Amish-style lap quilt
Christmas 2002 brought me a bounty of quilting-related gifts. Scott gave me a book of quilting patterns (101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts), shelves for my sewing space, a lamp for my quilting space. There was more, but my memory is failing me. It was definitely a theme holiday. I immediately opened the book and started looking for a quilting pattern that would be fun to make on my brand-new sewing machine (which we bought just a few days before Christmas) and that I could use as a baby gift for my friend Diane Deweese, who I worked with during my West Virginia days. I found a quilt that alternated two squares, one of which looked challenging since it used a lot of triangles to make a star pattern. Diane knew she was having a girl, so I chose some of my favorite colors -- hot pink and purple, set off with black to give it an Amish look.
It was the first quilt I ever tried to make without taking a class. And it went well, although there were definitely some learning curves to overcome. I think I sewed and ripped apart the strip of squares and triangles that make up the star pattern three times before I got it completely right! It went together fairly quickly, and I had the top assembled in January 2003. All the ladies at Open Quilting, where I could sew socially and get help when I needed it, admired the quilt, but they all told me it didn't look like a baby quilt. So I set it aside after sandwiching it, and started work on a rail fence quilt for Diane's baby. After all, there was a deadline for that -- I wanted to have the quilt to her in May, when the baby was due. Well, then there was another baby quilt to make for another friend, and the Amish-style quilt sat in my UFO pile waiting for me to get back to it. I finally started back up in February 2004. I quilted around the stars and on the diagonal through the other block. This is the first quilt that I made that I'm keeping for myself!
Scott catches me quilting on the diagonal. Notice the gloves. They were a gift from my in-laws, who intended me to use them in the garden. But they're perfect for quilting -- the texture on the rubber part helps me grip the quilt and gives me more control when I'm trying to move the quilt sandwich -- and they stay prettier this way since they don't get dirty. :)
Sandwiched, but not yet completely quilted:
Hand-sewing the binding is a task best done in the recliner while watching television.
The completed quilt:
Close-ups of the star square: