Okay, so here’s the story: I went to North Carolina with my husband to visit his family for Christmas. While there I noticed my sister-in-law looking through etsy and the what not at quilts to purchase. You see, as a child her grandmother made quilts for all the kids…except her, because she was the youngest and gran was too old to make anymore quilts by the time it was her turn. She had pushed this aside until they spent some time up in a cabin in the woods that was full of hand made quilts. She snuggled and cuddled under them everyday and night and fell in love. Unable to purchase any of those quilts off of the owner she began searching for one online. Now, maybe because it was the holidays and all the good stuff had already been sold or…maybe there just isn’t a great inventory of good quilts to purchase…I was unimpressed with the selection and the effort that was clearly not put into the quilts we were finding on the market (under $1000).
It may not be surprising that I looked up from my iPad after another covert quilt purchasing search and said “you know I make quilts, right?”….and here it begins. I convinced her that I would be happy to make her a quilt, and one she would like to boot. Her husband would buy the fabric (his Christmas gift) and “we” (the royal we of course) would make the quilt with the understanding that it would take some time as I work full time and I am trying to finish my dissertation…in my spare time. I found a pattern called Pinwheel Pinache in the Sep/Oct issue of McCalls Quilting Magazine. It is a very traditional pattern, looks like something grandma might have made back in the day. It also has a bigillion pieces, which if you know anything about me by now, you know is my thing. I have an over piecing problem.
So we went to the local quilt shop Wish Upon A Quilt in Raleigh. A quaint little shop perhaps smaller than I am used to here in San Diego but no matter. And we set out to choose fabric
Here is what we came up with. The fabric on the far left is the border (although I bought extra to add into the piecing and the fabric at the top is for the back.
Now, that was in December…notice we are in February. So, the dissertation timeline got moved up a month and I went back to work after being on sabbatical for 6 months. Whoa! Fortunately, many moons ago I signed up for another weekend retreat at Rosie’s Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop don’t let the old school web design fool you, this shop is huge and has great classes…they are a Janome dealer too (not that I am looking to give in my trusty Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 anytime soon. Still loving it, it’s amazing). I digress, I took a weekend off from the dissertation and spent the weekend at Rosie’s being generally fed and pampered and given a whole table to spread out on.
Here is the first look at progress being made at the retreat on the quilt.
and another look
in the end I made all 68 pinwheels. Mind you I spent a whole day cutting the fabric for this quilt the weekend before my dissertation deadline was moved up…very good timing.
While working, the expert quilters in the room took pity on me. I was drawing the stupid line across the squares from corner to corner in order to make my half square triangles. They turned me on the “Angler 2″ which allows you to sew from corner to corner or from 1/4″ to each side of that line without drawing a thing. What a time saver!
I also managed to start on the stars for the quilt. There will be 27 of these. I texted pics throughout the retreat to my SIL to prove that progress was being made. She was thrilled :-)
Last night, after having sent in my chapter 4 revision of my dissertation (there are only 5 chapters…the home stretch!). I took a break and made some more stars
this is how many I have now. I’m a little worried about all the low contrast fabrics but I am hoping it works out in the end.
I found that my work space at home is significantly smaller than the retreat table but I am making it work. I’m afraid this is not very portable so taking it to the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild Sew in this Sunday is out. No problem, it’s a good time to use more of that ever growing stash of oriental fabric on those paper pieced cranes anyway. I have about 15 now, I’ll have to take a picture soon, I’m really happy with their progress…and I am still working on my English Paper Piecing (see my last post) whenever I get a little down time with the hubster in front of the tv (I manage to squeeze in an hour here and there).