Thursday, May 28, 2015

Two "Just Because" quilts

I have two more Grace quilts (see post) to report. But, since the gifts were not anonymous, perhaps I should call them something else. I made them "just because," so I'll call them "Just Because" quilts.

One, for a 6th grader for whom we provided one week of respite. This brave young man was soon to be moving out of state to join his father. He was leaving friends and half-siblings and a mother whose rights had been terminated for an unknown future. And he was cool, really cool. Part-Sudanese with an interesting British accent, and obviously well liked by the kids in the after-school program where I picked him up each day.

During his week at our house he spent a lot of time under a quilt watching TV. He noticed that I made quilts, and asked me about it. When I asked him what his favorite colors were and would he like a quilt, he was so enthusiastic. Not your average 12-year-old.

One darling thing he said. "Be sure to sign it. In fact, I would like to take it to school and have all my friends sign it." So I included some white lozenges to use as signature patches on the back, and sent him off with an indelible pen from the fabric store. Good luck in life, Matt! In my book, you are a winner!


I have befriended the grandmother of my 7-year-old Reading Buddy, who is about my age. She can use a friendly ear when it comes to her duties as guardian of two grandchildren, and "worrier-about" two others. Her daughter, mother of all four, went to jail for a 3-month sentence last week (leaving her 2-month-old baby and 2-year-old terror with a questionable Dad). On top of that, my friend's son, in his 20s, is institutionalized for schizophrenia, and blames his mom for his limitations. 

Yet she is the nicest person, very "soft" in character (I am always coaching her to bulldog her way to better results from the professionals who are supposed to be helping her and her grandkids). As purple is her favorite color, I selected the softest of purples, and stitched this up just as the romantic smell of lilac wafted onto the scene, here in the Midwest:

The light blocks are crazy compilations from my scrap bin. I got the idea from this quilt.

My friend squealed with excitement~! This is why making quilts gives me such joy: 2 easy quilts for 2 good people. Now, on to making a quilt for my Reading Buddy, her grandson, who turns 8 in June.

Stone Soup

Do you know the European folktale called "Stone Soup"? Some hungry strangers come to a village and propose they make stone soup for supper. They'll contribute the stone. Everyone else can just contribute whatever they have on hand: carrots, onions, an old chicken carcass, whatever. Soon they are all feasting on stone soup. Yum.

I feel I just made a stone soup quilt.

It all began with this stone:

I found this applique project from a few years ago, and set out to make a grace quilt (see post) with it at the center as a medallion. I found an old decorator fabric sample I thought would match, and quickly gathered other fabrics from my "B" stash: periwinkle, brown, raspberry, and started cutting biggish blocks and surrounding the medallion.

After a while, I noticed that the spiral "stone" wasn't working well as a medallion. A medallion element has to be strong. It wasn't really holding up.

But then, I noticed the greeny blue  in the print in the medallion. I noticed the 3 or so yards of "verdigris" on my shelf. And I remembered that verdigris, or sea green, just happened to be my old friend's new favorite color... The same friend who had said the last quilt I had given her (about 8 years ago) was worn out from everyday use. Those kinds of friends get priority.

I replaced the medallion with a solid-color medallion. Continued to add blocks, including verdigris blocks. And Voila! A tasty quilt for my friend.

I'll hang on to the stone, just in case,