1 Down…3 to 5 to Go

Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment, emailed, called and texted. Your thoughtful concern is appreciated and made me feel better. Ok, to be honest…I cried! Thank you for shaking me out of a really bad mood. I’ve decided, no more whining, At. All. So week one is over, just have to heal for 3 to 5 more. No Whining.

I made a quilt a few months ago that I couldn’t blog about because it was to be a surprise. It was such a lovely project. Usually my commissions are for art quilts to hang on the wall. This was different. My client was a young woman whose grandmother passed away. She wanted to give her mother a gift that would honor her grandmother, and help her mom cherish the memories of her mother. Three generations of a family I know well.

Erin was working in Wichita, Kansas so we had some wonderful discussions by email. She wanted a practical quilt, not a wall hanging because she envisioned the quilt draped across a sofa and her mother pulling it across herself for a nap, covered in loving memories. I would liked to have included personal textiles but there wasn’t anything meaningful. Erin remembered that her grandmother loved crocus flowers and four leaf clovers. She wanted bright colors– her grandmother didn’t care for pastels– so I asked her to send me paint chips in her color choices.

These paint chips were so cool. They had little windows that made auditioning fabric easy. I walked into The Old Country Store and experienced maybe my best fabric day ever! In minutes I had a blender fabric for the background and bolts of supporting fabrics that I loved. That sure doesn’t happen often.

My friend Jane said, find some wonderful crocus fabric and make a Turning Twenty or another, quick-to-sew pattern. They’re not Dedicated Quilters– they’ll love it. These were very wise words that echoed through my head….on repeat. But no, I had a vision. I wanted to do something original. I read through all my Ruth McDowell books and decided to use her technique. I got out my flower reference books and started sketching.

When I was happy with my crocus, I used my overhead projector to trace the line drawing onto gridded paper.

I’ve made several Ruth McDowell patterns and drafted original blocks with this technique so I knew how to divide the shapes into sewable units. This was a first using curved pieces but hey, I’m up for the challenge. We’ll talk about hindsight later. Over a glass of wine.

I made a test block. Awful! Not sewable at all! I reread the Ruth McDowell books and realized her blocks are BIG. Ok, I can upsize the design — or search the Internet for some wonderful crocus fabric… It’s always best to ponder these options out of sight of the frustrating failure block. Like the next day.

To Be Continued!

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  1. Erin passed your post along to the family and the quilt really is a beautiful piece. It is even more valuable knowing your story of its creation.
    Kevin O.

    • Hey Kevin, thank you! Your family is special and I loved working on the quilt and especially collaborating with Erin

  2. Christine says

    Well, nothing like telling this tale in installments. You’ll keep us on the edge of our seats while we wait for you reveal all the great details. That ought to use up a bit of invalid* time. More, Terry, more. I know I saw this quilt near the end but I want all the details again.

    *why does this look wrong? You know what I mean…healing time

  3. Lynne Laino says

    I love that you go with your instincts! The crocus is so beautiful and so much better than Turning Twenty and the color chips are such a great idea to get exactly what someone wants for color. You’re brilliant! But my big question is, where in the heck did you get that overhead projector?!?! How cool is that? Take good care of that leg, you’ll be healed before you know it!

    • Making this quilt was total enjoyment. I’ve used the paint chips for lots of things. Even my own quilts. Love my overhead projector! My husband gave it to me years ago. I know they’re hard to find now. You can borrow it if you ever need one.

  4. Thank you, Mrs. K! Such a wonderful story to see unfold knowing how special this was to our family, how much my Mom absolutely loves and treasures the quilt, and how much better it was having you as a part of it!!

    Can’t wait to read more of the story! Love, Erin

  5. that quilt was gorgeous!! Did she love it?? How’s the leg??

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