Saturday, October 29, 2011

What a Hoot!

Well isn't this a nice surprise! I discovered from BillieBee's Blog that there is another quilt show, with a particular emphasis on telling the story behind the quilts.

Those of you who know me know that I am legally blind and therefore those descriptions and stories behind quilts (and any other fabrications!) is what matters most to me!

So I jumped straight on to my blog to write this entry! The show is Blogger's Quilt Festival (Fall 2011) over at Amy's Creative Side so get on over and look at all the lovely quilty things, and if you've got one of your own to show and tell, go write your own story post for the festival!

Hopefully this code will put a button to blog in my post:
Amy's Creative Side

So here it is, my first quilt. It's the only one I have to show, though quilt number 2 is well in progress! I was thrilled when it recently took 3rd place in the Men Quilt Too! show on Pigtales and Quilts blog, and although I've rambled about it on my blog, I haven't really sat down and told its tale succinctly in one place!

So let's start with the quilt. Here it is,

Owls All Around


photo of the quilt with a sneak peek glimpse of the reverse shown in a superimposed circle

another photo of the quilt top, looking from a standing perspective at it laid out on the lounge floor

and finally a photo of the reverse of the quilt, showing the material with many owls alternating with apples. From what I recall the owls are various colors and the apples are kind of a cross-hatch pattern

It measures approximately 72"tall by 45" wide. The top is hand stitched, and then I used my Brother sewing machine to do some basic quilting in the ditch, and then adding the binding. I began this quilt back in Atlanta where I was at the end of some vision rehab training helping teach me how to do daily things and work tasks with my limited sight. I have played the piano for around 30 years, and had recently been realising that I would find it difficult to play that well now I couldn't really see the music or the keys! When the center's quilt club re-started it was perfect timing for me to get back into doing something creative, so I signed up!

It was great to be part of a quilt group, especially one where the other attendees had similar visual difficulties to me. With the help of a couple of sighted supervisors we all managed to make great progress with our projects! They selected a bunch of squares for me, based on my color preferences, and helped me pair the squares up and start sewing them together.

A couple of weeks and in I was exploring Intown Quilters, a nice local quilt store in Decatur, GA, and found a fat quarter with some very cute owls on in colors that complemented my quilt squares. So they became part of the quilt top, and when it came time to do the backing I selected an owl fabric to make the quilt reversible and that's how the quilt eventually came to be called Owls All Around!

Of course I'm jumping the gun a little... shortly after starting the Atlanta club I got a job way up north in Rochester, NY so quilting got put on hold while we packed and moved and settled in to our new apartment!

Jump forward into September and the deadline for Thearica's Men Quilt Too show was looming, and I managed to get all the final touches done and my quilt entered in the competition! It was one amongst almost 30 entries from male quilters, and it was fantastic to meet so many other men doing great quilty things! I can't wait for next year's show!!

So this quilt celebrates a lot of things. It's the result of wanting to find something creative that I could do even with little sight... and as time goes on I'm managing with less and less help... but it's also the result of having lots of help and encouragement from people, friends and family, some of whom I've known a long time and others just a matter of months having met them through their blogs!

And obviously it's my first quilt so has to have a special place! I love its littered mitred bindings, the abundance of owls, but most importantly all the people who helped me get it made, and the fact that it's opened the door to the world of quilting for me!

I've enjoyed getting to show and tell about the quilt at Irondequoit Quilt Club which I've just joined, and talking about it to other quilters at the Elma Quilt Show, and hopefully at the forthcoming Lockport show (Nov 4-6).

You can follow the whole process of my Owls All Around quilt by reading back through the older posts in my blog, Touch And Sew and please, if you follow me, do leave a comment because that makes it much easier for me to find your blog so I can follow you back :)

Happy quilting!



  1. You really did a fantastic job with that Giles, look forward to seeing your next project!

  2. Ooooh! Get you! Entering all these competitions! Good Luck! Will go and check it out now.

    I've always said how proud I am of you, you make us sighted people seem rather lazy in comparison! I'm eagerly awaiting your next quilt!

  3. Loved reading the story behind your fabulous first quilt and well done on getting third place in the competition - I've somehow missed that news!!

  4. I love that owl fabric too, I've got a horrible mental block on using it as I want to "save it for best" (What best is I have no idea!)

  5. Alrighty Giles! Glad to see you jump in. Love your quilt!

  6. Hey Giles I love your quilt and your enthusiasm for quilting, keep sewing!!

  7. I have jumped over from Quilter in the Gap after listening to Rhonda's podcast with you. Owls all around is a wonderful quilt and I was happy to hear you won 3rd place in the competition! I look forward to seeing what your next project is!

  8. Congratulations on your first quilt! I love owls, too, but I haven´t got any in my stash. I read your story behind the quilt and I realized that yours is the greatest achievement of the whole festival. Keep it up! I am looking forward to seeing your next quilt in the Spring Festival.

  9. Love the story and the the quilt!

  10. Hi! Your first quilt is wonderful! Great work and I'm looking for your next quilt!
    Wishes from Greece!

  11. Your story fascinates me for many being my little granddaughter has achromatopsia. We found this out just after i'd pieced a beautiful strata quilt top with the feeling of rainbows. I still haven't been able to really go back to it...someday. She's plucky and as long as she's either in low light or wearing her sunglasses, she does really well. I love that you're making quilts. It's such a positive example for me! Thanks for sharing your owls quilt and have a great day

  12. i love this quilt giles. it is so inspiring to me. it really is lovely! so excited for your third place finish also! good good work!

  13. Fun! Looking forward to seeing your next quilt in the spring bloggers quilt festival. :P

  14. Nice summary of the process I've been reading about the last several days! Rainy Days - next quilt show!