Thursday, October 22, 2015

TBT - Callaliope

Funny Things Happened on the Way to Guild

Early in my quilting career I discovered Quilter's Attic in Goodlettsville, TN, the closest local quilt shop at the time. I don't recall where I heard of them but I do remember that in 2001 I purchased the fabric for my first finished quilt (Double Pinwheel) there.  That's also where I learned about my first guild from a little brochure next to the cash register.  While the shop has changed hands a couple of times, it still thrives in the ancient building that is it's second home.

Bethany Reynolds had just introduced her Magic Stack 'n' Whack technique a few years before and I was intrigued by the kaleidoscopic look of her designs. When a class was being offered at Quilter's Attic, I jumped at the chance. 

I must have had the fabric requirements in mind when I purchased the fabric -- a very large calla lily on a dark purple background -- because otherwise I can't imagine why I would have bought such a large amount of such a bold print!

The pattern we used was "Half-Square Triangle Magic" from Bethany's first book. After we mastered the stacking and whacking, construction of the blocks began.

If you've ever done a kaleidoscope quilt you know how addictive it can be, wanting to see how the next block will look.

I had no idea what to use for the background.  In fact, the teacher recommended we wait till we had a few blocks mocked up before choosing a background (more sales for the shop!).  All I could find that supported the colors in the blocks was a bold yellow with a purple dot in it. Decision made, construction continued.

After I had the blocks made I was auditioning their position in the quilt on the den floor with help from my husband.  Since none of these colors was in my home's decor, either then or now, I made the comment that I didn't know WHO could possibly want this quilt. To which my husband replied, "you're not giving that quilt away!"

Alex's Quilt - Callaliope
When I proudly showed the quilt at the next guild meeting, someone in the back of the room said, "I would never have used THAT fabric!" I assumed she was referring to the background.  I was hurt and it was a long time before I ever showed anything again.  (Note to Self: be careful what you say about a quilt.)  Now, with the passage of time, I want to interpret her comment as a compliment, as in "Wow, I would never have thought to use such a lovely fabric in the background!"

It's been almost 15 years and my husband naps under that quilt every day.

Linking up with Krista Quilts and Jen at A Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday.


  1. I know what you mean about thoughtless comments. Just a short time after i had joined a quilt guild, I was working on a wallhanging and some one walked by and made a comment about "short attention span". There are lots of reasons to make a wallhanging instead of a large quilt. My motto is that you can always find something positive to comment on a quilt, but if anyone asks for my personal opinion I will give it in as creative and positive a manor as possible. By the way, your quilt is lovely and your best critic (your husband) has given it a blue ribbon.

  2. What a great quilt! And what a great story.
    Glad your husband enjoys the quilt so much.

  3. Love this quilt! Sometimes you just have to go with a fabric that speaks to you and figure the rest out later. Sharon B in Franklin

  4. I like your new interpretation of the comment. And I love your quilt - and I'm glad your hubby does too.
    I've overheard many comments at quilt shows, some unkind, and you never know if a stranger nearby is the maker of the quilt. I would feel terrible if the maker heard something unkind about their quilt. If you can't say something nice...

  5. Very bright and fun quilt. It's always great when someone claims a quilt as their own and then uses it every day.

  6. Ah... your post took me back. I made a few Double Pinwheels à la Eleanor Burns back in the day and I remember a wild and crazy Stack n' Whack that my friend whipped up. Obviously that lady at the back didn't know that the wilder your print the better your Stack n' Whack! And thank goodness your husband demanded that it stay. Think of all the naps that would have been lost! Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

  7. What a great re-interpretation of the comment from your guild meeting. Nothing matters more than the fact that the quilt has been used and loved, and the fact that your husband has appreciated it from day one is awesome!

  8. Well done Libby! I love that your quilt is still being used by your husband...just what quilts are for! As for the comment, in the end I think you took it the right way. I feel like I may have said that same comment and mean't it as a great compliment!!

  9. I love looking at stack and whack quilts. I always stare at them in amazement wondering how you did it. I love that you turned that comment into a complement. It took forever for me to build enough courage to share something at my guild meeting. And the fact that your husband staked his claim to the quilt from the beginning makes me smile. Too cute :)

  10. I'm really intrigued by your kaleidoscopes and how so many designs can come from one fabric. You used complementary colors in your quilt, so you should have received nothing but compliments! I love longevity in use of quilts, so I'm tickled that your husband still uses it every day.

  11. I do remember this technique and yes, hubbies do have a way of claiming a quilt!

  12. Ah, good old stack and whack! I really like the sunny background, so there. And it's your creation, so who cares what others think! Thanks for sharing, it's great that it is o well loved.

  13. Your quilt is gorgeous! Hurray for supportive husbands.


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