Sunday, October 18, 2009


Finally finished! This is Playtime, that I gave a sneak peek of way back in Sept. I got the binding all sewn down mere hours before I broke my arm, and it was in the quilt show last weekend.

Playtime 47" x 60"

Here's the overall shot. Sorry that the colors are weird - it was rainy and gloomy when I took the picture. I tried to adjust the colors, but it didn't help much. The colors in the photo at the top of the post are more true-to-life.

These blocks are 6" and the little circles in the border are about 1 3/4". I did them raw-edge applique. The border was inspired by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran's Serpentine border in their Collaborative Quilting (#1) book.

Here you can see the wonderful quilting in the border that my long-armer Shari did. I really like the pattern she used in the main body of the quilt, but the border is just stunning. I love it.

On the back of the quilt.

I'm finally starting to feel some better. I'm now off the drugs and starting to feel more like myself. The arm is still painful/uncomfortable sometimes, but getting less so. I'm able to (carefully) use it a little more and spend most of the day without the sling now. (I'm trying to keep that shoulder loose.) I go see the orthopedist again tomorrow.

A close-up of the corner quilting.

I'm still not able to do lots and am still being waited on by DH. But I did 3 (easy) loads of laundry yesterday and even swept the floor a little. I'm pretty awkward and frustrated, but I can see progress. I even got into the quilt studio and did a little sewing - making some crumb blocks. I even tried a little rotary cutting - nothing precise, and pretty gingerly. I can't hold the ruler with much pressure from my left arm, so am being very careful with that tool. I sure don't need any more wounds!

Here is my pieced back, Belinda! I started cutting up my small stash of 30's repros into 10.5" squares for the backside of the quilt, but got tired of how slowly it was going. I also used up some extra blocks. You can see a little bit (on the left side of the picture) of my label. I typed it on the computer, printed it out on Printed Treasures fabric, and then pieced it into the quilt back. (I got this tip from Carrie over at La Vie En Rosie blog. I can't find the exact link right now.)

Here's the overall shot of the back. This clearly shows that I ran out of steam on those 10.5" squares! Again, bad lighting - I apologize for that.

Well, I think I'll go back into the quilt studio and do more one-armed playing!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Treasure

view from the foot of the bed

When we visited with my sister a couple of weeks ago, I got to get re-acquainted with this old beauty (old being a relative term, of course - I don't want to imply that my sister is old or anything!) This is an "Improved 9-Patch" quilt that my Aunt Eleanor made as a high school graduation gift for my sister. DH and I actually got to sleep under this!

view from side 1

Back when my sister received this quilt, we thought it was pretty ugly. Ungrateful wretches that we were. None of us liked orange and we didn't appreciate this at all. I remember we kind of wadded it up and threw it in the bottom of the closet, hoping the orange would disappear or something. I don't think it saw the light of day for a long time.

We did have some old family quilts. I'm now embarassed to admit that we used them for mattress pads or for a picnic blanket - that sort of thing. My mom grew up with utility quilts - they were made to be used. And we didn't think anything of it.

After my first quilting class, when the teacher showed armloads of old and antique quilts, we learned differently. Now those same quilts that were mattress pads are treated with reverance.

But we still didn't like this one. It was still orange.

view from side 2

My sister is a quilter too. And she pulled this out and looked at it with new eyes recently. She decided that it was time for this to be appreciated. Aunt Eleanor is in her 90's now and struggling with the challenges of the elderly. My sister has been corresponding with Aunt Eleanor for some time. So it's time (past time, honestly) to honor her and her work by using this quilt.

This is definitely a collection of 1960's fabrics. Possibly some 1950's too. All cottons or cotton blends, as far as I could tell.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but it's hand-quilted with orange thread.

Some of these fabrics are a hoot.

I love how those "improved" wedges are pretty wonky and don't quite meet at the corners.

I've become much more accepting of orange than I used to be, but I still think it would have been a prettier quilt with something other than orange. But that's just me, I guess.

I'm really glad that my sister decided the time has come for this quilt to be loved.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My Quilt Back & Another Update

Belinda over at Brown Dirt Cottage, has asked to see our backsides - our quilt backs! She also asked if we piece our backs. My answer is Yes! I almost always have at least some piecing on a quilt back. Sometimes I'm using up leftover fabrics from the front of the quilt, and sometimes using up some stash fabrics. I usually try to have some kind of connection between the back and the front of the quilt.

Above is the back of my "Crazy For Cherries" quilt. I've shown this quilt before, but I thought it was a good example of a pieced back, so am showing it again. This one used up some of the leftovers from the front and also used up some fabrics I bought with the idea of making a cherry quilt, but didn't use for this one. This quilt back is probably the most piecing I've ever done for a backing. It sure took a long time to do - it was a giant puzzle. But it's also one of my favorites. I think this is really a 2-sided quilt. (Oh, and that wierd thing at the bottom left of the photo is a kitty tail and shadow - it's kinda hard to tell what that is!)

Here is a photo of the front of "Crazy For Cherries".

Added: You can see more of my quilt back art by going to the 'Labels' list on the side bar. I've added the label 'quilt back art' to some of my posts that show quilt backs.

I want to thank everone for their kind thoughts and healing wishes. I'm feeling much better now. Normally I would answer everyone's comments, but typing is long and kind of tough to do one-handed! (Also, please excuse any typos. Not sure I'm seeing all of them.) All of those good thoughts seem to be helping! Thank you all so much!

I'd love to say that I was doing something fun and exotic when I broke my arm, like hang-gliding or roller-blading, but no. I was taking out the trash, in the dark, after a long day doing a pottery sale. I tripped over a little rise in the concrete while trying to open the giant RV gate. Splat! I won't be taking out the trash in the dark anymore. By the time we got home from the ER, we had been up about 22 hours. We're getting too old to be keeping those kind of hours anymore, I'm afraid.

I'm able to use my broken left arm some - and, yes, I'm right-handed. Thank goodness! I've never broken my arm before, so I have no idea of how this will go. If things keep up this well, I may be able to do some sewing. But no more string blocks!! Please. I'm really tired of them. I don't know if I'll be capable of rotary cutting. Maybe working on some pre-cut squares or some crumb blocks. I'm sure you'll be hearing about it!

I just hope my sweet DH holds up. He's a great cook, so we sure won't starve. He's pretty tired right now, trying to do it all. I hope that once I can get off the pain meds I can do more. But right now I'm enjoying being waited on a little!