Posted in quilting

SAHRR 2023: Start with a Found Object

Last May I was engaged in the task of clearing out my mother’s sewing room. It was a sad but wondrous one. Almost forty years of accumulated objects, tools, machines and materials were stashed in every closet and corner of a tiny room. These included dozens of unfinished objects which were hidden in other rooms. In one closet I found draped over a hanger, rows of scrappy blocks – about sixty of them. She must have worked on this quilt over a period of years. It seemed very close to completion, so I brought it home with the idea of finishing it.

As I spread out all of the rows and loose blocks, I noticed that many blocks were not squared up. Some blocks were bigger than others. Some rows looked fine, others much shorter. (??.) Stymied by this discovery, I put the quilt away.

Now it is January and time for another Stay at Home Round Robin project. Led by Quilting Gail, this game is played by starting with a block, and then adding rows to it as clues (suggestions) are revealed weekly. I decided to get the scrappy blocks out and do something with them.

I disassembled some rows and organized the blocks by size and value. After a bit of pondering, I concluded that supporting fabrics for this quilt needed to be neutral solids. Purchasing a range of grays, I added a bright yellow batik print from my stash.

My plan is to create a value gradation starting from the center and working outward. The bright yellow will serve as a unifying sparkle for the design. Getting started, I chose four blocks that contained mostly pale colors.

To unify these four, I removed one corner from each, sewed on a triangle of yellow and assembled the blocks into a square.

My finished block will measure 15 inches. It is positioned on point to emphasize the many triangles that seem to catch the eye.

Now let’s hope the SAHHR team doesn’t throw me any CURVES!

To learn more about Stay at Home Round Robin 2023 and to play along, here is your link.

Posted in quilting

Dear Mom

Good morning, Mom. I hope you are well.

Today I’m writing to let you know how much I am enjoying the materials and tools I collected from your sewing room in May. You were so generous to let us kids have whatever we wanted.

It’s interesting to see how just a few tools have made my work so much easier. Let’s start with your big purple Martinelli self-healing mat. I can cut whole yardage into strips with ease and accuracy using this mat. Another thing I am grateful for is the tabletop wool pressing pad. I recently used both of these tools to cut, sew,press and square-up a whole bunch of half-square triangles.

Let me tell you about a few projects where I used some fabric from your stash.

I found about a quarter yard of striped cotton with black warp threads. It turned out to be just right as a binding for my Shell Lake Story quilt.

I worked the free-motion quilting on this piece wearing a pair of your quilting gloves. They fit me perfectly. Looking down at my hands I imagined how your energy, which these gloves retained, radiated back to me. I felt loved and powerful.

My next project is a baby quilt for Jasmine and Stephen’s son, expected in August. I’m certain that, if you were able, you would be working on a quilt for this baby already. In your stash was a crib-sized batt still in its package and a yard of buff color solid quilting cotton – very high-quality stuff. (I know it was a yard because you had measured and labelled it so!) It is just enough for a baby quilt background.

After speaking with Stephen’s mom, Debbie, I learned that the couple had chosen teddy bears for the nursery room theme with a color palette of blues and neutrals. Using the buff and several stash fabrics, I put together a quilt top from a pattern called Elena. It features a nine-patch block with two corners of half-square triangles.

With a backing in tumbling teddy bear fabric that I bought on the Internet, this quilt is a dream to make. The top is almost done.

Well, that’s about all I have to share today. Take care of yourself and give my love to dad and the siblings.

Love, Laura