Saturday, January 16, 2021

Third Saturday of January 2021

For "Hang Your Quilt Day" this month, the theme was "New Beginnings". I struggled to interpret what that meant. Does the theme mean the first quilts I ever made? Those are pretty raggedy now. Is it the first time I tried a new technique? Does it represent a first in the life of the recipient? I decided on a mixed interpretation of "New Beginnings" – an interpretation based on "firsts". Shown four at a time and then as pairs, from left to right the quilts are:
    • Traveling Mandala
    • Dan's T-Shirt Quilt
    • Doll Quilt
    • Tricky Ts

Traveling Mandala (23" x 23")
This small wall hanging was my first completion of a project in paper piecing taken from a class. The blog post dated 6/7/15 describes its completion. It is the newest of the quilts displayed.

Dan's T-Shirt Quilt (55"w x 75"h)
A T-shirt quilt from my older son's pre-college and pre-marriage days marks a beginning into his adult life since he has been married nine years now and is a father of four. His high school graduation was in 2001 - two decades ago and before my blog had begun so I was hard pressed to locate any references about it. I can cite a 2/1/18 blog post where I discuss my point of view on the merits of future T-Shirt quilts.
I know one big tub holds batting pieces and two hold many many T-shirts that I resolve some day to make into quilts for my daughter and my younger son. That resolve is wavering since the T-shirt quilt I did make for the older son has been left home indefinitely, no nostalgia for it in his adult life, now married with wife and children. I suspect that my daughter and younger son have also moved beyond those memories. Sometimes I think it is the mom, not the T-shirt wearer, who hangs on the longest. I am leaning toward abandoning the concept of making two other T-shirt quilts, thus reducing guilt.

Doll Quilt (54"w x 61"h)
The blocks in this quilt were made by members of my very first quilt guild, Piecemakers in Livermore. I took my very first class in FMQ from a teacher my daughter knew in Oklahoma shortly after she quilted this. For closeups on her FMQ of this quilt, completed on a domestic machine, not a longarm, visit posts dated 2/20/132/5/13, and for completion of the quilt itself visit posts dated 3/13/13 and 1/9/14

Tricky Ts (59"w x 79"h)
This quilt was made from from a pattern out of  my first quilting book, the classic Quilts, Quilts, Quilts by Diane McClun and Laura Nownes using bandanas. It is rather ragged from daily use by my older son during his middle school and high school years. Also bandanas were a rather thin and not a very durable fabric choice but it did add a bit of fun to have included the text printed on them. The fabric dyes from those years were not stable and the background turned from black to brown with age. Tricky Ts predates my quilt blog DianeLoves2Quilt so I have no further history on it. But I still have it! It did not go with my older son when he left home and went off to college.

Baby Quilts (not hung)
Could the "New Beginnings"theme mean baby quilts? This thought entered my mind having just been blessed earlier in the week with a sixth grandchild, a new granddaughter, Irene, born January 11, 2021, weighing 8 lb 11 oz. If the theme means baby quilts I have none to show. I have given them all away to the babies and I have not completed Irene's yet. Here are the first quilts of the first five grandchildren. I cannot hang them out, but I have pictures.

Hang Your Quilt Day Beginnings
Beginning April 2020, my quilt guild members began a tradition of hanging quilts in the front of their homes on the third Saturday of the month as a source of enjoyment for the community and as a thank you for the essential workers during the pandemic. My initial post about this practice is dated 4/22/20.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Family of Six

My son and daughter-in-law just added a fourth child to their family. To commemorate the occasion with a gift that would represent a family of six, while including parents and children both, I chose kits of velvet foxes, designed by artist Odile Bailloeul and imported from France. I bought them from Renaissance Ribbons, a company I first became acquainted with at a Road to California quilt show several years ago. 

The famille Chanville has a dad, a mom, and a child. Going online I was able to buy enough kits for four children. The kits are for father Leonard Chanville, Amelie Chanville and little Axel Chanville.

The images are printed on a heavy weight polyester velvet so they are very soft, smooth, and generally tactilely appealing. They remind me of petting the tummy of a puppy. Each figure is two sided but not as a front and a back. One side of each fox is wearing clothing appropriate for the city (Ville in French) and the other side is for clothing worn in the country (Champs = fields in French). For the baby foxes I pretended the pink country side was for girls and the blue city side was for boys. I needed to cut out each shape, sew around, turn right side out, and stuff.

With the slender arms and legs, coupled with heavy, durable fabric, turning and stuffing can be a challenge. I have trusty tools that make the task easier. A tube and rod set, gifted from a thoughtful quilting friend, helps with turning. Long forceps-type scissors grip the stuffing to push it deep into the far reaches of the arms and legs. The legs are stuffed first and then inserted into the body cavity before the final stuffing and sewing shut.

Here is the fox family modeling their country side. Ya just gotta love the apron and the bib overalls. The lady fox has a chicken image on the chest pocket and the gentleman fox sports a rabbit image on his chest pocket - both dinner options for a fox family. Leonard Chanville also has a pair of spectacles tucked in. The fox girls are wearing pink calico, appropriate for a country print. I am showing the city side of the boy fox to display a masculine deep blue.

The fox family here is sporting their Sunday best. Note the string of pearls and chicken stole the lady fox is wearing. The gentleman fox's vest has a rooster print peeking out from beneath his tailored tuxedo style jacket. I kept the girls in pink and the boy in blue.

The lady also has a small shoulder purse with a chicken detail as the clasp.

Since this gift is for the Family Chambers, not the Famille Chanville, I embroidered each member a personalized ribbon bow, lilac for the females and blue for the males: Daniel, Carrie, Vivian, Lillian, William, and newest member, Irene. Since each baby fox is 15 cm tall (6"), it should fit well in chubby little fists. The polyester velvet fabric is machine washable at 30°C = 86°F (cold) water. I realize the ribbons will most likely come off fairly soon but at least for initial presentation they will be there.

It is not totally coincidental that this family is foxes. When my son Dan was a young boy, he with his dad was a member of the YMCA Indian Guides. His name in the tribe was Quiet Fox - ironically chosen because Dan was quite talkative. His dad was Sleeping Lion. They wore vests with badges indicating each of their father-son activities together. Here is Dan's vest. Note the fox tail at the bottom corner of the right front. Dan and his Dad collected enough badges together that I needed to add an extension to the back of the vest.

So I am sending fervent wishes that Dan and Carrie's expanded family of six will continue to enjoy as many outings and adventures together as did my son and his dad. Perhaps the Chanville Fox Family will serve as inspiration.