Recently, one of my favorite retailers, Erie Drive, asked me to be a contributing bloggger for their blog, "The Niche". I said YES! Today they did an introduction post about me. More posts written by me are coming soon. Erie Drive carries beautiful products. I am partial to the bkr glass water bottles. I keep one on the first floor of my house near my computer and a second one upstairs in my quilting room!
What have I been working on over the last few weeks? Spinning some records.
This weekend is my local guild's quilt show, which means I have been sewing on labels and sleeves. My daughter is hanging her very first quilt in the show, so she had to make her first label as well.
In my last post I told the story of my Grandma's Stars quilt. Since I committed to writing the pattern, I had to figure out how Grandma made those stars. You know how she did it pre-rotary cutter? She used scissors and cardboard templates!
I made plastic templates and used a rotary cutter, and tested them out by making this cute baby/wall quilt.
And I had fun with the quilting.
I wanted to try the pattern in a different colorway, so I used my scraps of 1930's reproduction fabrics and Kona solids in a third quilt. I did not take a photo of the finished product (that was not my smartest move), but here is a work-in-progress photo.
Again, some more fun quilting.
After the templates and directions were sorted out, I sent the pattern to my mom and brother to see if the directions made sense. My brother is not a quilter, so he made his out of paper. I learned that the angles on the templates were slightly off. Fabric is stretchy and forgiving, but paper is not. Don't worry, we fixed the angles!
My mom made a baby quilt. This is really a three generation quilt. Her mother started the project, I played with it, and then mom took it and played with it some more! Mom's is hand-quilted.
Want to try one of your own? You can purchase the pattern from American Quilters Society here.
In November of 2002 while visiting my grandparents, my grandma, Ortha Broeker, and I looked through her fabric closet. She opened up a box and found a pile of pieced stars she had made many years before - maybe in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Grandma gave me the stars and told me to do whatever I wanted to with them.
I brought the stars home and set them in black fabric to show off all of the funky fabrics, in the stars. My mom recognizes some of the fabrics from her high school wardrobe and I am betting my aunt could probably recognize a few too!
(If you ever wondered why I like crazy fabrics together, this shows that there might be a genetic component to my taste.)
To make the quilt big enough for a bed, I added in sashing and small stars as posts. I used every reddish fabric that I owned at the time to make the small stars. Now I could make several whole quilts just using the reddish fabrics in my stash. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
I have used this quilt on my bed off and on for the last decade. Occasionally it traveled back to Nebraska and lived on my grandparents' bed for a while. It has been well-loved.
Imagine my surprise when I received a call from an editor at American Quilter's Society, who had seen the quilt on my website, saying that they would be interesting in publishing this quilt as a pattern. In fact when she said that "Grandma's Stars" was the pattern they were interested in, I could not for the life of me think what quilt she was talking about until I blurted out, "Oh, the quilt on my bed!".
In my next post I'll show you my samples and testers and how different the design can look in other colorways!
If you asked me ten years ago what my quilting goal was, I would have told you that it was to have a quilt on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. That really was as big as I could dream at the time. (Actually, I probably wouldn't have told you. Telling you would have jinxed it. But I thought it.) Ten-ish years later, Catena is on the cover of the Dec 2012/Jan 2013 issue! To have a goal and see it realized is fantastic. My dad told me I needed another goal, and gave me a great idea for a new one. But I won't talk about it. It might jinx it.
My subscription copy still has not arrived in the mail, but my friend Linda found a copy in a quilt shop in Maine. Everyone around me is glad that I can see the final results. I quit stalking my mailman and the staff at the local bookstores. And my kid is very happy not to take *another* ride to the bookstore.
Inside is an article about me and the quilt, as well as the block pattern. There is also an article written by the fabulous Madeleine Roberg, one of the women behind The Printed Bolt. The magazine is officially on newsstands November 20.