Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baby's First Christmas Quilt

This is a baby quilt for my neighbor's baby, a little boy, born this past February. The pattern is Dapper Canon from "Simply Retro" by Camille Roskelley. I have already made this quilt once in another colorway. and liked it enough to make it again. It goes together easily and quickly. The fabrics are from Storybook by Kate and Birdie for Moda Fabrics.

I have been plugging away at my English paper pieced hexagons as well as the Lady of Shalott quilt by Ricky Tims. That one is a chore for me at present as I labor away at the tiny blanket stitching that goes around each and every applique - and the thing is covered in it. I am looking forward to next Friday when I give dive head first into Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery quilt for 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Plugging Away at the Lady

I have been plugging away, slowly but surely, on this Ricky Tims' project, Lady of Shallott. It is a Rhapsody  design, for those who are familiar with this aspect of Ricky's work. It is a slow process because the double blanket stitch around the appliqued pieces cannot be done quickly - at least not by  me.

I am learning a lot and hope to design my own Rhapsody quilt one day, I have an inspiration photo taken at the Russian Chapel in Darmstadt, Germany several years ago when my husband and I visited the site.

This is a lovely gem of a chapel, built by the German royal cousins of the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia. Tzarina Alexandra was a native of Germany and she used this chapel when she visited her family in Germany. The chapel has beautiful tile work under the gold decoration at the top of the walls. Turquoise is a prominent color, Directly beneath the turquoise tile work are half moon "lunas" with more detailed tile work. A close up of one of the lunas, taken by my husband with a telephoto lens, is my inspiration for the applique that I hope to incorporate one day in my own Rhapsody quilt.

You can read about the chapel here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

My favorite (so far) Halloween quilt. It is named "Owen's Quilt" in honor of a favorite young man whose birthday is Halloween.

While on retreat, I finally finished this quilt top. All it needed was the final border. Guess this tells you how much I hate sewing on borders, huh? I can't lay my hands on the book at the moment (imagine that), but will post the name of the pattern when I find it. It's done in modern Christmas fabrics.

The day lily wall hanging has also been completed. Now it goes into the pile "to be quilted someday."

Last but not least, two veggie blocks are finished and the third one started for the kitchen wall hanging. Both the lilies and the veggies are patterns by Ruth McDowell. I would have been well advised to have made the corn block larger. Both for aesthetic reasons and for ease of piecing. It's giving me fits. Lots of steam being applied.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day Lilies

I began working on these day lilies several years ago. Three flowers were completed and then the project sat in the "time out" box until this week. I went on a quilt retreat with three friends to a summer cottage owned by one of them. I love these home made retreats the best. We were blessed with lovely Indian summer weather and I pulled out this project box to take along. The lily in the upper right quadrant is not quite finished. I hope to finish it tomorrow. Then a decision will have to be made as to what to do with them. They are from Ruth McDowell's book, "Pieced Flowers." I so enjoy making these that I believe that I will make a triptych of pieced vegetables next. There is a perfect wall in my kitchen that is begging for some adornment.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ready for Bonnie

I'm ready for Bonnie Hunter's "Grand Illusion" mystery quilt. The first clue will be posted on Friday, November 28, 2014. All the introductory information is here. Fabrics, with the exception of the yellow yardage, were pulled from my stash. Truth be told, I could have pulled that as well but Bonnie is using one fabric for the yellow in the mystery quilt, so I decided to do the same. That required a small bit of fabric shopping while I was away in San Diego. Bonnie Hunter was in San Diego during the week I was there, but with all there was to do at my brother's house, I didn't feel I wanted to take the time to attend her lectures. I will catch up with her next fall when she will be here in St. Louis in conjunction with the Quintessential Quilt Show put on by Circle in the Square Quilt Guild.

Back in May I had visited my brother in the East Bay of northern California to help with packing up and moving to southern California. This trip was to help him and his wife unpack. It was a big job and we didn't get accomplished as much as I had hoped. It's trickier unpacking than packing in some ways. Decisions about where things need to go have to be done by the people living in the house. Then, just when you think you have figured it out, another box is opened and you have to rethink what you just did. Sometimes things have to be moved again to make a sensible arrangement.

I did of lot of citrus picking and eating, though. There are 30 fruit trees on my brother's property. Mostly they are citrus of every type plus five avocado trees. We ate fresh grapefruit every morning. Sometimes as a snack again in the afternoon. Limes for beverages. And the promise of many juicy mornings to come as soon as the navel oranges ripen in January.

The days were sunny and warm with misty mornings and cool nights. Perfect weather. Except for the lack of rain.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Final Layout and Possible Borders

I finished sewing the blocks together on the Stepping Stones project. I have a piece of Kaffe Fassett fabric pinned up on the right that I am thinking of using for the borders. It is for another project, but I think I can get more, or something similar. The magenta strip was pinned up just to see if I want another smallish inner border before the final floral one. That is not the color that will be used. If I decide to make another border, it will probably be the purple that is in several of the blocks in the quilt top.

Margaret, this is for you. You wondered at the sharp long points, and here is how it's done. They are paper pieced. As you can see, some of the paper has been removed as the sections were sewn together. No reason to pick out tiny bits from the seams later if it can be helped. That will be a little project to do one of these evening in front of the television. By the way, this is a Judy Niemeyer pattern.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Stepping Stones Progressing

I am fiddling around with the final layout for "Stepping Stones", which was started back in August at a Judy Niemeyer workshop hosted by my guild. The instructor was May Snook of Rolla, MO. The blocks still need  the remainder of the sashings plus a border. The pattern calls for a piano key border, but not being a fan of that style, I will probably come up with something else.