CHQuilts: #Homeward Bound
Showing posts with label #Homeward Bound. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Homeward Bound. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2023

More than just a completed quilt top

It has been a busy year for me, for so many reasons, but my favorite part was finishing this quilt top. I loved every minute of it.

This is my version of "Homeward Bound," a block of the month, which means it took 12 months to complete. It was the 2023 project offered to members of The Quilt Show, designed by Sarah Fielke of Australia.

For profoundly personal reasons, this one means a lot to me. I just wish my late husband John was here to see it completed. This one will always remind me of John, who tirelessly encouraged my quilting and was always complimentary about every quilt I made. 

He had quilt appreciation in his DNA I believe, since his mother and grandmother, with whom he lived his entire life until he met me, were quilters. In fact, his grandmother still quilted when she was in her 90's. She did some amazing work.

I wasn't a quilter when John and I met. That was in October 1976. I didn't make my first quilt until 2004, but I knew then that this was something I would always want to do. And I have never looked back. This blog is filled with stories of my adoration for quilting.

John always raved about the many colors in my quilts, though I've always wondered just what he actually saw when he looked at them. I used to consult with him about color combinations until I realized he didn't see them the way I did. I used to laugh when he said our cats were black and white, though he insisted. They are in fact, gray and white. Color blind, he had trouble distinguishing shades and even colors, confusing blue with green and red with pink.

Making the quilt with a black background was also John's idea. He mentioned it once a few quilts ago, "Why don't you use black instead of white?" he asked. So, this one's for you, John. 

He liked what he saw, the first four months of work which included that entire center section. He died in May, the fifth month.

Quilting Therapy  

I have mentioned in a previous post during my years of taking care of John, a stroke victim with disabilities, how quilting was my therapy. That was never more true than with this one. I worked on it when I was exhausted, emotional, and just couldn't seem to do or think about anything else. My brain no longer worked, but my fingers did. Hand-sewing dominated this quilt and I learned to love the mind-numbing needling that to anyone else might have seemed tedious. I love hand sewing however and plan to do it as long as my fingers still work.

The same was true for my journey into the grieving process. While little else did, stitching brought me comfort.

First in my new studio

I worked on this quilt while my new quilting studio was being remodeled, as outlined in a prior post. As has become customary, I turned to the quiet comfort of hand-stitching while chaos surrounded me.

When I finally got to work in my new quilting space, the final border was done in two days. I was completely immersed in my new surroundings, on a new machine, at a new quilting table, in front of a window where colorful leaves gently fell outside.

Finally finished, the icing on the cake was when I was able to take a picture of this quilt top hanging on my newly affixed design wall. Never before have I been able to take a picture of a hanging quilt top. I was able to enjoy a new perspective on a finished quilt top that I had never had before as I looked at it straight on instead of it on the floor or a bed. 

Those two days in my new studio were wonderful, even though I realized I have lots of organizing and arranging still to do, but that will come. I hope to hone skills there, both organizational and creative. I'm now ready for a new year and a new project. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Homeward Bound is a fun project so far

My latest quilt project actually began in January; it is a Block of the Month (BOM) originating from The Quilt Show, free to Star members. I am proud to participate in the Quilt Show, a valuable resource for quilters. I learn new things every time I sign on.

This quilt is called Homeward Bound and was designed by Australian designer and teacher Sarah Fielke. 

While I have completed four months of this project, I have embarked on a bit of a lull at the moment, having completed my 4th month. I couldn't wait to create the fourth month Coneflowers, so I created my own pattern for them in the 3rd month without waiting for the official pattern. That left the whole month of April free for yard work and other chores that often take a back seat to my love of quilting.

I believe this quilt top will be gorgeous when it is done, many, months from now. 

As is typical for me, I decided to make this my own by choosing fabrics and colors from my own fabric stash rather than purchasing the kit that was offered. Tweaking colors is about as daring as I've ever been to quilt design—which is not very far at all. That is my goal and desire; I want to design my own quilts someday but I feel I have lots more to learn before I get there. At the very least, I enjoy the option to take a pattern I like and adapt it to my own taste through the fabrics and colors I use.

My first decision was to make this quilt with a dark background. I have never made a black quilt before, but thought this might be a worthwhile endeavor as well as fun for a change. All the other fabrics I will use will showcase my favorite colors and patterns; I will use fabrics I have collected over the years. Picking out fabric is an important first step, one over which I often agonize.

With so many small pieces to applique, this might even be considered a scrappy quilt. Quilters always have plenty of scraps to choose from.

I love handwork with a preference for needle-turn applique. I am far from perfecting this skill, so I plan to keep practicing. This project will provide plenty of that.

This is the progress I have made thus far on this project in this, the fourth month. 

This is the progress I have made thus far on this project in this, the fourth month.

I find myself watching the calendar for the next step. I can't wait to get started on it. I can’t wait to see what May has to offer.