Is there any sweeter word than “finished” for those of us who “make things?” Yes, I love the process, but I like the product too! I am happy to report that my Baltimore Album quilt, “Imperfect Beauty” is finished!!! It still needs a label and a hanging sleeve, but for all intents and purposes it is done and it’s a wonderful feeling. If you have followed my blog, you know that i started this quilt in January of 1996, 17 1/2 years ago. It started in a class on applique, specifically the type used for Baltimore Album style quilts, given by Faye Labanaris, a well known quilter and great teacher who happens to be from my area. I had never done any applique and fell in love with the process immediately and haven’t looked back since. This quilt contains much of my early applique stitching because I wasn’t afraid to tackle something challenging and something for which I was not entirely prepared for. My inexperience shows. In addition there are some minor spots on the quilt where my finger bled as I was pricked while I stitched and there’s a faint area where the red color bled when I spilled a cup of coffee on the top early on. You can imagine the panic scene at the time!!! I had to immediately put the top in cold water in the tub to save it!! I did have to replace one block, but the rest came out OK except for the one faint area. These flaws are why I named the quilt “Imperfect Beauty.” In spite of the flaws, the quilt is still beautiful!!! Isn’t that a truth about life?!
I worked on the quilt off and on over the years – it kept getting put aside so I could complete other quilts that were more enticing at the time. Finally, about 3 years ago I had the top completed and made the commitment to hand quilt it. Again, it was set aside frequently for other projects, notably so I could hand quilt my “Feathering My Nest” quilt. Last fall when “Feathering” was completed I made the commitment to complete “Imperfect Beauty” and on July 14th I fulfilled that commitment. Hurrah!!!
Here are some pictures of the quilt. I apologize that the quilt is laid out on my living room rug, but the hanging sleeve is not on yet and I don’t have another floor space big enough to show it.
In my last post, I promised I would show more pictures of my new sewing room. I have seen pictures on the web of fantastic sewing rooms. Mine in humble in comparison but I am very, very happy with it because it is very comfortable and functional and didn’t cost a fortune. The room is a converted bedroom and not particularly large as my house is modest size. I already had functional sewing and cutting tables and 2 antique cabinets (inherited from family). I invested in 2 new bookcases, new curtains, and a new rug. The new layout is what is best about the new room as I can easily access 3 sides of my cutting table at all times, my sewing table is not up against a window, I have clear and easy access to my design wall, and I eliminated a lot of clutter by both getting rid of a lot of stuff I didn’t need anymore and by gaining a second closet in which to store things. All my books are organized and in one place now. I get to keep the closet in the other room, which is still easily accessible right around the corner, for much of my fabric, . I am still assessing the lighting and may do something different with that eventually, and I still have one wall open for either artwork or a bulletin board or something similar, but otherwise this is mostly complete!
Here’s what you see when you walk in the door:
Turning now counterclockwise to the sewing table:
There is a picture painted by my mother on the far wall and an embroidery done by my maternal grandmother above the bookcase.
Turning further counterclockwise to see both bookcases:
My husband tells me I’m not allowed to bring any more quilting books into the house without getting rid of something in exchange!!! The 2 bookcases have most of my quilting and design books but there are a few downstairs with other art books. I also have my collection of Japanese quilt magazines and Quiltmania magazines on these shelves. I stored my Quilters’ Newsletter magazines in the closet.
And, again, turning clockwise for full circle, here is the design wall and cutting table again. The design wall has fabrics pinned up on it so I can look at possibilities for piecing together some fabrics for the back of the Friendship Quilt. (Next post I’ll talk about finishing that top – another “finish”!!):
The new “ecru” colored curtains make a huge difference and let in a lot more light than the green ones did:
Here’s a picture of the embroidered picture my grandmother did. If you look in the lower left corner along the hill top, you’ll see the initials “ECA ’56” for Elsie Cole Arnold, 1956, the year she completed the picture:
I just love the idea of having 3 generations of creativity in my room! I don’t have a good close-up of my mom’s painting – maybe another time. My mom also was an incredible needlepointer and knitter. I’m lucky to have a number of pillows she made by needlepoint; I understand that my grandmother made some utilitarian quilts but they are gone now. Perhaps I’ll see if I can get my daughter and granddaughter to make something and then I can have 5 generations represented in my room!!
That’s it for today. Next post I’ll try to post some pictures of the antique quilts from VQF and will show you how I mitered the corners of the border for the Friendship quilt.
Thanks for stopping by!
Also, thanks to Craig Werth for adding the nice header to the blog!!!