Saturday, November 23, 2013

OMG! I have a blog!

Hello out there! 

My name is Valerie (aka Punkin' to our first grandchild, to be born in a few weeks) and I am a quiltaholic.  I have been quilting for about a year and I am addicted. 

I've sewn since I was ten or so, but only began quilting after my retirement.  It all began when my husband, a retired state trooper, hinted that he'd love to have a quilt made from his uniforms.  Since I knew those uniforms were going to take up space in a closet (he is a packrat!), I determined to put them to good use.

I'm going to show you a picture of this first quilt, but you must promise to be kind... 

Yes, those are his sweet feet...  I have LOTS to learn about photographing quilts (or anything else, for that matter...)

The whole reason I decided to begin a blog was to be able to tell the stories of my quilts.  Most of them so far have had a story behind them...

This quilt, called "Pat's Quilt," (sorry; not especially original...) is made entirely of his uniforms and other "official" garments.  Disclaimer:  NO USEABLE UNIFORMS WERE DEFACED IN THE MAKING OF THIS QUILT.  Every garment was worn or torn beyond repair or re-wear.  Over a thirty-two year career, one accumulates quite a number of worn-out uniforms!

Anyhow....  The badge number applique fabric came from his first uniforms as a cadet.  The badge numbers chronicle his progression from a lowly radio operator through his final rank as Troop Commander.  That royal blue square is from a sweatshirt he wore during PT in Trooper School.  All of the lighter blue squares are from uniform shirts, and the squares with stripes down the center are his pants.  The border is also made from pants legs.  It's hard to see, but there are copies of his service ribbons (scanned then printed on quilting cotton) on one square.  I also scanned and printed a copy of his final badge for a special tag on the back of the quilt. (Note to self:  find a better method for this; those prints have faded over several washings.)

I took a class on making t-shirt quilts before beginning Pat's Quilt.  The terrific instructor, Linda at Sew Much Fun in Columbus, was great at helping me apply her techniques and approaches in a different way.  Linda was exceedingly patient with this "won't follow the rules" quilter.  She gave my creativity credence.

Once I pieced the top, I turned it over to Laine, the owner and longarmer at Sew Much Fun.  She quilted it for me in a loopy pattern that wouldn't detract from the quilt theme.  The backing went great with the theme; it looks like black road asphalt!  A swirly blue and gray binding completed the quilt and was also used in cornerstones on the borders.

So...  what did I learn from this experience???  First of all, that I LOVE QUILTING!!!  I was hooked!  I had to continue!  I also learned that I had lots to learn about quilting.  I learned that while I knew every imperfection in that quilt, my husband only saw the love and time and effort I put into it.  And I learned that if I wanted to continue making quilts, I'd have to learn to do the quilting myself; I couldn't afford to keep paying Laine to do it.  (Her prices are quite reasonable, but I'd rather spend my money on FABRIC!)  Besides, I want to be able to say I did the ENTIRE quilt from start to finish.

Stay tuned for more quilt stories!