Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One Down, a Few Dozen Left to Go!

I am happy to say that another one of my UFOs became a completed quilt this morning! I started this quilt about two and a half years ago. That's a long time, I know! It was meant to be a 'teaching' quilt. A friend of mine wanted to learn to do this 'Quilt as you Go' technique. After I had cut all the fabric, she decided that it was too complicated for her. I decided to finish it anyway. It really isn't complicated at all! I used a Christmas bear design for my focus fabric. Then I used up all kinds of scraps from my stash. It was fun to make, even though I had to put it down several times when life got in the way. This quilt measures 53in. x 66in. (135cm x 168cm) It will add to my Christmas decorations this year and will keep us warm while watching those great seasonal programs. I can hardly wait for the Grinch who stole Christmas and Charlie Brown!This is the back of the quilt. I used a variety of Christmas fabrics. Each 6 1/2in square was constructed individually, then joined with strips of sashing which had to hand sewn on the back. Everything else was done by machine. The pattern for this quilt came from a 'Simon Says' technique which Irene Dewar taught a few years ago at the Quilter's Garden. I really like this method because the quilt doesn't have to be sandwiched and then quilted. Everything is done in one step. I made this quilt with Irene using a 'Dick and Jane' fabric.

This fabric was really cute and reminded me of my early school years here in Canada. That is not to say that they were fond memories! The fabric is copied from the Dick and Jane series of the 'Early Readers' used in Toronto schools during the late 50's. Fortunately these readers are no longer used today!

I immigrated to Canada in March of 1957 with my parents and sisters. In Holland, the country were I was born, I was in grade 3 at that time. When my parents went to enroll me at school here, the principal had no idea what to do with me! There were no ESL programs in the schools at that time. I was put into a grade 2 class, even though it was almost the end of the school year. I didn't speak a word of English, so I had to learn it. Each morning during language class, I had to read those 'stupid' umm I mean, fascinating Dick and Jane books. "See Dick! See Dick run! Come, Spot, come! See Jane!" OMG! I even had to take those dumb books home and practice reading with my parents - who were delighted with my dubious progress! I couldn't wait for June!
I was only able to get a few yards of this fabric. It was very popular when it first came out! I even ordered more, but found out that it was no longer being produced. Apparently the designer had 'stolen' the Dick and Jane pictures without permission. So I have fabric that is probably illegal! But that fits in perfectly with my memories of those books!
I used an allover star fabric for the back. This quilt measures approximately 40in. x 53in. (102cm x 135cm) I think I will save this one for a future grandchild - if there is one. I just couldn't give away all of these wonderful memories!


Rank said...

These quilts are fascinating, already only because of the accompanying background stories.
I do really not know much about quilting but find these quilts excellent.
They are so good I did not even miss Mimi or Oscar or Felix right away!!

Catherine said...

I love that quilt! It looks so perfect for cuddling up under while watching TV or reading!
Oh, how I remember those ridiculous Dick & Jane books! Amazing any of us read after that as an introduction!

nicolette said...

Both the quilts are fantabulous!!
They will keep you warm during December Holidays for sure!!

Love your Dick & Jane story!
I guess it’s like aap - noot - mies in Holland!

hakucho said...

Your quilts are amazing!! Love them all :) I have a quilt I started back when I was in college(grandmother's flower garden all stitched by hand)eons ago that I should finish....some day. I just don't love to sew like I love to knit ;)

Lynda said...

Here in the UK we had Dick and Dora. They were every bit as stupid and repetitious as your Canadian 'friends'! Luckily, reading books have come a long way since then, and are relevant, interesting and amusing. I too would be tempted to keep this quilt, as it's lovely!