Friday, May 25, 2012

A Little About Me


Today is my birthday and I decided to do something different. Instead of promoting my books, I thought I'd talk a little about one of my hobbies instead of my books. That's right, you won't find an excerpt or anything about any of my books on this blog. It's all about me.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing is embroidery. Another is quilting. I’ve found a way to combine the two. First, I made baby quilts for my nieces. White on white, I machine embroidered them with the darning stitch so I had control. They turned out really nice, but I really love to hand embroidery. That’s when I discovered red-work. During a quilting shop-hop, one of the stores highlighted red-work. For those who don’t know what red-work is – it’s embroidery done in all red floss. Just the outline of the picture, not filled in like other embroidery patterns. Anyway, I fell in love with it.


Every year I make something for Christmas (usually a Santa) for my children and give it to them on Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s ceramic, sometimes wood. I found a Santa pattern and did it all in red-work, framed it and gave it to them one year.


That’s when I decided to make a baby quilt for each of my grandchildren – not for them, but for their first born. I had already made lap quilts for each of child and grandchild. But where to find patterns? I started out with coloring books for designs. I traced the images onto 12x12 squares of muslin.  After I finished embroidering the squares, I cut sashing and sewed them together. For the backing I used various fabrics, not nursery print. None of the quilts have nursery fabric in them at all. I used patterns from zoo animals to Winnie the Pooh.
Eventually, I found transfer books and used them for designs. I looked everywhere for baby designs. Thirteen of them are finished, but I now have 14 grandchildren, that’s a lot of baby quilts. Most of the quilts are done in red work, but several are done with various colors of embroidery floss, too. I recently finished the quilt top of the 14th. Now, I have to put it together and quilt it. That's a project for winter.
The others have been finished for a couple of years. It took a several years to embroider all the squares and put them together. 


I also made quilts for my niece’s twins. One of the patterns is kittens and the other is bunnies. She had a girl and boy, so I thought the bunnies would be good for him. Recently, she another child. A boy–so I just finished baby animals one for him. Now I have to get it over to her, hopefully within the next week or two.


I gave my first grandchild’s quilt to my oldest granddaughter, who had a baby boy, my first great grandchild. 
With another granddaughter married and one soon to be, maybe I'll be giving two more away soon. I’ve marked each quilt with the name of the grandchild they’re supposed to go to in case I’m not around to give it to them. My daughters have been instructed to pass them out. I hope I’m still around to give each child their quilt, but if I’m not they’ll each have a piece of me for their children. I hope they treasure them.Below is a collage of a few of the ones I made.



 To store them, I put them in large bag from a store bought quilt. Yes, I bought a quilt for my bed. But I did make one too, I embroidered wild flowers in each square – and yes, I filled them in, not just outlined. I put it on my bed in the summer. It took over a year to embroider all the flowers, but it was worth it. Besides, I have nothing better to do in the evening while I’m watching TV. That’s the nice thing about embroidery, you can sit in front of the TV and still work on it. The hard part was quilting it.

So now you know a little more about me. I'm not just an author, I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Yes, I enjoy writing, but my family is my first love. 

If you’d like to know more about me or my books, check out my website www.roseannedowell.com and you can find my books at Amazon   http://amzn.to/tnqgR2



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