It was our 6th anniversary this weekend. We sent the girls to my parents house for the weekend. On Saturday I watched Voyager on Netflix and made bowtie blocks. It was wonderful. Please don't feel sorry for me. There's nothing I'd'a rather be doing. I have three children under the age of 5. Two nights and entire day with just one child is a vacation. Daddy took the baby to run errands for most of the morning and again in the afternoon. What's that sound? Quiet you say? I barely remember. Honestly, I was in heaven with just the sound of my sewing machine and the occasional phaser beam blast in the background.
I've been around quilters all of my life. My Mama, my Nunnie (her Mama), and my Maw Maw (her grand mother)- all quilters. I appreciate, and love, the quilts I have from them. I remember the huge quilt frame that hung from the ceiling of my Nunnie's trailer, and playing underneath it while she had her friends quilted. They pieced by hand, they quilted by hand. My Mama, appliques, as you may have guessed- by hand. I'm not even sure my Nunnie owned a sewing machine. I figured I didn't have the quilting gene, and that the tradition would stop with me. Honestly, I'm just too lazy. Quilting their way is labor intensive and complicated. My Nunnie quilted, seemingly, all day. Whenever she had a free moment, she'd work on a block. Since she wasn't tethered to a machine, she got a lot done, everywhere in the house. At the end of the day, she'd count them up to be sure that she hadn't only made thirteen. My Nunnie was incredibly superstitious, also a gene I didn't inherit.
As a 29 (+++++) year young lady, I proudly confess, that I still sleep with a quilt my great grandmother made me at birth. It's one big log cabin. It is a silky, but thick material. Since becoming a quilter, I look at the stitches and know she put them there, for me! I've had it my entire life. I'm not sure it'll last until the end of my life, but I still sleep with it- every night. Their quilts were practical and functional and meant to be used. They were made from fabric that they had on hand, or could afford, or got passed down to them.
Recently, I found a two quilt tops my Nunnie had made. In reality a mix of she and her best friend, Mary. Regardless, they were in her things when she died. I never considered what the block might be, until I recently remembered I had it and dug it out. It's a bowtie block, not the easy way it's often sewn these days, it has the solid middle.
I've never taken the time to figure how big it really is. Honestly, I don't know what I'll do with it. I would never machine quilt this top. Not only is it old, the fabric is thin, and poor quality. I still have no desire to try my hand at hand quilting. When I go yardsaleing, I put it in my car, on the off chance I might run into some vintage sheets, or old fabric. I think one day it might make a nice picnic quilt. It motivated me to try my hand at this block, and one day, it may motivate me to try to quilt by hand.
When I was invited to participate in the Scrappy BowTie Block Swap at Flickr, I was excited to participate. So, this weekend, I sat down and made over 50 blocks. I wonder how long the same process took my grandmother. Forty of them will be swapped with other block swappers. I kept one of each fabric for my own quilt.
I did also get my charms cut for Ellison Lane Quilts Rainbow Charm Swap.
This week I've been working on my block for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee. I'm in Hive #11 with some pretty impressive quilters. It's a lot of pressure to produce a decent block. While poking around on Etsy the other day, I ran into this beauty of a block. After watching Missouri Quilt Company's tutorial on Fast and Easy Pinwheels, I've been in love with HSTs (half square triangles). I can make dozens of them in minutes- no marking, no double sewing.
While visiting Freshly Pieced (who is also in my Hive *gulp*) I saw the block in the Summer Sampler Quilt Along, and the block suddenly had a name, Lucky Pieces. It might not be the exact block, but it's close enough for me to go forward. The block I ended up with looks like both of them, while also looking dubiously kinda sorta like a starflower. If it has an official name, I don't know it. I've been calling it "the X block". Genius, I know. After completing my first block, I'm really pleased in how it turned out. My seams are improving, but, as you might notice, it is exactly 1/2 inch too small. A new block, with scant seams, will be forthcoming. I want to stay on top of this bee and get everything shipped out before the deadline.
Wonky Kona Cabin