Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anticipation of a loving surprise! (Time in a bottle) "Stitch n Time"

My girlfriends and I meet once a month now at our church with sewing machines in tow and spend the day together creating the most awesome designs with our scraps. Wind of our get-together times has blown our excitement out to others and they've begun joining us with their quilting, sewing, crocheting, and whatever else is in their project bags. We call our times together "Sew & Share" and welcome anyone who is free on the first Friday of each month to spend their day catching "our bug". We have so many project dreams, stashes of fabric, and projects started and being finished.
Well, just recently, an elderly lady friend heard of our love for quilting and gave us her stash. She sadly admits her days for much sewing has past and told us to have fun with all her scraps! Excitedly, we browsed through her bins, and awed over all the different fabrics, commenting and wondering what projects were made and who received the treasures. As we admired the fabrics, they were falling into piles we thought would look good together. Once in awhile, one of us held up a piece and suggested a project. Then, someone suggested that we make a pot holder or two in thanks for the stash.
The potholder idea sounded small to us in comparison to the piles, especially considering the hours we would enjoy creating with the piles of color. So, after some discussion, we began to put pieces in pairs as possibilities of triangle squares. We envisioned a big colorful "Memory THANK YOU Quilt" for our dear friend and bantered back and forth on how we could keep it a surprise.
We began immediately. Measuring and cutting, starting with squares, a few straight seams, diagonal cutting, pressing seams, and twisting cut triangles resulting in 64 hourglass squares.
One beautiful piece with a garden theme was chosen to be our center focus. We added borders to make it measure a 24" square. Oh! Of course, we held up our growing project for all to admire as we progressed in our work, and each time, we became more and more pleased with our choices of her scraps. As the squares took shape, the colors became outstandingly bright and going together nicely. In our choice of a perfect center, we added a white muslin top margin where we could embroider our group's name and the year. Then I bordered both the center and white embroidered part with red fabric used in the little squares and then a narrow piece of very navy blue to frame the center and make it jump.
Once we had the center done, we began to lay out our 5.5 hourglass squares to make a rainbow of color. As the rows were placed and pleasing to the eyes, three of us took the squares, trying to remember how they were placed, and sewed them together in long strips, making our rows of delectable design. Piece by piece the quilt front took form.
Oh! Of course, we held up our growing project for all to admire as we progressed in our work, and each time, we became more and more pleased with our choices of her scraps. As the rows were added, the colors became outstandingly bright and fit together nicely.
At the end of our Friday "Sew & Share" time, we had the quilt front completed and ready to quilt. How excited we were as we held it up and admired our finished product!
The front was done and ready to be made into a warm, comfy quilt.
We anticipate the best part is still to come. We can hardly wait to watch our dear sweet elderly friend open her gift, and place it over her lap. We want the joy of remembering all her past projects to fill her mind and bring back the beautiful times of loving memories.
The batting and backing is being added this month. We hope to finish our loving project and have it ready to surprise our dear friend. Maybe it will work into a tea party with our guest of honor unwrapping our hearts of love, and we'll cry
"We love you, Maxine! Happy Surprise! Here is your stash of fabrics!"