I'm sitting here this morning with a hot cup of coffee, the window open next to me with a Texas spring breeze lightly blowing on my feet, and my bulldog Oliver snuggling my lap. My heart is full of love, and I am very happy with my life. But, it's taken me a long time to figure out that there will always be people in my life that misunderstand who I really am. People who look at me and think they have me all figured out, but they have no idea about the things that have made me who I am. The deep scars that eventually got me here... behind the sewing machine. Piecing my way through my own troubled thoughts, wiping my tears with the cotton fabric, and sometimes even laughing so hard my stomach would ache. Quilting is my therapy.
Here is my most recent quilt finish, and the story behind it....
For me, quilting has many layers of thought and emotion. It's not just cutting fabric and sewing it back together. Honestly, I have never made a quilt without a recipient in mind. I have a hard time even starting when its just a random quilt for no purpose. With each project that comes up, there is always a story behind it, many little stories actually. Often times my son and my husband are involved, they both enjoy helping me pick out fabric or helping me arrange blocks on the floor, and my husband Scott, is the King of quilt pictures (ha ha)! He has been wading through fields, climbing up cliffs, and tip toeing though sandy beaches all just to drag one of my quilts around trying to get the perfect spot so I can get a good shot! We laugh, and he rolls his eyes at me, but we have fun. Each little part, is a part of the story, part of the therapy that keeps a smile on my face and love in my heat.
Please enjoy some of the behind the scene pics from our most recent walk I made him take to find the "the perfect spot" LOL
When I first started quilting I couldn't afford to have them quilted on a long arm, so I had to incorporate that part into the process. I practiced a lot, and I got a good arm workout with the free motion foot! I found it to be an important part of the process, it really completes the "feel goods" when you look at one and know you did everything yourself! So.... if you have never quilted your own quilt on your standard sewing machine, you should! Give it a shot, it won't be perfect, but you'll feel so good about it when you are done. But, if I have not convinced you to try, I would love for you to send them to me. I offer full custom long arm quilting service, and I am currently accepting new clients. I have a new Handi Quilter Avante Long Arm, I named her Mary Louise in memory of two special ladies I miss very much!! Here are a couple close ups from the long arm portion of this story. Since my long arm has no computer, I do everything free hand. I decided to do these loops and swirls together because they kinda remind me of butterflies. Butterflies are amazing, they start out ugly worms and end up colorful creatures that roam around the sky searching for flowers, and that thought makes me happy!
Now, while I invite you to share in my deep family disfunction when I show you this, keep in mind, I have not yet gifted this one. But, I know it's totally safe to tell all, because I am absolutely sure nobody in my family cares enough to read my blog. The quilt is for my brother, he and his wife plan to have their first baby this spring and my gifts will be handmade. They are having a little girl. I'm a little sad with this project, my heart starts to race as I type because he is my only sibling, and this will likely be his only child, and while my parents divorce happened more than 20+ year ago, I am still living right in the middle of the line of fire. It's complicated to say the least. I would like nothing more than to see this baby girl bring the family back together (and I thought it was there for a little while) but the reality here is grim. So I will counteract grim with COLOR! I decided to use bright, beautiful scraps from my stash. To me, the scrappy style quilt blends a lot of things that don't typically go together, and makes one piece that works in harmony. Yes, harmony, that's what every family needs, right?! Scraps of Tula and Kaffe mixed with Alison Glass, and a shot of ombre' for fun! It's a free pattern on The Fat Quarter Shop blog page and I loved making it! My Sister-In-Law is not into traditional stuff, so I thought the hidden creatures in the Tula Pink fabric would be a fun surprise. My brother hates girly colors, ever since we were children he would refuse to even stand next to something pink. We once had to stop the truck while moving a sofa, because the blanket we used to protect the corners was purple. I know you can see the irony here, right?
Due to my brothers deep hate for pink, I decided to spare him as I made my selection for the backing fabric. I searched for several days to find just the right fabric. I looked locally, as well as several late nights in bed with my laptop. My Sister-In-Law loves Zombies, I'm not sure the reason or any history behind this love, but I guess I don't really need to know. The point here is that my choice has a meaning.... LOVE! When it is time to gift the quilt I am going to tie a ribbon around it with the fabric salvage showing the "Zombie Love" and cute little Zombie images. I really hope they see my intentions.
I also made a few other little things to welcome my niece (pictured below) and I plan to gift them when she is born! Once I know her name, I will do a quick embroidery patch with lots of hearts and hand stitch to the back.
PS- If any of my family does happen to stumble on this post, please know that love is in my heart and I sure hope that someday we could be a family again.
Here are my WIP pictures for the quilt....
Here is the diaper bag I made for them (the dogs helped a lot that day) :)
I was hoping my Sister-In-Law would see the significance behind the
Day of the Dead fabric,
I know she misses her father very much!
I am working on a blog post for this bag pattern, if you are interested please check back soon.
Thank you for stopping by.
Hey Y'all, I'm Gina Tell! I live on Lake Travis just North of Austin Texas. I'm a full time long arm quilter and lover of all this art and outdoors!!