sewing up stars

Monday, March 17, 2014

30 before 30: #11 - learn how to quilt with paper piecing

Last summer, Austen & I took our annual summer vaca back to Texas to visit family. We spent a long weekend in East Texas taking care of some family pine tree plantation business and catching up with his great aunt and uncle. I love little more than to hear their stories and laugh with them. His great uncle Gene used to fly airplanes for the Air Force and has the most amazing stories. His great aunt Jenny quilts by hand, which continually amazes me as I learn more about quilting.

Uncle Gene saw me knitting and asked if I can crotchet, and then asked if I can sew. I said yes, but not well. We talked about quilting a little bit ((this was before I started quilting, mind you)) and he encouraged me to learn how to quilt, since it is a dying American art form. The following month, I taught myself how to quilt the Double Irish Chain.

Fast forward. When I finished the Utah Charm quilt, I send Aunt Jenny an email with pictures and telling her how it went. I had every intention of starting a scrappy strip quilt, but didn't have enough good scraps to use. I asked if she had any laying around, if she would mind sending them my way. A couple of weeks later, a box arrived from her stuffed full of fabric with a sweet note. Somehow, a strip quilt with them just didn't seem right. 

Here's a little background info: Aunt Jenny and Austen's grandmother made quilts for each of the grandchildren, and Austen's is a star pattern. His quilt uses solid red and a floral patterned green against a white background.  While paper piecing my star block I was learning on ((you can see it in the very last picture in this post)), inspiration hit me. 

I love red and white quilts. I think they are timeless and traditional. Star quilts are also one of my favorites, for the same reasons. 

To be able to make a paper pieced star quilt with a white background with red stars, using the red scrap fabrics Aunt Jenny had sent just seemed like a perfect fit. It fit our style, but also seemed like a nod to her quilting style as well. It would use her scraps with some of my fabric in a quilt pattern we both love. 

I put aside a modern wintery X quilt I have been working on for the night, and made a square just to see what I thought. 

I loved it even more than I thought I would. And the emotional attachment to it is even greater than the simple and subtle pattern. The solid red and white were fabric I had in my stash. The little hearts and polka dotted fabric is from Aunt Jenny.

But I didn't stop there. How could I? On Sunday, I quilted two more squares using fabric from my stash ((the solid red, solid white, and red polka dots)) and fabric from Aunt Jenny ((the red stripes)).

All together, they are absolutely precious.

And just to document it, the star on the left is the first one for our master bedroom quilt. The one on the right was what I was taught by my quilting teachers how to paper piece with. I got inspiration from Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms to make a miniature quilt wall. This one is going up on it.

In all, I love paper piecing. The perfect points, the intricate designs. What I really love though is finding a quilt that has meaning to me and is fulfilling to sew up and quilt. 

1 comment:

  1. You are so blessed you can do this! You have no idea what a lost art this is in our country...I wish I knew anything about this kind of craft. I can't even sew on a button, I have to drive to my parents house and ask her to help me! (Embarrassed, sinks into chair)


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