The original Double Irish Chain

If you've started at the top, go down one blog post to "Island Chain" for Joy and David.  That explains this quilt.  Suffice it to say, it was 2003, and I was a new quilter. 

I wanted to do something pretty in the background blocks, and even did a quilt called "Practice Makes Better" before I quilted this one.  As you can see, my practice didn't really help. Okay, so quilting on my domestic sewing machine vs on my wonderful APQS Millennium probably helps too.  Also 11 years of quilting practice between the two projects. 

I'm currently working on hand quilting a whole cloth quilt to replace this one.  It's going to be SO much better than this, but this has certainly served it's purpose for the time it's been here and will be here.

Island Chain by me, for David and Joy

 First I have to say how very lucky I am to have married someone as wonderful as my darling husband Randall.  Who designed my website for me, by the way.  Then there was the added bonus of wonderful siblings and parents that he brought with him.  Then we have Joy and David, the sister and brother in law of Randall's mother.  Lovely people as well.  They were in the process of moving back to Hawaii, and Joy spent the night at our house before going to the airport the next day.  A few weeks later I got an e-mail from Joy asking if I would make a quilt for their guest room "just like" the one in our guest room.  She would choose the fabrics, or at least make suggestions as to the colors, and I'd get all the fun of making and quilting the quilt.  She looked for fabric swatches on the island, but found only Asian and island prints.  Darn, I have to go shopping for fabric!  Armed with one swatch that she was able to find, and two paint chips, off we went to the fabric store.  The piecing was fun, and I think that my piecing has improved since I made our Double Irish Chain quilt back in 2003. 
Then I got to the quilting!  All done with Glide "Cream" thread.  A slight shine to it, but still traditional.  Wool batting.  I know, it's going to Hawaii, but still.  I wanted the loft of the wool, and Joy had said that this wouldn't be a "sleeping under" quilt.  I must say that I'm quite pleased with the end results.

 I knew that I wanted to do a feathered wreath in the open background blocks.  Something pretty traditional.
 What to do in the "chains"?   I thought about continuous curves, but wasn't that enthralled.  Then I started to look through my class handouts and found one from Dawn Cavanaugh, Director of Education for APQS.  Here it is!  This is what I want to do!
I love to quilt feathers, so that was the obvious choice for the sage borders.  They all meet in the middle of the border and then "grow" out from the center. 


I did do continuous curves in the on point squares in the border, but they still needed something in the background of the squares.  More feathers!  Again, "growing" out in both directions from the center.

My favorite part is the backing where you can really see the quilting.  I chose a cream tone on tone print in 108" wide so no seams in the backing.

Once the quilting was finished, I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics for the binding, and I wasn't thrilled with the idea of using any of them anyway.  Back to the fabric store!  Personally, I like my binding to be slightly darker than the border so that they form a frame for the quilt.  I found a marbleized print that picked up the darker tone in brown fabrics perfectly

Christmas Stars by Terri

 I so admire Terri's piecing.  Not a cut off point in sight! 

Aunt Grace fabrics with photos by Madison

Madison contacted me via e-mail about quilting her quilt for her, and said that she had a special quilt that she was making for her mother, that it had photos of I'm guessing family members in it.  In addition this was the first quilt that she had sent out to have someone else finish the quilting for her.  No pressure there!  
Okay, so we talk back and forth about how to potentially quilt her quilt, and I e-mail asking to schedule and appt. for the two of us to meet.  Well, she lives outside of Washington DC, so she won't be dropping the quilt off in person.  Wow.  Out of all the people she could have contacted about quilting her quilt for her, and she picked me!  Wow!

We talked about how to quilt her quilt, feathers that meander all over the quilt top, but not onto the photos themselves.  My rule is you don't quilt over faces.
 When I went to load up her quilt, her backing fabric was just a smidgen to small, and no matter what I tried, I couldn't make it work.  Back to the computer and more emails.  Since I live 3 miles from Fabric Depot, I told her that I'd be happy to pick up a new backing if she would trust me with this.  She did.  Wow again.  I think that I really thought that I'd be able to find more of the same fabric that she had sent and I could just seam it on, but no such luck.  I stuck with the green theme that she had  initially chosen, and with 1930's, but it's quite different from her original.  I almost bought a 2nd piece for my stash, but since I can't get my 30's fabric drawer shut, I didn't. I'm so proud of myself.

The most recent e-mail from Madison was to ask if her mother could send me some quilts to quilt for her as well.  How many "Wows" is that then? 

I think that I have the best job in the entire world.  I get to play with fun fabrics, meet such wonderful people who are always so happy to see you, especially when you call them to say that their quilt is ready.  How lucky am I?

Strips by Leanna

This is Leanna's first quilt, and Claudella helped her with it.  I think that they probably used a jelly roll as all the fabrics are from the same line, but I could easily be wrong.  
When I saw it and was quilting it, I thought that it was a fun quilt.  Once I got it hung up for a photo though, I really realized what a great design this quilt is!

Quilted with "Salsa" from Superior's Rainbows line and my Circle Lord "Swirls" board.  Great job Leanna, and I can't wait to see the next one!

Hawaiian Flowers by Paige

Quilted with Rainbows "Colorburst".  When Paige dropped off the quilt, I looked at the cone of thread and thought that there was probably enough to finish her quilt, but I added it to my shopping list anyway.  As I kept quilting, the thread got lower and lower on the cone.  Now I'm starting to panic that I won't have enough thread after all.  I'm staring to sweat bullets, praying, you name it.  Finally finish the quilt, with 38.5" of thread left.  Yes.  I measured how much was left!  I had actually tied on another color the same style so that my tension would be consistent as that last bit of thread went through my machine.  It was when I was looking at my thread for another to tie on that I found one still in the wrapper.  Hmm.  This looks a lot like "Colorburst", but if it is I think I'll scream.  Sure enough, brand new cone on the shelf.  Argh!  All that fretting for nothing!

On a positive note, I think that I have finally decided what to do with all the lovely prints that I purchased when my darling husband and I went to Hawaii in 2013.  Thanks for the idea Paige!

By the way, this quilt will be returning to Hawaii for Paige's friend's 60th birthday. 

Jeromy's t-shirts for Nan

 Shh.  No telling about this quilt until the 1st of March.  This is a surprise for Elaine's sister but she's not sure that she'll be able to wait until then.  The back story.  Ever since high school, my family has been friends with Lee, his late brother Tom, mom Judith and late dad Rex.  Darling Elaine met and married Lee, and every time I see her I think how happy I am that Lee met her.  What a lovely person!  Before Lee and Elaine were married, her son Jeromy was killed in a accident at work.  What a tragedy.  Elaine brought me two boxes of clothes of Jeromy's with "no idea" what she wanted it to be at the end, but gave me a rough idea of size.  I pulled out the shirts and one pair of pajamas that were well worn and obviously favorites.  These became the quilt top.
 These are pieces of counted cross stitch that Jeromy made.  The lava lamp design on the left is the one that he was working on when he died, and I left the threads and needle attached, just like I received them.

I have no idea what this shirt is advertising, but I love the name.

Pink Fish by Sharyle

 Here's another one for the new baby.  I love the fish, all of which are swimming upright.  Quilted with a pantograph of seaweed, a few shells and watery swirls called "Ocean View
Fun memories for me as well because I recognized many of the fabrics has having come from Wendy's shop "Heart to Hand."

Basgehetti by Sharyle

 This kiddo is going to have more quilts than she will know what to do with, but that's what Grandma's do.  This one is really fun with bright colors and kids wearing "Basghetti" like they do.  Quilted with a loopy spiral meander to mimic the design in the fabric.