In the years preceding my retirement I bought stuff. I knew when I had more time I would return to childhood and young adult hobbies. So I prepared myself. Beside that my 30 some year old sewing machine crashed mid-quilt one day, and no one could revive it. So I splurged and bought a Babylock Quilting machine (visions of work after retirement I guess)
Like I struggle with my WP Spam-s-alot problem, I staggered under the multiplicity of options on this machine, and I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME just learning to thread it. So it sat for probably 3-4 years under my table in the bedroom – forlorn and rejected.
Then Connie and Carmen and I got together. Yesterday Carmen agreed to a tutoring session in her home. I thought as I packed up my things to take, that maybe I should take projects that had been bothering me for 10 years or so as well. Then I thought, “I shouldn’t overwhelm her”, but my desires got the best of me. I’ll write about my project on another day. Yes, I took it!! Pass up an opportunity to get help from an expert?? Are you kidding???
What I did forget was my power cord. Fortunately Carmen had one, so while she sewed, I took pictures of her quilts. She said I could share them with you. So when you comment, you can thank her.
This quilt hangs in her quilting room amid finished and unfinished projects. I’ll back up so you get the bigger picture.
My guide and I started in the dining room.
Carmen makes a new pumpkin quilt every year. She tells me she’s not an expert yet because she’s only been quilting for 14 years. That probably means that there are 14 pumpkin quilts. You can’t imagine how much she has done in 14 years! You are not going to get to see even 1/10 of all the quilts Carmen has.
Each wall quilt is hung with a curtain rod. That worked well.
The matching one is on the other French door.
The cats love the quilts. When my friend and I walked into the sunroom I disturbed some of their naps.
This quilt is unusual for Carmen because it is not precise. The blocks are formed like a round log cabin (maybe a drunkard’s path, but they are not the same size or even shape. The edges are raw, and gain character as the quilt is washed.
The hanger worked will to hang this perky pumpkin. The star almost looks like a Sojourner Truth Star depending on the colors.
Don’t be alarmed, the mouse wasn’t real! Carmen also likes to make animals – and pillows with animals. I’ll show you a couple of cute pigs.
This should have been my starting place. This is her experiment with color quilt – and of course, a pumpkin pillow!
Carmen really needs a wider hallway. These next quilts are old. Her husband’s family is Mennonite, and when Carmen started quilting her mother-in-law posted an all points bulletin for relatives to help her start her stash of quilts. They came from all corners of the country, finished and unfinished.
Some of these fabrics reminded me of my great-grandmother’s quilt.
This beautiful hand-quilted applique had the same pattern quilted into the white background even where there was no appliqué.
Her Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt looks very similar to mine. I could almost picture my mother wearing dresses made out of these fabrics.
You can see that my great-grandmother put a binding around the edges of her quilt. Carmen’s quilt has a blind stitched edging.
The last quilt we looked at yesterday was a friendship quilt. I appreciated that she opened up her home, not only to me, but to you to share in the beauty of hand made work done over many years. The afternoon passed so pleasantly that when I finally looked at the clock it was 3:00 and I had been there more than 4 hours, listening to Dave Stamey, learning how to use my machine, and fixing a ten year-old quilting dilemma.
Thank you Carmen for your help and hospitality, and for a relaxingly wonderful afternoon. 🙂