March 17, 2008

As stated on my last posting (back in 2007), my goal was to finish twelve project by the end of the year. I didn’t make it. Sigh. I did finish three projects: a quilt for my friend Lori, a small quilt for my sister Judy, and our annual Christmas card. I did participate in a Round Robin with my online group QuiltGuy and finished my block and one border on another block.

Now it’s 2008. I’ve moved the unfinished nine projects to this year and plan on finishing twelve more. I’ve prioritized the projects and plan to work on one unfinished project and one new project every month. As it is currently March I should have four done, but sadly I do not. I’m currently working on border two of a third block which is due to the next guy in line by April 1st. Guess who’ll be the fool this time?

Where does the time slip away to? I know one week was spent on a cruise to the Caribbean and several evenings have flown by just watching movies or reading magazines. I guess it’s time to draw up a new game plan for the year. No TV until I’ve worked at least two hours on a project for that night. That should seriously cutback on idle time!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Did I mention I’m not good at this blogging thing?
My goal for 2007 was to finish twelve unfinished projects (UFO’s) that I had started over the years. So far I have finished two; a quilt for a dear friend, Lori, and one for my middle sister, Judy. I’ve been working on two others, my nephew’s wedding quilt (Happy 8th anniversary, Jeff!) and a Kaleidoscope quilt I started in a class by Ricky Tims. Jeff’s quilt is the one slowing me down, but it’s so important to get it completed.

Here’s the story…

Way back in the long ago, my family lived in an itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny, village with the grand slogan “biggest little town in the country.” In this little village of West Terre Haute, we learned family-, neighborhood-, and friendly-values. Everyone in town was a neighbor, and everyone in town was basically a friend. And as friends and neighbors do, we took care of each other.

An elderly neighbor near my sister was not doing so well, so each night as my sister prepared a meal for her husband and two kids (and sometimes me), she’d also prepare a covered plate for Mrs. Collins. Her son, Jeff, would walk the plate across the street and see if Mrs. Collins needed anything. Jeff is a friendly guy and he would comment on the quilt blocks she was working on; how beautiful it was. He knew good work because his mother is an excellent quilter who has made many traditional , hand-made quilts.

This went on for a while, until Mrs. Collins passed on to meet her maker, the master quilter. As the family was settling her affairs, they found a box with the beautiful diamond shaped Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks labeled, “For Jeff.”

Mrs. Collins’ family gave the box to my sister. She was overwhelmed by the gift and took on the challenge of completing the quilt top in the hopes of giving it to Jeff when he graduated from college. Unfortunately, as bad things are when they happen to good people, my sister’s rheumatoid arthritis overtook her hands and made it too painful to stitch the small hexagons to join the blocks together. She placed the blocks, the newly cut dark blue hexagons, and the remaining fabric back in the box to be stored away for another time.

Over the next few years Jeff graduated from college and Judy’s arthritis doctors were able to control the damage done by her painful disease. Several years later, Jeff announced he was getting married which sparked Judy’s memory of the blocks she had stored away so long ago. It had been a long time; almost ten years between college and the wedding. The wedding was planned for February 1998.

This is where I came in. Several years earlier Judy and I had worked together on a wedding quilt for her daughter, Laura. That quilt was only the second quilt I had ever worked on, the first being a beginner’s sampler taught at a local quilt shop. I have always thought the best way to learn something new was to start a project that tested your talents rather than start simple. Laura and Brian’s quilt was definitely a challenge!

Judy and I got together with the blocks and contemplated the best way to get the quilt completed in time for the wedding. I came up with several designs for the quilt top including one in an eight-pointed star design, but we decided to quilt the blocks in the quilt-as-you-go style and sew into rows to simplify construction. We purchased two new feed sack reproduction fabrics, divided the blocks between us, and went home to start hand quilting each individual block.

Several months later we got together again to join the blocks into the quilt top, that’s when the problems started. The blocks although pretty and fairly well constructed were not the same sizes. Also, quilt-as-you-go is not the easiest method for non-square blocks, remember, these blocks are large diamonds-shaped blocks (11½ x 23″). We stitched the blocks together as best we could and then turned it over to whip-stitch the the back seams. Oh, my! In some places the seams had several inches of fabric to play with, but others had gaps that left the batting uncovered.

We pinned the quilt together and covered the gaps with extra fabric, then decided it was too small and would need a border or two. The wedding was just a few weeks away. We decided to present the quilt to them in it’s incomplete state, pins and basting stiches intact, and finish it afterwards. That was eight years ago.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Okay, so I’m not the best blogger around. I’m taking the summer quarter off from college so I can catch up with my life. I have several unfinished projects which I would like to get to their respective recipients.
My email group on Yahoo Groups, Quilt Guy, is having a fabric exchange. We have chosen batiks or hand dyed fabrics. Each member will send two fat-quarters of fabric to every participant and receive nearly two dozen fat quarters in exchange. It’s a great way to build up some diversity in your stash. Now, if we could exchange UFO’s with each other I might get some work done.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

A quick introduction. My name is Kevin and I’ve been quilting for quite a long time. I don’t have much to show for it, but wanted to have a repository of pictures of the quilts I’ve either made, designed, or coordinated. Lovin’ this Google page creator! I’ve stressed for years on a page design and what I wanted to include, but this makes it easy. It’s not the spectacular Flash enhanced, Java enable masterpiece I dreamed of, but it’s a web page!
I’ll post pictures of my quilts in chronological order starting with my early work, then move on from there. Included will be donation quilts made for Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Sunshine State Quilters Association, and Quilters Guild of Indianapolis; books that I’ve either created the graphics for or designed from cover to cover for Kaye England, Mary Ellen Hopkins, and Brenda Papadakis; and I’ll try to get some of my works-in-progress on here.

Kevin's thoughts, progress, and sights along the way