Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cougar on the court and I can't be beat, But, yo, Cait, what's up with the boots on your feet?

This quillow was made for the granddaughter of a sweet woman. The young lady spent her entire academic career at  Collegiate from K-12 until graduating this past spring.  Like her grandmother, she had a finger in many pots ranging from sports to camps to community service.  I was specifically requested to keep the pocket in the hoodie block.  Unfortunately, the silk screener didn't line up the word with the pocket.

She was always an excellent athlete.  I think I first met her at the ripe old age of.  She and her sister were already waterskiing experts! She is also a big sailor.  She and her dad competed in the race that is shown in the picture below.  This square is actually on the back of the quillow as it makes a pocket. This block also became the label for the gift.

  When the pocket is turned inside out and the quilt is stuffed inside, you can then see the other side:

 We were amazingly quick in the search for the sashing/backing/binding fabric.  Usually it takes a couple of tries of placing multiple bolts against tshirts to see the best results but this time, this was our first pick.  Collegiate's colos are green and gold and this print had multiple greens and shots of yellow.

The recipient has now started her college career at UVa where I know she will excel as she did for the first 18 years.

Monday, November 19, 2012

She said "You call yourself a doctor?" I said "This is true." She said "Explain to me really what doctors must do."

This was a quilt that was commissioned by four adult sons in memory of their father.  The dad was born in Italy, came over the US at age 13 and apparently learned English quite rapidly as he went to Rutgers at 18 followed by Jefferson Medical College at 22.  Being a member of a more formal generation., the good doctor was given a tie by each of his four boys on every gift-giving occasion.

I received 3 bankers file boxes full of ties and the instructions to make a modern, vibrant quilt with this fairly sedate neckwear.  We went back and forth with different designs and it was actually both of our sons who came up with the final layout. My kiddo has a strong artistic sense and the recipient's son is an Industrial Design major at Carnegie Mellon, go Tartans!  

I used 132 ties in this wallhanging which barely made a dent in one box. The vast majority were silk which involved a lot of prep work to get them to behave properly in a quilt.  Each 4" right triangle was separated by 2" sashing so that the busy patterns would not clash with each other. I incorporated plaids, stripes, Italian brocades, skinny ties, wide ties.  I used the boldest prints in the boxes staying away from browns and tans. The sashing was quilted but the ties were left unquilted so they could pop a bit.

The red, blue and yellow triangle is from a pharmaceutical company tie. Many people know that Depression-era quilters used feedsacks in their work. Many dry goods at that time came in a fabric sack that was printed decoratively. What I did not know was that pharmaceutical companies would give away ties to physicians, many times with an enlarged print of the microscopic image.

Although I am glad I accepted this challenge as it caused me to push my creativity in a new direction, I am somewhat relieved that my own father rarely wore a tie to work as he was a research scientist in a lab and did not dress up except for lectures.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Now we're your friend, and you're her brother, But your sister's so def we might scheme on your mother

Brotherhood (and motherhood) at its finest! This Paprika Pillow was made to support the Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ) Parents' Auction for the Westminster College chapter, Delta Omicron.

The official colors of ΔΤΔ, otherwise known as Delt, are  purple, gold, and white . Their flower is a purple iris.  I was fairly certain that no self-respecting Delt would want a pillow with flowers on it so I went with a plaid that was purple with touches of gold.

The other side of the pillow has an extremely simplified image of the column from the Westminster College logo.  Columns are very significant to Westminster as they are the only remains of Westminster Hall, the original administration building, which burned in a fire in 1909. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

I've got money like Charles Dickens. I've got the girlies in the coupe, like the Colonel's got the chickens

Those *&^$%! Chickens!  This quilt was made as a result of a quilt bee swap. In a swap, the participants make as many blocks as participants. They keep one for themselves and trade and receive one to/from everybody else. Our quilt bee is called the Worker Bees because we are really diligent about doing projects. In any case, someone proposed chicken blocks. By the time I was done, I had 14 chicken blocks, 3 of which were facing the wrong way. I had no idea what to do with these creatures and just let the ideas germinate in my head. I elongated a Margaret Rolfe rooster pattern for the corner blocks, found chicken wire and 2 egg motif fabrics and then came my true inspiration.

I was at a wedding in a tiny town in the Pacific Northwest and we had time to kill before the ceremony.  I found a needlework shop and a quilt shop practically across the street from each other.  When I saw the crewel work pattern that said Good Morning Let the Stress Begin WITH a rooster, I knew that had to go into this quilt.  I am not a country girl so this would be my one and only chicken quilt. I am also not a morning person and back in those days it was always stressful getting the kids to school, spouse to work, me to work, etc.

The foxes came from a very old needlepoint book by Dorothy Kaestner.  Each fox face is mostly needlepoint but the ears and top and sides of the head are bargello stitches.  If you look carefully, you will see each set of eyes in a different position.  The bird blocks were all quilted with a hexagonal design that I thought resembled chicken wire. It was all hand-quilted, hand-embroidered, and mostly hand-pieced.  So despite me not knowing what to do with these *&^$%! chickens, it all came together fairly easily. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Went to the prom, wore the fly blue rental Got six girlies in my Lincoln Continental

This full-size Fennel quilt was made for a recent West Springfield High School graduate who definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer.  At his high school prom he ditched the black tie,pants, and patent leathers for  a gingham bow tie, Sperrys and Chubbies. The jacket and dress shirt stayed on.

Pictures at the date's house.....
                                                                                       ......picture at National Harbor

This was a boy who went to MIT in the summer to study ultra-cold atoms,

ran cross-country and track,  refereed travel and house soccer (note the v-neck and the collar of the uniform remained intact).

Served as a class officer and in the student government, was in FBLA and DECA (yet another hoodie shirt)

and still managed to work a part-time job (tan rectangle was made from his Panera visor).  There will have to be another quilt for just his Scout paraphernalia as there was no more room in this quilt.

The quilt ended up quite large which is perfect for a twin bed in college that's been lofted with bed risers or cement blocks.  I had made the recipient's sibling the same size quilt years before and she told me the quilt was big enough to hide all the stuff stored under the bed.  It measures approximately 90" by 106".  This is taller than the room where the quilt was photographed so it is a bit wrinkled at the bottom.

This client asked to add a sweatshirt hood to the quilt.  So not only is there a hanging sleeve, the leftover hood from the DECA shirt did get sewn into the binding.

The client thought this would make the quilt extra cozy for the recipient's dorm room.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Praying mantis on the court and I can't be beat But, yo, Tip, what's up with the boots on your feet?

This quilt was made for a recent graduate of Lake Braddock Secondary School.  She was very involved in many different activities and her mom had a hard time winnowing the shirts.  I think she made great choices of what to include!

The recipient was an avid cheerleader, lacrosse player, camp counselor, and more.  She is matriculating to Longwood University so we included a shirt from her new school.

Several of the squares are made from her own designs. A vibrant pink and green floral was chosen for the sashing and binding.  The backing was made from a soft purple flannel to keep her warm in college.

And next in my long-running series of Virginia college jokes:
How many Longwood students does it take to change a light bulb? None, GE hasn't located this place yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm a Wonderama snake can winner Briegel, George and Bob and a TV Dinner

This quilt is for a lovely young woman who just graduated from Washington and Lee University. It seems like just yesterday she received this pillow as a sophomore and now she is done!

Like most W&L Generals, she was very involved.  She is a Kappa Delta, a member of the Traveller committee, a soccer player etc.  She is from the Bluegrass State so of course was very excited about UK basketball's championship season this year. 

I kept the pockets on both hoodies which made for longer blocks. The blue sweatshirt was small so I actually detached the ribbing and then reattached it to obtain the necessary length.

We used a pair of Trident lounge pants for the Trident and ΚΔ appliques, the outer border, and the binding.  I was hoping for wider borders but there was only so much fabric from the pants despite carefully picking out the seams.

Like so many of her fellow alumni, the recipient is going to be serving the community.  She is going to be teaching kindergarten.  Shaping young minds is such a responsibility but I am sure she will do a great job.

Monday, May 14, 2012

With Payne I stand sane and remain holding strong Whilst all around me those who clowned me are now drowning by the throngs

The recipient of this full-sized Fennel is a very recent graduate (as of yesterday!) of Denison University.  A couple of years ago, he received a Denison/Phi Delt pillow.

This is obviously a quilt for a guy as you can see by the choice of denim for the sashing and borders.  The recipient is a Phi Delta Theta, a lacrosse player, a communications major, as well as a parasailor, etc, etc.

I added a bit of 3-D embellishment by keeping the hoodie pocket and buttons but had two new challenges to incorporate the polo shirt collar in the picture above as well as keeping the V of the Carlsberg Soccer shirt in Row 5. The polo shirt were worn by the communications majors during their broadcasts.  Once again, a felt banner was used which was added to the Denisonian block.

The long vertical Denison was taken from the leg of a pair of sweatpants and the two thin blocks just to the left are from athletic shorts.

One thing new was the choice of material for the backing.  Usually I use a quilting weight cotton or flannel but this time, I was asked to use a Denison sweatshirt blanket.  Because the blanket was much smaller than the quilt top, I added borders of the denim.  This was a very heavy quilt!  I was a bit worried that the crest of the blanket would be mangled by all the quilting but it came out fine.  Phew!

Watch Your Step

Apparently if a Denison student steps on the college seal embedded in Chapel Walk in front of Swasey Chapel, he or she won’t graduate. Students walk around it, bike around it, skateboard around it…you get the idea.  Good thing he didn't get the quilt until AFTER graduation!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So if you're feeling strong, then reach for yours, My book is my shield and my mic is my sword, sword, sword...

This quilt was made for a lovely young woman who works in the same office as the other law quilt recipient from last month.

The recipient is a Cavalier from the University of Virginia. Like other southern schools, Pearl Girls are a major fixture on campus so I used a pearl motif fabric for the background of the UVa logo as well as the ΑΧΩ greek letter block. UVa colors are orange and blue which I was able to address with the blue and orange butterfly border fabric.

While at UVa, she pledged Alpha Chi Omega.  AChiO's colors are green and red so it was a bit challenging to find fabrics in those colors that didn't scream Christmas. Alpha Chi Omega doesn't have a mascot at the national level but several individual chapters use the butterfly. The lyre in the upper left corner of the quilt is their symbol, similar to the Kappa Key.

Most people know that Thomas Jefferson designed the campus from nearby Monticello.  And if you step on the Grounds unaware of that factoid, you certainly will know it by the time you leave.

How many UVA students does it take to change a light bulb? 
One - he just holds the bulb and lets the world revolve around him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

He goes by the name of the D-D-D-Disco Dave

This Watercress wallhanging was made for an attorney who practices law in the Commonwealth.

This gentleman started out at Hampden-Sydney College where he pledged Phi Gamma Delta aka FIJI or Phi Gam (depending on geography).  Unlike most fraternities and sororities, Phi Gamma Delta doesn't allow their greek letters on anything but their crest so I didn't make a block with letters.  I DID however, incorporate their color of purple, their white owl mascot and their black diamond with the white star symbol all in one block.  The sashing between the blocks has a palm tree motif which of course hearkens to the FIJI tropical isle theme.

I had a little bit of football themed fabric from another quilt which was perfect for the borders as this Tiger played football at Hampden-Sydney and yet still maintained a high enough GPA to get admitted to the top-tier law school at Washington and Lee University.

The logo for Washington and Lee University was made with fabric that have the W&L trident as the design. The background of the Hampden-Sydney block is a tropical batik again referencing the FIJI connection.  Because the recipient practices law, the scales of justice were appliqued onto a background of books.

Hampden-Sydney College is a unique treasure of a school located about an hour west of Richmond in a very rural area.  It is one of the last 3 all-male colleges in the country.   Yet every time we have visited on the weekends, there is no shortage of gorgeous young ladies out and about.
How many Hampden-Sydney students does it take to change a light bulb?
Five, one to actually change the light bulb, and four to figure out how this could get some Sweet Briar girls to come over.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'll take a little shout out to my dad and mom (yeah) For bringing me into this world and so on

This quilt is a nice lapsize bargello style design.  Nothing fancy, strictly utilitarian.  The recipients have a gorgeous burnt orange bukhara in their media room so the fabrics were chosen to coordinate with the persian carpet.