Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Monthly Mini x2

With Mom's passing in July, I didn't get a monthly mini made that month. I have made up for it this month by making two. I am linking this post with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog. She is our monthly mini motivator and mentor.

 On the left is "Busy Thimbles in Blue", and on the right is "Scrap Basket Half-hex with Chrome Detailing."

I wanted these to be the same, but different. Each one has two striped borders and two tone-on-tone borders. The tonal and striped prints are reversed in position from one to the other. The centers of each are scrappy, and use one shape that repeats and flips. The tonal print on each one got cable quilting, while the striped print on each got straight line quilting. I tried to use an unexpected color on each binding, though I will admit that the chrome yellow is definitely more unexpected than the grey/blue.

I did stitch-in-the-ditch around the thimbles. I knew that there wouldn't be good daylight to get a photo showing the quilting by the time I had this one bound, so I took the photos before sewing the binding down on the back.

The quilting on the half-hex was a little harder for me to decide. I started out quilting vertically between the rows of hexie shapes, but it wasn't enough. To quilt along the seams horizontally would have emphasized that these were half-hex shapes, and I didn't want to do that.  I finally chose to do diagonal lines through the rows of hexies, as if I was doing the hanging diamond design. Then I wondered if I should make diagonal lines coming from the other direction, but decided that would be too dense for this little thing. So I left it alone, and it has grown on me.

I am writing this on August 23rd, the day Hubby officially retired, after over 40 years with the same company. In the morning we are flying out to the east coast. By the time this post goes live I will have spent a week in New England hunting down ancestors, while including a couple of quilty adventures along the way. From Maine to Massachusetts, I will have scoured graveyards, visited historical societies, and witnessed where my Mayflower ancestors landed and lived. And if all has gone according to plan, I will have met Wendy, The Constant Quilter (see link above), and have paid another visit to Cyndi (Busy Thimble blog) at her Busy Thimble quilt shop. 

The day this posts I will be trying to squeeze in a visit to The New England Quilt Museum on the way to the airport to fly home. It has been three years since I was last in Massachusetts for our oldest son's wedding reception, and six years since I visited Maine while on a trip to see my oldest daughter who was living in New Hampshire at the time. This is my 6th visit to New England and I have loved every trip. I will share more about it after I have recovered from all the fun.

Thank you to everyone for the very kind and loving comments on my last post about Mom's passing. I tried to get as many answered as I could before we left, but I didn't get very far. I will try to catch up soon. Is anyone else having trouble with comments on their blog NOT coming through to their email? About midway through the comments I received on my last post, they stopped coming through. I went to settings and it doesn't even give me the option to select an email to receive comments. That has never happened to me before. I sent feedback to Blogger. Hopefully it is a glitch they will work out. They finally fixed the header photo problem, so I will wait and see. But it is a pain to not be able to reply directly.

One last glamor shot of the two little quilts and then I am out of here. :)

Take care, until next time!

Janet O.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

For Mom

After having been moved into a skilled nursing facility on July 6th, my Mom was a resident for one week before she fell and shattered bones in several places. She spent another week heavily drugged, to mask as much pain as possible, and then finally let go of this life, of which she had been tenacious.

           The figurine below is from Willow Tree and is called "Loving My Mother". It was gifted to me by a dear friend when she learned of Mom's passing.

As children my siblings and I remember Mom often teasing us that a song we learned in our church's children's auxiliary was something she wanted to have sung at her funeral--by us. But when I sat down with her 2 1/2 years ago to plan her funeral program, she decided to have it sung by her granddaughters, granddaughters-in-law, and great-granddaughters instead. We changed "Mother" to "Gramma".

These are the lyrics to the song "I Often Go Walking":

I often go walking in meadows of clover,

And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.

I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;

Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.

O mother, I give you my love with each flower

To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;

For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,

I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.

A few days after Mom's funeral, when I finally had a chance to breathe, I pulled out the tub of scraps from Mom's quilts and found the bag of leftovers from the blue and white "Storm at Sea" quilt she made for me decades ago. Then I pulled down the thick loose-leaf of quilt patterns and photos I saved from magazines that Mom was discarding many years ago. I remembered one I wanted to use.

I only had a photo of this one, and a sketch I had made years ago of possible block construction. An internet search for a bouquet block pattern yielded nothing that resembled this. In Brackman's Encyclopedia the Crown of Thorns block seemed to come closest--but that doesn't have patterns, so I was back where I started. I drew up my own pattern, making sure to avoid the set-in seams that were used in the quilt in the magazine photo. I could only tell that when I studied the blocks closely. It is obvious on one of the blossoms made from striped fabric.

There is significance to the fabrics in this little quilt.

Each of the blue "blossoms" is made of scraps from my Storm at Sea quilt, but the blossom to the right was also from the last maternity dress I made. When I had my last baby (over 30 years ago), Mom said she would use the cotton fabric from the dress in quilts--and she did. I used that same fabric to bind this quilt. The green is from a quilt my brother now owns, and the purple was from the last quilt Mom made, when she was 85. Blue and purple had been her favorite colors. The background fabric is little blue blossoms on a white background. I don't know if Mom ever used it in a quilt, but it was from her stash. This little quilt finished up at just over 9" square.

I hand quilted everything on this--even the stitch-in-the-ditch--in homage to Mom, because to her if it wasn't hand quilted, it wasn't a quilt. She taught me everything I know about hand quilting, especially the tiny stitches. She was always very gracious about my machine quilting. :)                                                                                          

I call this "Blossoms of Blue". Mom, this one's for you!

Janet O.

                                            The quilt on Mom's casket was one she made in 2003. It is, of course, all hand quilted.