Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A First Time For Everything

When Jovita asked me if I would like to join some friends and blog "under the willow tree", I thought, "sure why not-I've never done that before." That is actually my story of how I started quilting. It was 2001, and my then "over the fence" friend and neighbor (who shall remain nameless and blameless), would invite me on outings, which would always end up at a quilt shop. "You don't mind do you", she would ask. What could I say, she was driving. What I didn't expect was the sensory overload that awaited me. I was in a foreign country full of mind-boggling patterns, delicious colors, and sumptuous textures. In short, I was a goner! There was only one small problem-I had parked my sewing machine 30 years before, because I HATED to sew. And, over my somewhat plump, dead body would I ever drag it out again. But what to do with all that beautiful fabric? I continued to drool over and fondle fabric for several months, when my friend (noticing my dilema), swore on her cat's grave, that all I needed to sew was a quarter inch seam, and voila!, I was in business.I hauled out the offensive machine (which my neighbor said sounded like a Harley Davidson motorcycle),dusted it off and took my first class, and made my first quilt.
Thus, began a love affair with quilting and quilters,which lasts to this day.
So here I am, having reached full circle with my history-I had never quilted before that time with my friend, and I had never blogged before until this evening. There is a first time for everything, and everyone, and I hope you, perhaps first time readers and quilters, will join us under the willow tree for many a chat, and regale us with stories of your own adventures in quilting.

Not My First.

But the second quilt I made. Did this one for my husband, Eric. I think we fight over it but luckily he rarely gets chilled. This is all flannel...yum-o. I found the pattern in a magazine but it was square. He wanted rectangle. And if you could see the fabrics, they are all hunting/fishing related. Yes, Eric would rather be outside with animals & fish 24/7. The outside border is to represent houses, kinda fun.  The backing? Yes, it looks like quail feathers, of course.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Welcome to Under the Willow Tree!  I'm thoroughly looking forward to this new endeavor and introducing you to some of the very best friends a girl can have.  

I thought I'd just pop in and show you my first quilt first.  Started just over 20 years ago ... at a time with Seafoam Green and Peach were everywhere, I thought I was being clever by adding a bit of Burgundy.  Now, when I see it hanging (as  it did in front of my house for my "Annual Patchwork in my Garden Party") it looks ok but it really isn't my style any more.  The colors are a blast from the past, the pattern is too predictable and well, muslin?

But it's not like I'll ever part with it either ... it all started my senior year of high school (in fact the last three months).  I was working at the local fabric store and planning to head off to college / Colorado in July.  Well I wanted a quilt.  So I picked out my pattern, knew I wanted an element of scrap and started gathering up fabrics.  My sister helped me get started and then I just got too busy.  I was graduating after all ...  so she finished up the top for me and then had a quilting bee for friends and family to quilt on it.  Then it went to my mom's.  And she had it ... and quilted on it ... for about the next ten years.  When we moved back to the States in 1999 mom gave it to me ... unfortunately in the meantime I had married Axel (um, unfortunately he's so tall, not that I married him - being married to him I am very fortunate) who is 6ft 8in / 203cm.  So ... the quilt is rarely used unless one of us is sick and it gets pulled out to go on the guest bed.  Today I put it on our bed today to get a "real" pic ... didn't take long for Clark to get comfy - but I also realized it fits our bed.  I'm really surprised and guess it just might have to show up there more often.

The details: 
Block:      Ohio Star  (12" / 30.5cm)
Fabrics:   variety of calico prints from the 
               $3.99 flat-folds table
Sashing:  simple muslin
Piecing:   entirely by machine
Quilting:  hand-quilted - group project 
Backing: wide backing, print on peach
Binding:  backing brought around to the front
Size:       84-1/2" x 100-1/2" /  215cm x 255cm