Quilts

Over the Garden Wall-themed. Each fabric is carefully chosen, including the fabrics that had to have frogs and bluebirds, pumpkins, and teakettles.

Today’s post is about two quilts. Maybe three if you count the amazing quilting on BOTH sides of one of them. Ok, we’ll make that 2 1/2 quilts.

The end of March, my kiddo Tara, and their partner, Brynnen, came to visit for a real visit. This time no masks and we were indoors together and even hugged. It was blissful. Tara wanted to see me, but also wanted to work on a quilt. This is a new kind of project for T. Their very first quilt ever is not quite done, but will be finished soon because Tara was picking up some fabric for that quilt that I had at my house. In the meantime, they had started this new quilt. So the one you see here is Tara’s second quilt attempt ever, and since it’s done before the other one, it’s their first completed quilt ever. I am so impressed and I think you will be too.

So humor me while I brag about it. 🙂

This is the first I’ve ever seen that has the piecework of quilting on both sides. Usually someone puts most of the work into one side, then chooses an appropriate back that is often a single piece of fabric. Tara is making the quilt for a friend and couldn’t decide on which theme was best, and ended up putting pieces together on both sides. The friend likes rainbow colours and also likes this animated TV show called Over the Garden Wall.

Obviously, the rainbow side.
Close up shot of the darling fabric designs.

The front and back were done, and sewn together on three sides, like a pillow case. It was inside out though. First we attached the batting and sewed big loose stitches to keep it generally in place, then turned it right side out. Tara and Brynnen carefully flattened it and evened out the edges. Then we each took a needle with a big hole and threaded yarn through it. We sat on the floor, each working a different section, and sewed the yarn all the way through and back up, on every other intersection of pieces. Then Tara crawled over the quilt and clipped each yarn piece and tied all the ends in knots. That will keep both sides connected to each other.

Tara with green hair, is attaching the batting. Brynnen with red hair is looking on.
There’s a pink yarn knot in the foreground, and I am holding another knot in the background.
There is a scene in Over the Garden Wall with a critter that has great big eyes that are the colour of these “eyes” here in the quilt.
At the center of the piece is another character from OTGW, called The Beast. Isn’t that frog fabric the best?
Brynnen embroidered The Beast for this centerpiece.
Tara and Brynnen, tying up the yarn knots. On the TV screen is the art for a music album, if you were wondering. We were listening to music on the TV. I think it was Panic at the Disco? Not really sure.

When it was time for the kids to leave, the only thing left to do was to sew up the open end of the quilt. I loved the chance to work together and chat while working like quilting circles from olden days. It also left me feeling a lot of respect for quilters. Oh my goodness my aching back!

The next quilt is completely different and equally exciting.

I’ve slowly been moving through my house, fixing a room at a time and making them suit my taste. The last big project as you might remember, is the kitchen/great room. I had to take a big break after that huge project. My next idea is the master bedroom. I’ll do a post later when I have more to show you, but today I wanted to show you a new quilt for my bed that I received in the mail from the lovely and generous Peggy Mekemson, wife of Curt Mekemson who blogs at Wandering Through Time and Place.

Look at this scrumptious giant quilt! You could almost go swimming in all that blue!

The grey wood furniture is new, and my plan is to switch from the boring tan carpet and tan walls, and switch to a blue room. I had already ordered the winter blue carpet when the quilt arrived. Of course I would love a quilt from a friend no matter what colour it was, but this quilt is now going to be my centerpiece, because it’s perfectly spectacular.

Before the pandemic, I visited Curt and Peggy down in southern Oregon. I knew Curt from years of sharing blogger stories, but didn’t know much about his wife until I was immersed in her joyous spirit and we became friends immediately. Peggy had been experiencing a burst of inspiration, making quilts for others, and she showed me all her planned projects. While I was there she asked me: if I was to have a quilt, what theme would I like? I answered DRAGONS, of course. I mentioned some favourite colours.

Look at the marvelous dragon on a castle wall that is the center section of this quilt. I am delighted by all the Celtic knot designs that frame the dragons, too.

When Peggy’s quilt arrived, I couldn’t stop pouring over the details. The more you look, the more there is to see.

I found a paint swatch sample from Home Depot that matches the quilt, and I have been taking that paint swatch everywhere I go now, when I’m choosing things for the room, such as new paint of course, and also picture frames for things that I will be hanging on the walls. I think Peggy would be tickled to find out that I’m now designing the bedroom around her quilt (Curt, will you pass it on? ha ha).

The fabric for the piecework is also a delight. More Celtic designs, more dragons, and look at the iridescent dragon scales.
See what I mean about details? In this photo I almost managed to capture the beautiful rainbow-stitching used for the quilting. It’s hard to see, but the thread is all the colours of the rainbow.
And on the other side: more rainbows! Isn’t this fabric perfect, perfect?! Peggy told me she choose this fabric because it made her think of dragon wings. The swirly pattern of the quilt stitching is just right.
One last look at this stunning creation. My workout ball and dumbells won’t be in the final bedroom design, but for now they’re trying to match and doing a good job of it, ha ha.

You know what? Quilts are a labor of love. I could see that as Tara gushed their excitement about making their quilts, and as Peggy glowed while showing me hers. I am deeply grateful to be able to wrap myself inside the love of a new friend, and to bring her artistry to life in my home.

26 thoughts on “Quilts

  1. I so enjoyed your blog on the quilts, Crystal. The contrast between hand quilting a first quilt (beautiful!) and my quilt shows such a range of potential in designing and sewing quilts. I love how you featured the dragon quilt in the bedroom! –Peggy

    1. Peggy, thank you for adding the very first comment on my blog! What a treat. I am glad you like how the quilt is featured. It will be fun to show you photos when the bedroom is done. Today, I am having tile placed in the office section of the room, and then the blue carpet can go down. I wasn’t exaggerating, I have been designing my plans for the room around the dragon quilt. And who wouldn’t: it’s gorgeous. Thank you so much for this gift. ❤

      1. it is such a joy to experience what happens when one of my quilts arrives! Your story makes the effort of making quilts for friends and family special and motivating! A fun side note is when my son-in-law received his farm quilt. He won’t let anyone else touch it! Now I am inspired to start the next one….grin. Peggy

  2. Peggy got a very large grin on her face when she read your post, Crystal. And she pored over the section on your daughters quilt as only another quilter can. Thanks much. A lot of work and love goes into her quilts. I am re-blogging the post on my site. –Curt

    1. Oh that’s great, Curt! I’m glad Peggy appreciated Tara’s quilt, too. She would know how much work is there, while I just guess at it. While here, Tara showed me photos of what had been done on the first quilt so far. That one is ambitious and beautiful as well. It’s so exciting to have a child grow up and demonstrate their own inspiration and identity, you know? (also, I suspected the correct spelling is “pored,” ha ha, but didn’t look it up. Thanks for the clue! 🙂 )

      1. I’m sure you’re right about pored. Grin.
        So much work that I am reminded of the old quilting bees that pioneer women used to have where they could share the work and socialize at the same time.
        Establishing identity is one of the most important aspects of growing up. Supporting/encouraging the process is one of the most important jobs of parenting. At least that’s what I believe. 🙂 –Curt

      2. I agree 100%! It’s one of those things I learned by having a parent show me what not to do. It’s so easy to bring to mind how much hurt can be done when your parent doesn’t care, and doesn’t encourage, and I never want to be the cause of that kind of hurt. I go out of my way to let Tara and Brynnen know they have my love and enthusiastic support no matter what’s going on.

  3. Reblogged this on Wandering through Time and Place and commented:
    My friend and blogging buddy, Crystal Trulove at Conscious Engagement posted this blog today that feature a quilt made by her daughter and friend and a dragon quilt made by Peggy specifically for Crystal. Quilting helped lots of folks get through the pandemic. Scroll down to see a pair of beautiful quilts made in two, very different ways.
    This post also speaks to the close friendships that are develops through blogging. Crystal came down from her home north of Portland, Oregon and stayed with us while we all enjoyed the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. She also carried Bone back with her to meet her Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma. And she has been working with our son Tony in defining what medical benefits he is eligible for from injuries received while serving as a Marine and Coast Guard pilot, a specialty of hers.. –Curt

  4. I love your blog on quilting. When I was younger, I hand pieced and stitched quilts. I did several in the first pattern you showed. I have such bad arthritis in my hands now I stick to making crazy quilts. I love all the variations in this form of quilting.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed my post! So sorry to hear about how arthritis is limiting you. I can’t even imagine the frustration when the thing that gives you joy also gives you pain. When I was a kid, crazy quilts were my favourite of all, and we saw a lot of them, since they are a good way to use up fabric scraps that we always had in my house.

  5. Oh my goodness! What beautiful artwork and love went into all these quilts. They’re gorgeous. Both of Tara’s first quilts are utterly amazing. Amazing what a nasty pandemic can produce.

    1. Thank you for stopping over here and commenting! I am quite impressed with the work Tara is doing, and I never taught them about quilts, so it’s entirely Tara’s thing, which makes me quite proud. Yes, I think the pandemic is somewhat behind this inspiration. Tara is currently a college student, and getting ready to graduate this spring. They lost their job last spring because of the pandemic and then the shop closed, so there is extra time to fill and that’s where the quilts come in.

    1. Ha ha ha ha!!! Well and Truly Humoured!! I do! I am so excited about all these new dragons. I don’t have new dragons in my home that often (because really, how many dragons are necessary?), so any new beasts in my menagerie are an event! And yes, it is nice to be so loved.

  6. Ahh, these are simply stunning on all sides. ❤ I'm so glad that you're able to wrap yourself in dragon love. I love the effect of the colours but I also love your furniture pattern. But probably most of all I love the bestia centerpiece! 😉 So funny that you thought it meant bestie, hihi. Much love to you from both of us.

    1. It seems like “bestie” works again! I do have an affinity for dragons… ha ha. Yes, it’s a funny story about bestia. But now I’ll probably never forget that word. Thank you for noticing the furniture. My old bed was too small and the frame I used had been with me over twenty years, and even then I had purchased it as an antique – ha! So it was very old indeed. The antique headboard and footboard are now in the guest bedroom, and I went to the furniture store and bought this frame last summer. The style caught my attention as soon as I saw it. I looked at every single option they had on the floor, and I looked at every single model in the catalog, and came back to this one.

  7. I’m late and should be asleep but somehow had to leave a note tonight and not wait. The quilts Tara made are just wonderful!! They should be proud. Ingenious way to finish the quilts together. The blue dragon quilt is stunning! Love the backing fabric and the finish quilting used on it. I’ve never even made a quilt for my own bed yet. That’s a LOT of work. On both quilts. I’m getting quite the glimpse into how you have finished up the place. I haven’t seen it since you were just moving in. It’s looking quite cozy. Do be a proud mom. They earned it.

    1. Thank you for staying up late to leave me a message. ❤ Marlene, it's sort of a tragedy that you haven't made a quilt for yourself. Isn't that how it goes though? My Mom lamented the same thing, having made beautiful quilts for others but never got around to making one for herself. I'm glad you and Peggy both saw this post because you two can appreciate how much work went into Tara's quilt. And for a first or second quilt, I think it turned out beautifully. And T even came up with how to show the "eyes" on the quilt. Thanks for the encouragement to be a proud mom. I certainly am.

      When you're feeling strong enough to go all day, I could come pick you up some time and be your tour guide here at my country home, and get you back home when it's time to recharge the batteries. You'd hardly recognize the place. Those kitchen tiles you scrubbed don't even exist anymore (but I am still grateful for your gift). Thanks for using Tara's pronouns. I know it's awkward and I appreciate it.

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