Saturday, April 27, 2013

Glorious Saturday! and Quilts from My Sewing Machine #2: 42 Stars & NH quilt

Things are going swell in my neck of the woods. TGS & OSLW here. Gardening happening.

Hubby putting in shower in 2nd bathroom. Finished a great read and started another. It's just like laying in a hammock under a canopy of trees.

We're having a little down time here. OSLW is reading, TGS & Hubby are working on his car. I've been reading blogs and now am writing mine.

I thought I'd start sharing quilts I have made every once in a while. I don't want to tie myself down with an uncompromising schedule. It'll happen. Sometime or other.

TGS holding quilt I made in 1977
I'll start with one of my earliest quilts. A little back story. My Aunt Marie (read about her here) was a quilter extraordinaire. I grew up with her quilts on my bed. I was taught what it took to make a quilt. Aunt Marie was born in 1905, learned to quilt at eight, so everything part of making the quilt was done by hand. Lamentably, I didn't learn to quilt from her. However I always felt a part of quilting because of her.

A Quilt I Made for Noel Heart in 1979
I made "quilts" when I was in college and when I had babies. They were single fabric front and back and tied. My first real quilt rolled around when I had my first grandchild. Four years later, Nancy Drew got married and I started on a wedding quilt for her. It took me two years to make and it arrived on her doorstep on her first anniversary.

In August 2005, Nancy Drew and SWH became engaged to be married March 10, 2007. Of course I planned to make them a wedding quilt...but what timing! I was working on Nancy Drew's Christmas present: the Kimono quilt and then when it was finished it was three months to their wedding.

I had a time finding a quilt pattern, as Andrea does not like flower fabric or overtly feminine fabrics. I chose a beautiful quilt from an Australian Quilting Magazine and chose the fabrics with as little flowers and emphasis on green, yellow and cream colors.

While I visited Nancy Drew and future SWH in Germany during the summer of 2006, we happened to find one quilt store. I paid attention to what fabrics Andrea liked. I realized my first choice wasn't going to do it. I decided to do a quilt with Amish colors because I felt it would fit with Andrea's taste.

I found a pretty block on Quilter's Cache called Amish Star. It is a variation on a Sawtooth Star. Unwittingly I had chosen a time intensive block for a beginner. In fact I have avoided quilts with flying geese or half square triangles until just the past year!

I worked fiendishly through the Fall and into the Winter until I realized it wouldn't be done in time for their wedding. Nancy Drew, who had seen the first few blocks at Christmas, was understanding.

During Spring Break 2007, I spent every single day sewing blocks and got all the 72 blocks finished. I also got burnt out and it lay around until the end of summer. I got it together and a local FMQ quilter and friend quilted it. She did a wonderful job quilting it loosely and with curving pattern as I had asked.

I finished the binding at the end of February 2008 with time to show it to my guild on the March 5th meeting. Right before I packaged it for mailing, I realized I had no pictures of it. Being made for a California King bed, it was indeed substantial.

I decided to lay it out on the lawn and take a picture of it by standing on a ladder. On the right you can see the sheets I laid down to protect the quilt from the grass. If you peer closely you can see the cat-helper Daytona.

Once I shooed Daytona off the sheets, I laid the quilt down. Daytona immediately saw that I needed her immeasurable help and quickly came. Daytona to the rescue!

As I started to put the binding on, I had noticed one defective star. (Manufacturer's fault). It was the corner block. Now that the quilt was quilted, finished and bound it was a done deal. But not for enterprising me. I embroidered the block to look like a house. Put in some flowers, some curtains and embroidered on the roof: House of Bleak (pronounced like the ea in steak) and their wedding date. SWH refers to his daughter as a princess from the House of Bleak. Worked well for me.

Left to right: Redesigned star to house block, House block zoom out, close-up of an anonymous block and quilt detail.

42 Stars Statistics
Started: November 2006
Finished: March 2008
Size: 122" x 98" (King)
Pieced by myself
Quilted by JP


  1. What a great fix for a really nice quilt! I dont think it looks like it was anything but intentional and planned. I so love the old hand made quilts. My grandmother had one HER MOM made out of any scraps she could find. It has aged quite a bit and isnt nearly as vibrant as it was when I was kid, but I can remember searching through it for the one little section that had a tiny cowboy on it. :)


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