Friday, May 26, 2023

My First & Last Quilt on Off the Wall Friday

 This time of year is always brutal around here.   We have Paul's birthday, our anniversary, Mother's

Day, and my birthday all in the same four weeks, it adds up to a lot of socializing and family time.  It is better than it used to be because before we also had all the end-of-the-school-year activities to add to the list.  Now as empty nesters, we are used to our creative time and that has sure been in short supply.  

So this week, I thought it a good idea to share my first and last quilt.  In 1993, I started quilting by mistake when I received the book, Quick and Easy Quiltmaking instead of the cross-stitching book I ordered.  Before sending it back though, I decided to read it and well, the rest is history.  In typical Nina fashion, I thought oh that doesn't look too hard.  (For the record, if anybody needs a beginner quilt book I can HIGHLY recommend this book.  It has a TON about basic quilting making and was easy to follow.  I ended up doing about 4 projects out of it and it's written by some of the best quilt authors of the time.)

I did make a table runner and a baby-size quilt, to begin with,  But recently we found this one, which really was my first major project.  I used Nancy Martin's half-square triangle method where you sew bias strips together and use a bias square to cut them out.  I fell in love with that ruler and when I wore out the lines on the first one I had to buy the second one on eBay.   You will notice that I still hadn't mastered getting my points to match and it's still not bound because at that point I had no idea how to bind.  This was the first quilt I hand-quilted and it truly is a mess.   I actually taught myself how to hand quilt from a book.

It's about 45" by 60"

Seeing these hand-quilting stitches its a wonder I stuck with it!

By 1995, I had managed to get through the QNL Block of the Month's Heritage Medallion.  Notice points still not matching but by then I had learned to hand quilt, hand applique, and bind.  (I discovered that you could actually take a class at your local quilt shop!)

Over the years, I seem to be doing more art quilts than traditional work.  In 2022, after taking a class with Timna Tarr I made this.

But 2023 has been dominated by getting back to my roots.  I am in the middle of hand quilting my Rain, Rain quilt with big stitches.  Notice that the even hand stitching skill translates nicely to big stitching.  It's still on my quilting frame but I'm about 3/4ths done quilting it.

And as you know I'm not working on the BOM Homeward Bound from The Quilt Show.  This month I am once AGAIN  struggling with half-square triangles where my points are AGAIN having trouble meeting.  This time I'm using the method of cutting a square, drawing a line down diagonally down the middle, and sewing 1/4th seam beside the line.  So you get two half-square triangles.  Now this is an old method, but I never tried it before.  It's been working nicely but getting the points just right is hard.

To tell you the truth, I just thought after 30 years of quilting, I could finally learn how to get my point to meet!  I was hoping to have May done by now but nope, half square triangles are turning into a lifetime nemesis,

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

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