Monday, January 18, 2010

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Ian's hockey jersey quilt


Quilting and Hockey. Two passions by two different sets of people in two different geographies. Jo Ellen in the Northeast and we in the Southwest. But passions none the less. Let me add in an incredibly talented son (the owner of these jerseys), a sister who is also a hockey nut and we have a winning combination!

Jo Ellen from New Jersey found us through our brother's wife's brother's wife's friend (don't you just love networking!) and had us take her son Ian's hockey jerseys, add in a truly beautiful and meaningful bible verse and turn all that into a memory quilt. Each square is a super large 16 inches because hockey jerseys need to be oversized in order to handle all the required protective gear. We put it together using his preferred colors and quilted it with our APQSMillennium longarm quilting machine.

While I was celebrating my niece's college graduation in New York, I decided to meet up with Jo Ellen to give her the quilt. I dragged along my NY sister who is also the Mom of a talented hockey player and we met up in early December. As soon as I introduced the 'hockey moms' to each other, I was quickly left in the dark since they began to speak a foreign language all about hockey.

But as soon as their attention turned to the quilt, all the love, respect, admiration and pride in her son came out in the form of tears of joy. Jo Ellen was deeply affected by how the quilt turned out, with its embroidered bible verse as the center square.

The number 4 is Ian's preferred team number and the 'Cs' indicate that he has been the captain of his teams. His Mom also told us that as just a sophomore in high school, Ian has already been accepted into a northeast university because of his hockey talents.

This was a Christmas present for Ian but it turned out to be a Christmas gift for us all. We had the joy of the creation of this quilt, the privilege of working with a lovely, gracious and generous Mom, Jo Ellen, and the voyeuristic pleasure of 'meeting' an up and coming hockey talent. And I had the fun of having my NY sister, Mary Ellen, along to share in the adventure. Wonderful all around!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reenie's Twist and Shout

Now this is a REAL Christmas quilt! This Mom, Reenie, gives her kids special T-shirts for every Christmas season.

Since the kids have outgrown the shirts, she had us make two very different quilts, reflecting the different personalities of each of her boys. This one needed to be as fun as possible so we chose a 'twist and turn' as our layout with the four corner squares being just a simple striped piecing project. We finished it with a unique quilting pattern using our APQS Millennium longarm machine.

Reenie was fully involved throughout the entire project and personally picked out all the fabrics herself, even though she is not a quilter. Her eye for pattern and color was truly excellent and we were very impressed with the way the diverse fabric patterns came together.

When she picked up the quilts in early December, we received a great early Christmas gift ourselves - tears of joy when she saw the way they had turned out, with hugs all around.

What a great joy - to make someone happy while doing our 'jobs' - in fact, it is not just a job; it is a passion.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shhh! Have to wait till after Christmas.

With our wonderful APQS longarm Millennium quilting machine, we have been able to get so many quilts completed for our clients to give as Christmas gifts. I am anxious to show them all to you but can't do so until after the gift giving has begun! I surely don't want to spoil any surprises.

So, watch this space and after December 25th, I will be posting more pictures and stories of the many beautiful quilts we have gotten done. I may even be able to share with you some of the stories of the reactions of the recipients!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mandy's Phish Quilt

This is a memory quilt made from Phish Rock Concert T-shirts.

Mandy came to us a bit ago with a bag of shirts that she and her now deceased husband had collected as they traveled from concert to concert. She wanted something soft and yet long lasting that would comfort her in the days to come.
We were able to find some lovely hand dyed fabric to use as sashing on the front, using colors that enhanced the Phish shirts. On the back, we used a vibrant batik while incorporating 4 more of the Phish shirts. And added a label with lyrics from their favorite Phish song.

Of course, we finished the quilt by using our APQS Millennium longarm machine to add just the right amount of quilting to bring it all together.

She was very touched and emotional when we presented it to her. It just goes to show how joy can come from wonderful memories and how a 'forever' quilt can come from a bag full of old T-shirts.

Debbie's Quilt

Look at the complexity, yet simplicity of this visually exciting quilt! Debbie brought it to us at the last moment with a plea to have it ready for Christmas. Although all of us want to avoid 'rush jobs', we had a hard time saying no to this particular top.

Each block is made up of 54 individual pieces and there are almost 300 blocks! Debbie's Mom pieced this impressive project and we were privileged to be able to enhance it with our quilting.

Using our APQS Millennium longarm machine, we freehanded a pattern with curves and points that I like to call Jamie Swirls, after a technique taught by Jamie Wallen. The quilting just shadows in the busy front but stands out as a piece of art in its own right on the plain muslin backing.

This was a really fun quilt to work on. The payoff came from Debbie picked it up and burst into tears of joy when she saw how it turned out. This experience typifies why we so love what we do - it is our passion, not just our work!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The 'No Special Event' Quilt'

The making of quilts probably started out as primarily a way of filling a practical, everyday need. It surely migrated to a way to add color and beauty to one's life and a way to share that love with others by giving of quilts to a friend.

That's what this 'everyday' quilt is. Just a gift from one friend to another; no special occasion, no birthday, no early 'Christmas present'. But it is the true expression of love and friendship to be able to share fabric, texture and color with someone else. Karen made this quilt for her friend and brought it to us to finish for her using our longarm APQS Millennium machine.

But just because it is a 'no special occasion' quilt does not take away from it's attractiveness nor the precision and care Karen put into it. Look closely at the detailed picture. See how she carefully aligned the directional fabrics. See the precision of her matching seams. And in the background, see the quilting we put into it - simple watery designs in the center of the quilt and angular designs in the border.

I'm sure this 'simple' quilt will be loved by the recipient and held in great esteem as if it were a $1,000,000 masterpiece, which it will be, to her!