Friday, November 5, 2010

The Airing of the Quilts ~ It's Party Time!

Welcome to The Airing of the Quilts, a two-day link-up blog party. I don't know how many people will be attending this little event, but whether it's two or 22, thank you for linking up. I'm excited to see your quilts and read your quilt stories. If Mr. Linky cooperates, you should be able to link up until midnight on Saturday. Again, thanks for coming to the party. Can't wait to visit with all of you.

As I begin writing this post, I honestly have no idea if I’m going to showcase my entire quilt collection—all 16 of them—or just go with a few. I think I'll just start writing and see what happens. How's that for having a plan?

Before going any further, I must mention my sweet mother. (That's her with me at a quilt shop in Fredericksburg, Texas earlier this year.) She is the reason I fell in love with quilts. I have yet to undertake any piecing or quilting of my own, but if I ever do, she is the reason.

I’ve written about my mom's incredible dress designing and sewing abilities, but she is also amazing when it comes to quilts. In my opinion, her piecing is exceptional. She is 78 and has more energy than I do. Quilts are her preferred hobby these days. She can whip out a quilt top faster than anyone I know. She doesn’t do the actual quilting (except for her baby quilts), but the real artwork is in the piecing, if you ask me.

OK … let's get this party started!

I’m starting with one of my newest quilts, and certainly one of my favorites. I’m not a quilter, so having designed and selected all of the fabrics for this one makes it extra special.

I failed to get pics of every step (aren't you lucky?), but after selecting my fabrics (which was a whole lot of fun), I took them to my mother, who had already made templates for the pattern I'd chosen. She cut the fabric accordingly, and stacked it into little piles.

I chose a maple leaf pattern, and specifically wanted a variety of blue backgrounds for each square, representing the sky. This is one of the first squares my mom completed. We played around with sizes and decided on a total of 48 squares, for the finished product.

The next step was for me to take the squares home and play with the arrangement of colors, and direction of the leaves. What you see here is not the final choice, and please pardon the messy guest bedroom. It doesn't always look like this; I promise. :-)

Next, I had to select the fabrics for the border, sashing, and backing. (I hope I used the right terms there.) I wanted to use a mixture of prints (that's them on the ironing board), but wanted them to be cohesive and not clash with the star of the show, the leaves. I think you'll agree that the final results are breathtaking.
. . .

I almost get goosebumps every time I look at this photograph. Seriously. One of my favorite aspects of this quilt is the various directions of the leaves, and, particularly the placement of the center squares. (Click on image twice for an even closer look.) Didn't my mother do an amazing job? And the machine-quilting is gorgeous!

I was also very pleased with the little star "points" at the corner of each square. (My quilt terminology is lacking; I'm sure one of my talented fellow-bloggers can straighten me out on what exactly to call them.) Even though this is the only place this "star" fabric appears, I think choosing it for this distinct purpose enhances the overall appeal of the quilt

When you pick out the fabric, and design a quilt, from start to finish, it almost feels like I felt after after each of my books were published; it feels like one of your children.

This quilt is one I will cherish the rest of my life.
I think it is spectacular to behold!
. . .

The next quilt I want to share with you is one of the oldest quilts in my collection,
and one of my favorites. 

Is this not divine?

This wonderful quilt was made by my mother's maternal grandmother, Clara Ruth. It was probably completed in the late 1920’s. My mother is 78 and never remembers a time when her family didn’t have this quilt, and she says it was pretty well worn the first time she remembers seeing it. My mother slept under this quilt every winter, until she married in 1949. I simply adore it!

Even though I don't use the quilt much, out of respect for its age and history, I do enjoy using it occasionally, always admiring its rustic beauty. I like to think Great-grandmother Clara Ruth would be pleased that it still brings joy after so many years.
. . .

One of my favorite photographs of my mother, Audie Ruth, with her mother, Lora Lucille.
This was taken a month before my mother married (at age 17) in 1949.

My great-grandmother, Clara Ruth.
She made the quilt shown above, and the beauty below.

This stunning quilt is another one that was pieced and quilted by my great-grandmother, Clara Ruth. It was made in the 1930's, and is a feast for the eyes ... or, in this case, a party on a fence. The star pattern is so festive ...

... and the colors are simply amazing. (Click for larger view.)

The stiching on this quilt makes me smile.
. . .

As I'm continuing to write this post, I can see I won't be able to share all of my wonderful quilts with you; it would just be way too long and drawn out, but I must show you a few more.
. . .

I blogged about this delightful quilt back in May, but must show it again. One of the oldest in my collection, this quilt was made by my mother's paternal grandmother. Her name was Edna, but she was called Kate. She made this quilt and gave it to her son and new daughter-in-law (my mother's parents) the first winter after their marriage in 1924. It was a custom back then. If your son or daughter got married, you gifted the newlyweds with a quilt for their first winter together. I must say I rather like that cozy custom.

My great-grandmother, Edna (Kate).
My mother says she was one of the sweetest women ever born.
I wish I had known her.
. . .

This scrap quilt is another favorite. It's one of several I have that was made by my father's mother, Anna Estelle. Maw Maw was one of the kindest souls. I regret that she passed away when I was only 12, but I'm blessed to have known her, and I cherish the memories I have of her, including the quilts she made.

I love the hand-quilting on this quilt.
Not perfect, but that's why I love it.

This quilt has been used a lot, and I continue to use it, with pleasure.

Maw Maw is also the maker of this beauty.

I love the combination of colors. So vibrant, they are.
(Click on image for larger view.)

My precious Maw Maw and Paw Paw, in the mid 1960's.
. . .

If you're still with me, I've got two more quilts to share.

I'll save the rest for another day, or year. ;-)

This beautiful scrap quilt was made by my mother in 1991. It’s the first quilt she made me out of scraps from her sewing basket. These fabric pieces represent many of my own clothes she made me as a young girl and young adult. It was hand-quilted by a friend’s sisters in Turkey Creek, Louisiana.

This quilt has a lovely border stitch, with my mother’s initials, and year of completion, embroidered on one corner. I use this quilt every year, and, don't faint, have washed it successfully twice. I wasn't willing to trust anyone else with the cleaning of it, so, after consulting with "experts," I took a risk and it paid off. All of the fabrics are washable (cold water, of course) and I have a terrific washing machine with various delicate cycles. It also dried beautifully in the dryer.
. . .

And now, here's the final quilt on parade today  ...

This fabulous king-sized quilt was designed and made by my sweet mother, as a gift for my and my husband's 30th wedding anniversary in August. I nearly fell over when she presented it to us. It was machine-quilted by a local quilter and the results are amazing. I also blogged about this quilt back in August.

I selected some of the fabrics many years ago, but never followed through with designing a quilt. I had forgotten all about that until my mother surprised me with it. Imagine my shock! She selected the border and backing fabric, which she is a pro at doing. It compliments the quilt so well.

Embroidered around the bottom is a personal sentiment,
commemorating 30 years of marriage.

It is spectacular to behold!

There are more quilts where these came from, but I just couldn't get them all in a single post. I hope I haven't worn anyone out as it is. Thank you so much for joining me for The Airing of the Quilts. I can't wait to visit with all of you.

To read about my baby quilts (for any grandchildren I might have), click here.
To read about my amazing friendship quilts, click here.


  1. To say that your quilts are beautiful is such an understatement ~ spectacular to behold comes close! The sentimental aspect that they were made with loving hands by your family members makes them priceless.

    Just a joy seeing these works of art and reading about their creators.

    No doubt you are always nice and cozy warm with your beautiful quilts!

  2. Good morning Dayle,

    Congratulations on your beautiful quilt that you've just created. It really is thrilling and to think that you've joined ranks with all of these incredible women in your family is wonderful. What a legacy they have passed on. Each quilt is amazing and I am on my feet and cheering after seeing your parade! Thanks so much for sharing your talent and for hosting a fun new party.

  3. You quilts are amazing and it was fun looking them over with envy. I look forward to seeing everyone elses.

  4. Your quilts are fantastic! I love them all, the colourways, the patterns, everything. I particularly love the history that goes with them. I think that's what makes quilting so special the history that goes with each one. I have loved reading the story of your quilts.

    I'm so looking forward to tonight when I can enjoy everyone else's posts. This was a wonderful idea for a link up, thank you!

  5. Your quilts are just mother quilts all the time for cancer patients and family.
    I love the older ones also...I have two that are from my mother-in-law's mother...and my mother-in-law is 95!
    Thanks for sharing your quilts and the stories...just great

  6. Dayle, I love the showing of your quilts, I noticed that the older ones of yours is just like the old one of mine with the plaid backing must have been something easy to get way back when .

  7. OH..MY..GOODNESS...These quilts and this post were just FANTASTIC...I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. They are just sooo beautiful. And I LOVE that you have so many that have such history attached to them. I honestly can't believe with as much as I love quilts that I have never gotten into it. And now it seems to late...I LOVE your new one...gorgeous...But that anniversary one has got to be the most spectacular of all!! I just loved it. And what a gift to have gotten. And to have the wording on it as well makes it a life long heirloom. I will be coming back later when I have more time (going to settle in with my cup of tea) and browse through them all. Thanks soo much for having this party. HUGS

  8. Your quilts are absolutely beautiful, and I love all the family history and photos that you shared with them! What a blessing that you have such creative and talented ladies in your family!

  9. You lucky girl! These are so divine! I just couldn't believe it when the post kept going. I'd be thrilled to own any one of them. The legacy behind yours is so special. What treasures! Wish I could post to this party but unfortunately mine are tightly packed away while we are in transition.
    Come join my new blog. I'm having a giveaway!

  10. I love them all! I remember the beautiful anniversary quilt. Loved it then and love it now. The detail that your mom can put into things is utterly amazing to me.

    I couldn't possibly pick another favorite from the post. Every time I scrolled down I found something special to like in the next picture.

    This is a treat. I came earlier but knew that this post needed the time and attention of my mid day break.

    I was right!

  11. Dear Dayle,
    Oh my gosh--I can't even believe how amazing your quilts are and when I saw the one for your anniversary I couldn't imagine how excited you were to receive it--It is pure joy!!!
    And I saw the wedding video and read your story--You should have told us we'd need kleenex! I had to stop the video and get kleenex before I could continue watching it...
    What a precious couple you are--what a beautiful daughter--truly a miracle in your lives--oh my gosh, she is gorgeous too!
    I am sending people over to post their quilts.

  12. Dayle, what beauties! All those hours and "sticks" of the fingers! They are so valuable. I have to regretfully say, I don't have any, that have names attached to them. :(
    But, I do have memories of helping the ladies @ our former church quilt one for the pastor's wife. A friendship quilt. We had fun and shared some laughs and stories, while doing it.
    Just wish I could link up on this one my dear, but I absolutely think this is one of the most special parties I've seen yet and love the title. Going to e-mail a couple of my friends and tell them to come look.

  13. Hi Dayle,
    Love all your quilts and all the histories attached to them. Your family is lucky to be so richly Blessed. I found a very old quilt top much like the star pieced quilt you own but mine is very faded and the pieces were pale pastel when it was made. I just love it even so. It is so nice to see all the links to your party!


  14. Dayle, those are gorgeous! Heirlooms all! I must admit, I'm a bit jealous. :)

  15. What a wonderful day to stumble upon your blog!
    YOur post definitely is not too long. I loved all the photos of your truly spectacular quilts and the stories that go with them. The photos of your family are a very special touch. What a quilting heritage you have.

    Got you on my reader and I'm looking forward to the next installment of your quilt story.

  16. True artists! I can see why you feel in love with quilting. All the effort & time, attention to the smallest details, very overwhelming.
    Glad to be apart of the party.

  17. Your quilts are all wonderful. I love yours and your heirlooms. I have a couple from my mom and they are so precious to me. Every one of yours are stunning. Hugs, Marty

  18. Dayle,
    Your quilts are fabulous! They are so beautiful, and the family heritage they represent are an additional treasure.
    Thanks for hosting such a wonderful party!!

  19. Hey Dayle,

    What a lovely collection of quilts you have! Each one is so unique. I really like the red flower garden Clara Ruth made. Thanks for inviting me to join the party! The link part could be me...I have never done one before and was really unsure of what to do.

    Have a great week end!

  20. Hi Dayle,
    You won't believe it--I had sent people over to post their quilts by emailing them about this event...then, I was reading a book about giving and remembered the quilt square-How funny--I didn't realize I had something to post-I was so glad!
    I hope you're having a joy-filled weekend!

  21. Oh wow.....let me just say that your quilt is absolutely stunning! I love the colors and the maple leaf is just beautiful! You did a great job picking out all of the fabrics and designing the final layout. And, what a gift to have your mother sew it for you. I really enjoyed seeing all of the photos of your other quilts and reading the amazing stories behind them. What treasures each and every one is!

  22. Loved, loved, loved this post, Sis. The quilts are, indeed, "spectacular," and the pictures of our dear mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers made me sigh. How blessed we are.

  23. I just LOVED this post...The quilts you have posted are amazing and brings back such good memories to me.

  24. Wow! These qults are amazing. Your mom is amazing, but I think you already knew that. ;0)
    Thanks for sharing

  25. I am absolutely blown away by the quilts you shared in this post, just absolutely awestruck. They are stunningly beautiful, and the fact that they were created by your mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers makes them all the more wonderful. What priceless family heirlooms! The women who created these quilts were, without a doubt, incredibly talented artists.

    I'm linking up with a post about a quilt that was created by several women in my family, over a period of three decades! It's not a particularly beautiful or well-crafted quilt, I'll admit. In fact, its a very, very simply made quilt, constructed entirely from re-purposed fabric scraps and remnants. But it holds so much history within those fabric scraps, and I have so many warm memories connected with this quilt, that I was drawn to write about this quilt rather than some of the others that I have in my home.

    Thank you so much for creating this blog party! I'm looking forward to visiting all of the bloggers who linked up. If you ever decide to host another "Airing of the Quilts" link-up, I'd love to participate again, and look forward to seeing and hearing about more of your beautiful quilts.

  26. I love your quilts, they are all so beautiful. Someday I hope to make a quilt using beautiful old hankies. I have the hankies but not the time.
    Your blog header is so peaceful,I love it.

  27. What a legacy of quilts you have...The family history behind each work of art adds so much to the story. It is obvious from your post that you cherish each one. What a beautiful tribute...Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event. Blessings, Patty

  28. Congratulations Dayle,

    Your quilt party is a delightful success!

  29. I want to say thanks to all of you who shared your wonderful quilts and stories with me, and with those who stopped by or linked up. It was a great party.

  30. What a treasure trove of quilts you have...that anniversary quilt your Mum made is truly spectacular! I love them all! What a talented family of quilters you have. I've never made a quilt but I am just about to start putting together a small cot quilt for my first grand-daughter due next month. It will be simple but I'm still a little scared...I hope my sewing knowledge will see me through the process.

    Great post!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle