A Quilt to Comfort a Friend

I made this quilt for a friend who suffered a terrible accident, and then I wasn’t sure she would even like it, so I’ve never given it to her. I hope one day to be able to; it’s one of my favorite quilts.

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Alaskan Heritage

Why do we stash fabrics away, sometimes for years? I’ve been collecting Alaskan fabrics forever, some of them from Alaskan trips, some from the Pacific Northwest. Alaska, where I was born, where I lived as a child, is part of who I am. Among friends, I sometimes refer to myself as Alaska girl.

So one wonderful day, inspired by the totem fabric which I had considered too awful to use, I knew what to do, how to do it, and I was excited! Inspired! The fabrics chose themselves – stars from the dark cold winter skies, bear, seashells, evergreens, gold (Alaskans were really into gold, especially nuggets. We could pan for gold in our own back yards, in our creeks. A Rie Munoz print called Blanket Toss, an old Alaska Native American tradition. The coming of statehood to Alaska – fireworks! Salmon! Eagles! The Northern Lights!

A lot of snowy whites, even a little yellow snow, LOL. Whitecap whites. Glacier whites. Foggy whites. Snowflake whites. Can you tell how much fun I had working on this quilt, and how easily it came together? This is one of the last quilts I showed at a quilter’s meeting; one of the rare ones we held in 2021 when we thought COVID might be abating.

And then A Quilt For Naomi’s Bubble Teacher

We were all trying to be so careful during COVID. When the schools went remote, our family hired a teacher who didn’t want the exposure of the classroom to teach a small bubble of children in a large home classroom. It was a great arrangement – the kids all loved the teacher, got enough socializing while also getting a lot of individual attention, got their work done – and then, horror of horrors, the teacher came down with COVID. As these things go, you can be as careful as can be, and you never know where it comes from.

The teacher had loved the quilt I made for Naomi, and asked if she could pay me to make one for her. I told her no. I never make a quilt on commission, quilts are so personal, and she could tell me exactly what she might want and be horrified by what might be the result. I told her to tell me the colors she likes the best, and I would make a quilt for her, for her efforts and her time with our bubble, because she was a genuinely devoted teacher to our bubble.

She told me she loved greens and golds, all the colors of the forest. She particularly wanted the close quilting she had seen on Naomi’s quilt. I knew just the pattern, and I had a great collection of greens, one of my own favorite colors.

When I make a wacky star quilt, I always make way more blocks than I need, so I can choose the blocks for the first quilt, and use the rest for other quilts.

She loved the quilt. And when I started working with the leftover blocks, I discovered I had enough for another larger quilt, one I actually liked even better. I gave it to my good friend, who has a son who loves it and pulls it out all the time to cuddle in it. I know, because one of the things I love about her is that she takes photos and sends them to me.

Breathes there a quilter with soul so shriveled that she/he doesn’t tingle with joy when she sees a quilt made with love being used with love?

Same fabrics, totally different looks, and two very happy friends. As a quilter, I live for this to happen 😘😊😁❀️⭐️✨.

A Quilt for Naomi’s Teacher

Naomi loved her quilt. She loved it so much she asked me to make a quilt for her teacher, whom she adored, and I had a collection of fabrics I wanted to use doing a kind of rainbow transition in a Sunshine and Shadows format. I loved the look of the quilt – it captures what I see as complicated emotions – and it’s all entirely half square triangles, placed to accomplish the transition I was looking for. This is a 2020 quilt; I’m just way behind in posting πŸ™‚

A Quilt for Naomi

My little 7 Β year old granddaughter wants to sew. Together we designed a simple quilt she could start with, and then she lost interest.

She wanted a rainbow quilt, and she has a birthday coming up. I have finished unpacking the last box, hanging pictures, arranging the furniture, and my hands are itching to quilt.

I find the lushest rainbow fabrics I can find, and cut them into simple 8.5 inch squares. My friend from Wales said “Oh! they look Indian!” and when I looked again, I could see what she meant, there is a sort of curry flavor to the choices. I’ve been influenced by my friends from half way across the world and I am not even aware of how much I have been influenced.

I had a lot of fun with the quilting, doing sand dunes in the orange, fireworks in the red, daisies in the green, sunbursts in the gold, waves in the blue and stars and initials in the purple πŸ™‚

And then, I added six rainbow pillows to make her new bedroom (they bought a new house with more room and we bought back the house we had sold to them) lush and welcoming.

 

Today, she turns seven. I hope she loves her rainbow. (The far left pillow is red, a deep saturated red, so I don’t know why it looks orange in this photo!)

Maskmaker, Maskmaker, Continuing to Roll with the Punches

Shortly after piecing the two pandemic tops, my Mom, age 96 asked me to make her some masks to wear when she went to doctors appointments. I started right away. It was fiddly, but I figured out what worked for me. And I found I loved mask making.

The first three I did, I sent to my Mom.

Unfortunately, before they arrived, she fell ill with the COVID virus, and succumbed.

I’ve made about 300 masks so far, trying to entice some of the mask-resisters in our community to adopt this protective covering. I give them all away.

A week after my mother died, we found a new house. I had been wanting to downsize, and this was a perfect opportunity, and a house I loved. I had owned it once before and bought it again. I can see the bayou, and watch the sunlight change throughout the day. My husband loves the new yard, and is already enjoying the challenges of a new landscape. The move seriously cut into my quilting time πŸ™‚

My new quilting room, much smaller – I had to give away a lot of my fabric collection, and some of the rest I am using for masks.

 

 

View from my sewing table πŸ™‚

It’s such a strange year, filled with isolation and loss, and also challenge and having a place to live that I love.

Rolling With Life Changes

On March 13th I came home from swimming at the Y and told my husband we needed to shelter in place. He had been fighting a cold for weeks, and he surprised me, he didn’t argue, he went right to bed and slept for two days. I think it was a relief for him to stop pretending he wasn’t sick and to rest, and let his body heal itself. He even took a hot bath.

I started cutting out quarantine/ sequestration quilts. I had wanted to try something with a more modern feel, so I did two, not that complicated, all half square triangles.

The first is called Corona Pandemic. It spreads.

The second is called Corona Vaccine. It is targeted, and, God willing it will be developed soon, and will work.

One More Just For Fun

 

This was easy and fun. One day, a friend and I wandered through the really cheap fabric souks in Doha, and there discovered these panels, many different kinds, for the equivalent of around $3/each. They are Indonesian, highly patterned and colorful, tightly woven. I’ve used several as backings for larger quilts. Really nice quality. Each panel is about 6 feet by 4.5 feet. All I had to do was to sandwich and quilt. I love the dragons, and I have set this quilt aside because I know that the right occasion will come along when this quilt (finished!) will be just the right gift.

Christmas Inspiration

We are just back from a long gratifying trip, and I have a million things to do. Of course, this is when inspiration will strike.

I have learned that when inspiration strikes, you have to go with it. If you fight it, you will miss a grand opportunity. If you ignore it, inspiration moves on, and doesn’t come on as strong when you’re hoping for it.

I was studying for a class I mentor, and found I had to work out the pattern. It was fairly quick; doing the math for the pieces was a little more challenging.

I did the quilt in sections. An hour here for the gathering the fabrics. An hour another time for cutting the center squares. Grab an hour after lunch, before the grandchildren arrive, and stitch those center squares together. Of course, I have a hidden agenda; I want my little 6 year old granddaughter to see how work progresses.

All I have left to do is to stitch down the binding. I love the fabrics, I love the drama, and I love having a new Christmas quilt to hang in our large hallway.

Charity Quilts 2019

I had an obligation to provide some quilts for our small group charity, and I wanted to finish up some of my fabric stash. What came of it is fairly unimaginative. I loved putting the colors together, and the blocks went together quickly. The quilting was easy, and great practice.

As I look at the quilts, I am bored, and I know they reflect the joylessness of doing something you should do for love, but you’re doing it for duty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are all approximately 40″ by 56″- big enough to snuggle under while reading.