My first quilt class was with Ann Albertson. I saw her work in the San Diego magazine and thought it was beautiful. She rarely taught. Ten years after I started making quilts as baby gifts at Christmas I signed up for a class at the local quilt shop with Ann. It was a scrap quilt class. I walked in with an armload of fabrics. She took one look at me and said, “this is a scrap quilt class.” I set my fabric down on the table and said — “these will be scraps soon.”
The first class was explaining what a quilt was and what a scrap quilt was. She also gave many ideas for a scrappy quilt: Friendship Stars, Nine Patches, Puss in the Corner. I wanted to make a quilt with the pattern I had seen in the magazine. Challenging for someone who had never used templates.
The next class would be in two weeks. So I had time to make blocks. I fell in love with the picture of the quilt in the magazine. It was a Star within a Star block. I could only manage to make one quilt block a day. I had a toddler at home. I was very used to making freeform quilts and using templates was beyond me. Getting those points pointy was a struggle. I decided not to rush it because for the most part it was all new to me.
I decided to go back to the beginning and remember what beginning quilting was like. One major problem was lack of cotton fabrics for the longest time. Diana Leone wrote a Sampler Quilt book and I used polyester fabrics. Polyester fabrics were not stable and would shift when you sewed them.
The quilt above quilt is one I took it to a conference I took with Nancy Crow. It was machine pieced. And I machine and hand-quilted it.
To be continued
I have been spinning my wheels for some time now. I’ve been sorting and wondering why I am stuck in this rut. Then it dawned on me. Although for most I may not appear to be organized — but an organized person is one who can find what they need when they need it. That was me until we emptied my studio to put down new flooring — which I do love.
Fabric was brought back into the workspace and just put helter-skelter on the shelves. It would make for interesting work if that were the way I worked. I have been lost and instead of making new work I am looking at UFOs (unfinished work) and trying to get my head around finishing them. That just isn’t possible when I can’t find what I need.
There was a time when I put all my WIP (works in progress) in shiny silver boxes supplied by a lovely local department store and labeled them. Even then when I open the box I find I am one fabric short, the dye-lots don’t even come close to the colors created today, which is a hazard of having projects that date back into the last century. Wow that sounds old and it is. But they are still worth finishing when I find the fabric in my many piles.
So I asked a trusted art buddy, Kim Burke, in Los Angeles to give me her opinion. She suggested putting the old projects aside and “MOVE ON.” I knawed on it for all of about 15 minutes and decided that was a worthy opinion and advice.
I put what I was working on into a shoe box and pulled out a different shoe box of 1 1/2 inch cut strips. This is not what I had in mind, it isn’t arty nor is it flamboyant, it is sweet. So this is March 11, 2016 and I am looking at my breakfast smoothie of banana, mandarin oranges and mango —
DAY ONE: Aunty Grace fabric and it looks like I will be making a baby quilt, smoothie in hand.
Just Ducky started with the idea of a quick baby quilt. I’ve decided that for me, there is no such thing as quick. I searched through my stash for a printed panel. My mother was a great one for whipping up a baby comforter using a printed panel, and she would do it in a day. I couldn’t find a panel. Just as I was about to give up I found the pale print fabric with ducks. I must have picked it up on a flat fold table. I didn’t even remember it and I have pretty good fabric memory.
All by itself the fabric wasn’t big enough to make a 40″ x 60″ baby quilt, maybe a 36″ quilt. So I decided to cut the blocks apart and put latticing between the squares — not my favorite. The fabric was so old none of the yellows I had were pale enough for the job. I “forced” myself to make a trip to my LYS, Rosie’s Calico Cup board on El Cajon Blvd, in San Diego, CA, to see what I could find. Their yellow selection was also too intense.
I found myself in the Auntie Grace fabric section and I found a yellow — a print with yellow that was perfect. I like baby quilt to be about baby. I found in my collection a “baby feet” print that would work as backing.
Piecing the top took much longer than I had anticipated. Isn’t that always the case. I did start with three months to spare, so that was good. It took me six weeks to fussy cut and sew it together. Of course I did not sit and sew constantly, it would have gone faster if I had.
Now it is ready for the backing.