Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Lighthouse for starters…

In the 1994, I had moved back to the Midwest to get closer to my family. In 1995, we had decided apartment living just was no longer for us so we decided to get into a house. We had hoped for a medium sized house since most of the time there would probably be just Greg and I but there just wasn’t much on the market when we were looking. What was on the market was either too small or big. There was nothing in between which would work for our blended family. Greg had three young daughters and I had grown sons. While rarely were we “all” together, his and mine, but it did happen on occasion and we wanted enough room for when that happened. So we ended up with a fairly large home which was built in 1902.

Our house as it looked in 1995

In the dining room, on one wall we have a fireplace, a big huge white brick fireplace. The previous owners decided to paint the brick so we have this big white wall. I was struggling with what to do with the “white fireplace”.

The company which I worked for had a photo contest every year, and the photos which were deemed the “best”, were made into a calendar. I always hung it in my office because it was a really nice “free” calendar. All company employees got a calendar for Christmas. When I turned the calendar from June to July, there it was, a really great photo of the “Chicago Lighthouse”. “What a prefect fit”, I thought. I had just moved from Phoenix to Chicago a few years before and I have always loved lighthouses. People probably thought I was a bit strange, when they walked into my home in Phoenix and saw that I had used lighthouses to decorate my kitchen in the desert. When you really love something you can’t just throw it away because you changed locations…I loved the desert and eventually did do some desert type decorating but…for a time I had lighthouses in the desert. Now I am back in the Midwest and my lighthouse fit again! When I saw the Chicago Lighthouse in the calendar it was like a “lightbulb” came on! I just knew I could make a wall hanging out of it.

I went my local newspaper office and bought a bolt end of news print. When a newspaper gets close to the end of a bolt of paper and they know that they cannot complete a run of the paper, they switch out the bolt of newsprint for a new full one. The remaining partial roll is set off to the side and they will generally sell them to the public. The bolt ends work great for people who need a large piece of paper to make a pattern out of or if you want to make a really big picture. I have found many other uses for this paper; covering large surfaces when you are painting, painting for small children, table covers for a messy project, drop cloth for spray painting, You get the idea. It is a cheap solution. A newspaper will sell them for a couple of dollars. I try to keep one or two handy all the time.

Anyway I got side tracked, so my very first quilt was born from a photo taken by a coworker. I kept the picture from the calendar for the longest time but right now I can’t find it. I drew out the pattern and hunted for fabric. I really had no idea what the heck I was doing but I needed a light house to hang on my fireplace and I was gonna get it!


It was a challenge and I made several mistakes and realized that I had no clue what I was doing! But I made it and decided that I liked quilting enough to really go learn how to do it correctly. I signed up for my first class!

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