of gorgeous fabrics waiting for my crafty hands! If anyone has ideas for me about MAKING TIME , please write me a comment! Here are a few photos of past projects....
Before my child was born in 2002, I was CRAZY sewing (nesting). I made so many things for the nursery...curtains, bolsters, pillows, two quilts, decorations, blankies, etc. Here are a few of the items I like the most from that period. I made the large bed quilt first (the pinwheel quilt), then after consulting with my good high school friend, Natalie, about baby crib sized quilts I realized that I had made this one TOO big for a little baby! So with the left overs from the larger quilt I made a proper sized little one (in photo). Then I made 3 pillows with the other left overs (2 in photo). I probably still have left overs from that large quilt to make more projects some day! I was prepared for a child from the RAINBOW so I used all my favorite colors! This is a silly, easy as pie thing I do all the time for our lucky dog, Pepe. It's his fancy party scarf! I make one for him whenever we have a theme party! This one was for my daughter's "Under the Sea" party! The party guests all got "beach comber" bags made with the same fabric....they used the bags to gather goodies/treasure all during the party! And Pepe was part of the party in his matching scarf! This quilt brings fond memories! My "Swedie" visited me in the USA in November 1998 for Thanksgiving...we spent the holiday visiting my best friend and her partner (Betsy & Mary) who had temporarily moved to New York for a year or so. During our visit with them we attended some auctions in the countryside and scouted out treasures at flea markets. I found this quilt top at one of the markets, then at my friends' home I finished the edging and backing. Then we drove out to the Pennsylvania countryside to an Amish community where Betsy knew a woman to do the hand quilting for me! (Betsy is also a quilter, she got me interested in the craft.) It was such a treat to spend time in Alma Yoder's home! Like walking into the early 1800's! She was so curious about my Swedish man...and she could understand bits and pieces of his Swedish! (similar in some ways to their old German dialect) Unfortunately, we could not take photos in/outside the wonderful home! Anyway, she and her "married" (her "unmarried" ones were busy with something else) daughters (about 6 of them, I counted) worked on this quilt for me. Several of my other quilts have been quilted by their hands, including the large baby quilt I showed you above. This is another of my quilts that was hand-quilted by the Amish family. Only...well this isn't MY PATCHWORK either...it's a mysterious piece that came from my mother's family. Nobody knows who did the work or how old it is. I can tell you that the squares were definitely from old clothes and some pieces were very, very worn. Before finishing it, I had to repair several areas. Since it matched the large quilt I got in New York so well I decided to use the same fabric to finish this old piece at last! The Yoder ladies embroidered their names into the edging for me...if you look carefully in the blue area you can see some of them. Here's the little family quilt hanging up in my bedroom. It's random squares and rectangles give me something to think about each night...I see different things all the time. It soothes me. This is the backing of the quilt below...I ordered the hand-dyed fabric in Los Angeles, where I used to live, especially for this quilt. It was hand quilted, again by the Yoder women, they called it their "sunshine piece" because they could see what they were doing best when they worked on it outside in the sunshine! I requested that they quilt it with black thread so that I could really see their handiwork on the backside of the quilt. It must have been hard to see in a room without electricity! It's not a particularly creative quilting pattern but I'm in awe of the individual tiny, precious stitches. We sometimes flip sides to have something different to look at in the bedroom and I love to see their stitching! My low-key husband likes the back better than the front...he says you need to wear SUNGLASSES for the other side....
As you can see again...I love COLORS! But it was so hard to decide which of the bright, rich fabrics to use for this quilt....so I just used ALL OF THEM! You can't see so well in the photo, but I used a lot of hand dyed fabrics and batiks along with machine printed ones. I should do another photo of the border because it's rather cool looking, if I say so myself. This quilt is a double bed size. I worked on the cutting and piecing while I was visiting my Swedish honey for 8 weeks during the winter in 1999 here in Sweden. When he worked night shifts, I enjoyed working all night long on the quilt top while he was gone and then I went to sleep when he did at 6:30 in the morning! Doesn't matter much in the winter as it is dark so much of the day time anyway! It's a pretty wild and crazy quilt and to be honest, we don't use it much.

I didn't make this alligator...just stuffed it. She comes from Panama...she is made mole style (applique piecing of the Panama indians). She goes quite well with the baby quilt's gator fabric! This little quilt I hand quilted very simply. I grew up in Florida...home of the University of Florida Gators! So they are special in our family! Go GATORS!
These sweet and silly decorations are from when my daughter was a baby...I made many to hang in her window and over her bed. She won't let me take them down yet even though they are faded. I made gold lame ones, too!


And when I get around to it...I'll photograph more of my projects but I really hope to share new ones! When I find the time! he he

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hej...

Härligt med en "svenska" som skriver... :0) ...men det behövdes att vara amerikan för det... ;o)
Har verkligen svårt att få de svenska tjejerna att skriva på bloggen... ;o)
Hoppas det är ok att svara dig på svenska ...om inte ....så skriver jag på engelska nästa gång...

Har du kviltat länge....hittade inget kvilt relaterat på din blogg...men en massa underbara bilder från Sverige...WOW!!! Du är verkligen ambassdör för vårt land!!

Dessa SWAP´s hittar man ute på bloggarna ...just nu finns en att skriva upp sig hos här : http://hugsnkisses.typepad.com/

Har varit med i några som du kanske sett och det är jättekul ...men det tar tid...för man får verkligen lägga ner mycket arbete.. ..
så just nu har jag inte skrivit upp mig på fler...fastän det varit många roliga ...

Bara fråga ...så svarar jag gärna

Härligt att du hittade till mig...välkommen tillbaka...
Stina

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol!

Thank you for visiting my blog! I´ve read yours, and was told things about Sweden that I didn´t know, and I´ve lived here for more than 47 years! And you showed so many beautyful quilts too.
If you want more time for crafting, why don´t do it together with your daugther. My children always got some fabric or paper or whatever I used for the moment, and they made things their own way.
Today I always have a small stichery in my handbag if the moment comes....

About the swaps I don´t know the answer. I think most of the Swedish people are afraid of doing something like that. But about myself: I love making gifts, and reicieve them too, of course. And it´s a wonderful way to meet people and make friends all over the world. It´s so exciting, you must dare to win!

Today me and my daughter Josefin are going to visit a small quiltshow just outside Smålandstenar. Exciting, there are not so many of them. You can read about it here: http://www.hallandsposten.se/artikel.asp?oid=341600

Hugs,

Helena

HomespunMary said...

Wow, great quilts! Looks like you've had lots of fun making them :-)

And, you're very brave using all these colors... They are fantastic! I wish I would be more fearless in my choices of colors, but I rather seem to be afraid of them, LOL!