Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There's Just Something About a Quilt...

Quote for the day:
Definition of a Quilter:
Somebody who takes large pieces of fabric, 
cuts them up into little pieces of fabric,
and then sews them together again to make a large piece of fabric!

When I'm not busy being a nurse (or tossing out unnecessary clutter), I quilt.  

It relaxes me.  It grounds me.  It rewards me.  It makes me feel good about myself.  It's something I'm good at (at least *I* think so anyway).

And it's cheaper than therapy!!!! 

I come from a long line of Mennonite quilters on my dad's side.  I grew up with a love of quilts because of my Aunt Priscilla who always had her entire living room taken up with a large quilt frame with a quilt in it.  Her sofa never wore out because you could never sit on was always in the middle of the living room...supporting the center of whatever quilt was in the frame!

When I was 18 and working 3-11 as Nurses' Aide in the local nursing home in Archbold, OH, about once a week after work I would go over to Aunt Priscilla's and play her piano and serenade her while she quilted.  (Though she was in her 60's at the time, she worked 3-11, too, and so was up till 1 AM or so.)

I didn't learn to quilt until about 15 years later...self-taught by reading some books.  I LOVED hand quilting from the get-go!  But it took me many, many years to learn to piece the tops together...something I still consider myself a "newbie" at.

Since I didn't piece, I either embroidered the quilt tops, bought quilt tops at auctions and finished them into quilts, or had a friend make my quilt tops for me. 

Several years ago I gave away some of my first finished quilts to my niece and nephew the year their dad died.  I vowed at that time to make each of my nieces and nephews a quilt.  To date, I have fulfilled 4 of those quilts.  I have finished the 5th quilt in my niece/nephew plan, but haven't given it to the recipient, yet.  Hopefully that will take place in the next month or two.

For those of you who aren't aware of what goes into a home made quilt, I thought I'd walk you through some of the steps...

First you need some of this...

Yes...that is a picture of the closet where 90% of my fabric is stored...what doesn't fit in there is stored in picnic baskets...not to mention the cupboard that holds my flannels. 

Then you need a pattern from a book or from the gazillion patterns available on the internet...

You make a block or two to see how you like it...

This particular block has 53 little pieces in EACH BLOCK!   And in the final quilt there were 30 blocks.  53 X 30 = a helluva lot of cutting and sewing!  LOL

Then you make some more blocks...

You sew all of those blocks together and add borders to make the "quilt top".  

You then load it onto the quilt frame, along with the backing fabric and the batting (fluffy inner material that makes it WARM & CUDDLY)... 

You sew all three layers together with stitches that look like this...

till it looks like this...

Then you want to make sure you have your camera ready for when you gift the quilt to the recipient so you can see this...

And that's why we quilters love what we do!!!  :D

To have a home-made quilt is to wrapped in LOVE! 



  1. And more patience than I will ever have! From the Gillum House

  2. I love this blog post. I love your quilts. I love the love that you put into your quilts. And I love you! You need to get more of those candid quilt shots!

    Love You

  3. I wish you had been there when I got my quilt. I wasn't even able to get out of the post office without opening it! I like to rotate my quilts and comforters, and it's time to put the quilt for you back on the bed for Jeff's girls to use at Thanksgiving.
    Thank you!

  4. Yes, I just put our quilt back on the bed a couple days ago. We LOVE it! Thank you so much!


  5. Where's my quilt? I'll wait till you're done giving them to your family, but I want to be the first one after that. They are wonderful and beautiful.

  6. I loved this post! That quilt turned out so beautifully!!! Thank you for sharing! :)

  7. Those quilts for your neices/nephews will be cherished until the end of time! They are beautiful, warm, and made with love. I was recently given the quilt that my mom made back in the late 60's. I remember every stitch she made back then. It is my prized possession. Your family will feel the same. You do good work. I'm impressed.

  8. What a great post and such a great photo of the quilt opening!!