I once read an article about “divorce quilts”, textile art projects made to help process the difficult decision to end a marriage. I can definitely see the therapeutic value, but I like what customer Beth M. had in mind much better… she asked me to make a quilt celebrating the start of her and her children’s new life.
The overall design of her quilt is vintage 1930s, a postage stamp Irish Chain design on a white background (all the squares are reproduction 1930s fabrics.) Appliqués appear in the areas formed by the chain, each turned under and hand embroidered with a blanket stitch – again, an old-fashioned, classic technique.
In a way, the design builds on history to create a new future. That feeling is echoed in her choice of appliqué ideas. There are blocks that represent heritage – a shamrock for Ireland, a thistle for Scotland – and blocks that represent now – a beloved family pet and shared activities like movie watching. Every single element in this quilt is meaningful and all are designed to symbolize the foundation on which she and her children will create their new life.
When Beth and her children curl up in this quilt, it’s not just their bodies being warmed, it’s their hearts, too. This is why I make quilts. I want to create beautiful, thoughtful, treasured keepsakes that touch people deeply. Laugh, cry, reminisce and dream about your bright, new future ~ a good quilt should encourage all that and more.
I’ve decided to participate in a creativity challenge – the #100DaysProject. Each day for 100 days, I will be designing and posting an Irish Chain quilt design.
All the designs will start with an Irish Chain block, repeated to make a queen-sized quilt. Using that as a framework, I’ll change colors, mix and match blocks, vary settings, etc. to create as many different versions as I can over 100 days. There’s so much you can do with this traditional block and I can’t wait to see how the patterns shift, evolve and develop during the challenge.
I chose to do quilt designs because as much as I’d love to, I can’t finish an entire queen quilt in one day! 🙂 I may actually make my favorite (or favorites) after the challenge is completed, though ~ and if you see one you love, I’d be happy to make it for you, too!
This is my first design – Link #1 of #100 “Whimzical” Chains. Remember, follow me here to see them all!
I’m also posting the designs on a special #100WhimzicalChains Pinterest board.
I’ve been finishing up a few items for the holiday season 2017, including this custom half-round quilted table runner for Halloween. My Halloween decorations, though, are all currently stored away – it is May, after all. So for the photo staging I used my purple plaster Australopithecus afarensis skull that is on permanent display in the library. (What? Doesn’t everyone have one?)
Think Miss Piggy will karate chop me to get at my new Kermie custom quilted tote bag?
We replaced our poolside furniture in time for the upcoming summer season and decided to go with Adirondack chairs because, my husband claimed, “They are so comfortable.”
Maybe for his 6’1″ frame, but not for tiny little me.
Fortunately, the quilter in me was able to provide a solution –
I actually managed to make 4 of these little lumbar pillows, but it wasn’t easy. Outdoor fabric is so slinky, folks! Golden Threads paper was a godsend for the quilting, but the binding especially kept trying to escape. After these, I’m happy to return to good old fashioned 100% quilting cotton!
In any case, now I find the chairs comfortable, too – and even my husband admits they are better with the pillows than without.
Are you a quilt addict? I suggest looking into this new product – I hear it’s pending FDA* approval…
(*that’s the Fabric Is a Drug Administration)
I’ve been quilting a while now. Nearly 20 years. And in that time, I’ve accumulated a lot of finished projects.
When completed quilts started taking over the house, I figured that switching some of my ideas to quilted pillows would mean less to store. Now that pillows have piled up in nearly every room, I realize that may not have been the answer.
And still I make more…
This one was inspired by a print I saw online. As a former Kansas resident, and a lover of bad puns, I felt I had to recreate the image in fabric. Apologies for the earworm that just started in your head.
This set will be part of our Grinch-themed holiday decorations (see, not all the pillows I make are displayed at the same time. I don’t have a problem, I swear!)
And I loved this meme that came across my desk so much, I not only made it into a quilted pillow, but it’s going to be the theme of our holiday card this year (I’m working on a way to make the card actually smell like peppermint and wondering if it’s possible to do the same with the pillow 🙂 )