When I "returned to quilting" in the late 1990's, I began to meet the neatest women and quickly collected friends, fabric, and fun all at the same time. Before I go on, perhaps I should explain what I mean by "returned to quilting"............I made my first quilt in 1970 for our first child, Collette. It was just a patchwork tied quilt that cannot really be called a quilt because all the layers weren't quilted together. By my daughters standards, it was a quilt. I made little doll quilts and pillows and twin bed quilts off and on through the mid-1980's. They were all tied "comforters". Most of my handiwork, though, from 1970 through the early 1990's was done in miniature as I was active in the Midwest Miniature Guild and taught workshops in making tiny dolls and clothes, little elves, and miniature furniture, and all sorts of accessories for dollhouse scenes. I really enjoyed it all but when our son was in high school, I made some fund-raising quilt/comforters and realized that I really wanted to get back to quilting. When he graduated from high school in 1994, I got out my box of quilting books and such and jumped back into quilting. Just as he went off to college, I began volunteering at Murphy's Landing, a living history open air site that really brought me back to my "quilting roots". I began teaching some girls who were home-schooled and often visited the site. Then I offered Beginning Quilting classes through Community Ed and at a nearby Michael's store. I had a lot of fun showing others the very basics that would get them started on quilting on their own. I took the classes to our local libraries and volunteered to teach the classes in every library of our county over the course of the summers of 2001 and 2002. I met and made so many wonderful friends. I've decided I'm going to introduce you to a few of those friends because without them, I wouldn't do have the quilting stuff that I do. They keep me inspired and support me when there are ups and downs in life. I try to do the same for them.
SO, I'm going to tell you about Laura. I met her when she signed up along with her two kids for the Beginning Quilt class in the Savage library in 2002. Laura had done some quilting so she didn't really need the class, but her son and daughter both made the placemat sized project that I taught. That was the beginning of our friendship. We've enjoyed many classes together and have lots of fun at retreats. It was at my retreat last fall that Laura made a little project that I want to share with you all today. It started with this little quilt pattern you see below...........
I designed this little quilt as a "thank you" gift for all the students/friends that had taken classes from me in Community Ed and taught it as a free class sometime in 2003 or so (sorry memory fails me and I don't have time to search my planners for the date). I included a copy of the pattern in the gift bags everyone got at the retreat. Laura had made the Halloween mini quilt and thought she'd like one for Thanksgiving. In no time at all she had whipped up this cute little Turkey themed mini-quilt. She used a turkey from another pattern she had made and the pumpkin from the Halloween quilt and drew the tree herself. She had plans to make one a month. And that's exactly what she has done! She's got nine done and is anxious to finish the rest. Photos of her quilts are posted in an album in the Seasons BOM group.
Now, as I noted, my friends inspire me and I had also thought it would be fun to do the little quilts, one for each month but I never got to it. That is until this past week. That "School Days" quilt that you see at the top of this post is my first, make that second after the Halloween mini-quilt, monthly quilt. It's all hand-quilted and I even sewed a label on the back!
I've told you all this because you might want to make these little quilts for you house. I had a spot in my kitchen where I have hung my schoolhouse quilt. The pattern is posted on my sidebar but if you want a PDF of the pattern you will need to join my Yahoo Seasons BOM group. That's where I post the monthly applique blocks and the Snowmen blocks that I am currently offering. I wanted to offer up a challenge to members of the group and it involves this little quilt project. It will be a year long challenge with twelve winners and one grand prize winner. Anyone who makes a little quilt and posts it will get their name in the drawing for a charm pack of fabrics that would be suitable for the next month. For more details you'll just have to join my Yahoo group. To do that, just click on the Snowman on the sidebar and click the "join" button. If you have questions, just send me an e-mail.
That's all for tonight. I'm off to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Wednesday. My friend, Deanna and I are going to view an antique crazy quilt that is on exhibit. I don't think I can take pictures so I'll find something else to share tomorrow, too.
Have a good day!