Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Every Quilt has a story...

Yes, not only every Quilt have their own story of creation, but most of them also have "a Tale to tell..."

When we start a Quilt, from the simple beginning of an idea flowing from our mind, through the whole - and sometimes complicated- process of drawing our idea. To find and get the best fabrics, those that will show most properly the quilt sense. The best design. The careful process of sewing to get an accuracy, well done top.
The selection of an appropiate quilting design, then the quilting process, and finish. All this process has a story of motivation, commitment, or the only desire to please a loved person with a special gift, made with our hands and love.

That's why most quilts also, have a Tale to tell... the story coming out of our mind to materialize into a work of art made with our hands.

As my "Enjoying together" quilt is:

It was at a workshop, when our teacher gave us this pattern to make, and told us the "story" behind the quilt, which I don't remember anymore. She encouraged us to make a table mat -with just the houses and trees- or a larger squared tablecloth -adding the fence border- or, if we want to, a bed-sized quilt, adding another border with squares and a final border.

The theme of the quilt was something about Christmas Night, using a starry dark fabric for the center. I found this lovely fabric, with all-colored stars over black background, that makes me remind the fireworks we use to play in my country for Christmas Night.

When I finished the top and showed it to the teacher, she told me "but... (there was always a "but...") in the sample, all the squares at the corners below the houses are from the same fabric, and also the outer border was only from 2 fabrics. You used too many fabrics"

I answered "Yes, but you also told us that the quilt tells a story. So, I made my own story".

"The fact is that I have 4 children. All are grown up, and is not usual that they join for a meeting during the year. Just a few times, for birthdays or so. But Christmas Eve is another thing... it's a tradition.
And for me, there's not better time than this, when I see the four enjoy setting off fireworks in the front yard, laughing and joking together as if they were again little kids".

So, the story behind this quilt is: "May the joy of Christmas, that makes my children forget all kind of troubles they might have, and play happily together as in their childhood, remains with them during the whole year" Each house represents the place of each one of them, with their favorite things:

Music, for the oldest boy;

Medicine, scouting and nature, for the second.

Children and Teddy bears for my oldest daughter, who is a Teacher;

Animals and Japanese culture for my youngest girl.

And of course, every house has its "puppy dog" appliqued in a window...

The outer border is not only made with scrappy squares, but selected from fabrics that represent the 4 seasons. Thus, one line is for winter, that slowly turns into spring, this in summer, and for last, the autumn.

Then the teacher and my classmates expressed "ooooohhh" and one of my friends asked me, And who among the four will be the heir to the quilt? You may have to do another 3 ... LOL!

At this point of construction, I measured the top on my bed and it was exactly the size to cover it, so my husband asked me to attach a final border, just to make it larger... "enough to cover us both, and not only you, when you turn around and you pull the quilt, and leave me shivering..." Ooops! :0)

Well, I bought the fabric he liked for the outer border, and that was the point where this beautiful Quilt became an UFO! As it was a workshop project, at that moment we started another project and I set this aside "to be finished later", until now!

Thanks to the initiative of my friend May who, with the aim to motivate us to finish all those unfinished projects that have been forgotten at the bottom of a shelf or a box, started the group "Lazy bums" to which I have joined with enthusiasm. I also encourage all of you who want to get rid of all your hidden, forgotten UFO's, to join too!

Star of Africa

I'd love to finish at least half of the 24 projects I have chosen to work over a year, and this quilt is one of the most important for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Antigua Guatemala, my first "bee block"

Here is my first patchwork block, for the Star of Africa bee. In this block, I tried to represent a street of Antigua Guatemala, one of the most iconic touristic places of my country.
The streets of this wonderful city are straight, with a traditional stone pavement, as it has been since the Colonial age. On both sides of the street, the houses are all of similar construction, all of them respecting the codes of the Colonial architecture. Is almost a tradition to put flower pots in the window sills, and also is very common to see large bouganvileas falling by the outer walls, spreading its perennial, bright purple flowers, to your eye's delight.
The blue peak at the end of the street, represents the "Volcan de Agua" (Water Volcano) which is named like this because is a non-active volcano, with a large pond of water in its top. Very close to it, are the "Fire" and "Acatenango" volcanoes. Contrasting with the calm of Volcan de Agua, the Fuego is always in activity.
Searching for more information and pictures to share, I found an excellent website, owned by Rudy Giron,a photographer who has posted hundreds of photos, and explained Antigua life in a very clear and amusing way. I truly recommend you to make a tour by his site, Antigua Daily Photo.

I'm sure you'll be delighted.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quilter's horoscope

I've just read a post in my friend Leanne's blog, referring to the quilter's horoscope. Funny, but not totally wrong, I found mine very close to my way of being...

Libra - September 23 to October 23
Easygoing and sociable Libra’s are great fun to have in patchwork and quilting classes and workshops. They enjoy helping others and never turn down a request to lend a hand to pin a quilt top. Friends are very important to Libra, and they don’t mind sharing their stash or tools. Unfortunately helpful Libra rarely will ask for help. They think that if they wait long enough for a problem to go away it will. Thus they end up with unfinished quilts when they do run into difficulty. Instead of finding a solution for the glitch they put it aside and move on to another project. They believe that they will be able to return to the project later and the predicament will have fixed itself. Funnily this sometimes works. You will find that a quilt designed by a Libra is always perfectly balanced.