Sunday, August 10, 2008

I've Been at the Machine

I've been reading Molly's blog over at The Molly Bawn Chronicles and she made me feel guilty. She is a very prolific quilter and here I am....older than dirt and wasting the little bit of time left to me by playing on the computer, instead of cranking out quilts for my kids and grands. So, I started to clean up some of my backlog (there are lots of quilts in my head and heart) and now I have a couple ready to be quilted. This one has been riding back and forth to Florida for a couple of years. There are eighty blocks altogether, which means 1360 pieces of fabric that needed to be attached to each other. Finally pieced! Those are my hubby's tootsies peeking out at the bottom. Thank you, honey! He is my official quilt holder. Does that make him a model?
This week, I also finish piecing a baby girl quilt, which involved a lot of teeny, tiny applique stitches. I had been doing all the hand work while I watched T.V. Since I was raised before television, but listening to the radio.... I always need to have something to do while "watching" T.V. (actually, I listen more than watch), so applique is a real answer. It's really better than reading, because I keep getting the plot of the book confused with the story on T.V. Knitting works, too, but is not as much fun as having bunches of wonderful fabric in my hands. This one is a "grandmother's fan with white lace gathered along the top of the heart. I have made this one before, but it pays to be ahead with baby quilts....someone is always having a baby!

When we first got home from Florida in June, I finished putting my embroidered boy quilt together. I have finally learned to use some of the features of my expensive Bernina. I cheated and sent this quilt out to a professional long arm quilter, so I would have time to put a few more tops together.
I'm thinking that I quilt better than I take photos, but you get the idea. The quilt store is fifty minutes away and I can't wait to go there again....they have some really nifty wall hanging patterns that I need to make for my Florida home. There was a machine quilting class last Friday and while it was fun, I am not ready to wreck one of my masterpieces with my klutzy machine quilting, yet. (How much does gas cost to go ninety miles? ... this store is worth every penny.)
This was a double Bargello quilt that I made for a nephew's baby while I was in Florida. The obvious movement of color on the larger pieces was okay, but the smaller half inch pieces ran the opposite direction. The reverse movement of color confused the heck out of me and I had no extra fabric to fix the thing, so I let it stand. Someone once told me that " Only Christ is perfect".... this is an example of never making a perfect quilt. God would be happy with me!
This brings me to this king size quilt that has faithfully traveled along with me to hither and yon for lo these last four years. I have quilted the main body (I love hand quilting the blank spaces...double click on the picture to see the quilting) and I stitched in the ditch around all the little squares and colored blocks, but have been unable to mark the dark borders. Nothing works! The water soluble pens don't show, chalk doesn't show, silver pencils don't show. I had just about given up completely, when the owner of the quilt shop in Bettsville said, "I guess you'll be using masking tape to follow the lines."!!!! Of course, I replied that I was doing that as a last resort. The light bulb didn't go off over my head ... it exploded. Looks like I'm finally going to finish that big sucker! My first quilt teacher told me, "Quilts are meant to keep people you love warm." And so it is!


Granny Annie said...

I have toured a lot of quilt museums and quilt shows and this tour of your work is certainly among the best. Besides the others don't offer finger and toe models with the show.

Molly said...

Lovely Kacey! I especially love, love, LOVE that first one with the stars!Thanks for the patterns and suggestions and encouragement. I have to call you on one thing though....No-one would call me prolific. It takes me ages to get a quilt done from start to finish!This a.m. I called a guy who has done quilting for me in the past. I had heard that he wasn't so busy right now with the snowbirds not here. So..o..o....if I bring the hexagon top to him today he can have it done by week's end! Yah!

I'm so happy I inspired you!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

bee-u-tee-full!!! i have quilted a few but not sewn the tops. i like to make tote bags and such by hand with quilting too. how fun!!!

smiles, bee

Loving Annie said...

Oh Kacey, they are gorgeous !!! You are so talented !

The time, effort, thought, painstaking care and love you put into making them is obvious...

They are wonderful gifts, to be cherished forever :)

Machine made and store-bought never come close to the beauty seen in yours..

Carine said...

Kacey, these are just beautiful and I can "feel" the love that went into each and every single one.
Nothing beats something handmade by a true artisan of love.

Big Dave T said...

Bravo Kacey! I thought my mother-in-law was a prolific quilter but I don't even think she made as many. It takes talent, it takes patience. My wife tried it this year, just to repair the quilts my late MIL had sewn for us but are now coming apart. She's given up. She needs inspiration too.

Dust-bunny said...

Kacey, you are not only very talented, but exceedingly patient as well! You hand stitch everything?? Wowee. I can not even imagine. Kudos to you...your work is beautiful.

I also read your Amish lovely is it to visit an area in the US so unaffected by the outside world going on around it? The Amish are amazing people in my book. I've never been to the farms here in the east (Lancaster county, PA), but I've heard a lot about them. Might be time for a visit!

Hope you are well, my dear Kacey!!

Andrew said...

August 10 - that was my 24th wedding anniversary!!

Betty said...

Wow- your loved ones are very, very fortunate. Your gifts will keep your spirit alive long after you're gone.