Thursday, September 22, 2011

My First Quilt

Recently, I shared my first quilt at the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild meeting. And, it occurred to me that I never shared that quilt here. I basically taught myself how to quilt, and I'm pretty proud of that. But, I have to credit my Mom for planting the seed. She convinced me a few years ago that we could sew a quilt top for my sister, when she had cancer. I barely knew how to sew, but she cut all the fabric, gave me the pattern, and explained to me how to piece it all together. We did it - we made the top and a friend of my Mom's quilted it for us.  It was a lap size attic windows quilt using some large-scale chicken prints (my sister lives on a farm).  We gave it to her when she was through with treatment and cancer free! 

Somewhere in the midst of piecing that top, I needed a little help (and maybe some inspiration), so I went to the web, and stumbled across some modern quilt blogs. That was it for me. I knew I wanted to make my own quilts.   
Almost Done

It took a couple of years to pull off my own first quilt, though. I started this quilt a little over a year ago, cutting the fabric while I was waiting to buy a new sewing machine - one that I could make quilts with (go figure...). I finished this quilt in May. It took me a loooong time to put it together, partly because I had a million little things I wanted to make once I got my new machine and partly because I just couldn't get the nerve up to start doing it.   I'm so glad that I did it! I I love, love, love this quilt!
Good Folks Quilt Done

Good Folks Quilt Back

It is FAR from perfect. There are plenty of points that don't line up, the quilting stitches are way irregular, and then there are these little jagged spots in the quilting where I started and stopped the free motion quilting.  I specifically wanted a larger meandering pattern as opposed to dense stippling on this quilt.  And, I thought it would be easier for me, since I wouldn't have to move around as much.  Yeah, not so much.  It was still pretty tough.    

I'm on my third quilt now and quilting continues to challenge me.  I think that's a big part of why I like it though.  I also love the way a quilt brightens and changes an entire room, just sitting on a couch or a chair with all of its imperfections.  And, then there's the sentiment behind quilts.  I recently went to my sister's house and saw the quilt we made hanging on her wall above her couch.  Either she really, really loves giant chickens on her wall or she finds comfort in the sentiment behind this quilt.  Or perhaps both. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering

I'd been planning to write a blog post to catch up on the end of our summer, but every time I sat down to write it I couldn't gather my thoughts. We had fun these last few weeks of Summer. We checked some things off of our summer list, like going down to the Eno River to splash and picnic one day, and going to a Durham Bulls baseball game. I just couldn't recall those events enough to really write about them. I can recall my general mood in August. I can recall feeling hot and bored at times with those things we'd been doing all. summer. long. I can recall feeling anxious that both of the kids were getting ready to start at a new preschool...Joe for his first time. I can recall feeling excited for Fall.

It's funny how a whole month passed and I am having trouble conjuring up concrete memories. But, so many of us can recall in great detail the morning of Sept 11, 2001. I was 24 and engaged to Mark. We lived in an apartment together. I was a newish engineer in my first job out of graduate school. My boss came down the hall and knocked on my door mid-morning and told me an airplane had hit one of the twin towers. I was shocked, but admittedly unsure how to react. Do I get up and gather with everyone else or do I sit here and keep working? What exactly is going on? I couldn't comprehend. I can remember very clearly the expression on his face, one of fear and horror. He walked away but to turn around seconds later and say something like "you should get up and come in here to see this with the rest of us". And, so, we all huddled around a small static filled TV watching it all unfold. Some of my colleagues discussed whether the towers would collapse and the thought of it made my stomach turn. That night I found myself alone in our apartment, as Mark was in class. I sat on the couch and watched and wept. I recall a flood of emotions...disbelief, overwhelming sympathy for those lost, fear and admiration for the heros. I also remember thinking a lot about what the future would be like. How would it change us? How would it shape the fate of our unborn children?

And here we are ten years later. So much has changed. Our lives are bigger and greater in ways that I never could've imagined!  I think I will always be able to recall that day in great detail and I will always mourn for those who lost and are still suffering.  But now I know, without a doubt, that there is SO much good in this world!
School Buddies  DSC09960    Oh How I Love Him So