Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two Retirement Quilt Tops Ready to Quilt

My long-time boss (for 21 years) retired in January.  I had always intended to make a quilt for his retirement gift, but he retired without any notice and I didn't have his quilt done. I had decided on which quilt to make for him more than a year ago, so I had everything ready to go.

Since he was born and raised in Philadelphia, I decided this quilt with reproduction fabrics by Nancy Gere for Windham Fabrics would be perfect. The quilt's center panel commemorates the centennial of the US in 1876 which included a huge exposition in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park that highlighted the industrial revolution. I didn't realize how big the quilt would turn out until I started working on it (the half-square triangles finish 4 inches). I ended up leaving off the last border to keep it a bit smaller than the original. When my machine quilter calls to let me know that the current quilt is done, I'll drop this one off.

I also have a quilt ready for the retirement (sometime in the next year) of the other founder of the company I worked for. (This company was sold to a huge software company about 2-1/2 years ago). Although he was only my boss for a few months, I have known him and worked very closely with him for more than 21 years. He attended his first year of college in Gettysburg PA, which is also where he met his wife. This quilt features Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, so it seems an appropriate retirement quilt for him when he retires. I know his wife as well, and am confident that she will like this quilt.

I didn't originally intend to do Americana quilts for both of them, but that's how it turned out. But they are still fairly different from each other that it will be fine.

In keeping with this historical quilt theme, I pulled out one of my UFOs and began working on it again -- thus turning it into a WIP. This quilt is called "Antietam", to commemorate the tragic loss of life at the Civil War battle of Antietam Creek, Maryland in 1862. First the original quilt:

It looked like it would be fairly straightforward to make -- but when I got into making the quilt, it wasn't as simple as I'd hoped. Here is one of the blocks:

Then blocks are sewn together in a zig-zag pattern:

Then the "peaks" of the squares are trimmed to create a row. First row done, about a dozen more to go.

I had to take my Baby Lock sewing machine in to be serviced this morning. The automatic thread cutter wasn't cutting the bobbin thread -- only the top thread, and the tension was all goofed up. Nothing I did would fix the tension on the bottom. So, for the next several days I'm back working on my Pfaff machine. It's funny how quickly I got accustomed to the snazzy convenience features on the Baby Lock -- things like the pressure foot automatically going up when the stitching stops. But since I started the Antietam quilt using my Pfaff, it's probably good that I finish it with the Pfaff. I had sewn all of the half-square triangles, so now just have to assemble the blocks and rows, and then sew the rows together. My goal is to finish it up before I pick up my other machine from being serviced.

I hope you all have a great week of quilting, stitching, or whatever fulfills you!


JOLENE said...

Those will be amazing gifts for two lucky recipients. I especially love the first quilt, it's so unique looking. Smiles....

Berit said...

Love 'em, especially the second. The color and rhythm is divine. :D


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