Sunday, June 27, 2010

Signature Quilts

My mother-in-law received this signature quilt from her Mother when she got married in 1941.  The quilt contains embroidered signatures of her relatives, some of whom I have met.  Capitola and Clell Gray's signatures are there - they attended our wedding 30 years ago.  Wish I had gotten to know them better.  Adren Denny's signature is there - we purchased his house years ago, and our oldest daughter now lives there.  My husband's grandparents, William and Edna Green, have their signatures included and it was so fun to see my husband's surprised expression when he realized this.  The quilt is so precious to us and will be passed along to our daughters someday.

I recently participated in a signature block swap with 20 other online friends, and am looking forward to including their signed blocks in a quilt.  Lots of ideas for making the quilt are coming to mind, including adding the signature blocks to house blocks, star blocks or maybe a crazy quilt.  These blocks contain memories of happy times getting to know people who I may never meet from all over the world, and from several U.S. states.  Have you made a signature quilt and how did you decide to include the signatures?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


My dear mother-in-law passed away last Sunday after a long illness. We were so fortunate to inherit some of the quilts made by her, her mother and her aunts. They are completely hand pieced.  These quilts were carefully packed away in her cedar chest and we never knew they existed. 

Just love both of these quilts and feel so lucky to keep them in our family.  My husband remembers his grandma doing a lot of "sewing" when he was young, but doesn't recall his mom making any of these quilts.  It is fun to really study the fabrics and quilting designs up close. 
Back in the early 1990s when I first started quilting, I remember getting my mother in law her first rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat for her birthday, and showing her how to make a log cabin quilt.  She had a lot of fun making it, but never mentioned that she had made quilts before, using the traditional methods.  She was a beautiful southern lady who looked like a 1940s movie star.  She traveled across the country from Kansas City to California to marry my father in law, who had just enlisted in the navy in 1941.  She was only 16 years old!  Now I know where my daughters get their courage and independent streak!  We really miss her...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Project Rotation

After two weeks of piecing spool blocks, think its time to do something new, so got out these appliqued pieces from the Birdsong quilt (Jan Patek's pattern) which have been in a drawer for a couple of years.  All the appliqued strips are made and need to be sewed together with the connector pieces.  


The spool blocks will be tucked away in this bowl for a while until I feel like hand piecing again.  I'm a firm believer in project rotation, and eventually they get finished.  This works, in theory, as long as I can resist the urge to start something new!    Would love to hear your thoughts on this - do you work on a single project from start to finish?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Daylilly Dreams

Despite the cool weather this year, the daylillies are in full bloom. We get the plants from Amador Flower Farm which has acres of these beauties.

Almost a table full of spools - up to 21 now - so making progress.  A few of my favorite hand piecing tools are shown in the dish.  The little omnigrid ruler is just perfect for marking the sewing lines.  Also discovered that DMC thread in a neutral color works great and is nice and thin so it doesn't make the seam allowance overly large.  Applique pins work great for matching points, and the thread doesn't get hung up on them too often.  A fine point mechanical pencil is great for marking the sewing lines, and has shown up on all the fabrics so far.  What hand piecing tools do you use to make the process easier?