Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A sampling of treasure

 In the early nineties I invited a few ladies over to see if anyone was interested in quilting.  We started a little quilt group and called ourselves The Country Road Quilters as we were all in a rural setting and traveled at least a half an hour to get together.  We met every week and took turns hosting the meetings.  The first rule was no food and it was pitched out when the first meeting began with coffee and goodies.  Somewhere along the line we included lunches.  :O    At some point the original four of us made 4 blocks representing our home in each others chosen colours.  Then we each set the four blocks into a wall hanging.

But before we got to that point we decided we all needed to sign up for a sampler course at the nearest quilt shop.  As with most classes we had to buy our fabric at the store.  I was mightily resisting the whole calico thing by this time and I was struggling.

 So I found a paisley in amongst the bolts and dared to pick coordinating solids in blue. Now I was into the country look and the blues would work in my bedroom even if paisley isn't exactly 'country'.   Everyone had their eyebrows up but I stuck to my intentions.  

By the time I got around to the borders I had to figure out how to stretch the fabric I had and make it fit the double bed.  Then came the quilting.  :O  Everyone hand quilted and we brought our hoops and worked on them every week.  I again struggled.  The rocking stitch defeated me.  So I stab stitched in secret!  LOL  Turns out lots of quilters stab stitched but it wasn't how 'real' quilters did it in my neck of the woods.  This quilt would still be 'hooped' if I hadn't discovered Harriet Hargrave and machine quilting.  :)  I resisted the urge to unpick everything, finished up the last few blocks by machine and made creative choices for the border.  I should have stood my ground on the backing but knuckled under to a plain white cotton which looks simply horrid with all that catywompus blue quilting thread on the very visible back.  :(

Not being a traditionalist I decided I didn't like samplers and would never do another.  Never say never for there are many ways to make samplers and the quilt group chose several.   But those treasures must wait for another Tuesday!


Createology said...

I like hearing your quilting backstory. The wall hanging with each of your country homes is a treasure. I do really like your blue paisley quilt and I see it as timeless and a treasure. Tuesday Treasures Dear...

Jo Ferguson said...

I also enjoy hearing the stories behind these older quilts. That's what makes them special.

Margaret said...

Elle, that's a beautiful piece! I too love paisley and I'm very glad you stuck to your guns about it! (grin)

And...yes, I cut my quilting teeth on sampler quilts. I belonged to a "Saturday Block" at an LQS for 3 years running. By the time the 3rd year rolled around I was happy to move on from star-focused samplers, having managed to make presentable 1/2-square triangles, but the 3rd year it was a "house" quilt...with the pieced block section composing the outermost wall of each house block. I rebelled. I admire house blocks but have never wanted to make one. Instead, I substituted background fabric for the house walls and roof. As the fabric was green-on-white, I covered all that white space with vines and ivy leaves. Eyebrows up, everyone! (grin)

I still enjoy samplers for piecing fun and throw quilts. Without 'em I'd never have managed my latest bed quilt project. Happy Tuesday back attcha!