Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Phoenix Rising

I must first start this posting with a confession. I have been coveting other people's quilts as I surf the Internet reading quilting blogs. I LOVE reading what others are doing...and occasionally, a teeny part of me goes..."oh man, I wish I could make something like that!"  Well, yesterday, as I was reading the blogs of Dawn at Collector With A Needle   and Kathie at Inspired By Antique Quilts.    I found myself having those thoughts.  Then I remembered, back before I had multiple children, I used to make mini quilts! Lots of them! I was one of those prolific quilters! Somehow, having my last 2 sons sucked the time/energy out of me and I haven't sewn as much since.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!!
My dear friend Zippy really likes my little quilt also!
One of my favorite mini quilts I titled "Phoenix." I made it in 1993. How do I know? I actually made a quilt label for it!!

I love the story behind it.  I was snooping around an antique shop in downtown Omaha and found this old dirty quilt top tied into a comforter. The squares of the top were large pieces of 1900 era fabrics. I WANTED that quilt. I went home and discussed it with my husband, Quail. A few days later, we went back to look at it. My eyes  lit up!  Because ugly and dirty as this quilt was, I knew it's potential. Quail  looked at it and then looked at me. I think he thought I had truly gone over the deep end this time. (My family seems to think that about me frequently---usually quilt related).  "Why would you want this?"  It was obvious to me...all those great squares of vintage fabric...all for $25.00! And, I had a money making scheme in the back of my mind.  Reluctantly, my husband agreed I could purchase the quilt BUT I could not bring it in the house because it was so filthy. I grabbed the quilt...proudly walked to the cashier who looked at me. Looked at the quilt. Then gave me one of those "why would anyone buy this?" looks.  Or maybe more of a "there's one born every minute" kind of look, it was hard to tell exactly.

I took the quilt home...grabbed my scissors and started clipping. And yes, Quail made me do the cutting outside!  I cut out each square and triangle. It was a square in a square block. Then (and don't be too startled) I put the fabric in the washing machine on gentle to clean it. The water proved how filthy the quilt was.. Ugh. I rinsed it several times until it was clear, then let it dry.

I used the scraps to make a small mini quilt--possibly a churn dash (?). I took it to my monthly quilt meeting and two of my fellow members wanted to buy it. I sold it for $20.00 to one, made a second one for the other (also sold for $20.00) and then made the third for me. So, for $25.00 investment, I had made $15.00 plus gotten my own "free" mini sampler AND still have some scraps left over!! By the way,  I made these little mini quilts before I knew the perfection of paper piecing. Sigh. If only I knew then what I knew now...those little points would all be perfect!!

I called it Phoenix because out of the scraps (ashes) of an old, worn out quilt,  a beautiful little mini quilt came to life.

Happy piecing to you!

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