Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
It has been a busy summer since I last wrote in June. After returning from Texas, July was full of quilting on the Christmas project. By the end of the month I had five quilts completely finished (or so I thought). August brought lots of company - Daughter Jamie with hubby Jeff and our grandson Wyatt from August 1 - 12, a visit that took place at our house, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and in Tacoma Park, Maryland and my Mom from California, a visit that also took us to West Virginia for two days. Needless to say, I did not get any quilting done until they all left but the good news is, the surprise did not get blown. All the quilts were here in the house tucked away in my sewing room, hidden under piles of clothes and no one went looking for anything in that room!
However, I did tell my sewing daughter in Dallas about the project and she was just amazed (called me crazy! and awesome!) and she has jumped on board as my helper in a big way. Here's how it happened: I was sitting on the front porch one early evening in July, trying to figure out how to tack the angels on "Christmas Chicken in the Pines" (see pictures in my albums) and she happened to call. I tried buttons, I tried a line of machine quilting but I was not satisfied with either. Becky, of course, asked me what I was working on. Bear in mind, I had visited with her for five days the previous month and managed to keep my mouth shut about the surprise Christmas quilt project but here I was stuck for a solution so, after considering it for a minute or two, I told her all about it and asked for her suggestions on the angel problem. She immediately signed up for MY QUILT PLACE so that she could go look at all the quilts.
Here next statement blew me away and in no time at all, her suggestion became reality. We Allmendinger women don't fool around. If we say we are going to do something, we do it! When I told her the goal was to use up all my Christmas fabric stash and that I still had tons left after making 15 quilt tops, she suggested we make bags to go with each quilt. A note about Becky and bags: if I am the quilt queen, she is the bag queen. She makes lovely bags as purses, tablet cases, etc. I told her that I would be lucky to get the quilts done, to which she promptly replied, "okay, I will make the bags!" What a sweetheart!
By the end of the conversation, we had decided I would send her fabric and she would make the bags, very simple, front and back and drawstring top. There was some discussion about monogramming "Merry Christmas" or the family name on each bag but nothing was decided there.
After we hung up, I went to my stash and matched material to quilts and the idea continued to unfold. What if the bags matched the quilts? What if the name of the quilts were on each bag? After lots of discussion, I bought Beck a plane ticket and she spent last weekend with me making gorgeous quilt bags and here is a picture of one and its matching quilt:
We managed to get 7 of the 15 bags done between 5 PM Friday and 2 AM Sunday. She flew home Sunday noon and the material for the remaining 8 bags followed her via UPS on Monday. She will finish the last eight bags in Dallas and bring them to me in Chicago when we get together for another family event next month.
As you can see from the pictures, the top line of writing names the project: "2013 - The Year of the Christmas Quilt" and the bottom line is the name of the quilt, in this case: "Get the Dot Outta Here." Becky has such an outstanding eye for color and design, I had no problem handing that part of the project over to her. I just turned her loose and watched her go. I did the monogramming and she did the rest. In between we ate junk food and slept just a little.
Here is an update on the total project. As of tonight, of the 15 quilts, 8 are quilted, 2 more are pinned and ready to quilt. Five have yet to be pinned and quilted. Of the 15, 6 have the dedication monogrammed onto the back, along with my signature and date, the title of the quilt, and my hometown. The rest will all have the signature and the date monogrammed onto the back but the rest will be machine lettered onto a piece of fabric which I will then hand sew on the back. I was having trouble with the amount of monogramming and had to make a switch. Not pleased that they will not all be the same but willing to live with it.
Becky has picked out four possible contenders for her choice of quilt. She will let me know before the project is done which one will be hers. I intend to put a special dedication on the back for her, my sewing, quilting, project sharing, beautiful daughter!