Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Antique Surprise! Made In America!

     What a wonderful morning I had yesterday! I totally love when something happens unexpectedly-and that something is really wonderful. I was just sharing the morning with my husband. He was getting ready to leave on a business trip.We were talking and laughing.....I hear a ding on my phone- I look at it and see that someone has sent me a message on messenger. Curious- I checked it out. It was someone who I did not know. Her message was this: " I have a friend who is looking for someone to quilt a family quilt". I was like- hhmmmm.... cool! So you know--I had to answer right away. It turns out it was a small group of woman ,who were at a local church laying out the quilt top because the owner originally wanted to pin baste it and hand quilt it. Her friends talked to her about a different option----machine quilting it. One of the ladies had seen a previous post of mine on face book about a quilt I had quilted for a customer . I remember that exact quilt too---very vintage looking quilt. Well, we texted back and forth and agreed on them coming over in a couple of hours. 

     What a rainy and cold day. When the car pulled up--I felt bad that they had to get out and come to my door. The woman did come out and what a sweet thing--A Grandma ma! She introduced herself and told me she was excited to show me the quilt. It turns out, it is not one that she pieced. It belongs to her Great Niece's Husband's Great Great Grandmother. Wow!!!!That was all I could think right away. Double wow!This woman told me that this young man remembers his Great Great Grandmother sewing together this very top. What a precious memory.

     We took it out of the bag and opened it up. I loved it instantly---it is all scrappy. It looks like an X and O pattern-sort of . As I held it, I ran my hand gently across it. I had to fondle it. This fabric in the quilt is fabric that was all made in America. We don't have that luxury today. I was so jealous---I wish we still had our mills and produced our own textiles. Anyway---back to the quilt.

     We talked about it--we decided to do a simple edge to edge. I thought a gentle design that would reinforce all of the seams without distracting from the design was perfect. She said she would leave the thread choice up to me. She is a seamstress but does not feel she can do the binding. I offered to do it for her and put a label on the back for her. She gave me a big grin when I told her she can archive about the quilt on the label. We talked some more about the quilt and of course- vintage machines. She was so cute--she kept saying : "I have chills on my legs talking to you" , " It is so nice to talk to someone about quilts and machines". I tell you- that woman makes me smile ear to ear.

     When she was leaving she left me with this statement of hers: " I want you to treat this quilt top as if it was your Great Great Grandmothers and do your best". That made my knees go weak and brought tears to my eyes. I simply answered: "Yes, I certainly will!". With warnings of take your time and don't rush, she was out the door and gone. There I stood--looking at this quilt. It is really difficult to express my thoughts and feelings at that moment. I can tell you that I feel as if the Universe has blessed me with a gem. I feel so honored that this woman would bring me her treasure. I truly can not wait to load this up an work on it. You can be sure that I will post some more about it as I work on it. 

Here she is!!!! She is 100% made in America!

Closer view of it--isn't it just scrumptious!!!

Here is a close up view. Look at all of those scraps of fabric. All made in the good ole USA!

Look at that---she hand stitched this whole quilt together!! This quilt is priceless!!! What a wonderful family heirloom!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Golf Quilt

     Oh I am thinking of Spring.... and wishing for Spring to get here. Can you blame me?----I am sitting here looking out my window and there is snow to the right of me, and snow to the left of me. Snow, snow and more snow. With it being the first day of February, I am getting excited. I always feel better when January has passed. For some reason, I feel that we have made it through the roughness of Winter and the hope of Spring is that much closer.

   With thoughts of Spring running through my head- I want to share with you a quilt that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is truly a one of a kind. I designed this quilt totally on a whim. My husband planted the seed of this concept into my brain--add a little sunshine, and water... Wha-la, a quilt is born! My husband and his father are big time Golfers. They have been since I can remember. One day, my husband came to me and said:" You know what would be a neat quilt?" I respond sarcastically : " I can think of a few, but what do you have in mind?" My husband: " I think a Golf type of quilt would be great- I bet you don't see that around." Me: " Hhhhmmmm... you are right, I have not seen one before, let me think on it." My husband: " That would make a great Christmas gift for my Dad." So you see how the seed was planted?! 

     I thought about this idea for awhile. I wrote down little notes to myself. I looked for different type of fabric on line. I was debating on going with  traditional blocks--or just free spirit it. I decided to free spirit the whole thing. I also brought my younger brother into the fold on this concept. My younger brother- Mike, is an Artist. When I need a really good drawing for what ever reason---I go to my brother. He is the best. I called him on the phone and presented my idea to him. Now---he is a serious artist, so what I was asking of him would sort of be out of the box for him. I needed him to help me with applique designs.

     Next, came the other design concept. I wanted not only Golf theme fabric in it, I wanted true Golf items in it. That led me on an Internet search that lasted a couple of weeks. I decided that I wanted certain Golf Flags to be in the quilt. There is one that I am so excited about getting- it cost me more to ship it then to buy it. It is from the golf course in Scotland- St Andrew's Golf course.

     I brought out scraps of fabric from my stash for the appliques, I bought background, sashing and boarder fabric. Away I went---I literally worked on it day and night. I have to tell you, cutting into the Golf flags made me a bit nervous and edgy. I kept thinking- If I screw up--I am screwed, I will have to buy more. I would like to say that I had an ultimate design plan. I didn't- after I cut down the flags, I laid them out on the floor on how I wanted them. Then I put in my applique blocks. Next came figuring out the sashings and fillers- that was totally by the seat of my pants. After all that--it was stitch- iron, stitch-iron, etc.... for some time. 

     After about a month ( I was working full time as a Nurse during all of this ), I finally had it all pieced together! I loved it! It was so cool looking to me. I had already bought the backing and batting so I put it on the longarm. To be honest, I was stumped for a bit. I kept asking myself--" how do you quilt on Golf Flags?" What design should I do so that it is "manly" and won't take away from the whole quilt top. I kept it simple. I did straight lines, meander, ribbon and golf tee's and balls on it. Finally--after what seemed like forever--it was done!!!! I just needed to wait for Christmas to come. That year, we planned on spending the holidays with his family, so I was looking forward to watching him open his gift. 

     Here it is! I love it! It is totally unique and one of a kind. I can't thank my brother enough for all of his artistic talent and assisting me in this. Love you Mike!

My first one of kind Golf Quilt!!😊

This is the most expensive flag on the whole quilt! I am so happy that I did buy it and put it in. I think it adds more meaning to it. The other flags are from other Golf courses that he did play at. In the picture below is a flag with the large initials of TC on it. That is for Tri-county Golf Course near my home that they play at often.

The appliqued words are from a quote from Pastor Billy Graham. The "Net Zero"is my Father in law's nick name.

Isn't the golf clubs so darn cute?

I love the golf bag in here

I think that my brother did such a great job on this project. His drawings were what helped to make the quilt so special. His attention to detail was so appreciated.

This is the back to show off the quilting

I decided to design and embroider out the label with my embroidery machine to give it that something extra special touch.

I have to tell you, my Father in law was so surprised and shocked when he opened his gift. The look on his face was priceless!!! He was totally speechless. It was worth every stitch!!!