January 16, 2022: “Golden Glow”; ”Endless Chain” play; Winter Photos

Greetings dear readers! I had hoped to claim ”Golden Glow” a ”finish” on this post, but that will have to wait till later today🙂. I have about 1/8 of the binding yet to sew down:

I started this exactly 3 years ago when I joined Barbara Brackman’s ”Hospital Sketches” sew along. It looked like a fun applique project and each block was accompanied by a story about nurses and nursing during the Civil War. As a physician, I worked closely during my career with many superb, compassionate nurses and making this quilt to honor them appealed to me. Now it’s almost done! I’ve had some trouble with the binding and I’m sure it’s because, since I didn’t quilt the sashings, I also chose not to quilt the outer narrow red border. This left the outer edge of that border a little bigger than the inner edge, the inner edge having been drawn in a bit by the quilting of the quilt center. When adding the binding I had to take great care to gather some areas to avoid pleating, but I’m worried about whether this will hang straight:

I plan to add a sleeve soon after finishing the binding to hang the quilt and get the answer. This is a bed quilt, not a show quilt so normally that wouldn’t matter, but it’s going to be in the NEQM exhibit this summer so that might be an issue. I’ll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, I’ve been having a lot of fun choosing fabrics and making blocks for this:

Interestingly, I was browsing through a book I have called ”Florida Quilts” – one of those state quilt documentation books – and found this:

I wondered if ”Wagon Wheel” was the name of the quilt or the block itself, so I checked Brackman’s ”Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” and found it’s name is ”Endless Chain” (#272):

I double checked in my other resource for blocks, Jinny Beyer’s “Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns” with the same result:

There are a number if blocks called ”wagon wheel”, but not this one. Then, going back and looking at the Timna Tarr article confirmed it – a detail I had overlooked before:

I really identify with the second paragraph above. I’ve realized that I have 2 major ways of designing and creating my quilts: a) Plan very carefully ahead of time (some designs require that) OR b) Design as you go. So far with this project, it’s been mostly (b). I’m just making blocks and not thinking too much about how they’ll go together:

BUT…having made some of those black blocks started me thinking about borders and layouts. It struck me that I could enhance one of those secondary designs by extending it into the black blocks or a black border. I cut little pieces of fabric and laid them over some block sections. Compare the photo below with the top one of the 3 above:

And here’s another example of those ”rays” extended into the black:

If I do those extentions – pretty sure I am! – I’ll need to remake black blocks with the appropriate colored pieces to match the adjacent blocks. This is getting me back into the ”plan very carefully ahead of time” design territory!😊 Then I started thinking about overall layout. Incredibly, I was able to put my hands right on this little booklet that I think I won in a penny sale:

I figured out 2 different layouts. The one in the lower right corner is a straight set with a black border all around and the one in the upper left runs the colored blocks diagonally across the quilt with black only in the upper left and lower right corners:

No idea yet which layout I prefer! Feel free to let me know if you, dear readers, have a preference! In any case, I can’t make any more black blocks until I decide, because if I go with the black border all the way around, every one will have the color extensions and I will have to have the entire center fully arranged to know what colors are going where before making them. Meanwhile, I can keep making colored blocks since I need about 20 more.

I am making slow but steady progress on Maple Leaf Rag. Border #3 is finished and I’ve started the embroidery embellishment of border #4:

I’m doing outline hand quilting on Sweet Journeys:

In my last post, I forgot to mention that one of my goals for 2022 is to gradually clean and organize the sewing room. It’s actually not in bad shape, but the last time I did this was 4-5 years ago and since then more stuff has accumulated, some of it in the wrong places, and my sense of what supplies I’m realistically going to need going forward has changed some so this makes sense so things don’t get too out of control. My first item was to change my ironing surface cover! This was last done about a year ago and boy did it need a change! Mine gets funky with scorch marks, sizing spilled on it, etc. I have my own homemade (out of plywood) surface made from a Sharon Schamber Youtube tutorial and love it. I like covering it with Stonehenge fabrics because it looks like I’m working on a granite surface and it looks great in the sewing room! Here’s my latest:

Winter is here with a vengeance!

Those are the days to hunker down inside and sew!😊 Luckily there are still plenty of days warm enough to walk – anything over about 15 degrees! Some scenes from my neighborhood:

The elk farm and some elk!:

The bog and an area of frozen water, snow and branches that has an abstract quality:

Stone walls are everywhere here. Where dies this lead?….

Always looking for winter color – hardy plants!:

In my neighborhood: He needs a nose!😊:

I’m closing this post with 2 photos of a quilt that was recently featured on ”The Quilt Show”. I’m sorry I don’t have the name of the Japanese quilt maker – will try to get it and put it in my next post. I love everything about this hand made beauty and think you’ll enjoy seeing it!!!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

January 10, 2022: Highlights and Hopes

Greetings dear readers! In this post I am summarizing my quilting-related ”highlights” from 2021 and looking ahead to some ”hopes” for 2022. I believe it’s a good idea to periodically take stock and think about where one has been and where one is going. Time is precious and limited. Though there may be times when just drifting along is OK, at least for a while, it’s probably not the best strategy for being able to feel satisfied about our use of that precious time. These highlights are in no particular order.

I worked closely with Holly Knott as she revised my web site and this blog. Information was updated, several quilts were added to the galleries, and the overall look was improved after not having changed for 9 years. Holly was excellent, thoroughly professional, and a pleasure to work with!

I joined the Monthly Mini makers, hosted by Wendy at ”The Constant Quilter,” and enjoyed every minute of the time I spent making those minis! I somehow managed to get a mini done every month. Participation allowed me to try new ideas on a small scale, without making a big committment, e.g. trying out my first baskets and little trees. 5 of the new minis are now on the wall in my sewing room:

And here are 4 others:

I completed 2 donation quilts, one for my library’s silent auction fundraiser and one for my guild’s donation to a nursing home.

I completed 2 Coronavirus pandemic inspired quilts and my Red and White crib quilt:

I saw 2 great shows at the New England Quilt Museum, one of which included an exhibit of my friend Wendy Reed’s beautiful quilts and the other was an exhibit of fabulous Japanese quilts which I viewed with my friend Janet Elia.

I failed to get a photo of us at the exhibit, but here we are shopping!

I went with my friend Liz to the wonderful Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibit ”Fabric of a Nation”:

I did 2 trunk shows in the fall and loved being in Rochester, NY and staying with fabulous host, Christine Wichert:

I was privileged to have Christine show me several of her pieces. Here’s one of her newest – all silk, of course! Just fabulous hand workmanship!:

And my guild – Cocheco Quilters – had a very successful in person show in October. A common theme in most of the above? Finally being able to be with other people, especially friends and family, because of the vaccine! After having to mostly isolate for a year, it felt so good to be able to be out again without the fear if becoming seriously ill.

What will 2022 bring to my quilting life? My working life before retirement was intense and filled with tight schedules and serious responsibilities. I’m thinking that this year I want to keep things more open-ended, but not ”drifting”🙂. I want to be free to EXPLORE and PLAY; try some new designs and maybe some new techniques. I also want to make PROGRESS on some long journey projects and perhaps even FINISH one or two. EXPLORE, PLAY, PROGRESS, FINISH – those are the words that will guide me this year.

I should be able to FINISH the ”Maple Leaf Rag” top and the ”Stormy Weather” top. I will FINISH ”Golden Glow” – just need the binding, label, and sleeve!
Since finishing the hand quilting on Golden Glow, I have returned to hand quilting ”Sweet Journeys”. I had only just begun to quilt it when I switched to Golden Glow so there’s a long way to go on this. Perhaps I can finish it this year? Maybe for the October Cocheco show?

I haven’t touched my ”Dutch Sunflowers” for many months and would like to get back to this one after I finish the MLR and SW tops:

Maybe I’ll make some progress on the HST Medallion and/or the Hexagon Stars projects:

Plus I want to EXPLORE new ideas! Without guilt for not working on already existing projects! I’m having fun with my new foundation paper pieced hexagons. I tried some ”black” blocks:

Next post I’ll share how I’m PLAYING with these blocks. I’m looking forward to CREATIVITY in 2022!

I also look forward to walking outdoors and studying and appreciating this beautiful planet. We had 6 inches of snow:

Many, many thanks to all my readers and commenters! Knowing you enjoy what I share keeps me going with the blog and helps to feed my creative spirit. I appreciate you so much!

My mantra in 2022 remains:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

January 4, 2022: New Year – New Project!; A “Near” finish!; Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! 2021 was a year of applique for me – a ”tsunami” of applique! I put a lot of time and energy into the borders of ”Maple Leaf Rag” and ”Stormy Weather.” My goal of finishing those 2 tops in 2021 was too ambitious, especially after committing to Monthly Minis, but I should be able to finish them in 2022😊.

On MLR, one and a quarter borders still need to be embroidered then attached to the center. The corners need something that I’ll have to design and add. Then I’ll have to face the ”hand quilt myself or send out to long armer?” decision.

On Stormy Weather, I am gradually making the leaves for the final border – half done. But still need to applique down by hand 2 1/2 borders, i.e. around 560 leaves!😊 I really should be able to get the top done in 2022.

Because of all the applique in 2021, I stuck mostly to piecing for all of last year’s monthly minis, using minimal applique. I’ve missed working on a large pieced project; I really enjoy spending some time at the sewing machine and not just doing hand work all the time. So…With the new year upon us, I started looking for a substantial machine piecing project to work on for 2022. For inspiration, I have lots of books. I also have a sizable stack of articles and patterns torn out of magazines before discarding them and I have them separated by technique. I started looking through the pile of piecing patterns and this one by Timna Tarr piqued my interest:

I was intrigued by the challenge of piecing hexagons and making them fit together and I liked the secondary designs created and the idea I could use lots of color. I like that it’s foundation paper pieced. Here’s a closer picture:

I decided to try it out, knowing that if I didn’t like it, I could quit. After studying the pattern, I decided to reverse the location of the light and dark values for a somewhat different look. I copied the given FPP pattern:

Here’s my first block without the added applique center:

I am pinning the centers on for the time being until I get a layout determined because I want to maintain the flexibility to change their colors. The appliqued centers are a great thing because there’s a lot of bulk there with 12 pieces coming together and the bulk can be cut away after the applique is done. I wasn’t thrilled with this first block, but decided to keep going:

Much better – starting to see the secondary designs! I kept going – the blocks are pretty easy to make:

And right now I have 10 blocks on my design wall:

I’m liking this, but have no idea yet where I’m going with it😊. To me it looks, on the surface, like flowers, but if you squint a little at it, you can see the secondary designs. Obviously I’ve chosen to use my Asian fabrics for this – “Oriental Meditation #10” in the works?🙂 Am I one of only a handful of quilt makers still using these fabrics? I still find them beautiful and am not sure why they are out of style. You will be seeing more of these blocks in upcoming blog posts!

I met my goal of finishing the hand quilting on Golden Glow in 2021 – just under the gun on 12/30!! On the 31st, I ripped out all the basting stitches – one of my favorite activities because it means the quilt is almost done!

The binding – the same red as the sashing and narrow outer border – is cut and ready to go.

I decided not to quilt within the sashing, leaving it somewhat puffy – hope that decision is right:

I also did very little quilting inside the applique shapes; the thick wool batting partly fills them up for a bit of a trapunto effect and I don’t think extra stitches are needed. I’m excited about this going into the museum exhibit this summer!

I’m hoping to get a ”looking back at 2021 and looking ahead to 2022” post done for next time. Meanwhile, did you see this photo of the mirror on the new space telescope that was just launched?

The familiar EPP double round hexagon!!!😊 Amazing! Maybe it’s a sign I need to make something with this pattern?! Not kidding…..🙂

We finally took our Christmas tree down on Sunday and enjoyed a final look at some favorite ornaments:

Walking continues to provide me with great exercise and quiet time with the beauty of nature:

Always looking for color in winter. The buttery/amber birch leaves hang onto their trees longer than any others:

I believe this is a fungus, though most fungi have disappeared by now:

Wishing you all a healthy, satisfying, and creative 2022!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

December 28, 2021: Monthly Mini – “Christmas Forest”; Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! My perception of time is changing as I get older. It truly feels like it’s going faster and faster and here we are on the cusp of another new year, 2022! Let’s hope that 2022 is the year the pandemic is finally over. Not only is it not over yet, but the Delta variant is still causing a lot of illness and the new Omicron variant is running rampant and disrupting our lives. So frustrating! I’m eternally grateful for the vaccine and cannot comprehend why so many refuse it??? No man is an island. If we care for our fellow human beings, we get vaccinated. Period! End of discussion!

Because of the holidays, I wasn’t sure I would get a Mini done this month, but some things were cancelled and the time was found. I’ve been wanting to make a ”little tree” quilt for a long time. I don’t really have a Christmas quilt for myself and wanted to remedy that situation so I made a mini with Christmas trees! Here is ”Christmas Forest”:

I drafted my own little foundation paper pieced tree pattern. Tree blocks are 2 x 4 inches. I have a small stash of Christmas fabrics and tone on tones that go with them so had no trouble finding a different fabric for each tree:

That background fabric is a Moda Christmas print that has been in my stash for at least 15 years, waiting for the right project!😊 I used it on the back, too:

I combined machine and hand quilting – machine quilting for outlining the blocks and hand quilting for outline quilting the border leaves, quilting inside the trees, and for making trees in the open areas of the border:

The opposite corners have the vines and leaves:

I’m quite happy with my Christmas Forest!!

Final size is 16 x 21.5 inches. What a year it’s been for me participating in this wonderful group of quilters devoted to making minis! I’ve really loved the challenge and managed to make something every month! In an upcoming post I’ll be reviewing the year and showing photos of them all. Thanks to Wendy at The Constant Quilter for making the sharing of these happen; go to her web site to see the other December minis.

I’m sharing some earthly delights today! First, this amazing amaryllis with 8(!) blossoms blooming on it at once!

We had freezing rain much of Christmas day and the temps fell afterward, leaving a coating of ice on everything. It was beautiful!

The woods looked enchanted:

I liked how the snow accumulated on the trunk of this tree:

And how the ice on these branches created an intricate weave of lines:

Last week I was lucky to see a beautiful Mackeral sky:

If you are interested in seeing photos of some great quilts, here are 2 recommendations. Jenny Lyons shows a lot of great photos of quilts from the recent Houston Quilt Festival in 2 November posts on her blog at quiltskipper.com. There are many wonderful pictures of quilts from a recent Australian quilt show at victorianquilters.org. Enjoy!

Hoping to post again before the end of the year, but if I don’t, I wish all of us a healthy and satisfying year ahead, full of creativity and friendship!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

December 21, 2021: Christmas Quilt Finished! and more

Greetings dear readers! Happy Winter Solstice! This always seems like a time of hope as the light slowly, but surely, starts increasing. We quilters have a great way to handle the darkness as we busy ourselves with projects and ”making,” enjoying the process, be it machine or hand work. I just spent many hours over several days finishing Sveta’s Christmas quilt – just in time!😊

I machine quilted it with an overall diagonal cross hatch, using the walking foot:

I chose to do the binding in red:

And here’s the back:

I know she’ll love it and am so glad I made it and finished it on time!

I’ve been enjoying 2 gorgeous amaryllis plants; the intense colors really add some extra spark to my holiday decor:

For 20+ years Al and I have hosted a Christmas dinner party for several close friends from our music group. After missing last year, we had the gathering this weekend. Everyone was vaccinated and boosted. I prepare a special meal as a gift to my friends – Beef Stroganoff this year. I made an apricot glazed cheesecake – lots of work, but absolutely delicious! (in spite of the cracks on top!😊)

One friend brought a lovely, composed salad:

And, as always, there was lots of music making:

We had out first snowstorm of the season – not bad at only about 2 – 3 inches and just enough to make everything beautiful!

A few days before the snow, I walked to the bog and got some nice photos of some of the flora caught under the ice:

The patterns on the ice were captivating:

In keeping with my desire to enjoy color where and whenever I can in the winter outdoors, I lingered over this plant, soaking in the red:

Here’s my latest reading:

Rebecca is the ”classic” for my book group – just starting it, so no comments yet. I liked ”Oh William” very much. It’s the 3rd book in Elizabeth Strout’s series of novels about Lucy Barton. Her writing style for the series is very spare, but lots of the sentences are full of meaning and bear further reflexion. Lucy is a successful novelist who has overcome (to some degree) a terrible, abusive childhood. Worth reading all 3 books IMHO!

I’m going to close out today’s post with some photos from the Cocheco quilt show. At the show we have an area for 1-2 quilters to sit and work on one of their projects. Show attendees get to see the work and ask questions about it. Guild member – and quilter extraordinaire!! – Rainy Stevens, spent time there and we got to see how her masterpiece (I’m not kidding – this is spectacular!) is progressing. Here are photos of her Baltimore Album style quilt in progress. It’s been several years in the making. She’s close to finishing the 4th border and then will get going on the hand quilting. Every stitch is by hand:

The pattern:

The pattern sitting on the quilt center:

Rainy holding one of the borders:

Some closeups:

Her workmanship is amazing!

It will be time in my next post to look back on 2021 and see what I accomplished and whether I met any goals, or not. Soon it will be time to look ahead to 2022. Meanwhile, I’m wishing you all a safe and satisfying holiday!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

December 13, 2021: Exciting news!; A table runner, a Christmas quilt, and more

Greetings dear readers! I have some exciting news. There is going to be an exhibit of quilts made during Barbara Brackman’s ”Hospital Sketches” online sew along at the New England Quilt Museum next summer. The plan is to exhibit around 15-18 of these quilts and mine – “Golden Glow” – has been chosen to be part of the exhibit!! I am really honored to be part of this!! I have only half of one border left to quilt so the deadline is not an issue:

The quilt is 82 inches square. Here’s a closeup:

The sew along began January 2019. My top was completed by the end of that year, but it has taken me 2 years to get the hand quilting done, mostly because I set it aside for large chunks of time to work on other things. It’s going to be so good to get this done and it will be icing on the cake to see it at the museum!

Meanwhile, my quilt bee had it’s annual holiday party last week – so wonderful after missing last year! We always do a Yankee Swap so this year I made a table runner as my gift contribution. I’ve been itching to cut into some of the beautiful comtemporary florals I started to buy last summer so decided to use those plus some pastels and make a table runner with a checkerboard of lights and darks:

The squares are cut at 2 inches and finish at 1.5 inches:

A couple of closeups:

I machine quilted it and used this wonderful impressionist green garden fabric for the back:

I picture this with a lovely vase of flowers of many colors on it! The recipient was happy😊.

So, I ”scratched the itch” to use those fabrics (for now😊). I started to scratch another itch this week, too! For a long time, I’ve wanted to make something with little trees. I drafted my own FPP pattern last week, chose some fabrics, and here are the first few:

I like these, but I have no idea right now where this is going!🙂 You might be seeing a preview of December’s mini…or it might be a gift, or might go nowhere for a while….stay tuned!

I finished the top and the back of the Christmas quilt for my granddaughter:

Here’s the panel for the back:

I have a photo with the fabric on the two sides sewn on, but forgot to take one with that same fabric on the top and bottom. To get the right size, I needed to add 2 borders around the panel and I chose to make the second one green because it is Svetlana’s favorite color😊. On to quilting and binding!

I forgot to share what I think was my best purchase when I visited the ”Busy Thimble” quilt shop a few months ago. I picked up 3 yards of this:

I think it will make a gorgeous border for a quilt featuring madder, indigo, and cheddar. Several ideas have floated in and out of my mind, but no solid decisions yet.

Look what I gifted myself during the recent ”cyber Monday” sales:

Airpods Pro! I have to say they are pretty marvelous. My husband has some hearing loss that causes some distortion of sound so he doesn’t like to have music playing out loud in the house. I very much like having music on in the background, especially classical, so these let me listen without bothering him. Perhaps the best part is that it came with a free 6 month subscription to Apple Music. I’ve never before subscribed to one of these music services and now I am hooked! The amount of music available is mind boggling. Also, now when I want to listen to music in my sewing room, I just take my iPad there. I used to have to take the radio/CD player there and it was a bit of a hassle so I didn’t do it often. With this new technology I feel like I am emerging from the dark ages😊.

The winter landscape is here:

On my walks I try to stop and enjoy bits of color wherever I can find it:

The forest is full of both growth and decay, each with its own unique beauty. The decay is often more visible in winter. I love the abstract, sculptural forms of roots from fallen trees:

A little closer:

My music group had its annual holiday party last week. Vaccinations were required, but there was a smaller than usual turnout – probably a good thing as cases of Covid are high right now in NH. Because of the small group, and because we were in a home with folks we know well, we did not mask. I had fun playing with 3 other accordionists!

I am the least accomplished musician in this picture! So lucky to be part of the group. My friend Candace, to my right, is an excellent pianist and also sings and plays the harp. Ryan, to my left, is a fabulous professional fiddler, but good on accordion too. Craig (standing) is a professional singer and guitarist. So many good musicians play multiple instruments. In the room, but not pictured are Al on piano and folks playing flute, recorder, autoharp, and guitar. So grateful to have music in my life!!

I hope you are all able to enjoy the holiday season.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

December 7, 2021: “On my mind” plus more “Boston Museum quilts”

Greetings dear readers! I’ve been wanting to mention something for a while. Some time ago Barb Vedder (“Fun With Barb” blog – link on the right side of my blog) wrote that discovering glue basting for applique was ”life changing” for her. That caught my attention! I had always thread basted and never tried glue. Barb recommended I try it and she gave me a bottle of what she uses when we met at the quilt museum in Lowell, MA this spring to see our friend Wendy Reed’s exhibit.

This is a great little container for applying tiny dots of the glue and you can buy it from her if you’re interested. I used the glue basting technique for the last 2 borders of leaves for Maple Leaf Rag and now am using it for the leaves for the 4th border for Stormy Weather. I’M HOOKED!! It is definitely faster, very little glue is needed, it doesn’t create any significant stiffness, and there are no basting stitches to remove. I glued 50 leaves and 42 berries on a border (iron after gluing) and not one piece fell off during 2 weeks of stitching with lots of handling and twisting of the fabric. Even when one has been quilting for years, it’s good to try different/new techniques. It’s good to be open to possible improvements in technique and to new creative ideas. Thank you Barb!

I’ve been working on the Christmas quilt for my granddaughter, Svetlana:

The pieces are all cut and I’m slowly sewing parts together. What you see above is all of it except the outer solid blue border; it’s small – about 48 inches square. I’m pretty sure she’ll love it!

Fall color is gone🙁. I see mostly browns, grays, and piney greens, but they have their own beauty and I seek out that beauty during the winter. It’s been getting colder and yesterday the pond had a thin layer of ice on it:

On a recent walk, I finally got a good photo of my new neighbor, Molly 😊:

I’ve had a subscription for several years to ”The Quilt Show” with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims – well worth it, much to enjoy. Every year they have a BOM project that lasts the year and the patterns are free to subscribers. I’ve never participated, but the new one just announced for 2022 is tempting. It’s by Irene Blanck. Here’s a shot from her Instagram account:

There are classes on the show periodically throughout the year, led by Barbara Black and she also gives instructions and tips on her blog throughout the year. Here’s Barbara’s quilt with her own fabrics – a bit brighter:

Again – very tempting!! BUT – I don’t think I want to take on another project with a lot of applique right now🙂. I definitely need to focus on finishing some of my current big projects in 2022 and I’m itching to do some machine piecing – probably FPP – but not sure what yet. As a ”Quilt Show” subscriber, I at least get to download this pattern and hold it for some time in the future!

The Christmas tree is up!

A couple of my favorite ornaments are the piano and accordion. The ”book worm” is new and a gift from my son and partner:

Today I’m sharing several more quilts from the ”Fabric Of A Nation” exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts – up until mid January. Let’s start with this vibrant one from the 1930’s:

This was a fascinating one made of movie camera film; the film images are part of the art:

Molly Upton’s iconic piece is in the exhibit; I don’t think the photos convey well the large size of the piece which adds to its impact:

And here is Molly’s friend’s work:

Another of the Gees Bend pieces:

This one was exhibited a few years ago at the museum when they showed quilts from the Pilgrim-Roy collection. I love the bold colors!

Here’s one of 2 lovely coverlets in the exhibition:

Somehow I forgot to photograph the information card, but here are some closeups:

I’ll close this post with a gorgeous red, green, and white Carolina Lily – the colors are right for the Christmas season:

This was one of my favorite traditional quilts in the exhibit. If I had another lifetime, I’d love to reproduce it! At the very least, the holiday season has got me feeling like I want to make a red, green, and white quilt…..no guarantee one will get started in the near future😊.

Hoping all of you are enjoying the holiday season!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

November 30, 2021: Monthly Mini – the ”Baggie Challenge” – plus Books and Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! We had a lovely Thanksgiving with a 4 day visit from our son and his partner who live in Brooklyn, NY – so nice after just being by ourselves last year!

I hope you were all able to spend some time with loved ones.
Because the latter half of the month was so busy, it’s a good thing I started my monthly mini at the beginning of it and essentially finished half way through. Not last minute this time! Janet at the excellent blog, Rogue Quilter, challenged the monthly mini participants to make a mini from a bag of scraps before the end of the year so I did that this month. Here’s my baggie of scraps:

These are scraps from my current ”Stormy Weather: Shine A Light” project, using largely Tilda fabrics. I’m not really a ”scrap quilter.” Even though I often use dozens, if not hundreds of different fabrics in my quilts, those fabrics are usually carefully chosen and not from a scrap bag. I separate my scraps into 2 bags as I go. The really small ones are given away every several months or so to someone who uses them for dog beds. The larger ones are often eventually bagged up and left on the give away table at my guild meetings. Anything large enough to be folded goes back into my stash. In this case I had been keeping a bag of scraps because they could be used to make the hundreds of leaves needed for the borders of Stormy Weather.

The scraps here were odd shaped and I decided to do something with flying geese, figuring I could get small triangles out of them:

I drafted a small paper pieced block, foundation paper piecing being a favorite technique, especially for small pieces.

Another example:

I cut a bunch of triangles:

Then I decided to arrange the little blocks in groups of 4, creating a larger block of 8 geese traveling in different directions. We were allowed to add a ”neutral” to the scraps so I chose a gray metallic Essex linen – really hard (impossible?) to see the metallic in the photos:

One block:

Nine blocks sewn together:

Sashing or no? I decided ”no.”

We were also allowed to add one other “color” not in the scrap bag. I interpreted that to mean one other ”fabric” and, after looking at lots of options, finally chose a vibrant floral for a border. I managed to squeeze out a narrow orange inner border from the scrap bag. So here it is!:

It’s machine quilted and 16.5 inches square. In lieu of piping, I added a row of orange embroidery stitches just inside the binding.

Another close up:

During the time in early November when I was working on this, the global conference on Climate Change was going on in Scotland. I was thinking we have a lot of hard choices to make in order to meet the challenges posed by this major issue for our planet. The ”geese” going every which way on the quilt symbolizes changing directions and the hard choices we face. I’m calling the quilt ”Hard Choices.” I found a colorful and fun fabric for the backing:

You can see the simple quilting in squares. I like the idea of the rain on the back too! Water is such a big issue with climate change – too little and there’s draught, too much and there’s flooding. These extremes are big problems the planet has to deal with. A final shot of the quilt:

I’ve always been a lover of stories and an avid reader and still make time for reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading recently:

I read ”Hamnet” a year and a half ago, but am rereading it for my book group – fantastic, literary writing and an excellent story about the death of Shakespeare’s only son – highly recommended and I’m finding it well worth reading a second time. ”Cloud Cuckoo Land” is the new book by the author of the wonderful book ”All The Light We Cannot See.” This one isn’t as good, but I still really enjoyed it. The writing is good and I found the stories of 5 people in 3 separate time periods (and what ultimately connects them) to be interesting. The Ken Follett book has been around for a while; a colleague gave it to me to read about 8 years ago and I’m finally getting to it! It’s not great literature, but it’s decently written, the story is compelling, and I love historical fiction and this takes place in the 12th century – great escapist fare. I probably enjoy this type of book in the same way that some enjoy murder mysteries or police procedurals, neither if which entice me.😊

Let me close out this post with a few earthly delights. The trees are mostly bare and winter approaches.

A few leaves found on the ground:
I like the textures of the leaves against the lichen in the background. Found this nest in the woods:
I’m lucky to live near the ocean. Here’s a marsh with the ocean just past those trees, seen on a recent walk. Late autumn:

More quilts from the Cocheco show and the Boston Museum coming soon!

Go to Wendy Reed’s blog, The Constant Quilter, to see all the minis from this month!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

November 19, 2021: It’s all Red and White!

Greetings dear readers! This month and this year are truly flying by! My sewing room has become a ”leaf making factory” as I choose fabrics for and make the 229 leaves for the 4th ”Stormy Weather” border. Lots of fabric scattered about!

Placing the leaves so I get a good color mix:

Turning the edges under in batches of a few at a time whenever I have a few free moments during the day:

Today I’m sharing photos of only red and white quilts! There are 11 from the Cocheco exhibit that celebrated my guild’s 40th anniversary and I’ll also show you two quilts from the Boston museum exhibit that fit this category.

Here are the photos of quilts from my guild, in no particular order and I know I didn’t get them all:

And my own:

Here is the entirely red wholecloth quilt from the museum exhibit:

Some of the amazing quilting:

And last, but not least, one of the 3 Gee’s Bend quilts in the exhibit:

I hope you find these quilts as inspiring as I do!

I’m not sure I will get another post in before the holiday as I have a busy few days ahead. If I don’t, here’s wishing all my USA readers a peaceful time with loved ones, full of gratitude on Thanksgiving.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

November 12, 2021: Project Updates and More Quilt Photos!

Greetings dear readers! It’s a gray, rainy, and windy day here and the remaining leaves on the trees are swirling and falling, bringing to mind the snow that is sure to come within the next several weeks. Most of our color is gone, but I’ve been enjoying the last bits of amber and copper:

I’ve had so much to share of other people’s work in my last few posts, that I haven’t posted about my own work so I think a quick update is in order! I’ve been working on 4 projects, my mood determining which one at any given time. I am determined to finish hand quilting ”Golden Glow” within the next 1-2 months and am making good progress!

I am quilting the last of the 9 center blocks and recently finished the 3rd border and all the corner blocks. The end is in sight!😊

I have been working almost every day on Maple Leaf Rag borders:

In the photo above, moving left to right: The first 2 strips are the left and right borders and are completely finished – all the applique and embroidery. The third strip is the upper border and all the applique is complete; all the embroidery needs to be added. The 4th strip is the lower border and all the leaves are basted on and awaiting both applique and embroidery. Great progress! I will still need to design something for the corners and have started playing with some ideas. Here are 2 closeups, the first without, the second with, the embroidery embellishments to show how much the latter adds:

I recently finished adding the vines to the 4th border of Stormy Weather:

It looks like I have more done than I really do because the applique is complete on only about half of the 3 borders with the leaves, but there is slow progress! I’m going to start choosing fabrics for and preparing the leaves for the 4th border before finishing the applique on the others.

The 4th thing I’m working on is my November Mini. It’s Janet’s (Rogue Quilter blog) ”Baggie Challenge” and I’ll tease you with a photo of the baggie of fabrics I’m working with. All will be explained and revealed at the end of the month!

Today I want to share a few more of the photos from my trip to Rochester, NY. My fabulous host, Christine Wickert, shared one of her prized possessions with me – a special quilt she had admired from a show vendor for a long time and was finally able to purchase. It’s beautiful and meaningful! Sorry I didn’t get a good full view, but you can enjoy the lovely details:

I find it fascinating that mushrooms/fungi were found in some areas of the quilt – this culture recognizes their ecological importance!

What a truly gorgeous work of textile art; the photos don’t quite do it justice!

I also want to share the Genesee Valley Quilt Club’s new raffle quilt revealed at the meeting at which I spoke:

An original design by their own members and the quilting was wonderful – sorry, I don’t remember the name of the quilter, but it’s likely on their web site:

And here are 2 photos of fun quilts I snapped from the show and tell portion of the meeting:

Here are 3 more quilts from the Cocheco show – all blue and white:

Maybe I can get around to showing all the quilts from the special red and white quilt exhibit in the next post!

I’ll finish this post with 2 more wonderful quilts from The Fabric of a Nation exhibit at the Boston MFA. Take time to enjoy the details!!

I still have many more quilts from the exhibit and the Cocheco show to share. Hope your November is going well!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi