When I was working on my PhD, I took an evening course in quilting offered by the local school board, for something to do as a relaxing change of pace from all the academic work. I remember the teacher was a wonderfully skilled, older lady with many examples of quilts and quilted crafts. On the first night, she gave us each a little block that she had prepared, with a preprinted mini-panel front, all nicely basted with Mountain Mist polyester batting inside and muslin on the back, and she asked us to use our best stitches to hand quilt along the preprinted lines. She wanted to see what skills we brought to the class. I remember being quite anxious as she inspected mine, and she told me I should strive for smaller stitches that wouldn't catch, although she did say that they were nice and even. I still have that little square somewhere. I used it for a needle holder for years and years. I actually went looking for it to take a photo for the blog, but I couldn't find it. I did, however, find some of the other things I was looking for.
This is a little lap quilt I made for my grandmother. It's a bargello pattern that is much easier than it looks. I did a one-day workshop at my LQS in Toronto at the time - and have very clear memories of hours and hours of rotary cutting and strip piecing like a demon, trying to get it all pieced by the end of the day, because the top was pinned to the design wall and couldn't easily be reconstructed at home.
On a student budget, I got all my backing fabric from the sale bin. I was lucky to find one that fit so well. Although it has faded a bit from use, the colours are brighter than they seem in the photos.
And here is a little vest that I made for my daughter when she was about two and a half. I'm pretty sure this is the last thing I made before my loooong hiatus from quilting. I got a random vest pattern from the fabric store, Simplicity or some such. I cut out the pattern pieces and eyeballed how big a pieced section I would need for the back and two front pieces in order to fit the pattern on.
I love the purples, greens and blues, and isn't it funny that those are the colours my daughter chose for her pinwheel quilt that I'm making now?
I came across the vest this summer when my husband and I devoted a week to cleaning out the basement. Among other things, I tackled all the boxes of baby clothes, toys, baby bedding, etc. For a while over the years, we thought we might use all that again, but the need never arose. It was hard to say goodbye to the tiny shoes and sweaters! I allowed myself to keep what would fill one large Rubbermaid tub. I joked with my daughter that she could use this vest for her children, as long as she named them Maeve or Steve, since I could easily applique the extra letters on. Here's the inside of this reversible vest.