Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baggage Claim Quilts

Good day to Madame Samm and all….I am Frances, the Quiet Quilter from One More Quilt .  I am a slow quilter.  Partially by choice and partially by…..being slow.  I have been hand quilting since 2005 and haven’t made very many quilts or quilty things like a lot of ya’ll. I plan to show you most of them here.  It really won't take long.  I enjoy every quilt I make and as it nears completion, I seem to speed up. I think life is like that, too.

Here is a quick version of my life before quilting:  Grew up, married, had 3 children (older DS, DS, and DD), saw them grown and gone, both DH and I retired from jobs, and learned cross stitch (just me). 

Boy, that was a fast 60+ years!

Now to show you my Baggage Claim of Quilts  (they’re not in a Trunk yet). 

2005 - beginnings

My first quilt was not one I quilted, but one I cross stitched.  My DSIL and I collaborated on this quilt for our DHs (DBIL ended up with it)…

It is a series of call signs from a group of Hams, or amateur radio operators (not to be confused with cb radios!) who, in their younger days (1950s/60s) would drive on weekends and search for a transmitter hidden by 1 or 2 of their group, using their ham sets and radios.(big story here…some of the places they hid them! side of a cliff, for one) Several of this group continued to stay in touch and came to a reunion in 2005.

Next, I pieced a Turning Twenty quilt (tied again) for my older son. Recently took a picture....

Bought FQs, washed FQs, cut heavy wads of loose fabric threads off FQs….one lesson noted and learned.

Simple small quilts came next:

These were mainly practice quilts. (Huge!! binding on first quilt)
End of 2005 and into 2008 – Whole Quilt Saga  

 As I put a timeline together for this post, I realized that, without a doubt, having grandchildren helped this whole idea of quilting along.  I had 5 grandchildren at this point (younger DS’s 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004,,, DD’s 2003).

I decided to make them one quilt each.. and I was going to handquilt them…..Yeah!   I am tempted to add an extra year to my quilting life here… they seemed forever finishing! I  learned so much on what NOT to do with these quilts. 

No picture for my first, it was a story quilt (Mother Goose rhymes) for my DGD (2004) to hang on her wall.

Next came all these for the boys…..I decided to try to perfect my quilting skills on these…  practically killed me! The boys almost grew up before I finished them:

1) double bed-sized quilt:   I got muscles by turning the fabric round and round as I quilted around every planet.

2) And again:  trucks and rocks, double bed-sized quilt - quilted around every truck and rock!

# 3 quilt –  yep…same size quilt, same technique…wouldn’t I ever learn!  I did start “appliqueing”
 however. Lucked out on finding border fabric that matched so well..

#4 quilt– Big panels! Little 2” squares, cut 1 at a time, sewn one at a time.. I had so much to learn!  I drew 3" interlocking circles over that entire quilt! And sewed them one circle at a time, knotting and cutting thread with each circle! What was I thinking!!!  Oh, how much I have learned since then!

So in this three year period or so, I made only 5 quilts…. It was not quite as dramatic as I lead people on to believe, but it did slow down my learning of the fundamentals of quilting.  But my grandchildren would not trade any of that time for their quilts!

2008-2010 – New Sewing Machine, Discovering Piecing!

I decided by now that quilting was here to stay and I could justify retiring my $100+ Singer from WM (it’s still here as a backup…an okay machine, but I needed an upgrade).  So I got a basic Janome.  As much as I admire embrodery that one can do on machines nowadays, I had enough to learn without adding that to the mix.

 I started looking around the internet.  I could say from here on I taught myself, but that would not be true.  You lovely quilters were/are my teachers.

Did you know there is a technique called …..piecing?  and strip mining er, sewing.  Honest! Revolutionary! I have now entered a new phase…

I had almost caught up with the grandchildren,….and here they come again!!  (DDs 2008, DSs 2009 and older DSs 2010).  Total, 5 boys, 3 girls.  More quilts needed. 

 Spur of the minute Halloween quilt – made it in less than a month.  

This was the first quilt I made for a baby who was actually still a baby when I finished it….My neighbor made the clowns for me on her machine….

I was feeling confident now, so I made a signature quilt for a friend who led us in light-weight water aerobics (for the older generation).  My first 9 patch!

No,  this next one was not a scrappy quilt.  You have to buy fabric first before it becomes scrappy.  I still have some left…anyone want any? …at least I cut out all the pieces before sewing them together this time.  This is the only one of my quilts that I tried to machine quilt.  I used a walking foot with my newly acquired Janome...  the back leaves a little to be desired, but it hasn't come apart yet. Also, another step toward appliqué…hand sewn....

And I started naming my quilts....

Christmas Wrapping

My younger sister became a grandma and I sent these to my niece.

Animal Crackers 

Don't Fence Me In

 Now I am broadening my horizons and starting to include other things besides baby quilts.   I am also getting a little faster and trying more designs.

I discovered schlep bags and made a few.

Please note:  For my first flannel quilt, I chose the basic block design... love 'em ..so simple.  I loved the colors.. had some left so watch for them again later on down the line.

Home Spun

  My first rail fence quilt .
Purple Playground

Back to younger quilts

Hungry Catepillar Quilt 

About this time my oldest DS got engaged and married...

So a quilt for the couple 


Baby shower gift for my newest grandchild (oldest DS 2010)

Quiet Slumber

I decided to start over with my quilts for my grandchildren.  Am continuing to work on this, but have finished one for my oldest GS (he's 12 now).. another rail fence.....honest.

3D Math

We are coming to the home stretch now....

my DH's crazy clothes quilt – you know about this one


Blue/White Sawtooth quilt – and this one

And finally this one..


And that brings us up to the present.  And a lot of quilts yet to make! 

In the works:   

Tool Quilt (being quilted)

Mystery Quilt (no name yet)

and my 2 quilt-along quilts....

See how far I have come!

 Thank ya'll for looking, and thank you Madame Samm!

PS:  Looks like another baby quilt will be in the works soon! Yep! #6 for DS in June!


  1. I think I read that you have not made very many quilts. I think that must have been a typo as I see many lovely quilts that you've made!! And you are so blessed to be a grandma so many times!! I have just one grandson and so there are only so many quilts to make for him. A couple weeks ago, I saw a friend and her little girl in church with her baby doll but no blanket. I asked her if I could make her "Baby" a quilt. LOL! If I can't make quilts for grandkids, I'll find other friends with kids who need quilts. :-) You are very good at quilting for someone who just started in 2005!

  2. They are all great quilts...wonderful memories for you and treasures for your loved ones. It was so fun to see your progress in quilting. Seems there is no end to what we can create with fabric and a little batting is there.

  3. Okay ... trunk needed :) If you've been quilting by hand, wow! Beautiful work and you've been at it since you were a baby you have so many quilts :) :) Thank you so much for sharing, the quilts and the stories!

  4. What a fun trunk show. Look how you have grown! I love the green plaid quilt - so rich and snuggly looking - yes snuggly on a man quilt. The license plate material just gets me - you should have had a close up on that one. Every quilter has a beginning and every quilter has a journey. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  5. S-l-o-w quilter?!?!? I have to speed up a little to equal you! 8^}
    It's nice to see that all quilts are personalities!
    Thank you for the trunk show.
    Irene from Amsterdam

  6. Thanks for sharing! I live in the UK but get to visit Florida occasionally as dad lives there, and I buy loads of fabric from wal mart. I have the planets, and the monster trucks and the dinosaurs from the first Grand children quilts! I love to see others have chosen the same fabrics!

  7. Good Morning dearest Frances....nothing slow about you sweetie...I love this trunk show...the variety..your first cross stitch..your baby quilts, the purses..or bags shall I say..over the top-- I remember your DH's quilt and him placing the blocks...already great memories and they are your quilts...I love the stories behind those stitches...WE can all sew identify..what a treat you are this morning..thank you for blessing us with YOU

  8. Thank you for the trunk show. A great body of work over the years.

  9. What a wonderful way to start my morning - lovely trunk show! I have a lot of catching up to do...guess that makes ME the slow quilter! LOL
    Thanks for sharing not only your quilts, but the very special story you told, as well.
    Jacque in SC

  10. I love love love the clown quilt! It is so happy! Thanks for sharing with us all today.

  11. Thank you for taking us on a journey through your quilting and memories! They are all wonderful!

  12. Thanks for the quilt "show"! Very nice! I don't think you're slow or that you haven't done many quilts though!!

    Keep on quilting!


  13. Wonderful story! I can see the progress, and it gives me great hope. I see my story in yours. I have some quilts I started with great hopes, only to see the mistake now that I made when I started them.. Oops.. you learn as you go! I'm learning though, and that is the point. I did make some small wall hangings I still have those.. REALLY small. I have an almost finished tied quilt for DD.. but the binding makes me shiver with fear.. and so I havn't finished tying it.. I need to finish by August when she get's married!

  14. Frances, I enjoyed your story and your quilts. They are all wonderful! I remember when I bought my Bernina I was so impressed at how easily it sewed through all the layers of a mitered corner.

  15. Thanks for a great trunk show. Love seeing your very first quilt and 2 Great Sampler quilts. I am also Bernina girl!

  16. s-l-o-w? nope,nope,nope... thank you for sharing ALL your GREAT quilts with us. I loved looking at each one! Your beginnings show that simple can INDEED be SPECIAL. Sharing love through quilts make memories that last forever...for both the giver and the receiver. THANKS again! This post started my day in a perfect way...

  17. Lovely to view the progression of your quilting life. Great post, thank you.

  18. You may have started off slow , but I think you are up to speed now. From your pictures you are getting better and faster. I enjoyed seeing your quilts.

  19. Thank you for the wonderful quilt show. It brightened my otherwise dreary, grey rainy morning. Hugs.

  20. Your evolution as a quilter is wonderful and entertaining. We can all relate. Thanks for sharing your quilts and your memories.

    Mary Ann

  21. I think i lost count of how many grandchildren there are now! all lovely quilts and so special because they were made by grandma!

  22. I would not call you slow at all!! I would call you talented!

  23. And what do you do in your spare moments? LOL What a wonder array of quilts. My friends all ask what I am going to do with another quilt. I always tell them there is a spot somewhere in the house to drape one over. You have great memories along with your quilts. My motto is keep on sewing.

  24. Really enjoyed your trip down memory lane. You've done a lot! The one you made for you DH from his clothes is my absolute favorite though. That was a great blog post too. :) Thank you for sharing your Baggage! ;)

  25. Over here, see me waving, you Frances, are amazing. I am enjoying this show. You have taken me back a few years with pattern choices and I smile 'cause those were nice memories. Thank you for inspiring me today. You gal, my kinda gal!

  26. WOW!!! They all look great!! I thought I was going to see just a few pictures - you said that you were slow at quilting - WOW!!! You have done TONS!!! They all look great!!

  27. Thank you for sharing your quilts! It was wonderful to see your progress over time. I especially liked the ham radio quilt as my husband used to be involved with a ham group years ago. That was alot of cross-stitch! Also, I loved the railfence you made for your grandson. I had never seen a layout like that and it really knocked me out! I didn't know a railfence could look so modern and fresh!

  28. Thanks for the quilt show, who needs to travel when we can see lovely quilts here every day. Your quilt count is way ahead of mine.

  29. Thank you for sharing your "time line" of quilts. I think it's great that each of your grandchildren has a quilt form their loving grandmother.

  30. I have had a lot of fun looking at your quilts. You have come a long way. I love all of your quilts. You post is great.

  31. I love trunk shows! Your improvement over the years is fun to see and encouraging to beginners like me. Thank you for sharing! Mary Ann from rocknquilts


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