Thursday, June 21, 2012

Story of my (until now) best quilting artwork

When a friend of mine  received a bag made and quilted by me, she asked me to make a Quilt for her Mom.  Some years ago, she had bought some fabrics with the proposal of making the Quilt by herself, but with no idea of how to do it, and also, with no time to learn.
So, she gave me the fabrics and asked me to do "what I could" with'em. OMG! what a surprise...
That's what I got!  A bag full of  pre-cut pieces... snipped, not even, not accurate or the same size. I really couldn't imagine what was her mind, her idea,  but well... I had to do something, it was such a deal!
Mainly, because her mom is a truly beloved person for me!  She's also my daughter's piano teacher, so, I wanted to do my best work for her.

I began to sort  and set the pieces by groups of similar size... then I found that, with these square pieces

thepatchesofmylife.blogspot.comI could make these 4 patchs:

 Which were almost the same size of these pieces,
thepatchesofmylife.blogspot.comSo, trimming them to the same size, and with some matching fabrics for sashing, I planned an outer border!  

maybe not the usual way to design a Quilt,but... that's the way it came out...Having measured the final size of the 4-patch border, and calculated an inner border, I decided the size of the center.  I marked my desk with tape to the appropiate size, and began to play with all the leftover odd pieces, to get a... puzzle?... That's how I named it!   What a funny time!     
Here, the steps:
Then, adding the inner border, the 4-patches, and another 3 borders, one of them with all the small leftover pieces, I got the final top:
After that, I spent some days thinking about the proper quilting.  I realized I only could hand-quilt it, and I needed a simple, not much time-consuming design.   One morning, I awoke with the clear idea:  The recipient lady is a loving mother, grandmother and...yes! great-grandmother of 2.  Nothing greater or more important for her, than her family, so... what about quilting her relatives' names in the borders?  I loved the idea, and immediately called a mutual friend who could give me all that names without telling her, or her daughter who ordered the quilt.  I wanted it to be a whole surprise for both!  
And of course, it was.  I needed almost a year to have it finished, but finally she had a very special, surprising Christmas gift.  Hope she now has warm, soft dreams, covered and well wrapped with "My family love" as I named it.

The finished quilt, and a detail of the quilted names:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Around the world in... 80? No, 480 days...

Departing from Africa... well, not really.  Departing from my nearest quilting shop, and then comfortably installed in my sewing room, I'm ready to go!  Planning... done!  Design...almost done!  The hardest part: fabric selection. That's always my biggest challenge, because my choices often result in a monochromatic palette. But the best part of my amazing traveling story is that, after a couple of days feeling overwhelmed,  the fair of inspiration came over me this morning, and ideas flew as a brainstorm!  Star of Africa ladies, this part of the world has started... May I post pictures in advance, or Patti wants to be surprised?  

My first steps in blogger world

Well, finally, I did it!. I've been avoiding to start blogging. I knew why: it's confusing for me. But life changes in that way, that create the necessity to deal with new challenges. And here I am, starting my second blog... I opened the first two days ago, and really couldn't enter again. Doesn't matter, not too much said in there.
The main reason to be here, is to share with my quilting pals my experiences about quilting in a country with no-quilting tradition at all. That's a growing, but still almost unknown craft.
It was five years ago when I discovered Quilting world, an since then, it conquered me.
I was about to quit a whole life of Accounting, which had turned a boring and hard work for me; and was also entering in the "empty nest" age, when one friday morning, at 10 am. I received a call from my best friend.  She told me:
-"Hi dear, listen, I registered myself in a Patchwork and Quilting course.  But I've just received a call from a job I really need to grasp.  It'll be impossible for me to attend the course.  Would you like to go instead of me?  I give it to you"
-"Well, of course I'd like to, thanks.  When it starts?"
-"Today, at 1 PM."
Wasn't that a strong push forward? No time to refuse, or even think about.  Just grab my purse and GO!
That was the beginning of an affair... I became immersed in the study of this beautiful art, that every day surprises me with more fascinating, new secrets. 
After 3 years of classes and practice, buying fabrics and collecting UFO's, as well as some finished projects, I felt my brain fulfilled with information.  A lot of techniques were just glanced at, and I wanted to practice them again.  So, I decided it was time to stop studying for a while, and start teaching others what I've learned.

At present, my dearest dream is to find in my country more people interested in learning this artwork, in the same in-love way as I do. 
I love to browse internet looking for new patterns, designs, and to share experiences with other quilters around the world.  An amusing and amazing way to travel...