Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Full Bloom

The second quilt I carried to Denmark when I visited in 2011, was this one for my sister Vibeke. Some years ago, I had made her a throw, but for some reason it was way too small and thus not very useful, so I had promised to make her another bigger one. This quilt is actually 71" x 81" so it is more like a twin than a throw, but certainly big enough which was the point. I didn't work from a pattern and didn't design it in advance, but just put it together as I went along and stopped when I liked the way it looked, I didn't really realize how big it was until it was finished.

I started with the two big flowers and just built around them. All of the fabrics in the top - except for the two border fabrics - are from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line of fabrics.  As I hadn't planned ahead, I didn't have anything for the borders when I came to that step, so I went to my favorite shop, Intown Quilter, in Decatur, GA, and was fortunate to run into my favorite border person, Taffy McLaughlin who helped me pick the border fabrics.  Without her brilliance this quilt would have been much less complete.  I just love the final border fabric and think it is absolutely perfect.  But there is no way I would EVER have dreamed of pulling it off the shelf or ever imagined it would work with this quilt until Taffy put it down and I immediately saw that it was created just for this quilt.  Thank you Taffy for this and so many other borders!  And for so many other pieces of advice and everything else I have learned and continue to learn about quilting from you.

Up there is a picture of my sister holding the quilt which was expertly machine quilted to a perfect finish by my wonderful friend and Georgia's one and only professional machine quilter, Regina Carter, without whom, I would be no quilter at all.  Regina used a really fun quilting pattern called Bubbleplay, which, unfortunately, is hard to see in these pictures - sorry Regina!

Friday, August 12, 2011


When my oldest nephew, Jens, turned 5, I started the tradition of making Big Boy - or Girl, as the case may be - quilts for my nieces and nephews on their 5th birthday. With this quilt, that tradition should be completed, as it belongs to William, my cousin's youngest son and the youngest of the bunch. I believe it will be a surprise to everybody if any additional children turn up in that generation. However, if they do, I will certainly continue the tradition.

P.S. I also have a whole bunch of wonderful nieces and nephews (by marriage) but they are all older than the Danish bunch, and had actually all been born before I even started quilting. So I am on a different "schedule" of making and giving quilts to them.
I am not sure that William is really very much into sports. Unfortunately, as he and all the rest of my nieces and nephews live in Denmark, I don't see him that often and don't know him nearly as well as I wish I did. When I got ready to start working on the quilt, I remembered that when he was quite young his parents commented on how much he liked balls, while his older brother, Yonas, had no interest whatsoever in kicking a soccer ball around.

So I think it was based on that rather thin evidence I settled on a sports theme and started looking for just the right fabrics! Because William's brother, Yonas, is adopted from Ethiopia - and thus, obviously Black - I tried to make sure that the fabrics I used didn't depict just all white people and kids. I should be conscious of that every time I buy and use fabric, but it seemed especially important in this case that William got a quilt which looked like something both he and his brother could be a part of.
The back of the quilt has some children from around the world fabric mixed in! And, as always, the quilt was expertly machine quilted by the one and only Regina Carter.

Even though William turned 5 in December, he didn't get his quilt until the following August, when he was well on his way to 6 and I made my annual visit to Denmark. I am pretty paranoid about putting quilts in the mail, especially internationally, and don't do it unless I absolutely have to do so.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dog Bed 14

I made this dog bed for a dog named Petey. I've never met Petey, but I've heard lots about him, because he lives with Beth Neff, who is a fellow volunteer with the Mutts With Manners program sponsored by our local Humane Society, Danville-Boyle County Humane Society.

This is a program where shelter dogs on the verge of euthanasia are put in our program, taken to our local medium security prison and trained by prison dog trainers, making them much more attractive and adoptable dogs and then placed in good homes.

A select group of twelve prisoners live in the same dorm with the dogs and work with them 24/7. Our dog trainer and a few volunteers go into the prison once a week to work with the prisoners and the dogs, and facilitate the selection and subsequent placement of the dogs in forever homes through adoptions. But the prisoners do all the work of socializing and training the dogs. And they do a great job.

It's such a joy to volunteer with this program and see the transformation of the dogs during the 6-7 weeks they each spend at the prison. They often go from being shy, scared, and generally unsocialized dogs to happy, confident, very well behaved dogs who do very well in their subsequent homes.
Please visit to learn more about the program. You can also see a few pictures a my dog, Luka, who I adopted through this program. He's the handsome one named Luke on the web site.