Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
My quilting friend, Riana Noyes asked me to do a post on the Halloween cross stitch quilt which is #108 in my albums. The following are pictures and some explanations/descriptions of how that quilt came to be.
First the back story. I have been quilting since I was 18 years old. I had my first child, Jamie at 23 and my second, Becky at 27. All through their childhood, I was making quilts and once upon a time, cross stitching as well. in 1984 or 85 I decided to do a Christmas quilt in an attic window pattern. I cross stitched away for 16 years and with primarily Becky's help, finished it in 2002. When I took it home to Illinois to show to the girls (I was living in Pennsylvania by this time) they admired it a great deal and eventually someone got around to asking who would inherit it. I remember laughing and telling them that was their problem. I would be long gone.
So just before George and I got in the car to drive home after the weekend visit was over, my daughters inform me that I can solve the dilemna by making another cross stitch quilt. I laughed all the way home through eight hours of driving from Illinois to Pennsylvania. I was still laughing a few days later when I agreed to the crazy plan to make another cross stitch quilt, provided they would help out. Little did we know how the whole scheme would carry us on a quilting journey that spanned 12 years and would mushroom into four quilts.
So here is the Christmas quilt (#103 in my albums) that started the entire rigamarole!
Most of these pictures were taken at a quilt show in a local church. I was so pleased they allowed the viewers to touch if they wore gloves, since my quilts are often two sided. Here it is hanging in the church. Now some close up pictures.
The close up of the center shows the variety of cross stitched blocks made by my daughters and I. The Christmas cross stitch quilt had been very regular and regimented, evenly laid out. We wanted to be more irregular with Halloween since it is a holiday that is prone to craziness! We made the cross stitch squares over a period of five years. By the time we were ready to start the quilt, we had enough squares to make three quilts and we DID eventually make three quilts: Halloween, School and Apples, and Thanksgiving.
There are three cross stitched borders, candy corn, words (Eek! Boo! Yikes!) and cats and pumpkins, all mostly done by my youngest daughter, Becky Newcomer. She did the majority of the cross stitched blocks as well with me contributing maybe a dozen and her sister less than that. She is fantastic.
A word about the sheep button in the lower right corner. When Becky and I were shopping for the 200 buttons we put on this quilt, we ran across this very cute sheep button and one of us said something like, "Oh look, it is the Halloween sheep" and we laughed and bought it and ever since then we have put a sheep button on every quilt that we have made that has cross stitching on it.
My girls and I have always liked poetry as well as quilting and cross stitch. On a quilt for my husband I made in 2000 (Benny's quilt #100 in my albums), I wrote a poem about a dog, Benny who had died in 1998. When we gave away the 15 Christmas quilts in 2013, we did it with poetry. And on the back of this quilt, you will find Becky's poetry that tells the story of the quilt. Gotta get those stories and quilts permanently together. We aren't going to be here forever, you know.
As you can see, the quilt was finished in 2008, 6 years after the Christmas quilt. Both Becky and my names are on it. It is a very special quilt to me because it was the vehicle by which Becky and I mended our estranged relationship but that is a story for another time.
Check out my albums for the other two quilts from the cross stitching extravaganza. Becky owns the Apple and School quilt (#110 in my albums) as she is a 5th grade science teacher in the Dallas Texas school district and as I write this tonight, November 1, I am sitting on a couch draped with the Thanksgiving quilt (#117 in my albums), which I finished just days before having both of my knees replaced on November 17, 2014. It's hard to keep a good quilter down!