Saturday, June 18, 2011

two weeks down and an old quilt

Nothing on the quilty front again this week...too busy studying!  My internship is continuing to go well and after a full week in one area in the lab, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm not the dumbest person on earth!  Of course, next week I'll be in another area...  I don't mind the learning, but I'm also studying for tests I need to take while at the internship and the two together are very much a lifestyle change!  (4 more weeks!)

So, since I haven't sewn a stitch since I last blogged, I thought I'd show another quilt many of you APQers have seen before, but hasn't been seen on this blog yet.

My bed quilt.

(Snow?  This photo was taken a few years back.)

This quilt currently lives on my bed.  It's wearing out, though, so probably I should get that red and gold one I made to replace this quilted...

It's a scrappy quilt.  Every pinwheel is a different fabric.  You all know I'm not a big fan of the less-coordinated variety of scrap quilts, so I suppose you'd like to hear the story why!

My parents decided that I would not be allowed to live off campus in college until I was a senior.  So up through my junior year, I lived in the dorms (not an all bad experience, though many people move off campus after the required freshman year) and could snag the quilts and blankets off my twin bed at home to use.  But the apartment?  No bed provided!  So I requested that we find me at least a double sized bed, figuring eventually I'd get married and want it and be one step ahead.

But I had nothing to put on my newly purchased queen sized bed!  (Awesome frame + awesome price = immediate upgrade!)  Luckily my mom is a quilter.  At this point, I was the runner.  We'd lay pieces out on the design floor (though at the time we just called it the floor) and she'd sit at the machine and chain sew and I'd hand her whatever came next, trim things off the end of the chain, press, lay them out again and maybe sometimes cut pieces with that new-fangled, dangerous (I can't believe I still have all my fingers) rotary cutter.

And my mom is a scrap quilter.  (She gets my leftovers a lot and loves it!)  So she has lots of smaller pieces of lots of different colors.  And I didn't know I wasn't a scrap quilter yet.  Heck, I didn't even know I was a quilter yet!  So I selected different fabrics that I liked (NO PINK!) and cut strips and we worked for quite a while.  It wasn't quite finished when I started school, but it was close.

The pattern came from a magazine, but I couldn't tell you which one or when it was published.  I believe this quilt was on the cover - otherwise my non-quilting self might never have found it.  The pattern called for sewing a light and dark strip and then cutting it at angles to get triangles and then sewing those to make a pinwheel.  (Those of you who are quilters can probably see this in your head, anyone reading this who is not a quilter probably has a headache now.)  What the pattern didn't point out is that you have enough "scraps" when cutting to make reverse pinwheels!  The back is the reverse pinwheels, in the same layout, which in hindsight was probably a whole lot of unnecessary fussing.

What the pattern also didn't tell you was that you could sew the pinwheels into halves, then piece the halves (carefully laying them out on the design floor) into rows and avoid the hand-sewing of hexagons altogether. and learn!  The pinwheel construction went very quickly.  The sewing them into a top?  Not so much.  (Silly mom had to take time out to sleep and eat and stuff...remember, I was a motivator and helper at this point, not yet a quilter.)  And then, because hiring out longarm quilting was a lot more expensive and harder to find, we tied the quilt.  But that doesn't make it any less of a quilt in my mind. 

So I made (I use that term loosely here!) a scrap quilt before I really knew what a scrap quilt was and before I realized they're not my favorite.  But I still love it.

This quilt has seen many cities and many homes, but always on my bed.  It's wearing out.  Some of the fabrics have torn.  Many are faded.  But many are scraps from other projects.  At least one is fabric leftover from boxers my mom made one of my brothers.  Whenever I make the time to finish another quilt to replace it, this will find a permanent home in my linen closet, but maybe I should label it first?  (Another of those things you learn as you go.)

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Happy quilting,


ann hermes said...

It's always hard to start a new job/internship. Sounds like you are doing just fine, though. :)

Lucky Duck Dreams said...

Ooh great story! You should just print out on fabric what you wrote above(cut and paste)and sew it on the back. Or at least on paper and pin it to the back. Adn dont hide it in the linen closet. Display it folded on top of a bookcase or on a towel bar some where. My aunt has the worn quilts my grandmother made my now grownup cousin displayed in the hallway on wooden towel bars. Thanks for sharig.

Sandy said...

Thanks for another great quilt story, Katie. It is still a beautiful quilt.


Ruth said...

That is a very cool quilt! And I love the story behind it. Yes, it needs a label and it would look great folded in a quilt cabinet or on a shelf somewhere. Maybe you can take 15 min or so to do something quilty - just to renew your mind a little. All that thinking and studying can be hard on a mind. Hee Hee!

---"Love" said...

Sounds like the internship is going very well. I love your quilt and its story! I agree with Colleen; handwritten would be great, but typed and printed on fabric would be great too. Either way, be sure to do it! (For my first quilt, I thought I had to write a book for the label! We still laugh about it! Also that quilt is in use everyday on my den couch!) ---"Love"

canuckquilter said...

Cool quilt and fun story. You've come a long way from being your quilting mom's runner!

Liriopia said...

Very pretty quilt! Any chance it could be repaired? With all those fabrics, you might be able to subsitute similar. Love the story. Only 4 more weeks 'til the internship is over. Hooray!


Unknown said...

Quilts with stories are the best;) Keep up the great work with the internship;)
Happy Quilting (when you can again)!!

Marsha B said...

It is a beautiful quilt and a great story! Hang in there with the internship, it will get easier all the time. Sounds like you are doing well and enjoying learning, too. Just four more weeks, you will be sewing again soon.

Lynette said...

Fun story. :) And keep plugging at your internship! You're getting where you want to be. :D

Beth said...

Go Katie Go. Just a little cheer to keep you going thru the internship. LOL. It is very tiring to be learning and doing new things all day and then to be studying for exams at the same time. Makes my brain hurt. I know you can do it.
Love your quilt. IT is a great story. I like Colleen's idea of hanging it or folding it over something once you have a replacement.