Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Have I Been Doing???

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?!


Sonia said...

Your granddaughter is going to love that quilt. It's something that she will be able to keep and pass down for generations to come. What a beautiful gift from your heart. ^_^

Scrapmaker said...

I think a lot of us make quilts that are gifts of love. They might not be what we would normally choose to spend our time on, but they are made to bring warmth and comfort. This one is lovely.

Think of all the hours your granddaughter will spend wrapped in that quilt, and every time she looks at it, she will think of you. Jen

Pat's Place said...

Yes, our grandkids literally spend hours day & night wrapped in their various quilts! They live in Vermont and often walk around the house, sit at the computer, or watch TV thoroughly wrapped up in their highly individualistic, fabric personally selected quilts. This is the most normal quilt I’ve made for any of them – and that’s because she’s currently enraptured with Ireland and her Irish heritage – she’s even writing a book about a young girl growing up in Ireland…consulting with her grandpa on various things about Irish history, geography, etc.

Yeah, I wouldn’t trade back any of the time spend making any of their numerous quilts…but I still can complain, right?! ggg