Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know much of this backstory...but for those who are newer, let me share a little about Lois and the gifts that she left me.
Lois was a good friend of mine and my mom's who was in our bee. She had two sons who hadn't married and she and I took a shine to each other. She especially loved it when I had my first baby and started bringing her to bee. My kids were like grandkids to her - she loved holding them, flirting with them, and talking to them. A little over 6 years ago, Lois went in for a knee replacement and she never made it home. There were complications that spiraled uncontrollably and she lost her life on Dec 30th 2009. We still miss her in our bee for her wit, her directness, and her ability to keep us all in line!
She left me a great gift when she passed - one she'd told me about at bee several times, but I didn't actually believe until it happened. She left me her entire stash....which filled my minivan twice and my mom's expedition once. It was quite the stash - and she continued to buy as late as a few weeks before her knee surgery. It took me a full year to get my hands around it all, and in that year, I unearthed more than 55 unfinished projects. There were a few that had a specific recipient, so those were put at the top of the list, then several others that were really close to being done, and a few more that others in the bee thought they'd enjoy finishing. In the first two years after Lois' death, we passed on about 30 finished projects to her family, including a wedding quilt for one niece. Her sister has done a wonderful job of distributing each quilt to the right family member, sometimes because we knew who it was intended for, and sometimes because she knew who it would be the perfect fit for. It is time again to turn over a few more quilts to Lois' sister and I look forward to doing that next weekend. If you'd like to read more about this whole journey, you can click on Letters to Lois and read about the stash, see her UFOs, and a few more fun stories.
Now, on to quilt #12, the last quilt top that I quilted in 2015. It is the larger of two Irish chain wall hangings that were mostly pieced. I finished the tops and they both sat for a long time before I figured out how to quilt them. I did a custom job on the first one, and it was easy to maneuver because it was just a little bigger than the space I have available, so I could easily roll it just slightly back and forth on the frame. This second quilt is quite a bit larger. I decided for this one to do a big freehand loop design all over it, and I am pleased with the way it turned out. I used Superior Lava thread on top and a combination of Bottom Line and Robison-Anton in the bobbin. I did have to adjust the bobbin a little when I switched threads, but otherwise had no problems on this top. The batting was a scrap of Warm and White.
There wasn't enough fabric in the bag that the pieces had been in to make a binding, so I headed to the bin of green fabric and was surprised and thrilled to find the same green as the outer border in the bin, with plenty available to make the binding. I sewed the binding by machine and now it is ready to head back to her family next weekend. I sure hope the recipient of this one appreciates all the work Lois put into cutting and sewing back together these fabrics!