Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January Stitching

I've been spending a lot of time doing hand work this past week or so. After ignoring Coronacrazy for much too long, once again, I have found the motivation to do a little hand stitching. Which sorta morphed into a LOT of hand stitching, but who's complaining?

Coronacrazy border work
This picture {above} as taken several days ago when I thought there might be time to post, but then the opportunity vanished. As of last evening, I can happily state that border #3 and #4 are either finished or getting loads of stitching as well. Funny how I don't want to work on this quilt project at all and then something clicks and it's really all that I want to do. Just can't work in more than a couple hours a day of hand applique or my elbow starts feeling it sooo I usually switch to hand quilting and then I'm okay.
Petra's quilt
This is my sisters quilt top that I agreed to hand quilt for her. I made the top back in the winter of 2006 or 2007. She had bought all the fabric in a period of about two or three years and just didn't think she had the skills or mojo to make 'what she wanted'. Which was ironic, because she couldn't really even articulate what that might be. Eventually we reached an agreement. If she showed me three pictures of quilts that she liked, gave me free reign with her fabric, allowed me to add a few fabrics of my own choice, then I would put together a quilt top for her to have quilted in her own way, on her own dime.

Fabrics are all close to 15 plus years old
And yes. She paid me a small amount to piece the quilt top together, mostly so it would get done and not languish behind all the other projects that I always seem to have on the go! Anyway... I took those three quilt pictures and her fabrics--started playing with ideas, finally drawing up this particular plan.

Basic blocks
Her fabric was a mind boggling mixture to me at the time, with such a wide range of bubblegum pinks to orangey corals, lots of creams, taupes and that mushy paisley print I finally settled on using in the setting triangles. In the end, I only added a couple cream fabrics for the center, and then went and bought the cream text fabric for the outside border. I remember deliberating on whether or not to add a brighter color for the border, but fell down on the side of letting the 'glow' work its magic from the 16 patches alone. 

I've always felt that if she had made her own design, it would have ended up being much wilder and sharp looking instead of the soft, cozy thing that I tend to gravitate towards. But here we are and it ended up being a huge learning curve for me in being bolder in using fabrics that don't necessarily look like they belong together! We had a little sit down just before I started cutting fabric and I made her tell me, 'Are you SURE you want all these fabrics in the same quilt?' lol

Marking the quilt top
It's been an interesting experience to come back to it so many years later. Wowsers, has my piecing improved! Who wouldn't thunk it when I continually cut off points on purpose? The corners of the quilt were very warpled which makes me think that I could not have properly trimmed each block to size. Hmm... I managed to get it sandwiched and pinned regardless and now all the machine quilting part is behind me.*whew! Haven't ruined it yet! Just stitch in the ditch around the blocks so maybe the quilt will hold up when her two year old mauls it on her bed. I'm expecting this quilt to be very well used...

My daughter snagged a picture of me while the quilt was in the process of getting marked, and we both agreed that I'm much more smiley when quilting. Even when doing a part of it that I don't particularly care for! We had just gotten through a long day attending a funeral of an older friend, and I had mentioned that when I died, don't bother wasting money on a floral casket piece as they could just throw a quilt over the casket and be done. She argued that one needed to go inside the casket with me otherwise I might be mortally offended. And on and on we went with me telling her 'Don't you dare waste a quilt by putting it in the ground with me!' 

Black humor. It's what our family has always done and seems to be good for getting us through. It's been a tough month as one of her co-workers suddenly dropped at work the other day, having a heart attack and dying right after the ambulance got her to the hospital, and now a family friend dying unexpectedly while home alone. Just makes you think. And stitch a lot if you are a quilter like me....


  1. There's an old saying, 'There's only two things for certain, death and taxes.' A lot of people forget that. And hysteria won't help. Being practical about health is good, eating right, exercise, vitamins etc, do what you can.
    But government sure won't get you out of taxes or death! Nor will being hysterical and blaming other people for something inevitable. I'm sorry for your losses, God bless you.

  2. LOL - I had to laugh at the coffin topic as we have had that conversion also - I always remember this one lady I knew whipped together a quilt in 2 days to wrap her mother up in the coffin when she died and I thought what a waste and she hadn't even put that much thought into what she made just that she had to make one to bury her mother in - maybe it helped her through her grief I remember she told me her family thought she was crazy and said mom could have cared less if she was wrapped in a quilt.
    I think your sister's quilt is lovely!

  3. yes it is easy to forget that one heartbeat could be the end of is indeed precious and best to use every minute before it's gone...

  4. Your sister's fabric choices remind me of the book Blended Quilts by Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Yenter. It's very pretty and feminine, I hope that two year old is a little girl. It's hard to make sense of a sudden death, especially when the person is young or in the prime of life. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn to give thanks for each new day. And there will be no burying of quilts here either!

  5. Death events like you mentioned seem to smack us in the face, don't they? Quilting always has and always will be our therapy. No wonder you're smiling in the picture. It's a great shot, by the way!

  6. Your quilts are always so awesome. I'm curious: where do they all go? Do you keep them? Gift them? Sell them?

  7. I'm sorry about the sudden deaths. Always hard to wrap your mind around. There have been a couple here and many folks with Covid symptoms. Fortunately all the vaccinated people are recovering at home.
    Clever of your sister to get you to both piece and quilt for her. The borders of Coronacrazy are beautiful.

  8. I'm quite taken with your applique borders, makes me wish I had made them. I love the picture of you. Especially because you are smiling while you work. It's funny how we all have our own self- imposed color theory. There are certain colors I would never use because they are ghastly to my eye but other people seem to use them and even prefer them. Your sister's eye for color is very feminine and playful and you've assembled it all into a lovely quilt.

  9. Loved seeing you smiling as you mark the quilt. It's interesting to see 👀 everyone's color preferences. Great leafy borders.

  10. I love the picture of you!!!!!!!!!!! Aunt Pet's quilt is so pretty! Also, the Coronacrazy border work is fantastic! The blues and greens up into the pink is just gorgeous, it pops!!!
    Love, Rhi

  11. I think it is quite funny that your shirt matches the quilt. You are a good sister. My sisters get my castoffs!

    1. That's hysterical! I hadn't noticed until you mentioned it Wendy. I love your borders and your sister's quilt! Can't wait to see both finishes. Jan in MA

  12. Audrey Veo una bella dama disfrutando de su trabajo.
    Me encanta la colcha de tu hermana.
    Tu humor me hace sonreír.

  13. This treasure will be so very much appreciated when she (finally) gets her quilt! I assume she has already, after all this time, seen the top that you created for her. No matter what, it will be spectacular. Make sure to share a happy face of her with her new quilt.

  14. Loving the colours you have used in the Coronacrazy borders. And Petra's quilt top looks great too. (and yes, all those colours are in your shirt too!)

  15. Hi Audrey, I see you aren't wasting any stitching time as always so busy. I really like how you've sorted that fabric collage. Of course you would figure that surprise there! Another beauty going through your hands. Great photo of you too!

  16. Your projects continue to inspire Audrey, just beautiful. And about your funeral arrangements...I wouldn't rule out using your quilts instead of flowers. When a close friend of ours died several years ago at a far-too-young age several of her quilts and flimsies were hung near the casket and at the church. She was a gorgeous hand piecer so the effect was stunning, and such a fitting way to commemorate her talents and passion. And if one was tucked inside to keep you company, I say,all the better.


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