Friday, January 27, 2012

The promised post

I was really excited when the Fed-Ex delivery man came up our drive to deliver a package that I had been waiting to arrive sometime this month. I had received an email earlier this month announcing that this quilt would be returning home soon. Let me go back about 1 1/2 years and tell you the story. I had been reading one of my quilt magazines one day when I ran across this article about a quilt challenge that was looking for quilts that honored naval aviation. If accepted, they would travel for 1 year to different venues. The name of the challenge was "Thread Tails to Vapor Trails." The purpose was to promote awareness of naval aviation and to raise funds to help send kids to summer flight camps. The quilts were to be 40", it had to depict naval aviation in some manner. The quilts would be divided into smaller traveling shows to be sent out where ever requests were received from and also they would hang as a whole group at as many Blue Angel Air Shows as possible. The quilts could be donated, to be auctioned off at the end, to raise additional funds for the cause. I chose not to donate mine as I intended to give it to DH to honor his 20+ years serving as a fighter pilot in the United States Navy. So are you ready to see the photos yet? First of all the title of my quilt was "Blissful Ignorance" taken from the quote of the same title by George Will. As I was thinking about ideas for this quilt I visited DH's classroom at school and I read this quote that was pinned to his bulletin board. So that is where the idea came from for this quilt. No further ado, I will reveal the photos now. The first one is of the whole quilt.

This photo shows the panel that I printed out on fabric via my computer with the "Blissful Ignorance" quote.

I hope you are able to read the quote, if not you can google it. I would post a link to it but I have been having trouble with linking up sites so that is on my list of things to figure out.
The next photo is a detail of the carrier, and it is based on a photo of the USS Stennis, I chose that carrier as my model since our youngest son was stationed aboard the Stennis at the time I was creating the quilt. The detail also shows the eagle and the shadows of F-18's on the deck of the carrier as they were flying over head. The eagle represents all of our naval air forces and our country.

Here is a detail of just the eagle. I love to include eagles in my quilts and to quilt them.

The other things in this quilt that I included for symbolism are, 1. the map fabric, it represents the far reaching influence that our Navy has. My husband was assigned overseas twice with the French Navy as a means to foster good relations and share ideas and knowledge. (Our 2 youngest children were born in France.) 2. The eagle is to represent the strength of our Navy and our country. 3. The uneven bottom border represents the limitless boundries that are available to anyone serving their country and once again the far reaching influence we have. You can go many places and do many things that are not possible otherwise, you can also give up your life for your country and it's causes, unfortunately. 4. I also wanted to make a statement in this day when there are many in this free country who are opposed to keeping "IN GOD WE TRUST" on our currency. I wanted to tie the mission of naval aviation, power projection, together with the belief that this great country was founded on. In God we Trust + Power Projection. If we ever forget that it is our loving Father in Heaven who gives us the ability, or the power to do anything, then we will truly be a country that will fall faster than the World Trade Center Towers on that dreadful day of Sept 11, 2001.
I am off my soap box now and I hope that you have enjoyed the photos of this quilt that I am so proud of. Perhaps someday, in 100 years, it will be regarded as a statement just as quilts that the women made during the Civil War are for us today. One last photo, this letter was included with the quilt when it was returned. It is from Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, my husband had the honor to fly with him.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Final post on quilt retreat

I have a couple more photos of the projects that I worked on last weekend. I love to collect antique/vintage linens. I find them at antique shops, yard sales, and friends give them to me at times. I found this cute little round battenberg lace table topper at our church's rummage sale last December. I got it for 50 cents. Great deal. I layered it over one of my hand dyed fabrics due to the open work after marking this beautiful wreath stencil pattern on it. There is another piece of beautiful hand dyed on the back as well so this piece can be reversible. I quilted the main motifs with a yellow thread and I will quilt a background fill design in white thread so that the background will recede and the rest will pop.

Here is a detail of the center.
I haven't decided yet what the background fill will be so I will think about that for a few days till I am inspired.

My last project is a 2 for 1 deal. I have had this pattern for some time and finally decided that I neede to make it or get rid of the pattern. It is a fusible applique design of positive and negative dragonflies. If cut out very carefully you will get 2 wallhangings out of the design. This type of project is not hard but it does require patience and careful cutting. When I was laying this out I tried to use the wrong side of my background fabric for variety but found that it looked washed out and not in a good way. So can you see the positive and negative motifs?

The contrast is not quite strong enough and the background is pretty busy so I am thinking that once it is quilted I will add some shading to the edges of the cut designs.

Remember to be grateful for something or someone in your life and do something kind for someone else today, (me-I offered to quilt some quilts being made for a family that was burned out of their home this past week, I am grateful that I can do this for them.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Follow up on retreat posts

I want to share some more of the projects that I got done this weekend. The first is my major project that I wanted to get done. I have had these blocks for at least 1 1/2 years. I had participated in an online group that did a block exchange. We each had a month that we sent out directions, fabric, and ideas of what we would like for a block. Each month we had to make one block to return to the person who's turn it was that month to receive the blocks. I asked for Dresden Plate blocks done in Christmas fabrics. I sent 4 fabrics along and asked that they be used in the blocks and to coordinate the colors to them, that way there would be some continuity. I also wanted the backgrounds to be pieced in a four patch using white on whites and cream on creams. So I received 13 blocks back. I only needed 12 for this so I will use the extra one to make a pillow. I finally got the blocks sewn together and added a border stripe print and here it is.
I couldn't get the entire quilt in the photo but you get the idea. I am so happy, now I just have to get a backing for it and quilt it. It is twin size. I would have liked it to be larger but it will be good for the couch at Christmas time or the day bed in my office.

The second photo here is of the mystery quilt that we did. We were given the cutting instructions before the retreat so that we could do all the prep work at home. I found it very hard to decide on my fabric choices when I did not know what I was going to be making, but I must say that I am very pleased with the end results. I hope you like it too.
These 2 projects took up the most time but as you can see I have 2 great projects to finish up by doing my favorite part, the machine quilting.

That is it for today. Tomorrow I will share my last 2 projects. That will allow me to share the quilt that was returned this week on Friday. So I hope this will inspire you to get some projects out and get them finished up.

Remember to be grateful for something, (I am grateful for hard work and the rewards of seeing projects advancing), and do some act of kindness for someone else, (mine-I added straps to the dress I altered for a customer who just found out there could not be strapless dresses at the dance and relieved that stress from her.)

Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Projects from weekend

I promised to tell you more about the weekend retreat and I have pictures to show you of the projects that I worked on. I was really pleased with every thing that I was able to accomplish. I never would have gotten this much done here at home in the same amount of time. First of all I want to share that we were well taken care of and there were plenty of activities to participate in and a lot of goodies for snacking on. The Kon-O-Kwee Quilters have been doing this for 20 years so they have it well organized and laid out. Between the table favors left at our places at meal times and our Secret Sisters we came home with a boat load of great gifts. Just check it out, (I am sure I probably forgot something as I was gathering them all for this photo shot)
One thing that I know is not in the photo are the slippers that go with the bathrobe. Yes they gave each person a bathrobe with slippers, and the logo was embroidered on the bathrobe. How classy is that?

On to some of the projects that I got done. My first project was to make Steeler's pillowcases for my son for his birthday and new apartment.
I made 2 sets, he was so impressed. He likes the idea of having the home color set for home games and the away colors for away games. Do you think he will actually change them that often? Of course he doesn't have to worry about that till next season.

The next project was just something I had thrown into my bin in case I finished everything else. I am not really pleased with the piece, it was from an online class I took, but I figured I might as well finish the quilting since it was this far along. I did get about half of it quilted. So I will get it done. The quilting is making it.

So that is it for today. It will take me all week to post everything so keep tuning in for the rest.
I hope you have a wonderful day and remember to do something kind for some one and be grateful for something or someone in your life. I am grateful that my wallhanging I made for the Thread Tails to Vapor Trails show came home yesterday. More on that later, next week perhaps.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Retreat weekend

Well, this past weekend was wonderful. I attended the Kon-O-Kwee Quilter's Retreat for the first time. Fabulous. It started Friday morning and ran till Sunday afternoon. Here is a photo of the lodge as we drove up.

It was breathtaking to see. We had a room downstairs where we worked and the dining room was upstairs. Here are some photos of those places.

The large open room had this great fireplace in it. Saturday night there was a fire going in it and did it warm up the space.
You can also see part of the vaulted ceiling.

I will share more about the weekend tomorrow but now it is time for me to get back to some not so fun work. I am going to work on my tax information today. It is a cold rainy windy nassty day outside so this will keep me out of that.

Have a great day, do something kind for someone else today and be grateful for a nice warm space to hunker down in on such a day as this.