Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gees Marimekko

I am so glad to have this quilt finished. It was the bane of my existence for a while because it was too hot and cumbersome to spend very much time under it while I quilted it. I call it Gees Marimekko because it was inspired by the Gees Bend quilts. I wanted to try to make one which looked kind of like theirs, and then I remembered the Marimekko fabrics I had. Crate and Barrell use Marimekko fabrics for decoration of their stores and they also sell yardage as does Ikea - but it is rather pricy. For a while the Crate and Barrell outlet in North Georgia sold remnants of Marimekko fabric for $0.39 per pound! So whenever I was in the area, I bought a bunch of the stuff.
I hadn't been able to use any of it really, since it is much heavier than quilting fabrics and doesn't go well in combination with them. And I didn't have a lot of any one of the fabrics. But they were perfect for this project. I just pieced a bunch of the remnants (most of which turned out to be approximately the same size) in no particular pattern or order for the front and the back. In fact, I don't think this quilt has a back or a front. Both sides are about the same, just different combination of fabrics. I hand quilted it with perle cotton using lots of different colors. I thought the big hand quilted stitches would be most in keeping with the Gees Bend look.

Since I didn't have any Marimekko zebra fabric, I appliqued on this zebra I had from somewhere. The front on one side and the back on the other. The finished quilt measures 85" x 101" and is plenty big enough to go on top of the other quilt on our bed to help us stay warm during the winter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Odds and Ends

I didn't get around to doing much quilting during December, but I did finish an item which has long been on my to do list. While visiting a fancy hotel in Philadelphia last year, I kind of fell in love with the bed cover. I decided to replicate it and bought two large pieces of upholstry fabric, sewed them together right sides facing and turned it outside in, and that's it. No quilting. It falls nicely and is pretty to me, but I have no idea what I will do with it.
I saw a pattern for gift card envelopes somewhere and as two of our presents this Christmas were indeed gift cards, I decided to jazz them up a bit by making these very easy but cute little envelopes for them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Charity Quilts II

It didn't take me too long after moving to Kentucky before I met some quilters. The first one is a volunteer at the Humane Society - where my sister-in-law worked and now volunteers. I met Bev at a party for Sallie where the Shelter presented her with a wall quilt.

Bev invited me to visit her quilt guild and I have been going regularly. One of the members there collects quilts for children in need. It is part of "The Backpack Program." Backpacks with various useful items, a toy, and a quilt are made and given to the State Police who in turn give them to children whom they have to remove from Meth Lab homes.

I made these two tops for the project one day where quilters gathered for this project, and hope to continue to contribute to it. Fortunately, some of the participants are more than happy to do the quilting, so I have committed only to doing tops.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where is Simrill?

This quilt was inspired by two friends from my Atlanta guild. I was inspired by Mary Lou to use the drunkard's path pattern. She made a scrappy one with the squares set like this, for her son some years ago, which I loved. I thought I'd like to make one like hers - and might still do that - but then decided to use the pattern for my black and white fabrics. In 2007, Marva had a quilted wall hanging in the East Cobb show. It was black and white with a thin bright green border. It was stunning and very striking. I was going to use a color other than green, but just couldn't find one which made me happy.
Some years ago, I saw a suggestion to use the pattern from the front for the back, just in a bigger format, for an interesting backing. I didn't do any measuring, and the four large blocks I made - with help from Casey - were not big enough.

When picking fabrics from my stash, I sometimes feel that a fabric is "too nice" for the quilt and want to save it for something else. Of course, it makes no sense but it happened when I was making this quilt and I didn't want to use some of the nice black and white fabrics I had left for the back! Thus the use of colored fabrics to set the squares and border them. While I think what I did was silly, I really like this back and think it makes for a very nice two sided quilt.
The quilt got its unusual name because Simrill happened to wear clothes of exactly the same colors as the quilt when I was working on it at quilt camp. When she stood in front of the quilt, she blended in.

The quilt is 72" x 84" and was machine quilted by Regina Carter. For now it is on the guest bed in my office so I get to see and enjoy it every day. If I can train Jesse to stay off the bed and instead use the very nice space I have created for him next to it, I hope to keep it on the bed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Excotic Honeymoon

I made this quilt - which, of course, was machine quilted by Regina Carter - as a wedding present for a colleague, Lauren Sudeall, and Michael Lucas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wedding Quilt for Denise and Kenneth

Kenneth is manager of Bright Farms. He has worked on the farm for about 25 years, starting part time while still in high school. As Bob, Steve's father, began to get sicker and less able to work, Kenneth took over more and more of the work and eventually became the farm manager. He is a wonderful, warm and giving person - who can do EVERYTHING. In addition to running the farm, he does minor and major repair work for everybody on the farm and many others as well.

Denise has been doing domestic work for Steve's parents and his sisters for many years. When Steve's father was sick, she was at their house almost every day helping out with general cleaning and cooking and taking care of him. She was one of the few people Muti trusted to take care of Bob and with whom he felt totally comfortable. She too is a very generous and caring person without whom Muti would've had a hard time making it through those last difficult years.

Denise and Kenneth were both divorced when they started becoming friends as they saw and interacted with each other on the farm and eventually they fell in love. They were like teenagers, very much in love, happy, and excited. It felt like such a right and happy thing when they got married in October, 2008. I gave them this quilt for a wedding present.

I don't feel totally comfortable saying that I made this quilt, because so much of the work put into it was done by others. The individual butterfly blocks were given to me by Hilary Ford. She doesn't know who made them and does not remember where she got them. Each one is hand appliqued. All I did was pick the sashing and border fabrics, put the blocks together and put on the binding after it was quilted beautifully by Regina Carter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Emma's Big Girl Quilt

For Emma's Big Girl quilt, I knew I had to use pink. So I used a variety of pinks for the alternate squares and animal fabrics for the others. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if Emma's favorite part is the backing which is pink and covered with Disney princesses.

Regina Carter did the machine quilting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blue and Yellow II

I collected the fabrics in this quilt after Pat and Maggie brought me two lovely fabrics with blue and yellow print from West Africa several years ago. I made this quilt, which was machine quilted by Regina Carter, using a pattern from Maple Island patterns, called "Yikes", and gave it to my Moster (Danish for and aunt who is your "mother's sister").

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sock Monkeys II

While we were vacationing in Europe in August, Sarah gave birth to our great nephew, Lucas James Akers - AKA Luke. When we got home, I gave him this little quilt made of sock monkey fabrics. It was machine quilted by Regina Carter.

And for Christmas I gave Luke a real sock monkey to go with the quilt.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yonas' Big Boy Quilt

In July, Yonas turned five years old. Even though he is not my nephew but rather my first cousin once removed, I have always felt as if both he and his brother almost are my nephews. So I made him a Big Boy (Girl) quilt as I have done for my "real" nephews and nieces.

I had truck, tractor, airplane etc. fabrics left over from Henri's quilt, and being a boy, I figured Yonas would like them. I set the novelty prints with African fabrics in honor of Yonas' country of birth: Ethiopia. On the back I put a large piece of African fabric brought to me by my brother-in-law from Uganda years ago. Regina Carter did the machine quilting.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Baby Genius for Baby Rap

I made this baby quilt - using primarily Baby Genius fabrics - for the son of my dear friends Rap and Illy. The quilt was machine quilted by Regina Carter.
Lucas Askia Rapping was born in June 2008, and as you can see, he is an adorable future activist.

Pink Jungle

Lucas has a wonderful older sister. I didn't know her when she was a baby, but didn't want her to feel left out, so I made a quilt for her as well when her brother was born. Surprisingly, Aaliyah loves pink, so the neon jungle fabrics I had came in handy.
Here is a picture of Aaliyah at her brother's baby shower.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Under-water Windows

I was very fortunate for 25 years while living in Atlanta to have an absolutely super doctor, Maggie Mermin. She saw me through recovery from and all the subsequent after-effects of brain surgery and many other much lesser ailments and crises. She is not only an excellent doctor, but also a kind, caring and warm person who was most generous to me in many ways and who I trusted completely.

When leaving Atlanta, I gave her this wall hanging, a Laurel Burch panel which I chopped up and sewed back together. It was machine quilted by Regina Carter.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Muti's Flower Garden

Another flower quilt. This one machine pieced, backed with soft and snuggly flannel, and machine quilted by Regina Carter.

I made it for my mother-in-law, Muti, for mother's day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Courthouse Steps to Justice

I worked at the Southern Center for Human Rights, in Atlanta for almost 20 years. It was a dream job. I made this quilt, which was machine quilted by Regina Carter, for the Center in appreciation when I left the office in April, 2008.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Flowers for Trish

I made this throw for Trish Hale - administrative assistant extraordinaire at the Southern Center and gave to her shortly before my last day at the Center.

I hand pieced and hand quilted it - mostly while in Denmark in February for my mother's funeral.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Trucker's Home Away from Home

This is a quilt I made for my brother-in-law Jim who is a truck driver. Though he gets to come home on the weekend, he often spends the night in his truck during the week.

I collected all the flannels I had for it. Most of them were old fashioned checks - the type you would see in a flannel shirt - and a few very different. I cut them all in 8" squares and sewed them together. And, what was left over was pieced for the back. This is the first and so far only quilt I have machine quilted myself!