Friday, March 5, 2010

Late Bloomer

Shortly after I finished my first quilt, I started making another. I had bought a book called Learning to Quilt: A Beginner's Guide, by Leisure Arts.

It walked you through the quilt making process step by step, and the end result was a sampler quilt. You learned and built on techniques, and the blocks got a bit more challenging as you went along.

That was the idea, anyway.

As with many undertakings, I didn't work through the book in a linear manner. I hopscotched my way through, making about half the blocks suggested and skipping the rest. Instead, I checked out books from the library and substituted blocks that I found more interesting from those resources. I just made sure all the blocks finished the same size.

My mother had given me some calico scraps left over from her many craft projects, and I used those. The background fabric was plain, unbleached muslin. In a short period of time, I had made almost enough blocks for a finished quilt.

Then I shelved the project. For over a decade.

Putting it aside was probably due to a combination of factors--raising a family, going back to work full time, and maybe boredom with the sampler as well. Around that time, I was really getting into genealogy, and my brother and I had started publishing a family newsletter. Then we wrote a book on our family history in conjunction with a big family reunion. So there was that.

Oh, I did a few small craft projects in the interim, including a couple little wall hangings. That was about it.

Sometime in the second half of 2007, having quit my main job and with my daughter off at college, I got the quilting bug again. In December '07, I dug out the sampler quilt project and assessed the situation. I needed just two more blocks to make a lap size quilt. I sewed a maple leaf block and a churn dash, reworked a basket block with too generous seam allowances, and found a fabric that worked for sashing and borders.

The project finally came together.

My mother's birthday was coming up near the time I was finishing the top, and I thought it would make a nice gift. It seemed fitting that the one who had taught me to sew and nurtured my love of creating with fabric should be the recipient of this quilt. I also thought she might enjoy seeing some of her fabrics from years past. But with a self-imposed deadline, I needed to find a way to get it quilted in a hurry. So I found a machine quilter on eBay.

In hindsight, I do not recommend this. Live and learn is all I'm saying.

At that time, however, I was saying Git 'er done.

The quilt did get done, and I shipped it off to Mom for her birthday. She was delighted!

I named it "Late Bloomer."


  1. I think it's lovely and I'm sure your mom was very happy to receive it. I love all the different blocks.

  2. It's beautiful! I've made a lot of those lovely blocks myself. I bet your mom was thrilled.

  3. My Mom has that book but I don't think she ever made a sampler from it -- she probably had it for one of the blocks but I can't remember which one.

    It's a lovely quilt, but yes the quilting could have been better. Needing to finish a quilt for a specific deadline is one of those times I feel fortunate to have my own longarm so I can get it done!

  4. Thank You for your visiting my blog. From what I understand the word belcnikle is a german word maybe for santa, but not real sure. They used to be filled with candy for the childeren during the holiday. That is a nice qulit you had made. Have a good day, Julian


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