On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Don’t let the blurb about On the Road confuse you – this isn’t an On the Road post, it’s the first of several posts that will feature some of our many Balloon Juice “creatives”. We’re just using the OTR form for ease of submission, and we are tagging these as Artists in Our Midst.
We had planned for the first Artists in Our Midst featured artist to be Steve from Mendocino, sharing his photography with us. But this submission came in with a special offer, so we will run two this weekend, and then go with one a week after that.
I made my first quilt when I was 12 years old. I still have it. The workmanship is what one would expect from a first attempt (not too great) but I kept making quilts. I made a few quilts, here and there, in my 20s and 30s, but quilt making back in the day was rather tedious — no rotary cutters! Pattern pieces were traced using cardboard templates and cut with scissors. Quilting was done by hand, and was very time consuming. Now we have great tools – rotary cutters, specialized rulers and affordable quilting machines. And I am lucky that I have all the tools!
I retired from teaching 8th grade science about five years ago. Teaching science allowed me to be very creative, so when I left the profession, I had to channel that desire for creativity – and making quilts really filled the bill. I work on some aspect of quilting every day I can and I love it. I make quilt tops – sometimes I use a published pattern, sometimes I design my own pattern, I quilt my quilt tops, and I quilt tops other people have made. My avocation has become my vocation, I guess!
Switching gears for a moment, I would like to make you an offer. Many of us here are very concerned with some of the things we see happening in our country (voter suppression is just one of those things). I’d like to help folks who are working to get people voting – Voces de la Frontera.
Here is my proposal. I will donate the cost of one quilt to Voces. Here’s how it would work; it will involve a lottery/drawing. Let me know – in the comments on this post or by sending email to WaterGirl – if you are interested in buying a quilt from my store, with the proceeds to go to Voces. Or you can purchase a quilt on my Etsy site, putting “Balloon Juice” in the comments. Either way, you will be entered in the drawing, and for the winner, I will donate the purchase price to Voces, in your name.
The deadline: To be entered into the drawing, either 1) comment on this thread, 2) send email to WaterGirl, or 3) purchase a quilt on my Etsy store by 10am Eastern time on Monday, July 12.
The winner will be announced on Monday evening.
If you “purchase” a quilt on my site by Monday morning at 10am, and you only want the quilt if the proceeds can go to Voces, I can refund your payment if you are not the winner.
Here is the link to my Etsy store:
Broken Star Quilt. A traditional quilt pattern. Not an easy nor quick quilt, but worth the time.
Arkansas Traveler. Old quilt pattern, goes by many names. A classic “scrappy” quilt. Back in the day, women didn’t buy material to make quilts, they used what they had left from making clothing or cutting up old clothes.
I designed this quilt for my bed. An example of a sampler quilt – different kinds of quilt blocks tied together by a specific color scheme. Lots of math involved!
Quilt featuring foundation paper piecing. Foundation paper piecing is sewing fabric onto a paper pattern, then tearing the paper away. Can make very difficult patterns easy.
Purple Cat Quilt – I designed this, well, I used many of my purchased cat block patterns and put them all together. A crazy, hot mess. I made it for myself, but it was given away to a young relative as a bridal gift – she chose it out of all my quilts, and she loved it. Quilts are best when they are loved.
Custom quilt for an Etsy customer. She wanted blocks in the quilt to represent two cats she has now, and a beloved cat of 18 years that had passed away.
I don’t work alone! I have a supervisor, Baby. She takes her job very seriously, as you can see.
If you would like to see some of the quilts I’ve made over the past 20 years, feel free to check me out on Pinterest.