Monday, November 28, 2016

Ohio Memories Finished and Gifted

I am positively amazed at how much time there is between posts these days. Wowsers, is there anyone out there who even cares anymore? lol  So this is 'Ohio Memories', the quilt I finished up for my parents 50th anniversary. Looking back through the blog, there are very few posts about it. My insecurities about the journey to making it 102" by 102" made me reluctant to post about it during those years. Now I spread the good, bad and ugly with indiscriminate joy! 
A finished Ohio Memories quilt!
I started out with a pattern from the 2002 Quilt Sampler magazine called 'Ohio Memories'. It's one I literally drooled over and then refused to start because I was sure the applique was waay beyond my skill level. Then, sometime in 2010, I decided to quit being a scaredy cat and just made myself start the quilt. Well, the applique was much easier than I ever dreamed--lots of simple, largish pieces with nothing intricate at all. Placement was the very worst part and since I'm not a perfectionist, I only allowed myself to dither for so long and then would start stitching regardless of imagined flaws.
The quilt of many borders! Too big to lay out on the floor properly....
In the original pattern, immediately after the large applique centerpiece was a thin border and then next up was a larger plain border with an embroidered saying all done in redwork. Well, that just drove me crazy, the idea of embroidering so many words. Eventually I decided the quilt needed pieced borders instead, and set about trying to make that happen. Making the decision to mimic the subtle Ohio Stars blocks inside the center was easy. Measuring to make that happen however, was a bit challenging. But the border did finally do what it was supposed to do and only requiring a slight trim of the inside border fabric to all fit and play nicely together.
Looking at the quilting
Then I came up with the bright idea of turning the entire quilt 'on point'. Oh yes! So interesting and I had all the fabric in my stash. ha ha  The best laid plans of mice and men! I threw on a narrow green coping border and then somehow determined the corner setting triangles were going to be the simple square blocks filling in the corners of the quilt. Easy peasy.

Yeah. It should have been. It was at this point, I quickly realized my quilt had lost something important in translation. It seemed to be drowning in pink. Wanting to brighten it up and lose the sickly sweet look, I came up with the idea of adding on the cream triangle overlay border. I had to un-stitch those sewn-on corner blocks, sew the long cream borders onto the inside seam and then carefully draw and cut my cream triangles so I could applique them into place. {You can see the details of that in the previous picture if you are a quilter. And except for the fact that the triangles are raised, most people would never realize.} Nevertheless, it was a choice that pretty much haunted me. Made me wonder at times if in fact, the whole quilt was a total failure. I love the way the cream ties back into the center part of the quilt so well, but have a love/hate relationship with how it also fades into the lighter squares on the corners.
Trying to get a better picture before it started raining again!
We always question our quilting decisions don't we? Before, during and even long after. Thankfully, the machine quilting helped me like those cream triangles a little more. Like I said in a previous post. My friend did an amazing job with what I wanted to have happen with the quilting.

The last two border however, were not stressful in the slightest. The prior mess and resulting 'fix' maxed me out on the stress part of it I guess! Just a small little pop of color in the thin pink sashing border and then the mixed brown fabric borders all to frame everything in a satisfactory way. Wallah! A finish! I did agonize for months though about the very point of where the green coping strips met up with both the cream triangles and the thin bright pink sashing border. It took pretty much forever to settle on the simple flower applique, but once that was stitched on, I just breathed a big sigh of relief and said 'no more second guessing allowed!'
My awesome helper bee....
The entire quilt top took about two years from start to finish, but then it's been sitting in the drawers for years waiting on this anniversary {and motivation to do the sandwiching and quilting}. I didn't start this quilt with my parents 50th anniversary in mind, but as it grew, I always sort of knew they would be the very best recipients. Of course, things don't work out as planned and even though this quilt has been at my friends for the long-arming since June or July? I only got it back from her about two and a half weeks ago. Luckily I found the binding fabric at the first store I looked in and was able to get the binding completed last Tuesday, then the label attached on Wednesday morning. Whew!
Big congrats for an amazing 50 yrs together!
The anniversary party went together extremely well and it helps that my oldest brother was a florist once upon a time and two of my sister-in-laws do wedding cakes! We were run off our legs putting it together of course--serving a meal for between 150 and 175 people!-- but I think my parents greatly appreciated it. 

There's been the tough years, more sorrows than most deal with, and many, many changes along the way, including the burning down of their home of 40 yrs and now a beautiful new house. They've also had a very bountiful life and so very, many blessings they are not shy to speak of. The big picture boards placed around the reception were wonderful. Such a reflection of their lives and dare I say,  'legacy'?

It was an incredibly emotional week for all of us {I couldn't believe how much it affected me!}, but so sweet to see them enjoy a Thanksgiving with all of their children/grandchildren in town followed by the celebratory anniversary party. So much fun to see them serve cake to each other and smile in a way that shows their continuing love and care for each other. They much deserved having this party and I was very happy to be a part of making it happen--even though my feet hurt like the dickens by the end of Saturday night and I just wanted to crawl into bed for a week!

39 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful quilt! I'd never think there were any flaws or problems in the making of this lovely piece! Congrats to you and the "newlyweds"!

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  2. what a gorgeous quilt for your parents...your very perfect combination of traditional and modern...congratulations to your folks, they are truly blessed to have such a relationship...hugs to all!

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  3. What a lovely post, I was getting all teary reading about your parents! Your quilt was made with love and lots of decisions!

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  4. Happy Anniversary to the parents!! 50 is an accomplishment for sure. I think the quilt is beautiful

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  5. Perfect gift for the happy couple!
    (And I laughed when I realized that I was startled that you had ever thought applique was beyond your skill level. I think that I had assumed you were born with an applique project underway!)

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  6. What a wonderful post! The quilt is beautiful and congratulations to your parents on their 50th wedding anniversary.

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  7. What a lovely gift to give two lovely parents! What a fun photo of them!

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  8. The quilt is beautiful! I love the pink in it! Also, so wonderful to see your parents and their 50 year marriage. A long and loving marriage is truely great achievement!

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  9. Congrats on a beautiful quilt and the loving legacy of your parents. And yes, I check your blog often and notice when you don't post. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!

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  10. The quilt is beautiful and a wonderful gift for your parents anniversary.

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  11. I think we all knew you were busy...when are you not?! But the party and that gorgeous quilt is probably the best gift you could give your parents. Very evident their love for each other, and the love their children have for them. You are all blessed indeed!

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  12. Such a beautiful quilt and a beautiful way to honor your wonderful parents!

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  13. I love your blog! Posting when and if you can is entirely up to you, none should judge....lol....least ofall me who just has not managed a word for months now! I am still stitching circles and thinking of you and all the others doing this project. I am inspired by your projects and your explainations regarding designs. Just keep doing what you do, it's good enough.

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  14. A beautiful quilt! and such a very special gift, for a very special couple! I enjoyed reading about your journey making this quilt!

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  15. What a beautiful quilt and wonderful gift for your parents!!

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  16. Прекрасная работа! Поздравляю с годовщиной. Желаю здоровья и долгих лет.

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  17. Good job Audrey! You are a party wizard as well as a quilt wizard. I love how your family shows your love for one another. You set a good example. And I love your anniversary quilt!

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  18. how I have enjoyed reading about this quilt and how wonderfully you have adapted it for your parents it looks amazing. The party spounds great fun too. I too have noticed blogland is not so active these days but publishing their blogs and reading and commenting on mine think lots have gone over to instagram but blogging suits me better though can be lazy about my own but check others daily

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  19. Congratulations for the couple. And the quilt looks lovely, I like the faded colors in parts of the quilt and the combination of colors is great. Greetings

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  20. What a Beautiful quilt. I was so glad to read that there are more quilters like me who hesitate a lot and think they can't do it. Like with the applique I thought I could never learn it but I am beginning to learn now and get more confidence.
    Lovely to read about your parents anniversary.We will be married for 56 years next month.

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  21. what a beautiful gift for such a special occassion.

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  22. I was wondering how the party went and was hoping that we'd see a picture or two :) How wonderful they and the beautiful flowers look.

    And this quilt. I just love it. That cream was exactly the right thing to do. It's just gorgeous !

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  23. Beautiful quilt! I loved hearing how you made it your way!

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  24. it's a beautiful quilt...maybe call it anniversary memories? your family is so blessed to be together to celebrate such an auspicious event...after 50 years, many have weathered many storms....so celebrating is absolutely in order!

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  25. Congratulations to your parents -- 50 is a wonderful milestone! I'm glad they are doing well after all the recent troubles.

    Congratulations to you for another great finish, and for letting go enough to have someone else quilt it! They did a really nice job. And the quilt is gorgeous -- perfectly balanced, so all your redesigning paid off. I guess it usually does, even if we feel like no one else would notice sometimes!

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  26. What a beautiful party and a gorgeous quilt for your parents. Your photo shoot of your quilt shows off the beautiful framed medallion appliqué. It's a fabulous finish and a wonderful gift for your parents.

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  27. Congratulations to your folks on 50 years! That is an accomplishment!

    And congratulations to you! Your quilt is gorgeous! No one would know that you agonized over it so. It looks perfect!

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  28. Lovely! Well done for jumping in and getting on with it; it's definitely worked for you here. I actually rather like how the cream triangles sort of fade in one or two places; it forces you to stop and consider, rather than just skimming over everything. 50 years together is a massive achievement -well worth a full-blown celebration.

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  30. Well, as usual it all came out beautifully in the end. I love listening to how you come to the final decisions in a quilt. And I adore your mother's dress in this photo! I really want one!

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  31. A beautiful quilt stopped and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing

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  32. Happy anniversary to your parents. What a wonderful celebration with all the family together. I remember organizing my parents'; it was a blessing and an honor.
    Beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing so many details. Now I just have to buckle down and start some applique.

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  33. I love the quilt, and the story!! Always enjoy not just the final quilt, but also the process!! Isn't it fun to start a project with something in mind, and see where it ends up!! Thanks for sharing!

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  34. How very pretty in the pinks! I am originally from Ohio so am attracted to the rose design.

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  35. Oh your parents look so happy! Congratulations to them :) I read your blog on a reader but I'm pretty dreadful at clicking through to comment even though I enjoy all of your posts, your quilts, and most particularly the way you talk through your sewing/thought/creative process.

    I've been off my blog for almost 16 months now. I'm making a block a day quilt, like your circles quilt, and posting each block on instagram. But I've taken a few breaks, I didn't expect sewing to be emotional ever but this project has been and I've needed to recharge at times.

    I love the cream appliquéd triangles on this quilt, and I know you said you give them side-eye for blending into the pink squares but I love how they are lifting up the central diamond and showing it off while still blending into the rest of the quilt. Bringing all the sections together - it works beautifully :)

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  36. A fabulous achievement - congratulations and blessings to your parents. And a fabulous achievement for you too - super quilt and one I'm sure they will treasure.

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  37. I love how this quilt turned out! Great job.

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