Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fri.: Road to California Quilt Show

The bus leaves at 6:30 am and I think its a 3-hour trip to Ontario, Cali for the largest quilt show this side of Texas. I am so excited to go and plan to take lots of pictures to share, and hopefully look with an Intermediate quilter's eyes. I probably won't be writing anything on Friday because the bus returns to town around 7 pm. Its funny how I have promised myself to write on a daily basis. Its good for me in so many ways and I want to keep my own promises.

After running weekly errands in town, I spent the major part of today working on the third of my Pay-It-Foward projects. Again, this person was nominated and has no idea this mini is coming to her. 

Its about 24" square without binding, and is a navy blue print of a dragon in the center, sort of surrounded by swirling clouds.

With these mini quilts, I am taking the opportunity to practice different techniques. This one started out using the small scraps to make what is called a piano key border but, they seemed to work better for me cut the same size as the red stamp on the dragon print, so I cut them down and do like how they turned out. I was afraid that the colors would detract from the dragon because its such a subtle image.

The center, around the dragon, is echo quilted, and reminded me of the sand gardens where the gardner uses a rake to circle stones and plants. It was very relaxing. Then I used two of the decorative stitches to quilt on the borders. 

The back is a simple plaid that is in my stash I had planned to use for backings. Its not a large scrap, but works fine for this kind of project. I was concerned that it not shift in the quilting and look wonky. Seems to be ok.

Because of the pattern on the back, I really had to think of how to quilt the top. The grid turned out so nice yesterday that the echo quilting was almost the next step.  I've been back-stitching and hope that helps it hold. Mini quilts won't get the kind of wear and tear lap or couch quilts would. 

Mini quilts are enjoying a return in decorating popularity. They originated as Doll Quilts which run between a 12" square to a 30" square and every size in between. Women used to make them up quickly for the children in their lives from leftover scraps and patterned them after the ones they made for families. They also used them as training tools for young children to learn sewing and quilting. Now, adults add them to season decorations and set them on tables, over chairs, love seats or couches and at the foot of their beds. They place candles, lamps, floral arrangements and even tea service on them. Its not unheard of for a loving pet to claim a mini quilt to curl up on as well. Uses are guided by imagination.