Party Animal

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Today I'm continuing on quilting the Shine On quilt, but I wanted to pause here and link up to some of my favorite parties going on in Blogville.

First up:

Val's Quilting Studio

This week's themes are Backs and Batiks. I haven't gotten real fancy with my backs, but one I like particularly well is on the quilt I call "Tiptoe through the Tulips". (Sorry...probably gave you an ear worm just now.) This quilt was made from a pattern that was the cover quilt for Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine way back in March/April 2010. 

I already had a beautiful tulip fabric in my stash, but I needed to supplement with some appropriate fabrics for the rest of the quilt, including the center panel. My tulip fabric had a black background, and so I chose a black background for the center panel as well. The rest, I chose off the bolt. This was one of my first quilts, and I can recall spending hours choosing the fabrics. It resides on my guestroom bed now with some matching pillowcases.

Although I had purchased the tulip fabric much earlier, when on a separate shopping excursion, I found a panel that went with the original fabric line, and I decided to use it on the quilt back. 

That along with the beautiful quilting my long arm quilter did using a multi-colored variegated thread

made this one of my favorite quilts and quilt backs. You can see more pictures of the quilt and the quilting on my finish post from May of 2011 right here.

As for batiks, that one is easy. My favorite quilt made from batiks has to be the Perfect Harmony quilt I made for Matthew's birthday last year. Don't tell anybody, but Matthew's birthday has come around again. On Wednesday, he'll hit the Big-Three-Oh. Uh-Oh.

You can read the finish post for Perfect Harmony by clicking right here.

Next up is the "Let's Book It" challenge. 

This one is so much fun. I've participated in the first three months of 2014, and I've rediscovered some terrific patterns, from which I've made three great quilts. No wonder I bought those books!

So this month's challenge comes from the book by Janet Kimes, who creates the cutest cat quilt patterns. The one I'm making this month comes from her book The Cat's Meow:

I'm going to make this quilt called "Mom Cats":

The quilt will end up at 24-1/2 x 26-1/2 inches, and the cats' aprons are made from vintage doilies and handkerchiefs. And that just happens to be a perfect segue into the next party:

Never too hot to Stitch!

Because those vintage doilies/handkerchiefs just happen to be the handiwork of my grandmother, Bertha Maust. I've written about my grandmother many times on this blog because she was my inspiration in so many ways. Here is her wedding picture with my grandfather, Earl Maust.

She always seemed a little dowdy and fussy to me when I was growing up, and I'm afraid I didn't appreciate her as much as I might have had I been given a little more time with her. She passed away when I was 19, and long before I grew to appreciate what a wonderful quilter she was. She made beautiful quilts, but she also did incredible handwork. She had a heart attack relatively young in life, and in those days, heart patients were treated with kid gloves. She was instructed to be on her feet only four hours out of the day. She firmly believed that idle hands were the devil's workshop, and so to keep that old devil at bay, she was never lying down that she didn't have some kind of handwork in her hands. Her favorite seemed to be crochet. 

She used the tiniest crochet hooks and thread...chained a few chain stitches, looped them, and off she went to make the most exquisite lacy doilies....thousands upon thousands of them I'm sure. I have hundreds in my own cedar chest that haven't seen the light of day in decades...and before that, they lived in my own mother's cedar chest where they were never taken out and never seen. Since I'm the last person left alive who knew my grandmother, I figure it's high time to bring those out of the proverbial closet...even if it is only to be the aprons of little Mom Cats. To use her handmade doilies in a quilt seems a fitting enough tribute to my grandmother, doesn't it? And I think that's a perfect "Something Old" for the challenge.

As for my "Something New", I'm signed up to learn the long-arm machines at my local quilt shop at the end of April. When that's all said and done, I'm going to rent time on the machines and use Joseph's Quilt as my first project.

So that's a lot of parties for one day. I'll probably need a nap later. 

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Nancy said...

How nice the panel looks on the back of the quilt. And your quilter did a great job.
I enjoyed reading about your grandmother. I had one grandmother who crocheted dollies and I have a few of hers. Wish I had more. She died when I was 6. Wish I could have known her.

Valerie Reynolds said...

I love variegated thread!! ANd what a great idea to use a panel on the back!!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Your tulip quilt is really nice, I like the fabric. I can't wait to see you make more cat quilts- I love them.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I like the idea of the panel on the back and the varigated thread - love!

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Your tulip quilt is lovely. Bring out the doilies! I was at an estate sale last year and the lady had such exquisite workmanship and she had thousands. They were all starched you could have injured yourself on them and they were so fine, so was her embroidery. I should have purchased them because they were so lovely. Now I keep an eye out when i sale for those vintage lovelies.

quiltzyx said...

Oh! I remember the tulip quilt! How nice to revisit some of your previous projects.

Excellent idea to use your grandmother's handmade doilies. Bring her along into the 21st century now!

Kate said...

Your Tulip quilt is still one my all time favorites!

LynCC said...

Wow! Hey - GO, You! with the longarm work. :)

Val Spiers said...

Lots of lovely projects. The quilting and the batiks look great. Cats are cute little quilting helpers. I like your idea of using the doilies on the cat quilt. Long arm quilting seems like a good skill to learn especially if you don't need to buy the machine yourself. Renting time at the quilt shop is a good idea.
valspierssews visiting through Something Old Something New linky.