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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Borders On and a Guild Challenge



The borders are finally on this project. It's one of the more mundane, and - to me - boring tasks and I can procrastinate with the best of them. Now it gets moved to the "to quilt" pile.


This rather unpromising drawing is the jumping off point for our guild's quilt show challenge. This is the actual paper pattern and measures approximately 19" x 16". There are twelve of these patterns in the series and three series were made. This is the tip of a tree branch which extends across eleven other patterns, each one a bit different as you follow the branch back to the tree trunk. Each pattern has a different season and time of day. This one is Winter Night. Other than the finished size, which must meet the dimensions of the pattern, and the tree branch, which must also match the pattern, how the time of day and season are depicted is the choice of the individual challenge participant. 

You can depict a scene looking straight out at the horizon, up into the sky, or down at the ground. Anything can be placed in the background - landscape, sky, buildings, etc., or on the branch. I have figured out what I am going to do, so the hardest part (ha! famous last words?) is done. All that's left is the execution. The completed piece has to be a finished quilt, i.e., three layers quilted and bound. The deadline is January.

The background pieces I put together and posted here, went into the reject pile. What I envisioned as looking like African landscape turned out to be entirely too somber and muddy. The fabrics for the elephant either clashed terribly with the the background or dissolved into it. It was a disaster. Plan #2 is to use interesting subtle tan and beige prints. I used this to good effect several years ago in this quilt.


The background pieces look gray in this photo, but there are actually warm beige in color. The change in background pieces helped a lot, but there is going to be much trial and error cutting the pieces for the elephant body. I was pretty dejected a couple of days ago, but feel like tackling it again soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blue Bird of Happiness


September's hexie block, a blue bird, is finished although not appliqued onto a background just yet. On my way to my LQS for that and fabric for a new project.


Shopping completed! This doesn't look like much at the moment, but it is the background for an African elephant, soon to appear. The fabric in the lower left side is a piece of authentic African batik salvaged from clothing. The friend who gave it to me spent two years in Accra, Ghana in the early 1990s. She had several outfits made for herself while there. Not having a use for them when she was back home, she gifted them to me. I have been parsing them out over the ensuing years and they have appeared in various projects. This particular project will be a gift for her first grandchild. I promised a baby quilt, but this will be a wallhanging, so I guess I am still on the hook for a baby quilt.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hexie BOM Progress



I haven't posted in a while as I didn't have anything interesting to show. I am working on the September block of the Hexie BOM project but thought it would be interesting to see the eight that have been completed so far. The September block will probably be finished this evening as there is another two hour episode of Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts" on PBS. Prime hexie time!