(Note: this was first published at Our View in Iowa on 7/1/2013.)
The last three months have flown by, and I don’t have a lot to brag about from a quilting perspective. With our son’s graduation, commissioning into the Air Force, and move to Vance Air Force Base, there were plenty of other things to do.
Our house was busy for the celebrations, with daughters and their husbands and children happily filling the lower level. Fourteen of us fit into a home that these days just has two. To get ready, I moved almost all my sewing/quilting equipment and supplies. My domestic machines, threads, notions, cutters, needles, pins, all got moved. The ironing board was put in a closet and the cutting table was brought upstairs to use for meals on the deck. (I have table leg extenders for it. With them off, it’s just a folding table.) All my art supplies were hidden, as well. For more than a month, I had limited access to it all.
And then I had to get it all back out.
We had a party, an open house for friends, family, and some of our son’s teachers. Though we had the meal catered by a local grocery (pulled pork, chicken, beans, fruit — it was good!), my daughter and I made the cookies.
Besides the Double Chocolate Cookies, I also made lemon cookies and peanut butter cookies. None of them looked fancy but they were oh so tasty! I also cooked ahead most of the food just to feed all the people in the house. No one went hungry!
The Commissioning Quilt
The Commissioning Quilt was a gift for the man who flew across the country to take part in the ceremony. Part of the tradition of the commissioning ceremony is that of the new officer’s first salute from an enlisted airman. Son had asked a friend, Steve, to honor him with his first salute. Steve lives in Seattle, WA, and they had worked together during the summer Son interned at Boeing. Steve enthusiastically provided Son with his impressions of the Air Force. As a military retiree, he had spent more than 20 years serving.
Steve called within minutes after he received the package from us, elated and touched by the gift. His reaction made it all worthwhile.
The Little Quilt
In the first quarter I made a small quilt in order to test the tension on my long-arm machine. While making it I decided to give it to my sister’s grand-daughter, a bright, cheery two-year-old. This quarter I finished it with binding and made a pillow to go with it. The pillow, in fact, was made with star block my other sister made.
Okay, so it isn’t like I did nothing for the quarter! I also worked on round robins with my small group. We have nine women in my group with a range of skills in all areas of quilting. Some are great at paper piecing; some of us have never done that. Some are talented at applique; others hesitate to try.
Though some were reluctant, we all agreed to try a round robin this year. In January we exchanged center blocks. Since then they’ve been passed four times, with borders added each time. Now the tops are done and our goal is to have finished quilts in September.
Here are four of the five tops I worked on, including the one I started.
Though all so different, I think they are all spectacular! All of us enjoyed it, and at our meeting this month the vote to do another round robin was a unanimous “YES!”
The Medallion Quilt
Finally, I am still working on a medallion quilt for myself. Originally I had no notions of what it would become, and then I thought it would be a bed quilt. As it turns out, I won’t make it quite that large.
A number of things have slowed me down on this project, none of which I mind. First, I have no deadline for it, since it is only to please me. Second, I had no plan or pattern in mind, and am designing as I go. Sometimes I try something and find it doesn’t work well. For example, I made a couple dozen 6″ churndash blocks to turn on point and create a border. Once they were made, however, I didn’t like how they looked. Each block was too intricate to use that way, and their colors didn’t work well, either. I thought for a long time before deciding on the simpler and smaller four-patches framed by turquoise triangles.
Besides all that, I have been stopped a few times when I needed to buy more fabric. As a scrap quilt, it doesn’t have to have specific patterns. However, they do need to coordinate for color. The center out to the edge of the broken dishes defined the color palette pretty clearly. Additions have stayed within that framework.
I’m happy with how it’s going so far. After I finish the current border, I might only have one or two more. Even though I don’t have a deadline, my goal is to finish it before the end of third quarter.
What have you been working on? Are you happy with your projects for the quarter?