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Inspiration Board : A Love Letter to My Mom's Quilts

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Daryle Earl (a.k.a. My Mom) has been quilting for 35 years - her first quilt being a baby quilt for me.  I remember my mom hand-piecing quilt blocks on the beach in the summers while she watched me frolic in the ocean, and the giant quilt hoop in her lap (usually with a cat underneath it) in the winters. My young life was consistently decorated with the shapes and colors of her projects, and I am sure that has something if not everything to do with how I make my living now.

the guest room quilt (and my son's bunny)

I learned from my mom that to truly master an heirloom craft, you have to enjoy actually doing it - and not just itch for the finished product. I give this advice to anyone who wants to take up quilting or any other long-term craft project. So my mom must REALLY like quilting, because in the time she's been a quilter, she's made dozens upon dozens of beautiful quilts.

hand-quilting the border of a current project

You'll notice my mom's work tends toward the traditional American pieced quilt, which I love. However, even though she started out exclusively hand-piecing and hand-quilting, she has since delved into (and mastered) machine-piecing, machine-quilting, hand- and machine-applique, embellishing and dyeing, and myriad other techniques.

sunflower hand-applique

I am so inspired by her quilts and I wanted to take some photos for both her and me to show off - and she generously agreed to let me also share them here. Click through the gallery below to see more (but only a fraction of!) her beautiful pieces.

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The bed in

1 The bed in "my" room - log cabin design in my favorite color.

A second, appliqued quilt in the same colors drapes the bottom of the previous

2 A second, appliqued quilt in the same colors drapes the bottom of the previous

Even the bathroom has a quilted wall hanging! I recognize these as my favorite

3 Even the bathroom has a quilted wall hanging! I recognize these as my favorite "pineapple" blocks.

A beautiful pillow in the living room.

4 A beautiful pillow in the living room.

Another wall hanging - a little town with ribbon-embroidered weeping williows.

5 Another wall hanging - a little town with ribbon-embroidered weeping williows.

The well-loved blue-and-white quilt that draped my bed in elementary school is now a perch for the cats.

6 The well-loved blue-and-white quilt that draped my bed in elementary school is now a perch for the cats.

Perfect sunroom pillows

7 Perfect sunroom pillows

Piecing in progress in the dining room ...

8 Piecing in progress in the dining room ...

Inspired by this LL Bean quilt (I think hers is better, and it's made in the USA!)

9 Inspired by this LL Bean quilt (I think hers is better, and it's made in the USA!)

A jelly roll and some scraps neatly collected

10 A jelly roll and some scraps neatly collected

A long-arm machine for quilting the big stuff - one quilt is usually on this while another is being quilted by hand.

11 A long-arm machine for quilting the big stuff - one quilt is usually on this while another is being quilted by hand.

Blue pillows (I made the top - not as good - one).

12 Blue pillows (I made the top - not as good - one).

Probably my favorite pillow.

13 Probably my favorite pillow.

Paper-pieced american flag above the mantle. Glorious!

14 Paper-pieced american flag above the mantle. Glorious!

A quilt drapes the banister in the stairway - of course. Like in most houses.

15 A quilt drapes the banister in the stairway - of course. Like in most houses.

The other side

16 The other side

The perfection of these corners almost makes my head explode.

17 The perfection of these corners almost makes my head explode.

A pillow to match almost every bedspread - this one has ferns machine-quilted in the center.

18 A pillow to match almost every bedspread - this one has ferns machine-quilted in the center.

Hand-quilted medallion within each block

19 Hand-quilted medallion within each block

A white-on-white quilt drapes the bottom of this bed.

20 A white-on-white quilt drapes the bottom of this bed.

White on white HAND-quilting. I am amazed.

21 White on white HAND-quilting. I am amazed.

omg.

22 omg.

I love this new quilt. The colors remind me Bermuda.

23 I love this new quilt. The colors remind me Bermuda.

Appliqued leaves surround the border.

24 Appliqued leaves surround the border.

Machine-quilted leaves pick up the border motif within the quilt.

25 Machine-quilted leaves pick up the border motif within the quilt.

A mat for the center of the kitchen table - salt and pepper goes within the diamond!

26 A mat for the center of the kitchen table - salt and pepper goes within the diamond!

Even the fax machine (?) gets a quilt.

27 Even the fax machine (?) gets a quilt.


Comments (9)

  • Wow - those are gorgeous!

  • Lovely! What a fantastic collection, she is talented.

  • What a wonderful legacy!! And, what an amazing inspiration!!

  • I must say these are the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen. I am truly inspired by your mother's talent! I started to think about making a quilt when I was pregnant, I want to make one for the baby as a keepsake. I was daunted by the hand quilting (it looks very difficult) and I am more than a little afraid of my sewing machine, so I have been putting it off. I have to say it moved me to read how much your mom inspired you, and I can only hope that someday my child will feel the same way about me. Time to get out those quilt supplies and dive into something new. Thank you!

  • What a lovely body of work.

  • What a lovely tribute to your mother. I'm certain she inspired in you a love of simple perfection, beauty, and the joy of making things.

  • Love Love Love the Quilts! I'm in the market for a solid white one. Any available for purchase?

  • Wow,you are so lucky to be able to have the quilt of your pick, I absolutely love the sunflower one and the white on white. What a talented lady. These will be absolutely priceless to your family. god bless

  • love all your crafts; apsolutely fabulous. Keep them coming. Happy Thanksgiving!

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