Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Archives Linky Party

If you're looking for Tip Tuesday!, click HERE.

Val's Quilting Studio

Val wants us to share an old post that goes with the week's theme. This week, the theme is 'Animals' or 'Award Winners

Click HERE to go to Val's Quilting Studio for a step back in time.It's fun and inspirational!

YEAH!! - I have something to share about each of those. 

First the Animals...

Here's the link to my original post about my fish and cat quilt. Unfortunately it is in the tub of shame, awaiting an "appointment" with me to get quilted. Perhaps the real purpose of this Tuesday Archive is to shame me into finishing some unfinished projects. :-)


Here are a few pictures from the original post.

 And now the Award Winner...

I don't have a post about an Award Winner, but I do have a picture.

I entered this quilt in the Ohio Bicentennial Quilt Challenge in 2003, and much to my surprise it took 3rd place in the machine pieced in machine quilted category. Third place! I was thrilled, especially when I found out that there were over 260 entries.

My husband named the quilt and swears that his name is one of the reasons that I won a ribbon. I have to admit that he's probably right.

               Ohio, A Beautifully Seasoned State

Like everything, this quilt has a story. 

When the challenge was announced, I thought it would be fun to try making something. I had only been quilting a couple of years, but I figured "why not." There was plenty of time to work on the quilt, as it didn't have to be submitted until early July.

There were a few guidelines/rules that needed to be followed, but overall, you were pretty much free to design as you wanted. I started playing around with sketches and quickly decided that I wanted to make a quilt in the shape of Ohio and somehow represent the changes of the seasons. That was the easy part! Being a relatively new quilter who had only made a handful of quilts, and that was strictly following patterns, I wasn't quite sure how to do this. Then I read something about string piecing blocks and thought maybe that would work. I wasn't really sure how to do it, but it "worked."  :-)

Well, I started looking for fabrics that I could use and started cutting them into strips ranging from 1" - 3". (Remember, I didn't really know what I was doing.) After cutting what was probably enough to make three of these quilts, I started sewing. I them cut the little strip pieced units into squares (3 1/2" squares), and then cut them once on the diagonal. I thought that would provide me with a really scrappy looking quilt, especially since I wanted the seasons to kind of overlap each other in the quilt.

If you look closely, you'll notice that some of the fabrics in the top left and bottom right are the same. That is supposed to represent the fact that the seasons really just blend together. Starting from the top left, we have Spring turning into Summer, followed by the browns and oranges of Fall. The large light center is of course Winter, followed quickly by the dirty snow of early Spring and then the wonderful greens of Spring again. The Ohio River is along the bottom, Lake Erie is at the top, along with Michigan. The binding changes colors to follow the lake, Pennsylvania, the Ohio River, Indiana and then Michigan. 

Anyway, I started working on this quilt and them life happened. As a freshman in high school, Lynn was busy with extra curricular activities like student council and softball; and Nikki was in her senior year and we were kept busy with a very active and successful track season. 

Then, Dad got sick and lots of things got moved to the back burner, including this quilt. 

In the days right before Dad died, Nikki was running in four events of the regional track meet finals. I was in Dayton and she was at home, deciding if she was going to run. I told her that she should, and that Dad would want her to do so. She had worked hard and he was proud of her. She ran well, and qualified for the state meet in three of the four events!

We were so fortunate that the state meet was being held in Dayton again that year because of the construction at OSU. (Nikki had qualified for the state meet all four years of high school; and all four years, she ran in Dayton.) It was perfect for us that year.

Nikki ran her prelims on Friday, the day Dad died. She ran finals on Saturday and says she felt her Grandpa with her as she finished third in each of her races, including the 4 x 400 relay, her most challenging race. She had obviously hoped for higher placing, but she was happy anyway. Graduation was on Sunday and Dad's funeral was Tuesday. 

We were all exhausted upon returning home and I decided that this quilt just was not meant to be - at least not at that time. I didn't touch it or even think about it for a couple of weeks. 

Then a friend was visiting and asked how the quilt was coming along. I told him that I had put it away and wasn't going to send it in for the challenge. He and Jack talked me into getting it out again and start working on it. They said it would help me. I did and it did! 

Do any of you remember the big power outage of 2003 when a large area lost electricity because of some grid problem? Well, we were without power for six days. I had been working on the quilt, but when this happened, I took it as a sign that I wasn't supposed to finish it. 

Oh, but not so fast! Our friend brought over his generator and hooked it up so I could sew. Really!! I got busy and finished the quilt, but wasn't thrilled with the results. I knew there were some technical problems with this thing - like the wide binding that I didn't know how to get to go around the lower tip of Ohio. (I'm just glad you can't see this thing up close.)

Anyway, after Jack named it, I packed it up and sent it out. I didn't hear anything for a while and actually kind of forgot about it. It was about a month later when a message was left on our phone saying that I had won a prize for my quilt. I thought  the call was a joke and that my kids were messing around. Imagine my surprise when they called back and I found out I had won third place in my category.

This quilt (and all the other entries), was displayed at the Ohio State Fair and that was fun to see. I was asked if the quilt could be part of an exhibit that would travel with the Quilt Expo, and I said yes. My quilt got to travel around the country for the next year and I think that's pretty exciting.

I haven't entered any more quilts into any contests, and I'm pretty sure I won't. It was fun, but not something I want to do on a regular basis.

So, there's the story. Long, but I think it's kind of fun. Thanks for reading! :-)


Debbie said...

Love your Ohio quilt and the story is just wonderful that goes with it. Sometimes a quilt is just meant to be and takes off on its own :)

Kelly @ Sew With Kelly said...

So exciting to have a traveling quilt! Wouldn't it be great if it could tell you stories!

Valerie Reynolds said...

I agree with Deb and Kelly. I love that for you it will hold all these memories for you...and act like a big hug when ya miss your dad:)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Great story quilt!