Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blogger’s Quilt Festival 2010

When it comes to choosing a favorite quilt, I have to say that usually it’s the quilt I’m currently working on. Apologies to my older (and well-loved) quilts, but you guys are no longer my favorites.

However, I can’t exactly submit an unfinished quilt to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, so here is the one I chose:

I feel fairly confident in saying that this project is the biggest one I have ever worked on – not in size, but in time.

I started it almost a year ago and slowly worked on it between other projects. Right in the middle of the project, I also had to pack up my sewing “area” and move everything down to my new sewing ROOM! So the quilt was set aside for several months while I got everything in order.

Here’s a view of the back:

The back is mostly the green fabric with the little ladybugs – but I did add some pieced squares to use up what few strips I had left. Instead of a traditional quilt label, this time I opted for some applique lettering and I really like the effect.

It’s the perfect picnic blanket size: 58x68. It’s not so big and bulky that it’s awkward to fold and carry, but it is just big enough to fit all four of us and our food (and then big enough for an after-picnic nap.)

Right at the time that I had my sewing room all boxed up, I took a trip home to visit my family. At this point in the progress of the quilt, I was getting pretty tired of paper piecing all of those string blocks. It just started to seem so monotonous and uber-repetitive and I was in a slump. While I was visiting home I spotted one of my grandma’s old quilts and I knew I had to pull it out and photograph it:

After laying the quilt out, photographing it and admiring it, I acquired a new appreciation for my little picnic blanket project. I really couldn’t complain anymore about how long it was taking me! First of all, grandma’s quilt is bigger. Much bigger. It’s also hand quilted and I’m pretty sure it’s hand pieced. Her choices of fabric didn’t come in tidy little fat quarter stacks, they were collected over the years from worn out pieces of clothing.

To top it all off, grandma’s quilt has survived at least 30 years of use by me and my siblings. Sure it has some rips and tears and some of the fabric is wearing thin, but in those flaws I just see the love. Thanks for the inspiration grandma!

At some point I really would like to create my own version of grandma’s wagon wheels. I’d keep the blocks the same size, maybe keep that great orange color there, and modernize the rest of it. For now, that quilt is on the drawing board. Maybe that will be my submission for next year’s quilt festival!


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It is wonderful to witness a tradition continuing on from one generation to another. Both quilts are absolutely lovely.

  2. Love your quilts. It's wonderful to have a family heirloom!

  3. Do it !

    I recreated a quilt that my husband's mother made for him when he was about 5 years old, and I hope that, someday, my daughter or granddaughter will recreate it again.

    Your festival quilt looks just SO GREAT for family'll be the background of many a memory.

  4. First of all...What a wonderful quilt! and a cute idea with the appliqued word "Picnic" on a field of ladybugs (my quilt post is revolves around ladybugs :o)...but oh dear, mine is not completed!)

    I absolutely love your grandma's quilt...I love the vintage fabrics and how extra special to have it still.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (I am hopping over from the Quilt Festival...hope you get a chance to stop by :o) a novice quilter...I am taking this opportunity to ask quilter's what type of sewing machine do you use? )

  5. What a great quilt and love the fact your continuing the tradition....

  6. I love the colors in your string quilt. Your eye for color is good like your grandmas. I love her orange.

  7. your quilt is beautiful. i love it. and your grandmothers quilt is unreal. the colors and scrappy fabrics. these kinds of quilts are why i want to make more and more quilts

  8. your quilt looks old-fashion & yet fresh & modern at the same time -i love it!! also love your g's quilt- so neat to incorporate that into your story & can't wait to see what you do with that design!

  9. i realized yours really reminds me of an antique quilt hanging on my
    MIL's wall- it's same design, also with red sashing made of cloth cigar labels --back when they saved everything!!

  10. I am so surprised you actually wrote about the quilt. The quilt is actually 45 years old.
    Your picnic quilt is so pretty Andy. Keep up your beautiful work and keep posting your quilt pictures for us to enjoy. You have a wonderful talent there.

  11. lovely green quilt--string type quilts are so time consuming but also fun to see the blocks come together. your is lovely. your grandmothers is wonderful--how precious to have it.

  12. i want your grandma's quilt. that orange really sets it off!

  13. Your quilt is beautiful, as is your grandmother's! I love the orange- very "modern" for something that was made so long ago. What a treasure. Obviously your talent runs in the family!

    Just signed up to follow your blog, you have lovely things and I look forward to seeing more. Cheers!

    Kristie @OCD


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