Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rainbow Around the World and Other Stuff


I'm pretty excited and proud about my First Big Finished Quilt. It's double sized and it's for my baby brother (who is 30 ha ha ha) and it's his Christmas present.
Here's some pics of the my journey making my first real patterned quilt, "Around the World".
 I found some jellyrolls on sale and KNEW I had to make something with them. I worked and tried to concentrate hard on the pattern but if you look carefully you can see where I mixed up a row...strip pieced and machine sewed; and I stitched in the ditch the around the world pattern and then stippled the borders.
At the start....

I really like the hot pink thread on the red border. And the black fabric for the wide edge had a neat grey pattern that really looked neat with the black on black stippling.

I was so excited to finish it though I nearly gave it to him yesterday.

At the basting and backing stage


I feel I should explain......

Many of my friends were freaked out when they found out I've been quilting. They look at me askance and call me grandma....and I'm enduring teasing beyond belief via email. The young girls I work with can't even begin to comment or identify so they largely ignore my enthusiastic descriptions of my new found love of quilting.

I could care less! This quilting thing is GREAT!!!!!
I've always admired beautifully crafted quilts. In fact Mom made one when I was little for my middle brother and we loved that thing beyond anything, until it was tatters. I don't know where it went, and Mom can't remember, either. But when we go through the family albums, in several old photos, there it is. Wrapped around us, under us, over us, used as a tent, or blankie, or all sorts of things we played at.
And when we were kids, Mom made our clothes too, even up to a highschooler she would make me some thigns (although at that point she let me choose my own fabric!) and Mom is a fabulous knitter. Of course she's slowed down a lot, her arthritis makes it hard for her to do that these days.
But that woman can KNIT like you wouldn't beleive.
And me, I turned up my nose for years. Couldn't be bothered. Had other things to know. Teenagers. Ha.

It wasn't until the last ten years or so that I started knitting; the lady we would stay with when in FL on tour was a HUGE handicrafter. She knew my mother knitted and sewed, and knew I sewed. I didn't sew well, it was mostly all self taught, and the library books were helpful. But I was a  complete beginner.( For the show I was in I made all the costumes; Renaissance ish style ones) and couldn't BELIEVE I didn't knit. SO....I learned. At first because she sat me down at the table and wouldn't let me get up until I could cast on and knit 10 rows...laugh. Terrifying.

Then because I really dug watching something take form outta nothing. It was a trip. Kinda like sewing, but so, I don't know...Old-timey and feel-goody. And I felt ACCOMPLISHED. My first scarf I completed was of course: I gave it to my Dad. HA HA HA. Here ya go Dad. Enjoy.
And of course it was bright turquoise and I had embroidered with knitting DAD in giant brown letters. ( The colours were an homage to my father and the days of him picking me up after high school dances wearing bright turquoise shirts with turquoise socks to match and brown sandals. And oh yes. The socks....the socks. Pulled up over his glaringly white chicken legs up to his knobby knees. The horror.)

ANYWAY. Betty also sewed; she was fantastic and was learning to quilt in her towns tiny quilt shop with a group of ladies. I went with her one day to the shop and nearly fell over at the bright store. It was beautiful. I salivated. I wanted to laugh and sing and cry with joy! The colours were bright! And juicy! And I wanted to grab them all and rub my face in them and roll around like a cat in a catnip patch. I felt them and pored over all these wonderful fabrics.....
Needless to say, I had never been in such a glorious store.
The fabric shops I had been in previously were more utilitarian,  smelly, kinda like garage bins of old cloth you go through at a yard sale. Dust bunnies on the floor, unhelpful staff in black pants, pince-nez glasses, measuring tapes around their necks and giant dress shears in their hands. All named Maria and very unhelpful> did I mention that?? They would watch you go through and select your fabrics and sniff when you brought them to be cut...tersely asking, "What you making?" and when I would describe the project, sniff again as if to say, You're making THAT? Good luck kid.

But this New Wonderful Place was NOTHING like the previous shops I had been in. That shall remain nameless  and since I still have to shop there occasionally shall remain so. :)

I had discovered my as yet unknown love of quilting, and all things fabric-y.