August 31, 2019

Southwest Quilt

This quilt was dreamed up when a professor I taught with at the dental school told me he’d probably retire in 3 years. To me, that’s a signal to at least have a quilt plan in place, but might include having the fabric bought and waiting on my shelf. I pinned a ton of southwest style quilts, but most used just a few colors in their patterns. Knowing the vibrant colors that this colleague uses in his paintings of cowboys, Indians, horses, Buffalo, etc., I needed a quilt pattern with repeating blocks of various colors, and this quilt from Linda Miller that I found on Flickr was quickly my favorite. 

With no pattern, this plan began a frenzy of internet searches for helpful tutorials to make the center square and ALL the 1/2 square triangles I would need to make each block. I  used this tutorial, minus the "tilted" part to achieve the center striped square.  This video from Missouri Star was also very helpful.  There was also a late night discovery of these fantastic textured solids at Connecting Threads that were on clearance, so I stayed up really late one night planning and choosing colors for a quilt I had no pattern for. I hemmed and hawed over which striped fabric to use and then happened upon a stripe at Hobby Lobby and picked up a Southwest backing while I was there. I had a plan, but I needed help, and luckily, a fellow dentist and quilter agreed to do the job, to honor the friend that connected the two of us in the first place. So I drew up a “pattern” for her to follow, precut the pieces, and shipped her part off to Kansas. 

I’ve never been a part of a swap or anything like this, so this was definitely new territory! 

But it all worked out fabulously well, I received her blocks back here in Texas and got to work putting it all together!  I had some lightweight denim to do the border, given to me by a lady who donated fabric to our church group (it was rejected by the group for their donation quilts, so it needed a home!).  I tried this light colored denim first, and quickly cut out the darker shade.

It all just came together!  Well, long story short, it’s a good thing I got my act together and got this moving because he decided to retire in three months instead of three years!  The race was on to hand quilt it, but it all turned out well in the end and it was a blessing to honor this friend that guided so many of us academically and spiritually through a very trying time in our lives, and beyond.

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