This is somewhat random because I didn’t always document my quilting very well. Also, my rate of starting and completing projects has greatly accelerated since discovering the modern quilting movement online and the plethora of tutorials and inspiration that have come along with it. 🙂
February 2012: Something’s Fishy
This was made and donated as part of a fundraiser for the Class of 2012 in my tiny hometown of Alsea, Oregon. According to rumor, it auctioned for quite a lot more than I expected, which was awesome for the class. I was especially pleased with myself for exclusively using fabrics which were either given to me or scraps from other projects. The paper-pieced fish are from a pattern by Kathy Love called “Fisherman’s Dream.”
September 2012: Eat, Play, Sleep, Repeat
My first project from online tutorials, Moda Bake Shop’s Baby Life Quilt by Vanessa Christenson of V. and Co., with quilting inspiration from Leah Day’s Alien Fingers FMQ design. If I were to make it again, I would consider choosing a sans serif font, as the little “wings” on the letters seriously slowed me down during the applique process. I seriously love how it turned out, though, and this is the best quilting I’ve ever done. I ran out of the bright, multicolored thread I started with and had to change because it’s no longer available, but that is just part of the quilt’s story, right? Plus the new mom who received it is a crafty person, so she was especially able to appreciate changes in crafty plans. 🙂
From here on they will be in roughly chronological order, starting somewhere around 2000. I’m pretty sure that’s the year I took my first quilting class. I’ll list them in the order that I completed the top, however, since quite a few of them sat around as just that until I either acquired the skills to quilt them myself or the money to pay someone else. Also, please excuse the poor quality of some of the photos, as they were taken long before my life went digital.
Toni’s First Top
A simple Irish Chain, made in that first class. It clashed quite badly with the purple sofas I’d wanted to coordinate with. 😀 Also, it was more a baby size than lap size and at the time I didn’t know anyone having girl babies. The green and outer lavender borders came about a decade (!!!) later and improved it immensely.
My second project, for my middle sister, born primarily of a desire to share my new love of quilting. (Now she’s a quilter, too!) I’d come across the dragonfly border print while fabric shopping for that first Irish Chain quilt, and the colors in it just said, “Tina” to me. I’m still happy with my color choices, but I had ZERO idea what I was doing when it came to quilting. She won’t give it back for me to pick out and re-do, though. 😀 To this day I wish I had more of that black fabric. It was a rich “warm” black rather than the “cool” blue-blacks that I seem to find more frequently.
From the “Yellow Brick Road” pattern by Atkison Designs. Back then I slept on a double-sized futon, and this is still the only bed-sized quilt I’ve kept for myself. Luckily, the fabrics in this still make me smile, but it was certainly a good lesson in value. Several of the fabrics really stand out far more than I’d intended them to.
With this quilt I was learning a new technique: the 45 degree angled seam. Since it was an experiment, I used scraps and fabrics that had been given to me. Then of course I had a quilt that I wasn’t a big fan of, but back then I didn’t know about all the opportunities for donation. It did turn out to be the perfect size for keeping your behind from getting sandy at the beach, however, so there’s that.
This was (I felt) my first really successful experimentation with color. I wanted the overall impression to be a yellow maze on a blue ground, but all blues would have hidden the work in the blocks. So I threw in loads of different blues, as well as batiks with blue and not-blue backgrounds, plus some green, blackberry, and orange in for good measure. If I were to make it again today, the points would all be far more perfect, but I still love it and it hangs on the wall in our bedroom. From Easy Art Quilts by Christiane Meunier.
Watching me make these other projects, my youngest sister decided I needed a bigger challenge. So she purchased 40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak and gifted it to me along with yardage of a few fabrics she loved and said, “my turn!” 😀 I wanted it to be a surprise graduation gift, but I broke down when it came to picking all the paper off the back and made her help me. That’s me, circa 2003, in the parking lot at work before delivering it to Jessie for her graduation.
Paulette’s wall hanging
(Can you tell these were all made before I started naming my quilts?)
A co-worker had a giant blank space on a wall of her new home, and decided that the perfect thing for that space would be a quilted piece by me. She chose the fabrics and gave me free reign on the design. I’d had a Ricky Tims Convergence-style quilt in mind for her, but once she selected the fabrics I knew the two wouldn’t play well together. Instead I drew inspiration & methods from Louisa Smith’s Strips ‘n Curves.
A house-warming gift for an Organic Chemistry classmate and her partner. They later had the most colorful wedding I’ve ever attended, so I hit the nail right on the head with all the bright fabrics. I had no real clue how to achieve the idea in my head, but I got there after some trial and error. My quilting skills had taken a huge leap forward around this time after taking a class with Betty Blais at A Common Thread in Tigard, OR.
Another for Jessie
As my sister built her clientele, she moved into a new space for facials & whatnot, and asked me to create something for her to hang there. I’d never worked on anything but quilting cottons, so when she delivered me a coordinated set of gauzy metallics, I was worried. But I made it work!
Right before going back to school for my Clinical Lab Sciences degree, I made a series of housewarming, baby, and wedding gifts for co-workers. It seemed everyone was experiencing big changes all at once. Not having a lot of time or cash, each of these projects was pretty simple:
And then everything got put away in storage while I was in school. Then I moved to Reno. Eventually my sewing machine and some goodies made their way to Reno, but most of it remained in storage until we moved to Vancouver.