Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Eyes Have It

Began 2011, Finished 2017
Hand quilted

Even though I brought my sewing machine with me to our rented home, I packed all my accessories and tools, so it has made quilting a little difficult. I did bring my English Paper Piecing box that I usually take on trips, so I finished piecing a grandmother's flower garden.  As much as I hated to buy duplicate tools, I needed a long ruler and rotary cutter to finish the quilt. I did have a regular sewing foot on the machine and managed to move the needle enough to use it as a quarter foot, and machine sewed the borders. Then I began hand quilting a simple outline of each flower and scalloped border. Then I really regretted packing away the sewing machine accessories - I didn't have a walking foot to put on the binding. I used my regular foot instead and managed to get it done with just a few puckers.

After the binding was on, I decided it needed more quilting and found that it is much easier, or make that less worrisome, to do it after the binding is on. Since the edge was already quilted, I didn't have to worry about the border raveling with so much handling. I've been experimenting with marking methods and right now I really love the Frixon pens.

Now that the quilt is together, it's not a trip project, so I started a version of a Jack's chain and got a good start on it last month when both my mother-in-law and my mother spent time in the hospital. My mother-in-law went in on the day we began building our new home, and my mother went in a week later. Since she is 350 miles away and I am an only child, we took off a few days to go see her.

Speaking of the building, it is almost closed in. Another month, and we should be out of this duplex. The cat and I are more than ready to move. It appears that we are both stress eaters and have both gained four pounds since moving here. For some reason, it looks better on him than on me. too. He's ready to have a little freedom and I'm ready to quit driving forty miles every day to check the building progress and take my daily pictures.

Now for my quilting dilemma. Have you ever been asked by someone to make a quilt? Not just any quilt, but a recreation of a quilt? No? Well, be careful when you answer if you are ever asked. I was asked to make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I thought, ok, I can fuse the pieces on the blocks and use a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. Easy, right? No. After I agreed to make it, she said she wants needle turn applique which I have never done. AND, she wants it to look like a quilt made by her grandmother that she hasn't seen in over sixty years. But she thought she would recognize the pattern when she saw it. Uh huh. We went to a couple of quilt shops and she found two patterns of Sue that looked like it and one pattern of Overall Sam. So is it Sunbonnet Sue or Overall Sam? She thought it had both. I thought I'd take a class, brush up on my hand stitching and make one. A few months later, she called and excitedly told me that she had a picture of her grandmother's quilt. Great, says I, send it to me. She'll give it to me the next time I come to visit because she doesn't know how to get the picture to me. It's on a slide. For those of you youngsters, a slide is a transparent image of a photograph which could be viewed on a large screen using a projector. They were popular when I was young, when people took scads of photos of themselves on vacation, turned them into slides, popped them into a remote control carousel, and bored their friends with a verbal description of each and every one. Kind of like facebook and blogs today, except in person.

Anywhoo, mom had this slide, and no way to make it into a photo except to project it onto the wall and take a picture of that. She tried that, except it was too grainy to see, especially with the wall texture distorting it. So my husband held the slide (they are about two inches by two inches) and I held a light over it and took a picture with my phone. Still very grainy, and part of it may be that it never was in focus in the first place.

So here we have it, a picture of THE quilt, and could I please duplicate it? Duplicate it? I can barely tell what it is. If I didn't know it was either Sunbonnet Sue or Overall Sam, there is no way I would have guessed that was the pattern. But now that I do know, I am trying to decide if Sunbonnet Sue is even on there. I see the outline of what appears to be overalls on one block. And the other visible blocks seem to have the same big shape (the overalls) which means it is just an Overall Sam quilt. Or maybe the same blue is part of a Sunbonnet Sue pattern? I dunno. What do you see, if anything? Any idea what the borders may look like? Ay yi yi.

Linking to Slow Stitching Sunday 39 at Kathy's Quilts.


  1. Oh my goodness, that is a total nightmare to reproduce a quilt... especially when you can't even see the original quilt! My answer would be a firm "NO" right from the start. This person has no idea of the hours of your life that this is going to take away from you doing the things you really want to do!
    Unless it's something you really feel great joy to do, I would direct her request to the local quilt guild, where there might be someone who is looking for this kind of challenge.
    Congrats on finishing the beautiful flower garden!

  2. I think I'm going back with my first thought of fusing the applique. If I had only known what she really wanted at the beginning, I would have said no. And not just because I can't see what she really wants, but because I don't want to give her something I really don't know how to do (turned applique).

    After writing this last night, I started thinking that if she can't even remember if the quilt had Sunbonnet Sue or Overall Sam, or both, she won't know if I don't get it anywhere close. lol

  3. Lovely accomplishment...

    But as to the request to make something, which you can't even see.... I'm no quilter, but I'd say No. Quickly. Sounds like way too much stress will be involved.

    Of course, at my age, I avoid stress, as much as possible. That may not be you.

    Luna Crone

  4. Love the quilt. So pretty.

    Waiting for the home be be finished is stressful. I so remember.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. Just say No. She obviously doesn't know anything about making quilts so no explanation will compute with her.

  6. T, you don't have any way for me to reply to you directly, but yes, you are on the right track. She has made some quilt blocks but really doesn't know what is involved in putting a whole quilt together. But as I told someone else, if she can't remember exactly what was on the quilt, she isn't going to know if I do it right or not. lol So I'm going to fuse some appliques. I have done that a lot and it goes quickly.

  7. Option 1. No.
    Option 2. I can be inspired by the quilt but I cannot replicate it.
    Option 3. No, I make my own designs and do not copy/replicate.
    Those are just my opinions. I hope you are getting paid and well, I hope.

  8. All those colors are so cheerful. I admire you. I couldn't even begin to quilt like this!

  9. Oh wow! You have quite a challenge with that one. I usually say no to making quilts for anyone who doesn't live in the same house with me and even then I think twice. Hopefully you can come to an agreement with what "reproduce" means. Good luck.


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