Next quilts

In honor of the Men Quilt, Too show, I've been going back through my old quilts. I'm surprised by how well I did for such a new quilter. Lots of color mistakes and use of way too much solid drab. But, some fun stuff in there as well.

In 2003, I was still making large hand quilted quilts. The colors in this quilt are kind of "off" and it makes it hard to do anything with. The golden tan is just a bit to drab and the blue a bit to bright to go with the olive and deep red. And, why did I throw in the black? It's quilted very densely with leaves and wreaths and feathers; all by hand. But, you can't see a bit of it because the quilt is so busy. What an opportunity missed to quilt straight lines and be done fast. Now, I've learned to let the quilting fit the top. No fun in beautiful work that's invisible.

And, then I made a quilt for Rob's Mom. I had been working on applique blocks, off and on for a while, so I took a few of the best ones and made a quilt for her. She got it in the heavy winter months. This quilt just lays so flat to the eye. The applique is very nice and bright and colorful, but the background is solids. I don't know what inspired me to do that, but I never liked the quilt because of it (although I will confess surprise this morning when I saw the pictures again after a few years).

Flowers, inspired by my garden. Many, I took pictures and then made a pattern by tracing the photo. Others were from quilt patterns I have.

And, then I tried making a quilt specifically designed and color matched for a room...from a picture. No pattern. It came out very nicely, but I learned a very useful lesson. Buy the best fabric you can afford. And, I don't mean the most expensive, I mean the best; weight, feel, print. I used an inexpensive muslin in this quilt and it didn't stand up to the cats for a single year. I need to replace pieces.

Fortunately, I did quilt this one in lots of straight lines. I started at the center and quilted ever larger rectangles until I'd quilted the whole quilt. Then, I did my curvy work in the borders. I had learned at least that lesson.

And, now we draw to the close of my hand quilted huge quilts. This quilt is a game. Old Maid's puzzle. Every block has a mate except one. You have to match the blocks and whatever is left over, is the old maid. I'll cheat and tell you that the leftover block is the old maid's puzzle pattern. But, even with that, people have trouble finding the block.

This is my long term UFO. It's about 3/4 quilted in huge stitches. One day. One day I'll pull it down, but my skills have changed so, in the six years since I left this one, that I don't know that I can ever really pick it back up again.

That brings us to fall 2005 and that's when things changed. I found my mentor and I bought a good machine and my quilting adventure took off. More on that tomorrow.


In news of this year, I finished the September Linus quilt this weekend. Still one weekend late. This weekend, I should have been cutting the October Linus quilt. Oh, well. My one consolation is that I cheated for December and bound a piece of fleece and it's already done, so if I don't get much further behind, I can still make 12 by years end.

Everybody have a great Monday. Work, work, work. That's it for me. Maybe I'll take a day off at the end of week. My boss is off, so would be a great time to be out of office.

This week is last volleyball game. Season ends. Leaves are changing, cooler temps. But, still no rain.



lw said...

I'm enjoying the Men Quilt, Too show-- and I like this personal show. I gave all of my early "mistake" quilts away-- I'd be showing quilts to someone and they'd like it and off it went. Now, when I look at them again when I visit their homes, I think, why was I so hard on myself?

Michelle said...

I love absolutely everything about the first quilt in this post. Those are my colors!

Anonymous said...

I really love handquilted quilts-you have been looking at them too long and finding fault.They are really very pretty and you need to stop not being proud of them. We all change and grow as we develop skills in any type of sewing just comes with experience and we get way too hard on every little thing that 95% of the world would never see even if you explained what is wrong. Not that many people are quilters or even sew and would love any of those wonderful quilts so get past the nit picking and know they are greataccomplishments.Trust me on this I tend to put every stitch under the imaginary magnifying glass until I start inspecting rtw and see all sorts of things lots worse than what I might be picking out and I wouldn't even have noticed it had I not inspected the garment. Love the quilts-thanks for showing them. mssewcrazy

Elizabeth said...

Lane! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love the Old Maid's quilt and one of my own just went on my list. I think I figured out which one is the Old Maid square. 2nd row, third from the right?

I know there is history in the hand quilting, but you could pull it all out and machine quilt. Just a suggestion.

xo -E