8/12/13

Drop Off Day

This morning my weekend with my friend Carla came to an end when I dropped her off at the train station to return to her duties as an ESL teacher at Portland State University. After that, I dropped my quilt off in Salem, Oregon, for its beauty pageant contestant stint at the Oregon State Fair. Then I came home and dropped off for a long nap.  It was a fun weekend, followed by a couple of hours of driving, followed by sheer exhaustion. I'm not sure why I was so tired because the weekend was anything but taxing. I suppose being out of one's routine is enough to justify the exhaustion and I slept without waking for a couple of hours. So now I'm feeling more myself and ready to return to my usual routine. Ordinarily, my usual routine would include time in my sewing room, but today I'm taking the day off.

Carla and I had so much fun this weekend. Carla made her first quilt, and I had my first student. Carla is a bright person who catches onto things quickly. She was also very brave and willing to sew on Big Bertha despite not having sewed anything for decades. I think we can all agree that modern sewing machines are not the machines we had to sew on 40 years ago.

We started out making nine-patches. Maybe I'm biased (no pun intended), but my first quilt blocks were nine patches, and so it seems to me that one cannot be a real quilter until one has made a few nine patches.


Our time was limited, and we both really wanted Carla to be able to take home a finished quilt. She was trooper mastering the picky perfectionist tendencies all quilters struggle with. By that I mean that I personally try not to let perfection get in the way of fun; on the other hand, inaccurate cutting and piecing just makes things harder down the road, which also gets in the way of fun. Perfection and fun...always a balancing act where quilting is concerned. Because of that, I taught her the prime directive of quilting, which has to do with galloping horses. (Click on that link if you don't know about galloping horses.)


Smitty was a trooper too. Here, you can see him taking his helping duties very seriously. And I'm here to tell you, he gave that pincushion what for.


The first day, we took the quilt this far before knocking off for the night. Then we gabbed for hours before knocking that off for the night too.


The next day we were all hard at it again, although by this time, Smitty had been sewing for quite long enough. He was bored.


We still had quite a lot to do, but finished our quilt tops by late afternoon Sunday.


By that time, Smitty was exhausted. He did his best helping when he took a several-hour cat nap.


And look at Carla go! Machine quilting her very first quilt!


When it was all finished, this is what she had. 



Carla's quilt fabrics were chosen as an homage to her little kitty Kitka that she rescued from the streets of Georgia...that would be Georgia the country, not the state.  


Carla recently returned from a fellowship there as an ESL teacher. To understand what a special little kitty Kitka is, you would need to understand Carla's rather impulsive decision to rescue her. If you click on that link, you can find Carla's blog from her time in Georgia. When she left Georgia to return to the United States, she made the wrenching decision to find a home for her beloved companion. I think all of us who have owned and loved pets understand how hard it is to say good-bye to a good friend. Here is a recent picture of Kitka, who is apparently quite comfortable in her new home. (Do you see Carla's quilt in Kitka's fur?)


But Carla wasn't the only one making a quilt this weekend. I decided the easiest way for me to teach Carla was to make a demonstration quilt. And since this quilt was unspoken for, I offered to send it to a friend in Colorado who has a three-year-old daughter named Cameron. Cameron likes pink, blue, and Hello Kitty. This is what I came up with.


The back is made from that same Hello Kitty fabric. Both of our quilts ended up at about 14 x 18 inches.

After we finished binding our quilts, we spent some more time gabbing, and then Mike offered to take us out to dinner. It was a very nice dinner. Mike and Carla only met for the first time this weekend, but we all graduated from the same high school, and so even Mike could get in on the act of reminiscing about friends and teachers we all knew.


This morning we were up and off at 10:00 a.m., and now things are pretty much back to normal with Carla back at teaching, and me back at blogging. Smitty is back to birding, and all is right with the world.

Tomorrow I have a day at home. My plan is to sandwich and start quilting the True Hope quilt. The quiet time will do me good. Wednesday I'm getting my pedicure, and Thursday I'm getting my hair trimmed. I'm in the process of growing out my very short hair to more of a chin length style, and it needs some evening up as it grows out. Then Friday morning I'll be getting us ready to go spend the weekend at our annual get-together with our friends, Greg and Jan out toward the Oregon coast. No rest for the wicked, and apparently this summer, we are wicked indeed.

21 comments from clever and witty friends:

Junebug613 said...

Both quilts came out lovely! How fun to have someone to quilt with! I don't have anyone here unless I take a class. I do that about once a year, but it's not always easy when you're working. Smitty seems as helpful as my Riley and Oliver. Must be a boy cat thing. :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a lovely time which created lovely quilts between friends. It does a perfect job of capturing her sweet kittie - a memory to treasure - for both of you.

Jeanie said...

Friends, quilting, quilts, cats and fun..... sweet post!

Betty said...

That is an impressive first quilt Carla made! I doubt it will be her last. You and Smitty did a great job teaching!

quiltzyx said...

WOOOooooHoooOOOoooOOO Karla! You did a wonderful job on your first quilt!!

Barbara - you did a great job teaching too - and I like the little Hello Kitty quilt. Sweet!

Sherry said...

By the looks of the finished product you are indeed a very good teacher. Both quilts are grand. So nice to have fun with friends isn't it?

treadlemusic said...

Very impressive---both of you!! Congrats to Carla and there's nothing like an enthusiastic friend/quilting buddy to share time with!!! Hugs.....

Tami C said...

Both quilts turned out really cute! Carly's quilt is just adorable and is wonderful for her first quilt. I too am a cat lover and love the backing fabric and the cute little cat paws on the front!

Lyndsey said...

Love the quilts the two of you made. I bet it was great fun catching up on old times. I love meeting up with friends I haven't seen in years.

Dana Gaffney said...

Wow, on point too, she did a great job and congrats to the teacher. If I taught someone I would start with a nine patch also, it looks good and is fairly easy.

Diane Wild said...

Yay and congrats to Carla. Great first little quilt. And it's quilted and bound. Are you hooked yet, Carla? What a fun visit for all of you.

Jacque said...

Kudos to you and Carla, and to Smitty too....what an awesome team effort! LOL
Carla's quilt is wonderful - I bet she is hooked, now! You are obviously a superb instructor. :)
I'm off to check out her blog from when she was in Georgia, and see little Kitka.

Denise :) said...

What a sweet, fun day!! Carla did a fabulous job on her first quilt -- kudos to her! And your matchie-matchie quilt was darling, too! Poor Smitty -- did you fill that stinking pin cushion with catnip??! LOL! :)

LethargicLass said...

both of your quilts look great! And Carla's FMQ blows me out of the water lol... and confession time... I have never made a 9 patch :)

ANudge said...

Carla is a natural! Both of those quilts are precious - and kitty is fun too.

Dar said...

Both of your quilts turned out very cute. Congrats to Carla on her 1st successful finished quilt. She is a natural quilter, it seems. And of course she had a great teacher. I enjoyed reading the link about her finding little Kitka. I would have been hard pressed to leave her behind though.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Carla did a great job. You must be a good teacher.

Michele said...

Congrats to Carla! I'm sure she is hooked now.

Kate said...

Very cute quilts. Carla did great. Is she hooked?

Kate said...

Very cute quilts. Carla did great. Is she hooked?

Lynne said...

My mum, the widow of a perfectionist with slight OCD tendencies, has sometimes been heard to say "a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn't notice!" -- but never, to my knowledge, in front of dad! He was more likely to say "a bad workman always blames his tools" and, more frequently, "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right!". So when my sister, aged 53, fell down in her backyard earlier this year, she made sure she did a good job of the injuries sustained!

Well done, Carla. Starting with such tiny blocks was challenging enough without them being made of nine pieces!