Tuesday, December 26, 2017

christmas 2017 for my kids

In the fall of 2016, late fall, I had the great idea to learn how to quilt and to gift each of my adult children/spouses with a quilt for Christmas 2017.  There were moments at the start that I wasn't sure it was such a good idea but I learned and improved.  The biggest thing I guess I have to figure out, now that all 5 are done, is about sizing.  Each of these 5 are totally different sizes and I didn't try for that, I assure you.

I began with Cara and Jacob.  Theirs was named  Paradigm Shift or newly called Around the World.    With her family they seem to always find things to do, not to mention the huge adventure of sending Cody off to a 4th world country for 2 years on a mission.  Ella will be next summer if she sticks with the plan. The Paradigm Shift is the idea that it's not a centered design.  I wanted to force myself to something that's not even on all sides.

Then came Dawn and Ken.  This was easy. It had to be about card making and rather the cards, I opted for the envelops.  This is called You've Got Mail.  Most of the envelops have fireflies printed on somewhere.

Jocelyn and Steve's was all about fun and colorful and outdoorsy.  Butterflies!  Her family are all fluttery type kids, anxious to head outside, to enjoy nature and colors of their personalities seem to fit this.
 Here's their quilt that's being held up after opening it Christmas morning...and then Jocelyn said she covered her head with it and went to nap.

Interesting development came while I started this project.  I happened to go to Cindy's Sew Easy Store in Sheffield Village.  I had been there years before but now, as I saw they sold fabric, I also learned they offered what's called Cindy's Surprise once a month.  This is a fun class when you learn new techniques.  Not so much about quilting but stitching and some techniques can transfer over.

What they do have there is a long arm quilting machine which you can 'hire' out.  You bring the finished quilt top, batting and bottom and for a fee, they quilt for you.  Then all I have to do is bind it off.  I saved up my piano lessons and dropped off the first three.  But boy do they charge an arm and a  leg for the doing so. Odd since their wonderful LAQM does it all electronically and by computer. Once it's set, it just goes on its own.

Then I dropped off the next two.

Next came Marissa and Hank. The Grand Adventure Quilt.   I wanted to remind them of the lake here at home and the mountains out there in California.  Naturally I had Robert help me lay out the colors.  Little did I know at the time that they'd be returning to Lakewood so now the pattern will remind her of the mountains there in California and then a soft memory of growing up along  Lake Erie's shores. Here's the couple on Christmas Eve after opening the gifts.

Jordan and Hillary's quilt is called Cutting Corners.  Jordan's family is always on the move but I doubt they cut corners.  I know they are where they need to be (all 5 of my kids) but I sure wish more were around the corner. The fun thing is with young Robert, he always wants to facetime with me so it seems he is around the corner.  And the kids all seem very good at running and jumping around corners.

Now after I had dropped off these last 2 quilts, Robert and I were in Walmart in Avon one afternoon and there in the aisle was a woman I knew from years ago.  A mom to a girl Cara befriended in marching band at Brookside.  Diane Colangelo.  We got to talking and it turns out she's big time quilter.  She makes more quilts than anyone I have ever known and gives them away, or makes them for other people as they request.  All her machines are used ones, bought on Craig's List.  Between Diane and hubby Charlie, they keep all things in working order.

She even owns 2 long arm quilting machines and she allows people to rent them and quilt at her home.  I went back to Cindy's and took back the last of these 2 quilts and paid Diane Colangelo to teach me how to quilt with her machines and then used the one in the garage.  It's a bigger one and has a bit more electronics.

I learned a lot from Diane about the finishing of quilts and am so grateful. We had so much fun together.  Not only was it cheaper to do it myself but I learned so much and was able to complete the quilting in about 4 hours or less vs 4 months each.  Plus there was a sense of completion in being able to do the total job.

Here's me working the machine.

Now Christmas hurry on...I have given all the quilts wrapped to everyone.  I'm writing this entry in July but saving it til the day after Christmas for publication.  I wanted to leave each child with a home made keepsake...I think I have successfully done that.

But oh the plans I have for future quilts.


Lin Floyd said...

I tried quilting once and got so frustrated trying to make the corners met that I gave up. I'm impressed by your work-good for you!

Dawn Barrett said...

wow! you were a hard working elf all year round!! xoxo I love my quilt!!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I'm glad I finally read this and know now why you picked my pattern! My kids are energetic, nature- loving butterflies! Thanks for the thoughtful gift! But don't go soon!

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