Our Latest Addition!

No, not another cat. I’ve mentioned before that Wife is a quilt maker, and a new one has just been finished. It’s called Aurorabearialis. All our quilts get names, as is traditional. First, a picture or two, (click to enlarge) then some details about it.

Aurorabearialis quilt on the bed

Aurorabearialis quilt, close-up 1

You can see where the name Aurorabearialis comes from. The greenish-orangish batik and the orange fabric represent the aurora, the bear-tree-fish fabric is the bear.

We both enjoy working on the quilts, I like the color-pattern-design aspect, Wife really enjoys the sewing and piecing part. So often I will pick fabrics and a design, then we go over the fabrics together, make adjustments and decide on a final design together. Then she gets to work cutting and assembling into a finished quilt, such as the one you see here.

This one: we were at a fabric store and I was wandering around while Wife was doing the real shopping for specific stuff. I saw the bear fabric, thought “cute kid fabric”, then I saw the dark bear paws fabric, and the gold, and saw other possibilities. I ended up buying all the fabrics you see in the quilt and a few weeks later began working on the block and overall designs.

That was about a year ago, and when this project’s turn came – there are always one or two quilts in progress – we went over the fabrics and design a last time and then she made it. This one took about 8 weeks. Here’s one more picture, showing a closeup of the quilting, the gold band has bear paws quilting in it:

Aurorabearialis close-up 2

We have a professional quilter do the quilting on anything over about 36″ square. She does a great job for us.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Personal Opinion, Quilts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Our Latest Addition!

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Very nice. My mother made quilts. We have several of them. I have no skills in that area, myself.

  2. Richard says:

    Bill – I’m pretty good with pattern, color and design. I can’t sew worth a hoot, though.

  3. Chris says:

    You’re a better man than me. I can’t abide spending time in fabric stores, especially the big chain ones. I tend to sit in the parking lot reading while Julia does her thing inside.

    I think it’s cool how you collaborate with your wife on it, though. That’s great.

  4. Richard says:

    Chris – I see it the same as being in an an art supply store (I love those, a result of having an MFA, I guess). If it was for clothes, curtains, or non-quilt stuff, I’d be out in the car too.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Wow. Very impressive. Really nice job and I like the bears.

  6. Richard says:

    Jeff – thanks! It’s nice and warm too, a good thing with Autumn in the air.

  7. william says:

    Most attractive, pleasing to the eye. One thing I like about quilts is that they are useful in every day life. Just the thing to keep you warm when it’s a bit too chilly. Cats love to sleep on them. Beauty and utility wrapped together.

  8. Richard says:

    william – precisely! You are certainly right about the cats — they prefer a quilt to any other spot in the house. It’s really exciting that my wife will have a good large space for a quilt studio in the new house, it was one of our highest priorities when looking.

  9. Patti Abbott says:

    I used to make quilts–although none as gorgeous as this–until my thumbs gave out from holding a quilting frame. A wonderful way to bring something useful and beautiful into this world. My husband actually included a chapter on quilts in his book on communities because quilt-making created a community in many new towns in the West. I never miss a quilt show and saw a great one in Paris. Some barely seem like quilts at all and others quite traditional. I love the colors and patterns in this one. I’ll take a picture of some of mine some time.

  10. We have a quilt on our living room wall. My son Patrick is a quilter when he finds time. You and your wife do good work!

  11. Evan Lewis says:

    I thought you had a live-in professional quilter.

  12. Cap'n Bob says:

    I think it’s incredible that she can do all that sewing, and your layouts are damn fine, Rick. My maternal grandmother made lace tablecloths and doilies that were true works of art, and she had the patterns in her head–no cheat sheets or anything. I wish she’d given me one.

  13. Carl V. says:

    Lovely colors and patterns. Your wife did a fantastic job. And of course the name is just great! While I don’t decorate with quilts, I have always liked them, what they represent both from a nostalgic standpoint and from the fact that all that work goes into them. Great new addition, and much easier to move than a cat!

  14. Richard says:

    Thanks, Bob. By the way, we don’t mention her name out here in blog land. I’ll bet those lace items were a knockout.

    Carl – thanks, yes she did. Also thanks for noticing the clever name (my doing, I’m afraid). We really like the more traditional pieced block quilts to the more avante gard “art quilts” with freeform designs. Tradition and all that.

  15. Beautiful quilt. I need to alert my sister to your blog. She’s a quilt maker herself, inheriting her talent from our mother, who got hers from her mother. She has our grandmother’s frame work.

  16. Richard says:

    Patti & Randy – thanks very much for the compliments. There are no frames used here. The quilts are designed the old fashioned way – on graph paper, not a computer program – then Wife figures all the individual piece sizes (+ 1/4 inch seam allowance!), cuts the whole thing, then machine pieces it, bit by bit, then row by row. We lay out finished blocks on a design board I rigged up (a much better and bigger one will be in the new quilt studio, in the Portland house). All she does by hand is the last step, adding the binding around the outside after the quilt is sandwiched and quilted (also by machine, either ours or the massive long-arm machine of the quilter we use).

  17. I failed to mention that my sister makes them com[pletely by hand as well, starting out sewing individual pieces into a block, making a number of those blocks, and eventually getting to sewing them together. I don’t know the whole process, with the backing and all, as I have zero talent in that direction.

    Now I used to do macrame…

  18. Cap'n Bob says:

    Your secret is safe with me, Clark. From now on, that is.

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