Hand to Heart

My grandma Brewer, on my mother’s side, has always been a sewing gal, but over the years and decades her rheumatoid has taken a harsh toll on her hobbies and sadly, many things have had to be handed down to the next generation.  I use the word “sad” because it’s a signal to me that her heart is ready to start letting go of things, ensuring they end up in the right home with the right person.

Great Grandma Dills Quilt

There were a few quilts that I had never seen before hiding in the basement laundry room.  Safely tucked away in plastic zipper bags and sealed away from dust and bugs, I was able to pick my own hand sewn quilt from my Great Grandma Dills (Grandma Brewer’s mother).

This quilt is such a time capsule of an era and is simply amazing.  We judged the fabrics to be from the late 30s-40’s (this quilt is almost 80 years old already and will turn 100 in my lifetime). Most likely sewn while the kids were in school.  I can’t say for sure if a pattern was followed but I’m almost certain those hexies were paper pieced even though I couldn’t find a trace of old newspaper anywhere.

And it’s soft.

Great Grandma Dills Quilt

Wrinkled with use. Great Grandma Dills Quilt

Falling apart slightly and all hand sewn.

Great Grandma Dills Quilt

Beautiful. I didn’t know my Great Grandma that well. She suffered from dementia and it was hard for us to visit and be present for her at such young ages, but having this quilt is a quiet reminder that we are all young once. Great Grandma Dills Quilt

Great Grandma Dills Quilt

We all have dreams.
We all have creativity.
We all have skills.

And even if age slowly steals them away the things we make will keep.

Dear Quilty

The last issue of Quilty hit newsstands a week ago and my final copy arrived last Thursday.  This magazine was wonderful for so many reasons, but I think what made it such a wild success with both new and seasoned quilters was its fresh, humorous and friendly take on absolutely every aspect of the quilt world.

The fact that it also catered to the more modern quilter didn’t hurt either.  With each issue I saw projects and designs/designers and felt inspired to submit a quilt design for publication or encouraged by a kind insider’s word on how to write a quilt book.

Anything you could imagine was here.  It wasn’t just another magazine filled with beautiful quilt patterns, some basic articles and tool tips, it was brimming with advice from color theory, longarm quilting perspectives, beginner quilter interviews, piecing short cuts, advice on being a crafty blogger, on and on.

It did it in such a fun way that I really looked forward to each issue.  It answered questions I never thought to ask and some that I didn’t know who to ask.  So it was with a sad heart that I flipped thru the last publication of a magazine that broke the quilting mold.

Dear Quilty,

Thanks for being awesome.  Thank you for bringing new blood into the sewing fold by showing everyone how amazing quilting can be and why so many of us, young and old, do it.  I’ll miss you.  I don’t know why this is good-bye or what made you decide to stop producing such a quality print, but I will miss so much about you and the contributors and designers.

It’s hard to express a personality thru a magazine, but you did it.  Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement.  I’ll keep the sewing room light on just in case you decide to come back.

Love,

Rebekah

Unfinished

I’ve been taking a break after a few crazy weeks of project deadlines and general chaos to just mellow out.  Spring is in full swing around these parts which means I’m outside more than I’m in.

But I took a little time away from getting seeds planted and flowers arranged to pull out a few of my languishing works in progress.  I was not pleased to see that blue pinwheel quilt from the Field Greens pattern by Madison Cottage Design, still not even backed….though I know I have the backing and binding for it (labeled) in a bin somewhere.  Looking at the back of that one made me realize that I should go back and press open as many seams as possible to showcase those amazing pinwheel points.  It also reminded me that I finished the top about 2 years ago.  I made this for myself, such a rare thing, and still have yet to enjoy it fully.

Then there’s the Patchwork Bears Baby Quilt from Present Perfect that I helped pattern test for Betz over a year ago.  That also has the backing and binding hiding in one of my bins.  I had to kick myself for not finishing this one when I had the time over the winter.  I even know how I want to quilt it.

And my most recent addition to the “unfinished” pile is my Science Fair quilt from Jaybird Quilts.  Though that one hasn’t been sitting around for very long it’s still been hanging around for too long already.  At least that one is batted, backed and basted.  I love you Hexie quilt, but I just need some “alone time” right now.  I’m not ready to commit my shoulders to quilting you just yet.

Eventually I’ll get my garden in and my flowers finished to the point that they become an enjoyable maintenance for the season. Till then I’ll have to keep these guys neatly tucked away and then suck it up and quilt on.

A New Beginning

Welcome to The Little Red Thread!

You may know me from my previous blogging name of Tumus or may be you’ve just joined, either way welcome to my next adventure, a blog dedicated to modern and traditional quilts, books and ordinary life.  I’ve been dreaming of moving to WordPress from Blogger for quite some time now and feel like the move has solidified the vision in my head.  It’s both a big and small step, but I’m incredibly excited.

It’s my goal to start the process of publishing quilting patterns for all skill levels and provide free tutorials designed by me, The Little Red Thread, as well as share my quilting process, works in progress, what I’m reading and everything in between.

I’ve imported a vast majority of my old blog into this new one so if you’re curious about my history feel free to start at the beginning!

Till then stay warm, especially if you’re in the Midwest like me.

Happy Sewing!

Those Pesky Triangles

RicRac Pattern
As I am wont to do with quilt patterns these days, I ended up modifying this Ric Rac pattern by Ms. Rosie’s Quilt Co. to become a table runner. I’d like to say I did it because that’s what I wanted to do in the first place, but that would be lying.
No, the sad and silly truth is it was simply too many triangles.  Triangles are my personal quilting nemesis.
I’m sure you have one.  Everyone in the sewing world does.
There is something that either intimidates the crap out of you or some technique that you just can’t get right.
Triangles are like that for me (so are french knots, but that’s another story).
Even the word sounds devilish.  Triangles *shudder*
 Still, I torture myself by doing patterns that involve them.  Sure there are tools and paper piecing methods to help you get perfectly pointy points, but I guess I’m stubborn.  I did this pattern the “hard way” and cut them first.
I’ve since learned my lesson with that.  Don’t cut triangles if you don’t have to.
There are TONS of methods of how to do them, what’s fastest, easiest, smoothest, less finicky…..just google: how to sew quilting triangles
Alot of triangles
Ugh triangles for days……….
Truth of the matter is that only one method is going to click with you, maybe two if you’re savvy, but the one that you pick up the fastest will become your preference and the only way to find out what you prefer is to get out there and make mistakes.
Lots of tricksy triangle mistakes.
I’m not going to tell you which one I prefer but it’s one that works for me in most situations 🙂
In the meantime, enjoy some pretty quilting with MORE triangles and diamonds.
Quilting Diamonds