Quilt Show and Tell

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My husband’s brother, Peter, was married to his first wife, Nikki, for over fifty years when she was diagnosed with cancer and died shortly after.

Peter didn’t expect to fall in love again, but then he met Joy, and soon they married.

We had been out of touch with Peter for a while, but when Greg had complications after surgery in March, 2020, I called Peter to let him know what was happening. Peter stayed in touch with us, and last July, he and Joy drove from their home in California to visit us in Arizona.

Greg immediately set to work making a rifle for Peter, a collector. (Greg makes reproductions of antique weapons from kits.) I wanted to have a gift for Joy, and making a quilt seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t really know her style, so I decided to make a lap quilt, rationalizing that she could always hide it in a drawer when not in use if it clashed with her decor. I made a scrap 4-patch and set the blocks so that they formed diagonal rows. I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt before I gave it to her, but I did photograph it as I was laying out the blocks:

Joy's scrap quilt in progress

When Christmas approached, Greg got to work on a pair of pistols for Peter, and I thought about the Holly Jolly Christmas quilt I’d been dying to make–a perfect gift for Joy.

Holly Jolly Block

I’ve got to confess–it wasn’t ready for Christmas; I completed it January 2. It uses a paper foundation, and I’ve only done one foundation quilt before, a miniature many years ago. I forgot about all the trimming you have to do, and how tedious it is to remove the paper foundations. I totally underestimated the work involved. To quilt it, I stitched in the ditch around some of the diamond shapes:

Joy's Christmas quilt

For the backing, I used a cheater fabric and attached a border. It turned out nice enough that you could use either side:

Back of Christmas quilt

I have two quilts-in-progress right now. One top is complete, a baptism quilt for my former church; I just have to sandwich it and quilt it:

Sheep quilt

Unfortunately, the fabric I used for the sheep’s body is so pale that it doesn’t show up well against the white background. I am going to attempt quilting that section with wooly-looking swirls to make it stand out better.

Sheep quilt
About a year ago, I told my son Matthew I wanted to make him a quilt. I made him one when he was little, and he wore it out a long time ago–he deserves a new one. I showed him a couple of possibilities I had in mind. One was a log cabin made in Christmas fabrics, which he immediately liked. I said I could make it in any colors he wanted, but he said since he has sheets in solid burgundy, forest green, gray, and black, he liked the colors in the picture.

So red and green it is, but I looked for non-Christmasy fabrics. It’s still far from finished, but now that Joy’s quilt is done, I can get back to Matt’s. I love how the blocks progress every time I add a new “log”:

Log cabin
Log cabin
Log cabin
Log Cabin

I hope that before the end of 2022, I can show you the finished versions of these quilts.

So, fellow quilters, what are you working on? Share in the comments below.

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