Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flower Gardens

In my first post, I promised to tell about my grandmother's "Flower Garden" quilt. Well, here goes.

My grandmother (Mama) was always very creative and crafty. She painted (oil paintings, ceramic painting, silk painting and more). She sculpted. And she sewed. She embroidered. And she made one quilt.


She hand patched this beautiful quilt top with the tiniest little stitches. It took her about a year to finish it.

At the time I was about 8 years old. She showed me how to cut patches, sew them together. I remember making a rather small and design-less piece. I wish I knew where it ever got to.

After finishing the quilt top, she had it "professionally" quilted. It was a pretty ordinary end result, with a nasty green nylon backing. But it was always on her bed and she loved it.

When she died in 1999, she left her quilt to me, knowing I was the only one of her 18 grandchildren who would really appreciate it. I decided to have it requilted.

I didn't do anything about it until 2007 when I started an evening class with the lovely Judy Newman at my favourite place, Amitie in Bentleigh. I was very clear with Judy at the time. "I am a patchworker. I DON'T quilt".

Judy is a wise teacher and cleverly convinced me to have a go at hand-quilting it myself to honour my grandmother. Well, needless to say, Judy now has me hooked on hand quilting.

Here is a look at my efforts with Mama's quilt (with a gorgeous new vintage look backing).



My Uncle Brian says "it's the first rug I've ever seen that's more like a tombstone". Thanks Uncle Brian!




Well, more recently, I have been working on a gift for my daughter Ella's third birthday which is coming up in November. I have called it "Ella's Flower Garden" and it incorporates my latest favourite quilt style ....... memory quilting. I think that often memory quilts look really tacky but when you modify the images so they actually blend in with the other fabrics, the results can be lovely.





I think Mama would have approved. Ella certainly does.

Have a lovely Wednesday.

Andi :-)

47 comments:

Peter said...

The quilt looks amazing. Very cool!

Andi said...

Thanks Peter! Glad you came to visit.
Andi :-)

Soo said...

your grandmother's quilt is so special, good on you for hand quilting it.
the memory quilt is lovely too...love the backing!

Andi said...

Thanks Soo. Not sure how to contact you other than leaving a message here. I'm really enjoying your blog too. Looking forward to more posts.
Andi :-)

Fran said...

Hi, your quilts are beautiful! I only started patchwork properly last year, and looking at your work is like looking ahead down the path I'm following... Is it difficult doing the photos?
Best wishes for your blog,
Fran

Andi said...

Thanks for your flattering comment Fran.

I'd love to see some of your work too. Your question about the photos ... well my sister (the photographer) says my images are underexposed (or is it over exposed??) so I definitely have plenty to learn on that front.

But maybe you're talking about the process of taking digital photos and uploading them into the computer. Once you get to know your particular camera and software, it's not so hard.

Thanks again and happy quilting.

Andi :-)

Andi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

oh wow!! so cute!!
I hope you have a fantastic day!! hugs!! Britt :-)

Fran said...

Hi,
I was wondering - did you print the photos onto fabric? Is that easy to do, or do you need special printing ink that won't wash off?
Looking forward to more of your blogs. I am in the middle of an insanity quilt, which is living up to its name...
Fran

Andi said...

Sorry Fran. My head was in the clouds.
Have a look at my most recent posting for a link to the product that I use.
Andi :-)

metrosupialdesigns said...

I love the story and both the quilts.

amylouwho said...

Came over from the festival! I love the story of you grandmother's quilt. So great that you requilted it (and updated the backing!)

and what a cute idea for the photo quilt!

Kritta22 said...

I don't even know how you would requilt a quilt but I love that backing you have now. It fits perfect!

As for Ella's quilt...just beautiful! She is a lucky girl!

Bunny said...

I dropped in tor the Quilt festival. what a terrific keepsake. I have some of my grandmother's piecework and have not the courage to do anything with it yet.

StegArt said...

Both quilts are just wonderful. And my goodness, what an undertaking, requilting that first quilt.

Belva said...

Thanks for sharing that lovely story. Both quilts are wonderful.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Amazing quilt your mama made! I love that you requilted it with that beautiful backing :) Ella's quilt is also beautiful - Great work!

Mandy said...

Thanks for showing your grandmother's quilt. It is so lovely.
I really liked the memory quilt too. What a lovely idea adding photos.

Doris said...

What a lovely story! Both Mama's and Ella's quilts are just gorgeous and so, so special!

Heather said...

I think thats how your grandmother really wanted to finish the quilt. Love that backing material. its perfect with her lovely top.

Janet Brady said...

You made your Grandmother proud. I'm sure she is smiling in heaven. I hope your daughter treasures her memory quilt the same way you treasure your grandma's. What a wonderful family legacy to create.

Tunamarie said...

Lovely generations quilt you have going...wonder what will happen when your great grandchildren inherit it!

Zonnah said...

I love how you put the faces in the center of the flowers. It looks so cute!

Kim said...

What a beautiful quilt by your grandmother and lovely memory to go with it!

And your quilt for Ellie -- stunning! What a great idea to incorporate the photos. I am guessing she has enjoyed many hours of looking at her quilt :-)

Melody said...

Requilting! You deserve a reward for bravery. Well done! I also think your memory quilt is destined to become an heirloom.

Robin said...

Oh, my! You are so brave, it is awesome! To requilt it... wow. Fabulous! Even more beautiful! And super special too! I'm glad I got a chance to see it. :)

Tami said...

I bet your grandmother would have loved knowing that you've hand quilted her favorite quilt! Great job. I really like how you've done the new memory quilts. The flower photograph centers really make it a special keepsake. Brilliant idea!!

ivyarts said...

How great to have the old and the new. Your hand quilting is amazing. Well done!

Jennifer said...

Amazing! Love it!

Pamela said...

I love seeing the old flower garden and the new, they are both beautiful in their own ways, and your work is fabulous!

Ann Marie said...

Ella's quilt is lovely. I agree that photo images on quilts usually don't look very good. Your quilt is so NOT one of those! You've stuck a nice balance between the photo images and the quilt design. Love the quilting too. Just enough and with the same whimsical touch as the photo flowers. Good job.

Ariane said...

I love your grandmothers quilt it looks amazing.

Jeannette said...

Well maybe you better come over and help me finish the grandma's flowergarden I started as a child. It is so grand that you recompleted your grandma's quilt and then created your own personalized variation on the theme. Very cool.

Sara said...

Wonderful that you could redo it - and to be able to hand quilt it - that must have been so cool...Good job.

Micki said...

I am on the list too. I am doing a Grandmother's Garden quilt too, and yours is lovely.
Great meeting you!
Micki
In Ireland

TextileTraveler said...

What a great story, and a beautiful quilt to go with it. I'm starting a hand-quilting next week and really looking forward to doing more of it.

Mushyhed said...

Beautiful quilts! I also love memory quilts and I love what you did with yours!

The Pink Ganeshji said...

It's so neat to see theses antique quilts! To imagine someone sitting and piecing so many years ago---and even neater if you share that memory! How special!

Christa Irell said...

What a beautiful keepsake you have created! Your colour choices really blend well. Your grandmother's quilt is truly priceless.

Amy said...

What a labour of love. It's beautiful.

Janie said...

I love the one with the photos in the centers.

Janie

Tina said...

Both quilts are beautiful!

meggie said...

How lovely you still have that quilt, & have given it new life with a new backing, & quilting. I am sure you Grandmother would be so pleased.

Natasha said...

wow fantastic memoy quilt. I usually don't like them but this is great.

nanann said...

My very first quilt ever I started hand-quilting...and it still sits around 1/2 quilted many years later. What a labor of love to redo your grandmother's quilt, and it looks great!

sewhooked said...

Both lovely quilts and great stories!

heatherbennett said...

I love both the quilts and the stories.