Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am not an heirloom quilter...

No, really.  I don't quilt to create beautiful works of art to hang on the wall or to enter into contests for ribbons or prizes or whatnot.  I make quilts for people to love.  I make quilts for the love of people.  I make quilts for the love of quilts.  What prompted this revelation?  I found my way to this wonderful post from Dawn at Spring Water Designs.  So, this morning, I wandered around my home and took pictures of my quilts in their natural habitat.  These humble blankets that I love to create and share in their proper places in my home.  I wanted to share with you what my quilts are designed intended for.
This is the guest bed.  This bed has so many options for quilts.  Mostly based on what I feel like when I make the bed.  This quilt was made with fabrics I picked up during my cruise to West Africa.  They aren't from very many different countries (because I couldn't find the fabric in each country), but they represent my time in that far-away land.  This is also the first big quilt I finished on my long-arm.
The star quilt is one I made for my husband when we weren't living together due to our jobs being in different states.  I will admit, after making a queen-size quilt on my domestic machine, I was pretty much happy with making smaller quilts for a long time.  On the foot of the bed is my quilt Mischief.  Darling Husband and I don't have the same ideas about what constitutes a comfortable sleeping temperature and sometimes I just need another layer.  This is that extra layer.
We don't spend a bunch of time in front of the television, so this love seat is all the couch we need.  Guests, if they ever join us in front of the television, are delegated to chairs.  This fun little quilt was made with a bunch of 2.5" strips.  It was my first, last and only attempt at pantograph quilting.  I absolutely hated it.  I was tense and annoyed and not all that impressed with my results.  I prefer free-hand quilting so much more.  It is also one of my early attempts at machine-finished binding.  I'm not all that fond of that, either.  That's what that lamp is for; so I can see what I'm doing when I sit down to hand-finish quilt binding while we watch a little television.
For a while, every time Darling Husband would see a quilt rack at a thrift store, he would bring it home.  Thankfully, he didn't get too carried away.
This helps me not just have stacks and stacks of quilts, though I have been trying to keep the transfer of quilts out of the house relatively consistent with the transfer of fabrics into the house.  I might be fighting a losing battle, but I don't mind overly much.  That really scrappy quilt has some wonderful experimental quilting on it.  It also has fabrics from quilts I made over 10 years ago.  How crazy is that!
I regularly finish quilts for Annapolis Quilts for Kids and have donated quilts to other charities.  The quilt above was donated to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary in Winton, CA, as part of a raffle to support cancer research.  I give quilts as gifts to friends and family.  I never want to pass up a chance to give a quilt to a new family and that brand new baby that is wreaking havoc in their lives while at the same time teaching them that family isn't about the individual but about the whole.  I want to give something of myself.  This means the quilt should be used.  And used.

Is there anything better than a baby with a quilt?  This is little Layla, who isn't quite so little anymore, with her quilt.  She wasn't the first baby to receive a quilt hug I made just for her.  She also isn't the last.
So, I'm going to keep making quilts that are meant to be loved and cherished and used.  The important part of that is that they will be used to wrap someone up in a fabric hug.  Don't hang that hug on the wall!

EDIT:  At some point, I will make a wall-hanging.  Correction, I will make another wall hanging.  Then, I will have to step down from my soap box.  

4 comments:

  1. Becca, I loved seeing your quilty hugs in their "natural habitats" ~ Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration :)

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  2. Love your quilts that are treasures for your family! What a sweet hubby you have who brings home quilt racks for your lovely quilts.

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  3. What a neat idea--showing the portable hugs in their natural habitats. I like it! I too am a longarm quilter who has a lot of quilts. None of mine are on the wall either and am always somewhat honored and flabbergasted when they end up on a wall instead of a bed! I only have one quilt on my wall, a needle turned/hand appliqued/hand embroidered masterpiece from my Grandmother's quilting group. You have some great projects!

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  4. I'm not an heirloom quilter either. I love for my quilts to be dragged around, picnicked upon, made into a fort, and snuggled with. Quilts that are used and loved make me happy!

    Thank you so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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