Bob is a long time family friend. His house is located at the beginning of the road that takes you to the neighborhood I grew up in, and the house where my mother lives. After my dad passed away, Bob would come over and help my mom out, and visit. They became good friends. Bob became part of our family.
When I started his quilt I was thinking about the Gee’s Bend quilt show I had recently been to. I saw the show a few years past, and wished to quilt back then, but quilting seemed more like something other people did. At that time I had recently finished my MFA in printmaking, and felt that I need to focus on pursuing that. Crafting a quilt would be avoiding doing what I was supposed to be doing. Also, back then, craft was seen as lesser. Not by me, but I was on a confusing path. Seeing the show again with two quilts under my belt was a different experience. It was inspiring. It made me feel comfortable with my flaws. It made me feel like I was doing what I was suppose to be doing.
I love the big bold shapes in the Gee’s Bend quilts. I wanted to do something like that for Bob. My color choices came from the colors that are in his house. I took the same colors I used on the front and decided to do another configuration of rectangles on the back. I’m equally satisfied with both sides.
Bob was so happy with his new quilt, and I was so happy to give it to him.
When I decided to sew a quilt for my brother for Christmas. My mom advised me to make it masculine, and not feminine looking. At this point I had started to research quilts. Whenever I’m learning to make something. I make a trip to library. I’ll check out as many books as I can find, or carry, on my new subject. I also collect craft books. It was either through the library, or one of my craft books, that lead me to the log cabin quilt.
My brother is colorblind. He has problems with the color blue. I took that into consideration when choosing my colors. Brown tones seemed masculine, and matched the idea of a log cabin quilt. I had a system when working from my lighter colors to my darker pieces. The system didn’t work as well as I had hoped. Now I am more familiar with log cabin quilts, and I can see how I could have used the lights and darks to make it more dramatic.
When my brother opened his Christmas present he didn’t seem interested. I informed him that I had made the quilt for him. He was surprised. He thought I had bought him a blanket. I could tell he appreciated it after that. It also made me happy that I made a quilt that looked good enough to be store bought.
This is my first quilt I started and the second I finished. I title it Insanity. That is a word used by my husband after I finished it. His exact words were, “That is what insanity looks like to me.”
My sister-in-law is a quilter. I mentioned to her that I would like to try making a quilt. She inherited quilt tops, quilt pieces, and fabric from her husband’s granny who had passed away. She gave a pile of 2” squares, and some miscellaneous sewn together squares. Not all were made of materials I would pick out, but there was something about that I liked.
I started sewing the squares together. I quickly realized I would run out of little squares before I would get a usable size quilt. I found some quilting fabrics I had used for an old craft project. At this time, I was also discovering quilt shops, and started collecting quarter folds. Quarter folds, was a new term in my vocabulary.
As I sewed, I tried to create some sort of rhythm. There was some thought to which squares I chose to sew together, and thought to how I would incorporate the already sewn together squares into it, but it’s hard to tell. With my quilts I think I have a plan, but often work more intuitively.
So far, this is the only quilt I have not given away. I love it. When I make the bed I put the top side up. When my husband makes the bed, he puts the top side down.
About half way through the top of this first quilt, I realized that a quilt would be a nice Christmas gift for my brother. I really learned how the process of putting a quilt together on my second quilt for my brother. After I finished his quilt, I came back to this one and finished it up. I knew I was hooked.