Monday, February 07, 2011

80 Dutch Hearts

Today my grandmother would have been 101.  As most of you know, I was very close to her.  Looking at that picture makes me a bit misty.  My grandfather took that, as you can see on her birthday in 1990.  He always printed all the details on pictures.

(Notice: no finished items can be shown without the Bootsie seal of approval.)

This is the quilt I made for her 80th birthday and aptly named 80 Dutch Hearts.  She didn't know it but it didn't start out to be for her.  I saw a picture of a quilt a veterinarian had made in my Quilt magazine and decided to make one something like it.  When my grandmother was over visiting and I was stitching the hearts on, she made comment as they were Dutch colors.  Since she was born in Utrecht and had a fondness for things Dutch and her 80th birthday was coming up, a seed was planted in my head.  So, I purchased more fabric as I had originally planned it to only a lap size quilt.

Bootsie has decide it is fine enough for a nap.

We decided it was special enough to be a family heirloom and I was able to buy a special pen at the quilt store just to mark it.  I should have added the location, now that I think about it.  Certainly back then I did not think both me and the quilt would travel across country, especially to Tucson. I HATED hot weather back then.

The real reason I started this quilt is because I loved the scrappy postage stamp borders.  Those are 1 X 1 inch squares, cut 1 1/2 inches for seam allowance. That turquoise fabric at the top is what started me off on sewing.  JoAnn Fabric had that in assorted colors pink, peach, yellow and green also.  I fell in love them and bought some of each to make mother daughter blouses for myself and my daughter.  I had quite a bit of each leftover including the scraps that I couldn't bear to throw away.  Money was very hard to come by back then and my grandmother taught me not to be wasteful.  When I was at the store I found Quilt magazine and started on my journey of quilting.

Many of the squares of bits of fabrics I wish I could find again.  I could take a ton of pictures of those.

I promised Susie over at Useless Beauty that I would take pictures of my binding when I posted this quilt.  I have never fiddled with mitered corner for my binding.  Most of my quilts are utilitarian and certainly not going to be in show for judging so I just do a strip binding up each side.   I make four biased tapes long enough for each of the four sides.

I machine sewed it to the front, just like you would bias tape.  Then flip it over and applique stitch it to the back tucking in the ends when I get there.  I leave about 3/4 overlap for the tucking in.  Good enough for home use if your not going to have it judged.

(Myrtle and Emily are at the top right. Mr Bird, right, chatting up the little twin.  Herbie is on the far left taking a nap. Clarence is next to him considering a nap.)

The birds had a big move yesterday.  Huey has been just awful to the little ones.  Ladybird made more eggs behind our back and kicked the little ones out of the box, permanently.  Huey had gone on a rampage to protect the box from them getting back in, which made them want to get in all the more to get away from their horrid father.

Yesterday, D and I took the three that were in the small cage and put them in the big one, then put Huey and Ladybird with the box in the small cage.  Myrtle is a bit put out by this.  Her eggs died and she was waiting for her turn with the box.  She'll get her chance eventually.

Mr. Bird is quite happy going around chatting up his young nephews and the little ones are settling in, finally.

Huey isn't really happy and is acting lonely.  He often gives me the back.  Oh well, Huey, you brought it on yourself being a bully.

If you haven't already go over to my name my birds post and enter the contest.  Wednesday, February 9th at 5pm Mountain time is fast approaching.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

That's a beautiful quilt and story. I still have both the quilts my Mom made me when I was about 13. (I'm 31 now) But I was really hard on them and they are in such bad shape, Dave calls them my hobo blankets. I was telling my Sister-in-Law about it and she laughed and said "You're brother won't give up his either and they are trashed!"

Delusional Knitter said...

That is a beautiful quilt. Seeing that photo makes me misty too! I'm sure she loved it dearly.

Susie said...

This is just beautiful. I have to say, I actually prefer the way you've done your binding to mitred corners - I think it looks better!

I'm absolutely faint at the thought of 1x1 inch squares. Absolutely faint ;-).

Rudee said...

The quilt is beautiful, and while it may not have started out as a gift for your grandmother, clearly it was meant to be. Your love for her shines through your words and your work.