Tag Archives: Quilts

Creative Juice #191

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Creative Juice #191

Passing along helpful information and amazing art:

Q is for Quilts

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about quilts I’ve made, but I wanted to actually finish them first. <sighs dramatically> I sometimes take a long time to get them completely done.

Here’s one I made for the quilt ministry at my former church (and this one got finished reasonably quickly):

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I’ve made one like this before, but with an additional border. This will be used as a baptism quilt for a baby. The sheep block is a design from Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt.

I confess this next one is almost done. It’s a comfort quilt for the same church ministry, usually given to a senior citizen facing a challenge. I’ve been working on it about a year. It’s been way more tedious than I ever expected. I saw a video on YouTube that showed how to put a Dresden plate together easily by cutting the pieces with a special ruler. I went out and bought the ruler and couldn’t wait to try it. The plates went together easily as advertised.

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One block done!

But I hand-appliquéd them onto the background. Next time I’m going to learn how to use the appliqué stitch on my sewing machine.

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Top done!

Then I figured out a way to stitch-in-the-ditch machine-quilt the plates. If it makes any sense, I planned to outline every other blade and travel to the next blade a short distance around the center so that I could do each block in one long continue path with only one beginning and end. However, when I started to sew, I zoned out and quilted all the way around the outside of the first plate. Now, I should have just pulled it out and started over, but I couldn’t bear to do that. So I decided to quilt around every other blade and stop when I got back to the edge. I did it the same way for each of the four large blocks. That mean that I had 10 extra beginnings and 10 extra ends–20 extra ends of thread to bury–for each block. It’s not hard, it’s just time consuming, and my arthritic fingers are not so nimble knotting thread and re-threading needles any more.

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Done! (Well, almost.)

The final quilt took the longest time to finish. I completed the top at least ten years ago. Then we upgraded from a full bed to a queen, so I redid the borders. Then it sat while I watched many videos about how to quilt a large quilt on a conventional sewing machine. They say it can be done, but I didn’t know where I was even going to lay out the quilt to sandwich the layers. I don’t have any big tables, and besides, I don’t have the floor space.

 

Finally I decided to treat myself to a professional quilting job. Through the Arizona Quilt Guild website, I found local quilter Cindy Stohn. Working with her was a dream come true.

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Cindy sent me this photo of the quilt on the frame.

She asked me what I had in mind for this quilt, sort of a scrappy Irish chain. I knew I wanted an overall pattern, but exactly what I had no clue. Instead of overwhelming me with everything her long-arm machine was capable of, she showed me maybe half a dozen designs she thought would complement the quilt. I chose this swirly design, but really, any of the ones she showed me would have been awesome.

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Photo by Cindy Stohn

Then she asked me my preference of thread color. I wanted a blue that would be visible but not detract from the beautiful fabrics. I didn’t want it to contrast sharply. She nodded and grabbed a box of thread cones that must have had 50 different shades of blue. She suggested using a different shade for the backside (a small blue and black checked flannel). Instead of making me pick, she pulled out several shades she thought would work, and honestly, every one gave it a totally different feel. She kept substituting and refining the choices, and I really think she came up with the perfect colors.

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Cindy’s quilting really enhanced my quilt. What a wonderful job she did!

Next up: a three-dimensional pinwheel quilt for the Choices Pregnancy Center, through the church’s quilt ministry:

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I’ll post more pictures when it’s done. Don’t hold your breath.

Christmas at Niels Petersen House

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Christmas at Niels Petersen House

I first visited the historic Niels Petersen House in Tempe, Arizona, in the early 1990s. When I stepped into the kitchen, I was hit with a wave of déjà vu. I realized it reminded me of the farmhouse my Uncle Hughie grew up in. (Click the smaller images to enlarge and to view captions.)

 

I recently visited again. In December, the house is decorated for Christmas.

 

 

Niels Petersen, the original owner of the house, was born on October 21, 1845, in Denmark. He served in the English Merchant Marines from 1863-1870, allowing him to travel the world until he decided to immigrate to the United States.

 

In 1871, Petersen arrived in the Salt River Valley of central Arizona, where he staked a homestead claim and begin farming. Four years later, in 1878, Petersen became a United States citizen and subsequently filed a homestead entry, the next step in permanently establishing himself in the valley. The final action in this process was the filing of a homestead proof, providing evidence that improvements to the land had been made by the claimant, which Petersen filed on May 12, 1883. By the time of his final homestead filing, Petersen had built two small adobe houses on the property and maintained 140 acres in cultivation.

 

Petersen acquired more property surrounding his homestead claim. His ranch grew to more than 1,000 acres and Petersen emerged as one of the area’s leading producers of cattle and grain.

By the 1890s, Petersen emerged as one of the Salt River Valley’s wealthiest and most revered citizens. In 1892, he made the decision to construct a new two-story brick home, in the Queen Anne Victorian style, hired Architect James Creighton to design it. Petersen’s house was widely considered one of the most elegant homes in the region.

 

Petersen married twice. His first wife died in childbirth and their son died in infancy. His second wife did not bear any children.

 

After Petersen’s death, the property passed to a distant relative, Rev. Edward Decker. He modified the house somewhat, including adding its one and only bathroom.

 

Only one more family ever lived in the house. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The city of Tempe acquired it in 1979 and restored it.

 

The Niels Petersen House will be open to the public this weekend, December 15 and 16, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. For more information, click here.

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Photographs by ARHuelsenbeck.

Two Finished Quilts and One in Progress

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Two Finished Quilts and One in Progress

It’s been a while since I last showed you some of the quilts I’ve made.

For the past couple of years, I’ve done most of my quilting with the Piecemakers, a ministry of a local church.

Here is a baptism quilt I made:

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Someone donated this adorable pink bunny fabric. Doesn’t it have a vintage vibe?

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Someone also donated a bunch of hand-dyed, batik, and hand-dyed-looking fabrics. I paired them with pink fabrics in order to make them pop, and turned them into 3-inch nine-patch blocks.

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Once assembled into a comfort quilt, I tied the layers together with variegated pink embroidery floss.

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All done.

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The backing is a hibiscus print that uses the same colors, yellow, pink, orange, and purple.

 

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And now on to a baby boy quilt for the crisis pregnancy center.

Someone donated half a yard of chameleon fabric. I fussy-cut 12 blocks from it, and then made four-patch blocks out of scraps and brightly-colored coordinating fabrics.

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That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. Stay tuned for more progress.

 

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