Monday, November 30, 2015

The French Connection

Warning:  This is a sad post.

The Paris attacks on November 13 struck me utterly speechless.  
Like most of us, I mourned for the French people and for all of us 
who can no longer take our safety for granted.  

"The French Connection" 58" x 70"
I found myself compelled to make a quilt that reflects this sadness. 
I could not help but drop everything and make this over the last two weeks.

I used simple hour glass blocks.  I knew I wanted to make it quickly.
The somber colors would communicate my feelings.

I started with my small collection of French fabrics.     
The top right block uses fabrics given to me by Willemke and Katell 
when I visited France last summer.

The other fabrics are from my stash, including shirt stripes.  
The blue is another treasure from Willemke. 

The border is an old French curtain.  

Friday was France's official day of mourning.
Katell told me they named all 130 victims on the radio.
Most were in their 20's and 30's, from 26 nationalities, leaving 50 orphans.
I finished the top on Saturday.  

I will quilt it soon and use it all winter,
sending wishes of comfort and healing to the victims, their families, all Parisians, 
the people of France and all of us as we try to make sense of this changing world.  
I know you all are joining me in these wishes.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

LeMoyne Star Quilt

Back in 2011, I visited Marit and her mother in law, Linda Dodd.  
Linda has a rich quilt-making heritage.  She kindly showed us some of the family quilts.
This one really caught my eye.  I took several photos and vowed to make one like it.
You can read the quilt's story at the bottom of the post.

After studying the quilt closely, I realized it was pieced by hand.  
I tried, but couldn't find an easy way to piece it by machine and keep the integrity of the original.
 Besides, I needed a travel project.

So I bought Jessica's great book and learned how to do English paper piecing. 
Her instructions are very clear and easy to understand. 
Plus, she shows you how to make the perfect little travel sewing kit. 

Forty-nine stars--mostly made on trips--and over a year later, 
I decided it's time to start connecting them.
My plan is to make 100 stars.  

I found the red I wanted, and began cutting squares.

This weekend I began connecting stars and squares.  Very exciting!

I can't believe I've taken on such a labor intensive, long term project.  
But something about this quilt kept talking to me.  

Recently I remembered this block is called LeMoyne Star.  
My mother's name was LaMoyne--a different spelling, but still--
and her favorite color was red.  

Here's the story of the quilt. 
Linda's grandmother, Dora Stevens, made the quilt from 1940's feed sack remnants. 
The remnants came from dresses that Linda's mother, Elsie Mae Peterson, 
had sewn for two of her daughters, Ester and Carol--Linda's older sisters.  
It was war time, and Elsie took great care to find matching feed sacks 
so the girls could dress alike. 

The quilt is tied with red embroidery floss. 
It has a pieced back.