Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The First Quilt I Started

About 23 years ago I took a class at a local fabric shop, which is no longer in business, to make a lap quilt. The teacher used Georgia Bonesteel's book, Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel, and gave us patterns to make the various designs from. I chose 4 bright calico prints and before the class was over I had 19 blocks in various stages of completion - some were quilted and ready to assemble into the quilt, others were pieced with the borders and the cornerstones, others were pieced but no borders -- you get the idea. If we learned how to actually assemble them I did not remember that part.

Fast forward to 2007. I have now been quilting again for about 2 1/2 years, but had not taken out the calico blocks to do anything with them. I had looked at them various times, but couldn't decide what I wanted to do with them, until last week. Our Senior Center group is doing a sampler quilt to hang at the Center, and I thought the quilt-as-you-go method would be a good way to get the individual blocks quilted and assembled. Only problem was - I didn't know how to assemble them. So, I read Georgia Bonesteel's book, which I had bought in the meantime, and studied the handout that one of our guild members had distributed when she gave a workshop on assembling a QAYG quilt. Then I made a sample using the handout, which puts a narrow sashing in between each block, and put two of my calico blocks together as an example of another way of assembling them. Of course, in order to do that I had to decide what I really wanted to do with those 19 blocks, etc. After a few hours of playing around with arrangements I came up with what you see here - 12 blocks which have at least been pieced - and with lots of moving around of pieces, I came up with an arrangement that has one each of the four colors in each 4-patch at the corners of the blocks.
top half of the calico quilt
bottom half of the calico quilt
As I work with these blocks I have started liking the quilt more, even though it still does not "go" with anything in our house, it will be a nice quilt to have for the TV room -- and it has a history to it as well. The woman who taught the class was our youngest daughter's nursery school teacher, her husband was my boss at that time at the university library, she and I and her husband all went to the same college in TN (though we did not know each other then), and it turned out that she and my younger sister with Big Sister/Little Sister in their college sorority -- so we had a few ties. She and her husband no longer live here - when they moved away my husband took her husband's job - but we have seen them occasionally at library meetings. I will definitely have to send her a picture of the quilt when I do finish it! So now, thanks to my Senior Center group, this quilt has moved way up on the list of WIPs that I want to work on finishing. Of course this is not the only project that is calling me this month, but it is on the "short list."

Here are the first 2 blocks sewn together - calico lap quilt - first 2 blocks sewn together


jillquilts said...

The quilting looks wonderful! The colors are great! I am glad that you are trying to get it finished now and what a good story to tell about the quilt!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I really love the bright colors in the quilt. Bright is not my normal color palet. It's very graphic. You do all hand quilting, don't you? - aside from the t-shirt quilt you sent out. I think the two you have together look really good, and the quilting is great. Rhoda

Jen said...

You did a great job in picking those fabrics because they don't look dated at all!! You must have taken a class similiar to the one my mom too. She's god an unfinished hand quilting quilt in her stash too. And I'm pretty sure it's put together in the same manner yours is because we sat staring at it one day to try to figure out how to get the rest of it together!

Rose Marie said...

Love the colours and the blocks. I seriously have to look at this method more as I continue to make huge quilts.