Something Out of Nothing

Nothing to write about at this end, but you know that's never stopped me before. It was a day of running errands and renewing my driver's license. I was dismayed when I arrived at the DMV and pulled #185 out of the ticker. They were serving #168. I settled in for a long wait, but I was in and out in less than half an hour. Not a bad day at the DMV. Then I had grocery shopping to do, but I had four stops to make along the way. I really hate these errand days, but it is the price I pay for having a husband who still works while I spend my days doing what I love. It's more than a fair trade, I'd say.

Anyway...all of that to say that I didn't do any sewing today, but I still wanted to flap my lips about something. Linky parties to the rescue! First, it's time to link up to ALYoF Finishes party for March.
My March goal was to finish the quilt top (not the quilting) for the Blogger's BOM. I finished the blocks way back in October of 2012, but never sewed them into a quilt top. It was my oldest UFO, and high time to get it sewn together. Part of the reason it took me so long was because I couldn't decide what to do with it. I wasn't happy with the setting instructions that came with it, mainly because it had a piano key border, and I just wasn't up for that. I had auditioned some fabrics, but I wasn't sure. Then when I started looking at the old images I'd taken, it all sort of came together for me. Here's my finished quilt top. I'm calling it "Joseph's Quilt":

When I linked to the goals party, I was #4, and you can read my original post right here.

I have plans for the quilting on this. I've signed up to learn to use the long arm machines at one of my local quilt shops. The class will be on April 28th, and after that, I'll be able to rent time on their long arm machines. I plan to use this as my first "solo" project. It seems a good quilt to practice with since it doesn't have any ultimate recipient in mind, and I figure it will give me lots of room to stretch my creative muscle. With that said, I have a goal to finish the quilting during the month of May.

The next party I want to link up to is this one:

Val's Quilting Studio

This week's themes are Babies and Barns. Okay, so maybe I'm going to be reaching a little here, but I never want to be left out of a good party, so here goes. 

First, Babies: I thought I'd link to an old post about my "Two Grandmothers" quilt. Here's a picture of the finished quilt:

I blogged about this quilt many times while I was restoring it. Basically, the story is that my mother embroidered these blocks when she was a teenager. When I was expecting my first child, Erik, she handed me the stack of blocks. They were beautifully embroidered, but she had never done anything with them. My mother passed away long ago, and I wish I could ask her what possessed her to go to all this work. I suspect they went into her "hope chest" (do girls still do that?), and that she never got around to doing anything with them when her first child, my brother Richard, was born. By the time I came along, I'm sure the blocks were ancient history in her mind. 

My brother had two children before I had my first, but she gave the blocks to me. I wasn't yet a quilter at that time, and so I simply sewed them all together into a comforter, tied them with a poor-quality batting (what did I know about batting back then?) and bound the whole thing using double-fold bias seam binding. You can see pictures of the original comforter, along with a more detailed story about this quilt's history by clicking right here

In preparation for today's post, I looked for a picture of one of my boys using the original comforter. The only one I could find was this one of Erik when he was about five months old.

He looks bald as a billiard ball in his pictures from those days, but he actually had quite a bit of blond hair. He's nearing 35 years now, and his hair is still blond.

I had a bee in my bonnet to turn this into a proper quilt, and one day, I took it all apart, put a sashing between the blocks, free motion quilted them on my domestic machine, gave it a new border and back as well as a proper binding. During that process, my good friend Sherry who blogs over at Quilts, Fabric, and Thread Tales was able to identify Ruby McKim as the artist who designed the embroidery blocks along with the history of where they came from. I felt as if I'd come full circle with this quilt. You can read about my conversations with Sherry right here. And I am eternally grateful to Sherry for her contribution to my knowledge of this quilt. 

It's true I've learned a lot about the quilt and its origins, and I'm happy with my finished project, but I won't come full circle until I have a grand baby to use it. I don't know if that will ever happen, and I'm believing it less and less these days. Nevertheless, there's still time, and I still have some hope.

So that brings me to the second theme for Val's linky party: Barns. I don't have a lot of barns, but the one I thought of straight away was the Home is Where the Heart is BOM that I finished up back in August of 2012. Here is a picture of the finished quilt:

It's all fusible applique and quilted by my fabulous long arm quilter, Erin Davis. You can see that the middle block in the third row, August's block, has a barn, but my favorite part of that block is the animals. The pig was supposed to have an applique nose, but I thought a pink button was exactly what he needed. Here is a close-up of the block:

You can see the post I wrote when the quilt was finished along with close-ups of all of the blocks if you click right here.

And if you want to see archival posts from some of your other blogging neighbors, check out Val's linky party right here.

So tomorrow will be a quieter day. I don't really have much on my to-do list, but I absolutely am going to go to Zumba Gold tomorrow without fail!!! No excuses this time around...unless I get a flat tire or someone dies or a tornado hits...like that happens all the time in Oregon, don't you know. Except for that, it will be a sewing day, and I'll get going on my Rainbow Scrap blocks. If I'm real energetic, I might get started on another one of my to-dos as well. Don't know which one right off the top of my head.

I hope you got some sewing done today, and that your day didn't require that you stop off at the DMV. Honestly, is there a place more drab than that? But they did right by me today. They even gave me a halfway decent picture on my new driver's license...and no, you can't see it.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I hate going to the DMV - ours is small, but you still wait forever and they all have the friendliness of a dead fish. Love all the eye candy and tracking back to former posts on these pretties.

Kate said...

I like your Joseph's coat, it's so colorful and bright.

You have so many fun projects in your archives. I loved watching your efforts to reset those blocks.

Tami C said...

Loved your little pink button nose pig and the rest of that quilt!

Valerie Reynolds said...

Perfect barn link up...but absolutely love the history behind your baby quilt. (Quilting has really changed over the years hasn't it!)I always enjoy reading your posts...yes...have never met anyone who loves DMV. I finished my RSC today and plan to finish my ALYoF tomorrow. :)

Brown Family said...

I love the expression on the cows face! Cracked me up!

quiltzyx said...

The polka dot outside border on Joseph's Coat is so perfect - it somehow calms the whole quilt down a little, doesn't it?

Glad DMV didn't take you long after all. It's always a nice surprise when it goes fast there.

No sewing today for me, but I did a little fabric selection for my song title background. Did laundry & dishes & ran an errand too. And coughed, but that's another sad, but almost finished with, tale.

liniecat said...

Love that pigs button nose! Just perfect!
What a lovely story about the stitched blocks your mum made, a touch of Fate there then, she must have known one day, youd turn to the Fabric side of life!
Thats really what I reckon patchwork and quilting is all about traditionally, a quilt that has a family story. All the art quilts in the world cant have that wonderful, touching, element of everyday social history, as clever and as remarkable as many are.
They may well touch on politically social comment in their own ways but for me, your story there, is what the true essence of patchwork and quilting is all about. As well as warmth and practicality of course!

Dana Gaffney said...

Now I really want to see the DMV picture, never even thought of it til you said No, LOL.

Diane Wild said...

Fun to see your archived treasures again. Errand days are a waste of good sewing time but necessary. Today I'm hanging quilts at the library for a quilt show starting tomorrow. Probably no sewing today.

Doris Rice said...

I rather take a beating than go to the DMV!!! I think it's a requirement to be snarly to work there! Even though I stay at home ... sorta.... (I also quilt for hire at home) I make hubby do that. I will take care of most other things but I won't go there. Don't know what I'm going to do if anything ever happens to him. I may have to quit driving! lol

Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts said...

Great finish. And finding so much goodness out of ~ life.

Dixie said...

The Mississippi DMV has greatly improved too. At my recent renewal there was only a short wait though my number was high. And what a relief to have a new picture. My previous one looked as if I had just been released from the Women's Correctional Institute and wasn't very happy about it.

Pattilou said...

Going to the DMV in a small town was a piece of cake. Now that I live in a larger area, I know exactly what you are talking about. My first trip to one here, I had to make with my birth certificate and soc # in tow! That was an experience because the room was full of many like me. Next time I think it will be renewed without that line. Anyhow--hoping. Some really fun finishes for you!