Friday, January 29, 2016

Comfort

My quest to quilt from my stash and scraps continues and I'm loving the results.
There's something about only using materials I already have that takes me to the roots of quilting.  Quilters of the past didn't have fabric designers making whole lines of matching fabrics.  They didn't have carefully crafted kits and fat quarter bundles to choose from.  Not that I think those things are bad, mind you. I love a well curated bundle.  But, quilters of the past didn't have the option of running to the nearest quilt store for the latest release from Moda.  They sewed from random snippets of fabric left over from other projects.  Just sayin'.
Also, forcing myself to use only what I have on hand sparks my creativity.  I'm finding fun fabric and color combinations that are really appealing to my eye.  I'm also rediscovering fabrics that I bought years ago that have been forgotten over time.
Here are two quilts I've finished this month.
I imagine wrapping my little granddaughter in this whimsical little neighborhood.  Maybe when she's old enough we can read the Betsy-Tacy series while snuggling underneath it.

Every house is quilted with a different design but each has a few swirls by the chimney to look like rising smoke. I've used this flower fabric before in one of my all-time favorite quilts.  You can see it here and here.

 As much as I love the flower fabric, this is my favorite block.  I just love the color and pattern combinations.
 Another close up of the quilting.

And, here's the back.
This is a close-up of the pick fabric on the back.  'Lil taxi cabs!  Don't you love them? I've had that fabric in my stash for about 2 years now.

 As much as the last quilt is pretty girlie, this quilt is all boy.

I pieced the back of this one as well.


 I bought the blue fabric while I was living in Dallas at a furniture boutique that I used to haunt.  I loved it so much that I couldn't ever bring myself to cut into it and so I have carried it around for literally 15 years. I finally realized how silly it is to buy fabric and never use it.
Who knows, maybe Mason and I will make a blanket fort out of this one.


Now for the bad news.  After completely finishing both quilts, I discovered I had accidentally quilted a wrinkle into the back of each one.  I can't believe I made the same mistake on both quilts and I can't believe they went unnoticed until it was too late.
I mean, I guess I could pick the quilting out of both quilts and redo them both, but that would probably put me in a rubber room.  I have heard that mistakes in quilts add a bit of charm, so yeah, I'm going with that.  Maybe when I wash them the wrinkles won't be so noticeable.

And then there is this.


5 years ago, I gave this quilt to Grandpa Burnham for his 95th birthday.  Last week, he peacefully passed from this life into the next surrounded by family.

He spent his last days resting beneath my quilt.  That it could give him a measure of comfort before he slipped away touched me deeply.

Quilts are made for many purposes.  Some use them as art to be displayed, others say they're heirlooms to be saved for generations. But for me, the highest purpose of a quilt is to give comfort.  Whether it's for story-time, fort building, or to give relief during illness, quilts don't live up to their full potential until they are used.