Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pieceful Challenge

One of the first friends I made here in Danville was Bev. She is a quilter and a "dog person," on the Board of the Humane Society and an active volunteer with several of its programs. So we have a lot in common. Bev invited me to join her guild, the Pieceful Hearts Quilters, which meets at the Extension office in Lincoln County.
I made this quilt in last year's guild challenge. It was not a very difficult challenge. We were each given 8 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics of which we had to use all but one. We could add as many new and as much fabric as we wanted, had to make at least a 40" by 60" quilt, but could use any pattern we wanted.

I added several fabrics from my stash and also bought some until I had a total of 21 fat quarters which is what this pattern, which I found in a magazine, called for. The pattern by Karen Dumont, is called "Warm and Cozy Patchwork." I hand pieced the top while I was in Denmark during the summer of 2009, and the quilt, which finished measures 60" x 70", was machine quilted by Regina Carter.
One of the things which is so nice about living here in Danville, is that we get to visit with Steve's extended family on a more regular basis. The Richardsons, though not actually related, are nevertheless as close as family can be. Guy Richardson was best friends with Steve's father since they were about 3 or 4 years old; his wife Sue is Steve's mother's best friend; the Richardsons' four children grew up with Steve and his siblings like cousins; Steve worked bagging groceries in the Richardsons' store as did Steve's nephew; and when Steve argued at the Supreme Court a couple of years ago, the Richardsons traveled to Washington, DC, to hear him.

I happened to get this quilt back and have the binding on it right in time for Guy Richardson's birthday and as it also happened that he had to go to the hospital on his birthday, it occurred to me that he could probably put it to good use so Steve and I gave it to him when we went to see him shortly thereafter. A few weeks later, we took him out to lunch and I sewed the label on while we ate lunch at O'Charley's.

This quilt has definitely found its rightful home, I am only sorry I didn't know from the minute I started working on it, that was where it belonged.

Not My Sister's

This quilt was a real stretch for me. I saw it hanging in my local quilt store, Wilderness Road Quilt Company, here in Danville, KY, and just loved the way it looked, so when a class was offered in the spring of 2009, to make the quilt, I signed up without paying a whole lot of attention to what it would involve. And now that the quilt is finished, I have no regrets, but making it was not only fun and games. It took a lot longer than the class allowed and I really had to push myself to get through it.

So far, I have never not finished a quilt I have started, but if I had not loved this quilt and the fabrics I had chosen so much, this could have become the one! Before I started, I had paid no attention at all to just how many small individual pieces were involved in piecing those six outer borders of the quilt. And I never did count how many, but it was an awful lot of individual pieces, and almost all of them were triangles! I did not enjoy that process.

I also had never previously made a Dresden plate, and probably never contemplated making one. That was fun, however, and I can see doing it again.

Overall, I am very happy with the quilt and glad I made it. It was beautifully machine quilted - as always - by Regina Carter, who used a lovely bubbly pattern I had never seen before.
It was also a whole lot of fun to take the class and make the quilt in a group, and to see how very different our "identical" quilts turned out to be. Leslie and Tori, owner and employee of Wilderness, had each made her own version of the quilt before the class, so two versions of the quilt were hanging at the shop; as they had two, they named it "Sisters." I originally thought I would give my quilt to my sister, but when I talked to her about it and described it, it appeared that she would really like a throw size quilt, not another big quilt like this, it is 80" x 80". So I decided to keep this one for myself and named it: "Not My Sister's."

I am working on a quilt for my sister which will show up here one of these days. Stay tuned!

Kittie Blankie

For this little blankie, I hand pieced the top and used a little fleece blanket for the back, but since I did not use any batting it is actually not a quilt. The technical definition of a quilt requires that there be a top and a bottom layer sandwhiched around a batting and the three layers be stitched, tacked or tied together. In this case the middle layer is missing.

I machine stitched the top to the fleece and then turned the edges of the fleece over from the back to the front for the binding. I like the way it came out and though it is thin, it feels plenty substantial enough for a baby blanket and the fleece was thick enough to hide the seams.

I gave this to our neighbors, Erin and Jon Meyer, who I discovered had a new baby girl, Rachel, two months ago! They already had two children, 5 year old Noah and 2 year old Grace, who I know and had occasionally talked to over the fence. Their yard backs up to our 1/2 mile long driveway, so we see them when we walk to get the mail or I occasionally stop to talk when I drive by. But during the winter, there wasn't much interaction, which I suppose is my excuse for missing the pregnancy and new baby!

Fortunately, I had just finished this little blanket.

Dog Bed 8

I am still continuing to make and give away dog beds. And the only "fee" I charge for the dog beds is that I ask the recipient to give me a picture of his or her dog on the bed. Unfortunately, some of my customers have been a little slow at paying for their beds. At this point I am missing pictures of dogs on beds 6 and 7, so I have delayed postings on them.

I am delighted to post this picture, however, of Dusty on Dog Bed 8.
Dusty is a young male terrier Shih Tzu mix who was adopted from our local shelter by my mother-in-law, Pat, just a few weeks ago. He seems to be a very agreeable and sweet dog. He is house broken and very friendly, apparently doesn't even yap a lot, which is unusual for a dog of his size and breed. He definitely has the terrier prey drives and has already attacked a baby raccoon, but otherwise he is very gentle and friendly and gets along famously with my great niece Grace, Pat's great-granddaughter. After just a bit of prodding, he took very well to his new bed.

I wrote this post quite a while ago, but never got around to posting it.  So before I actually do so, I will update it.  Dusty was and is a very good and sweet dog, but he turned out to be too much for my mother-in-law.  He was probably only about a year old at the time, and needed daily play, exercise, or stimulation - more than she was able to give him. And when he didn't get that, he tended to become "naughty," he barked much too much, chewed on things he wasn't allowed to have, got into the trashcan etc.  Of course, he was acting out because of frustration and boredom,  

Fortunately, Pat was able to find a new home for him with a man who does a lot of handy work and walks around in the small town in our county where he lives.  Last we heard, he takes Dusty along everywhere he goes, so Dusty gets plenty of exercise and stimulation and is a much happier and better adjusted dog now, because that is just the right type of situation for him.