Sunday, August 1, 2010

Miniature Quilt Exchange...for the Second Time!

After a week of great anticipation and excitement Karen and I have received our swap quilts from each other. My little package arrived on Friday and look what a treasure I found inside!

Do you recall the hint I told you about? Well, she also shared with me the fact that I would probably recognize the pattern of the little quilt once I set eyes on it. For the last few days before its arrival I racked my brain trying to guess what it could be, knowing it must be something quite familiar to me. Within minutes of having it in my hands, however, she was oh so right! In fact, I had only a quick trip to my bedside table to confirm my suspicion in the pages of Kathleen Tracy's delightful book, Prairie Children and their Quilts. Sure enough, there I discovered the vintage photo hint that had so haunted me as well as the Game Board Quilt I now had in my possession! Such a meticulous job she did in her fabric selections and placements one would have to do a double take to determine whether or not it was in fact the exact quilt featured in the book!
It wasn't until yesterday's photo shoot that I discovered this additional little tidbit of "coincidence?" For there, pictured on the back cover of Tracy's book I found not only my recently received Game Board Quilt but also an image of the Broken Dishes Quilt which inspired my piece to her last year! Have a look see for yourself!

And the similarities don't stop there. . . . . see this snippet of calico Karen placed in the corner here?

Well. . . . .in the early morning hours of those horrid, hot, and humid July days. . . . .

. . . . .as I sat down to my quilting and hoped for even the slightest breeze to pass through the window. . . . .

. . . . .I seem to recall a similar snippet in a corner awaiting my needle! Truth be told they both came from the same cut of fabric. I had found a bolt of it several years ago and fell in love! It was amazingly reminiscent of a favorite calico dress I'd worn to absolute shreds during college. I bought far more of the fabric than I needed and so eventually used up a good portion of it on quilt backings in some kits. When Karen caught sight of it in one such of these quilt kits she expressed a similar fondness for the print and asked if I might have some extra to spare, which of course I did! How funny that we both now re-shared the print with each other in our new quilts when it very easily could have turned out otherwise.
We first set up the terms and conditions of this second quilt swap in April. The following two months were abundant with false starts and numerous trips to the quilt store. While any excuse to buy fabric is most welcome I found I was unable to settle on a collection of prints or even a pattern to work with. I was becoming a Goldilocks of sorts. . . . .too bright, too dark. . . . . too abstract, too traditional. . . . . too disjointed, too much the same. And then, by chance I happened upon a reference to Russell H. Conwell and his most popular lecture, "Acres of Diamonds." Conwell retells the story of a farmer who, in his intense desire for riches, sells off his property and heads out in search of diamonds only to meet with misfortune and death in the end. Meanwhile, the man who purchased the farm from him spends his days tending to the work at hand in the fields and in doing so soon discovers his beloved acres are literally filled with diamonds.
Now, farm girl wannbe that I am, I took this "dig in your own backyard" philosophy to heart and promptly headed not to the store but to my fabric stash instead where numerous treasures were awaiting my discovery!

A sweet blue polka dot by Moda that so matched Lily Red's skirt that she promptly sent me right back to Candlelite to purchase two more yards of it just because we might need it someday!

My cherished "Red Daisy" print that arrived from who knows where but that I've carefully divvied up in order to have enough to someday complete a tiny hand stitched log cabin quilt featuring the blossoms in each center square.

The sage green and floral print fabrics used in the creation of Miss Lily Olive.

What I affectionately call "Periwinkle Rose" was acquired not from a bolt but by scavenging every last fat quarter from each of the three different Jo-ann Fabrics within driving distance of my house. I REALLY loved this print! You can imagine my excitement therefore when I purchased a bundle of vintage scraps off Etsy only to discover a small piece so similar I can't help but wonder if it wasn't the direct inspiration behind this newer version.

The green micro check was picked up long before I had received my Gail Wilson Hitty kit in hopes that it would someday serve as the perfect dress upon which an assortment of pinafores could be featured. Alas, almost a whole year has gone by since my birthday and poor Hitty is still awaiting my attention. Assortment of pinafores. . . . ha. . . . . the poor thing hasn't even got a body!

Along with collecting fabrics I've always enjoyed picking up bits and pieces of assorted dishware. After sorting through more than twenty boxes of the stuff stashed in the basement this week I have since decided I need to put a limit on this habit once and for all. Lids without sugar bowls, saucers with out cups, pitchers in duplicate (and I'm afraid to admit the occasional triplicate) have got to go. We are going to have one doozy of a yard sale next week! The one china pattern I won't be parting with is my Blue Willow, although I was more than happy to share a morsel of some matching fabric for Karen's quilt. I purchased a yard of it at the Lowell Quilt Festival more than seven years ago but can you believe this was the first cut I ever made into it!

I was amazed at how many fabric "gems" I found stashed away, more than enough for a miniature quilt. There was of course no question by this point as to the pattern choice and so the cutting the shape of diamonds of course!