Karen writes about life as a Quiltmaker in Austin, Texas; surviving in an empty nest, marriage, cooking, gardening and (did I say?) Quilting...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2007 Challenge MET!

First apologies for such a long sabbatical. A lot has been going on, some good, but some that can only be described as "challenging"... lets start with the good stuff first OK?!

In mid 2006, I joined the Austin Area Quilt Guild, and after a few months of participation, decided that the best way to give back a bit to the group would be to challenge myself to make a baby quilt each month for the guild's charity "Baby Bundle" project. I made my first quilt for the January 2007 meeting, and challenged myself and others to make a quilt each month in 2007...

I'm happy to announce that I met the challenge (actually ended up making a few more than 12 - but sort of lost count)! Last month's quilt didn't get pictured... it was actually made in a bit of a hurry, as I'd been on the road to and from my Mom's in Dallas and so it was finished at literally the last minute - and almost didn't make it to the guild meeting - as we had a flat tire on the way there! So no picture was made. I used some older red/blue cheater fabric designed for pillows, and turned the pillow panels, which has a lovely folk artsy "heart" design into a 4-block quilt! But this month's was made at a more leisurely pace. The crazy log cabin blocks were made some months ago, an outgrowth of a workshop by Gwen Marston that led me to her book "Liberated Quiltmaking". I decided to make up a free-pieced "crazy" log cabin blocks. Then, I took the smaller scraps and strip pieced them to a 3" x 12" foundation for a border. I really liked the end result, and plan to do some more such quilts... great, great fun!

Here's a closer look at the blocks and border.

To set the log cabins, I just put 5 inch borders around them, and used my 15" Omnigrid square to rotary cut them into true squares... keeping the log cabins a bit "twisted"

I chose a cool design cam and stitched the binding down to the front with the lovely old 1971 Elna 62C.

One of these days, I'll take pictures of all my sewing machine collection for you... this machine makes the loveliest designs, all with little cams. Those Swiss do make good machines.

I used the Singer 15-91 to do the quilting... all was done free motion.

And what about the other challenge? I spent over a week in late October in Dallas, while Mom went through Triple Bypass Open Heart surgery! After returning home, she went back to the hospital for a couple more days to treat some atrial fibrillation that developed after the surgery. At 72, it's been a real challenge. My father, who's 76, never imagined that he'd be caring for mom - he was supposed to be the one with the heart problems! He had a stent put in place in an artery over 10 years ago, but I know always thought mom would be caring for him... After two full days at the hospital, Dad & I decided to split our time there - he in the morning, and me in the afternoon (he can't drive after dark).

So, another trip and a lot of time spent in the aftermath has been tiring, and, well, not fun.

Mom is recovering well, though suffering a bit from some confusion, and short term memory loss, we are hoping that she can work through some of this and regain her former vigor. Right now she's thrilled that she lost 10 pounds through all this and has worked herself back down in size and is fitting into some of her smaller clothes!

So - even in the darkest of times... there is hope!!
And now, back to that big old Wedding Ring quilt that MUST be finished in time for my next trip to Dallas!

Here's wishing you and yours a Happy, Happy holiday!

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