Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The Story of the Green Basket Quilt... a Quilt That Found Me.
I am so envious of all the quilters out there that plan out their quilts before they start a new project. You know who you are.. you make sure you have a proper pattern, check to make sure you have enough fabric for your background and all your blocks, etc. Well... I am sorry to say I am not one of those quilters. I don't think I have ever started a quilt knowing I had all the fabrics I needed. <sigh> I am more of a '
fly sew by the seat of your pants' kind of quilter. However, sometimes this results in some creative 'solutions' when I run into challenges. :-)
In this particular case, it all started when I saw a beautiful green basket quilt at a local antique show. My husband and I enjoy going to the annual Christmas Antiques Show in Tewksbury, NJ every year in early December. It is small show, but packed with lots of beautiful antiques, all decked out for Christmas. This year I saw a beautiful dark green basket quilt in one of the booths. I went over and admired it and showed it to my husband. He agreed that it was a beauty. After we left the show I regretted that 1) I didn't buy the quilt (although too pricey) and 2) I didn't ask the vendor if I could take a picture of it. Drat!!
The following day I tracked down the phone number of the dealer and called to see if they still had the quilt. No, they sold it. Of course they did - it was a great quilt! I asked if by chance they had a photo of the quilt - explaining that as a quilter, if I couldn't buy it, I would like to recreate it. Again, the answer was no. <sigh>
I had recognized the dark green fabric in the quilt and knew I had a reproduction fabric in my stash just like it. I was off and running to try to recreate this quilt. Of course without enough green fabric (I was sure I could buy more) or cream background fabric, or a clear plan for the design since I couldn't totally remember what the original looked like! LOL.
I couldn't find the fabric online so last week, my husband took me out to one of my favorite quilt shops - Wooden Bridge Dry Goods, a Mennonite run shop in PA farmland. No kidding.. the shop is located right on their farm. The gals in the shop are really helpful.. but alas, they did not have my fabric. I was sure I bought it there.. but my memory is not what it used to be! There wasn't anything in the shop that was really the right color or style.
By now it was getting to be late afternoon, but I knew there was another quilt shop about 11 miles away. My dear husband agreed to take me there (he is such a sweetheart!) We got about half way to Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA when I grabbed my phone to check the website for their store hours. I couldn't believe it... but they were closed on Mondays!!!!!!! (yes, it was Monday!) I got the sideways look from my husband... and we turned around... the GPS sending us back where we had come from. When we go back to the main road, I happened to look back at my phone, which was now on their home page. Right across the top, "INVENTORY CLEARANCE SALE - SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY, AND TUESDAY. I blurted out "They're open!!!!" At this point my husband just let out a deep sigh and turned the car around. Now I did tell him that we should forget it.. head back home... but he is such a sweetheart he said, "No, we're here anyway". Isn't he the sweetest guy??!!
We made it to Ladyfingers (owned and operated by Gail Kessler, fabric designer for Andover Fabrics) in about 20 minutes and I did find a beautiful Jo Morton fabric that I thought would work with my other green fabric. I was so happy!
Now over the past week I have been able to just scrimp and piece enough of that original green fabric to complete nine basket blocks.
I think I have finally decided on a final layout... but who knows, that can change.. It's changed several times already!!! But isn't that the fun sometimes?????
Meanwhile.. Lucy has definitely decided the Sweet Hearts quilt is hers. I have been trying to get the binding sewn down, when she lets me work on it. :-)