Our youngest grandchild (now 13 1/2) made a special request of me about two years ago - she wanted me to make her an Irish Chain quilt for her summer birthday. Well, summer came and went, as did autumn, winter, spring, and another summer, autumn and now winter. But I've promised her (and myself) to finish her quilt in time for Christmas. Today, I sandwiched the quilt together using a clean sheet on our garage floor as the only place I could find that was empty enough to spray baste and layer the darned thing! It presently measures 60"x80" but will shrink some with quilting. Alyssa selected the colors last summer when they were here to help motivate me, so here is her Double Irish Chain quilt, finally ready to be quilted!
I'll be machine quilting with white thread a shamrock in the center of each white square plus doing some outline quilting around the shamrock. Then I'll machine quilt in green on the diagonals through the chains to finish it up. Heaven only knows what I'll do in the border - probably free-motion hearts + shamrocks joined with spirals, circles and flowing lines...
Below is the other quilt I've been working on. I've named it "Threads of Our Lives..." All the journal quilt sized pieces have images that have been directly printed on the cotton using my Epson 4600 with some images printed first on transfer film, and then transferred to the fabric. I've deliberately left all the edges raw and unravelling - I really like that look! And I've saved some of the threads & batting that I've pulled off the journal pieces to embellish the central part of the quilt. At the moment, I've got everything sandwiched with basting spray and with some pins.
This quilt will be part of a special exhibit at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XVII in Virginia this coming February. The special exhibit is curated by Keisha E. Roberts and is entitled "The Nearness of You." I'll have one other quilt in the exhibition as well - would you believe an Irish Chain memory quilt??? I made it back in the 1980s - more about that one later!
To quote Keisha on this exhibit: "“Nearness of You” quiltmakers interpret memory and commemoration through diverse cultural and religious perspectives. The exhibition features quilts made by male and female internationally and nationally renowned artists, emerging artists, new quilters, and quilters who make quilts only for themselves and their families.
The quilts in this exhibition incorporate a variety of objects including memorabilia, photographs, clothing, and family linens and heirlooms. These quilts depict possessions and interests held dear by loved ones, construct a sense of familial space, narrate family lore and lessons, preserve family history, mark personal journeys, and commemorate significant family events like births, passings, marriages, bar mitzvahs, and adoptions."
So now you know what I've been up to these past many weeks - did I tell you I HATE making quilt blocks??? And I can tell you that I made all sorts of stupid mistakes with that very simple pattern!!! Anyway, now, can you guess what I'll be doing the next number of days?!