Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One of My Favorites

This weeks topic was to discuss our favorite quilt. I have so many categories of favorites it is a very difficult task for me to choose just one favorite. I made this quilt about a year ago. I had found the pattern at Marcia Horn's website, The Quilter's Cache. It is called the Depression Block and it was the first time I used a block where color created the pattern. I really had fun with this one and it used so much of my stash. I also met a new long arm quilter and had her do the quilting because it was just too big for me to tackle. I know, I am getting a bit lazy on that end.

It is funny how a quilt you have completed can take you back to the time you were making it. I just got this one out of the closet and I instantly traveled back to that time. I had just moved to Florida from New York and everything was so new. Sometimes all the newness was exhausting and when I was feeling overwhelmed, I could just slip back to my sewing room and sew a block or two and be instantly revived. Quilting is so relaxing - it cures everything!

Oh, and this is also an example of a quilt that I made where I didn't follow the pattern exactly. I had tons of 4" blocks and decided to use them without trimming them down to the called for size of 3-7/8 inch blocks. It worked out wonderfully and if I didn't mention it, no one would know.

I had my husband hold up the quilt and since it is so big, we had quite a time with it. I decided to use the photo of him peaking over the top rather than make him help me take another one. Sometimes this can lead to many shots and my "quilt rack" can get a bit tired of the process while I struggle to get that perfect shot!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sewn Block Swaps

Here are some of my most prized quilts. You can tell they are my most prized because I still own them! Obviously, I could never give these away. They were made with the help of my friends at "About Quilting" and honestly I love these quilts most of all. I enjoy participating in the block exchanges that are hosted on the quilting forum and I take great pleasure in the camaraderie that I have found on that site. I think you can feel the kindness and love in the finished quilts. Corny, I know, but I can't stop myself from telling anyone that will listen how these quilts came to be. “These quilts were made by the loving hands of women from all over North America and a few foreign countries….”

Once on the "About Quilting" site, go to the forums (on left hand side of page) and you will find one of my favorite quilting hang outs. There, divided by topic, you will find fabric swaps, sewn block swaps of every skill level and style, general quilting discussions and even a beginning quilters area where you can post any question and get very good answers in return. I especially love the “Show and Tell” forum where quilters show off their finished projects. It was in these forums that I stumbled on to some of the best Scrappy Quilt Block Swaps ever. The concept is really quite simple - using the pattern provided by the hostess, you make sets of ten blocks. When the blocks are completed, you send them in to the hostess. In return, the hostess sends back to you ten blocks all made with different fabric . This allows you to make a very scrappy looking quilt with fabrics that you don't actually have.

The first quilt I have shown here was from a swap that a woman in Hawaii always hosted, and sadly, I simply can not remember the name of that series of swaps. The second quilt I am showing off is from the “Penny Pincher” series. That quilt came from the “Penny Pincher Ho Ho Ho” block swap. In this photo I hadn’t finished putting on the border, but it is now boxed up and ready to ship to a long arm quilter. The next time a Penny Pincher block swap is posted, I will post a note on my blog so if you are interested, you can join in on the fun.