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Thread: A special quilt for my parents

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    A special quilt for my parents

    This thread will eventually be picture heavy! I have the top completed, but I'll post photos of different blocks first, and why they are "special". Probably won't get it all posted tonight, I'll add photos as I can get them resized, etc.

    I just started quilting last summer. I have a job with a lot of down time and wanted a "portable hobby". I also have a quilt top my great grandfather made that I want to hand quilt. I've done some smaller quilts, both hand quilted and machine quilted, but this is my first really big project (it's a queen size).

    I won't have enough time to hand quilt the entire thing, so I'm going to machine quilt the majority, and then go through and hand quilt some smaller details (I'll had photos of those when it's done).

    I wanted to make quilts for my parents. My Sister-In-Law (SIL) is a quilter, and one of my sisters has just started to dabble a little (she mostly crochets). So, I invited them to make some blocks if they wanted. My sister made two, and SIL made some. We had a weekend together last fall, where we got started, and then I picked up any blocks that were finished last month. The rest of the blocks were on me, since it was my idea, and I was a busy little quilter!!

    SIL, being a quilter, wanted to know a) "color scheme/style of fabric", b) "size of blocks", c) "general theme". Uh... "I want to use any fabric that reminds me of them, doesn't matter what color", "my block patterns come in different sizes, and I don't know how to resize them", "whatever you think of when you think of my parents". I think I drover her a little nuts at first, lol.

    And, so it went. We did decide to do just one quilt and mix it up. Some blocks that we wanted to include didn't get made, but I got the ones I thought were "key".

    "Sheriff set"

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    My dad was a cop before I was ever born. When I was five, he was elected as sheriff, and held that position for the next 12 years. During that time, he brought back the Sheriff's Posse, and they are still going today. (They do parades, but also take part in search and rescue, many on horseback.) It was a large part of his career, and he was often seen in uniform, including the badge, hat, and boots. I'm debating embroidering "Sheriff" onto the star. Need to learn to embroider first though!

    The boot was the first block that was completed. My SIL created a pattern off a photo, and my sister pieced it.

    I found a design of a star online, for paper crafting. I reduced the number of sections (to avoid having 10 seams meet in the middle), and, added my 1/4" seams, and paper pieced it. This was one of the last blocks I did, as all those seams meeting in the middle was intimidating!

    I drew the cowboy hat up in Excel.

    We used the same fabrics in each to help tie them together, but they are separated on the quilt top.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  2. #2
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    ​Cute blocks!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Name:  cow.jpg
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    I still need to complete the eyes and nostrils, but again, I need to learn to embroider

    My mom grew up on a cattle farm and would drive cattle from a pasture in one town, to a pasture in another. By the time she was old enough to be involved they were mostly doing the drives in cars, but my uncle and some others would still be on horseback. My grampa wanted a family and to raise "pretty cows". He did. So, when I see cows, I think of my grampa, my mother's old home, and mom. She sews, so the cow is made out of sewing themed fabric. (As an aside, my grandpa also pieced blocks for quilts. He would then give them to his sister and mom to quilt. I wish I had one of his!)

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    My mom is a cat person, and my dad is more of a dog person, so the quilt is full of different dog and cat blocks.

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    My mom loves playing in the mud (aka, gardening), and insects (at least the ones that don't eat her flowers and stuff from the garden). She hasn't worn muck boots since being on the farm, but the fun wellies still remind me of her.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Ok, one last set of pics for now, I'll add more later (there are over 70 blocks in the quilt, so lots to come!)


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    My dad used to compete in bbq competitions at county and state fair. Not an actual chef, but he had the hat, and when my sister and I saw this panel, we knew it was for him! (to save time, not every block was pieced. So much to include, so little time!)


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    Technically a Scotty Dog block, but in this case, it's a Mini Schnauzer. My dad loves this breed. We had one when I was little, and he finally got another after I moved out (the dog and my son shared a birthday. That's how he always remembered my son's birthday, because of the dog!)

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    Mixing bowls. My dad mostly stayed out of the kitchen when we were growing up, but after we all moved out, he asked my mom why she wasn't baking anymore. She explained that she rarely baked, it was always "the kids" who kept the house full of fresh baked cookies, cakes, etc. So, my dad learned how to bake. And cook more. Now he does 90% of the cooking, since he is retired and enjoys it, and my mom gets to come home from work to dinner and dessert.

    There is not enough contrast with the bottom bowl and the background (still learning!), so I intend to add some quilting detail there to make it stand out. Maybe I should hand applique some cookie dough in there before I finish...!
    Last edited by Sleepy Hollow; 07-13-2017 at 06:54 PM.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    ​Cute blocks!
    Thank you
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  6. #6
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    Your blocks and the stories behind them are wonderful. I was thinking a label would have to be pretty big to explain all of that, but somehow you need to do it. It could be the center of the backing and made on a long center swath. I am looking forward to seeing the next installment of blocks.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  7. #7
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    Memory quilts are the best and it is the personal details that tell the story. Absolutely love it and it will hopefully be an heirloom that is passed from generation to generation. Dates and places are nice, but it the people and what they did and loved that makes a true family history. Thanks for keeping yours alive for future generations.

  8. #8
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    I love, love, LOVE these blocks and your stories. So meaningful and delightful. Will this be an anniversary gift to them, or when do you plan to give it to them?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone! I'll write up a small label to attach to the quilt with pretty basic info, but when I give it to my parent's, I'll probably let them try to guess what each block could stand for, and who it represents (mom, dad, or both). This gives them more time to look at it and stuff while I'm there (and maybe my sister, SIL lives too far away). They had their 50th anniversary last year, but we hadn't really planned anything. We're pretty low-key, my sister made them a cake and we had dinner with those of us nearby.

    The plan is to give it to them for Christmas. We'll see who all can make it to dinner, and then possibly break tradition and have them open it after that. If I can't get it done in time, they'll receive it "in progress" and I'll take it back to finish it (as long as it's not stuck on the frame or something). Hopefully it is finished well before then though! I don't want to wait any longer (already missed one Christmas), as my dad hasn't been in the greatest health. Too many scares over the last couple years.

    I'm not sure if my son will have children, but if not, it will probably go to my niece. Hopefully not for many, many years to come though!
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  10. #10
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    You could use freezer paper ironed to a piece of fabric, type your story up, and run it thru the printer. Let is set over night and then put a piece of paper on top of the printed piece (before you take the freezer paper off) and heat set it with the iron. Let it cool before handling it. That way your story can be put onto the back of the quilt. Otherwise, I would make an envelope type patch and put the story in it. Good luck!

  11. #11
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    Aside from being very cute blocks, hearing the stories behind them is awesome. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to seeing more of them!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Oh, I meant to add that, at least for my parents, I'll include a booklet with photos of all the blocks and why they were included in the quilt.

    An envelope on the back could be good too, not sure how much I can include on a patch.

    I will probably put their names, birthdates, and who made it. Maybe names of the children and grandchildren as well.

    The booklet will allow me lots of room for info.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  13. #13
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    What a wonderful memory quilt that you are making.

  14. #14
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    Your quilt is going to be so special to them. I enjoyed reading the little stories behind your selections in fabric for the blocks.
    "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."
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    Susan

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    How very special this quilt will be. I am sure that they will be blown away by it. What a labor of love for them. I look forward to see more of these super blocks and hearing more of the stories behind them. Thanks for sharing this journey with us. BrendaK
    Be kind to yourself, by being kind to others. When you help others you help yourself.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Glad everyone is liking the stories! I'm sure the quilt as a whole would look incredibly random without knowing some of the memories/reasons for each block

    I got a few more resized...

    The (food) garden!


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    My mom has always had a garden. When she didn't have enough room at the house, she had a garden plot on a friends property a few blocks from the house, and also did a flower garden at the church. She can grow pretty much anything. They moved a few years ago to a house on about 1 1/2 acres, just so she would have a big garden. The garden takes up about 2/3 of an acre, and she'll plant 40+ tomato plants (she usually grows over 200 plants from seed and gives away the extras), peppers, onions, potatoes, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, etc, etc.

    We'll usually spend a few days over the summer canning things for the winter.

    I need to embroider seeds on the watermelon. Throwing myself into something and committing myself to be forced to learn a new skill is not something new for me, lol.

    Sadly, I have not developed her green thumb. My house is where plants go to die, but I keep trying! I've managed to keep my mint alive! (My grandmother got the original mint plant in the sixties, my mom took a cutting, and last year I took a cutting of my mom's. I'd say Gramma got her money's worth.)
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Name:  house.jpg
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    Name:  cherry tree and pool - Edited.jpg
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    The house, the cherry tree, and the pool... (with a dog in the window)

    I grew up in a big green house with a large cherry tree in the front yard. My mom took a lot of pride in that cherry tree. One year, she was gone on a sewing group trip when the cherries ripened. My dad called Gramma (mom's mom), and asked her how to can cherries. Gramma talked him though the canning process over the phone (he had seen mom and gramma can many times, but had never canned himself). He got 70 quarts off of the one tree. He delivered some to my gramma, and every time she had visitors for lunch she'd tell them "My son-in-love canned these!"

    We didn't have AC, so every year we would set up a (3 or 4 foot high) swimming pool up in the yard. We lived in that pool, and being a tow-head, my hair would turn green from the chlorine. I remember one year, when I was around 5, I fainted while we were assembling the pool. I remember feeling really hot, and then waking up to my dad covering me with wet washclothes (I even remember the sundress I was wearing). After that, they made sure I was in the shade when we put it together.

    I was #4 of 5 kids, and we all grew up in this house.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    Ok, two more...

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    My SIL made the tulips. My mom has always had a large flower garden, even though dad is allergic to almost all of them. Every Sunday, she would make flower arrangements for the church next door as well as our church. When she didn't have enough room for the flower garden, she planted one at the church.

    The blue background fabric is fabric my mom ice dyed for my sister's wedding. She made small quilts to cover hay bales (outdoor wedding, we sat on the bales) using the fabric and denim. She also made table cloths with the same fabric. When guests went home, there were enough small quilts that anyone who wanted one got to take them home. My son actually helped her with them, piecing several of the tops together for her.

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    Sewing machine and spools. SIL also made both of these, with my sister picking out the fabrics to use. Again with the creepy crawlies-- mom loves bugs and worms... The same wedding fabric is also used on one of the spools.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  19. #19
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    all of your blocks are super. and a really memorable collection
    Nancy in western NY
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    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  20. #20
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    great story, great idea, great blocks.... the quilt will be very precious for all of the family!

  21. #21
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Keep those sweet blocks coming. Good job.

  22. #22
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    Fantastic! Just love and so will your parents. Thanks for sharing.
    Karen

  23. #23
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    THAT is going to be one awesome quilt!!!! I can't wait to see it completed!!!!
    Your blocks are all about memories for your mom and I think that is so wonderful!! IMHO and just a thought, I think , at least on some you could do some captions like the Chef in the yard chair - 'BBQ Competiton' as an example. Again IMHO, done with hand stitched letters or just plain ink pen will do. Again....I can't wait to see it!!!
    Last edited by Sew Freak; 07-14-2017 at 05:35 AM.

  24. #24
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    That is a tremendous amount of work, but it going to be so worth it, when it is finished.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  25. #25
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    Such a joy to read about your memories and the fabulous quilt blocks. Will be following this thread for sure!!!

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