May 5, 2021: The sewing machine is humming…

Greetings dear readers! My sewing machine is back from the shop and I’ve been using it! I’m sewing the 81 “Stormy Weather” blocks together in 9 groups of 9 and will then sew those 9 together as one would a nine patch to complete the center.

I’ve also been working on hand appliqueing the vine for the first border. This thing is 6 feet long and the most complicated vine I’ve done! I have one more long vine to add to the left side of this before I start adding leaves:

I started cutting 2.5 inch squares from which to make leaves – 224 per side:

When the vine is finished, I’ll mark the leaves on the background fabric, choose leaf fabrics and then start prepping them for hand appliqué – whew! LONG way to go for all 4 borders!

Meanwhile, I started my next donation quilt – showed you a picture from Sujata Shah’s book last post. As the Stormy Weather blocks come off the design wall, these new blocks are going up:

I’m using all fabrics from my stash in shades of blue and blue/green and turquoise.

Each 16 inch block requires 2 lighter and 2 darker fabrics, 20 x 5.5 inches:

Layer them, alternating light and dark, make a gently curving cut (no ruler needed!) down the center, shift one strip so there are light/dark pairs, sew together (no pins needed!) and trim to 4.5 inches wide:

Then cut into 4.5 inch square pieces:

And play with them!🙂

Each group of 4 – 2 light + 2 dark – fabrics yields 4 of the above and they are sewn together to create the larger block:

Easy and fun! I need 20 blocks for a twin size quilt. The biggest challenge was finding 40 blue fabrics each big enough for two 20×5.5 inch strips since I tend to buy fat quarters and many of those have pieces cut out. But I did it 🙂!

I spent time organizing my cabinet of oriental fabrics. The lighter and darker fabrics are now separated and they are all in stacks instead of jumbled every which way, but I still eventually want to organize the darker ones by color:

Walks to the pond have been fun recently. It was teeming with tadpoles:

Which are now starting to become frogs 🐸:

Recent sightings include turtles, a huge blue heron, and a vulture! I took a different walk to the winding Lamprey River with a friend and enjoyed some new to me woodland delights:

Marsh marigolds:

See the “about to open “ ferns in the center of this marshy area:

A river view on a cloudy day:

Some of the pines in the forest had recently been cut down – check out the rings and a stump with a mysterious design!

Another walk led me to the bog which is about 3/4 mile from home. I was struck by the intense green moss on this trunk and the pattern of the shadows:

Doesn’t this view into the bog remind you a bit of an impressionist painting?

I decided that after all that woodland green, I had to finish the post with some brighter color so here’s our rhododendron in full bloom!

As I approach the 9th anniversary of this blog, I sent a special thanks to my readers for sticking with me! I’m having my web site and blog revised and upgraded in the near future. I’m looking forward to some improvements. Feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions on how my blog and/or web site could be better.

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

April 29, 2021: April Monthly Mini

Greetings dear readers! Another month, another mini! One third of the year’s gone by and I’ve been able to keep up with something new each month so far. Actually it’s better than keeping up – I’ve enjoyed the challenge. Here, for April, is my doll quilt, “Friendship Star #2”:

Back on January 21st, when I decided to take on the monthly mini challenge this year, I had 10 days to make something. I went to my stash and pulled out this fabric which had been there for years.

I had about 1/3 yard and thought it would make an interesting border. I pulled out a cheddar that I thought would make a good background, plus several coordinating fabrics:

But I couldn’t come up with something fast enough for January, so I let them sit. I finally decided I wanted to challenge myself to use them this month. It just so happened that my new Bloc-Loc ruler was laying on the cutting board:

I decided I should use it for this project and make some half square triangles and then decide what to do with them. I randomly decided to cut my initial squares 4 inches – one cheddar, one another color:

To make HST’s, layer right sides together, mark on the diagonal, and stitch 1/4 inch on each side:

Cut apart and iron open. The next step uses the BlocLoc ruler:

The indented area in the center of the ruler fits the seam perfectly and allowed me to easily cut this down to a 3 1/2 inch square with no risk of ruler slippage. Nifty!

Now what? I realized that 3 1/2 inch blocks were going to be pretty big for a mini, so I wondered about possibly cutting them down. That’s when I noticed this Friendship Star doll quilt I made several years ago:

Maybe another friendship star quilt in different colors would be fun to do! I measured the HST’s for the stars on the old quilt and they finished 1 1/4 inch. I’d have to make them 1 3/4 inches to include seam allowances.

After laying the ruler down on the 3 1/2 inch HST, I instantly realized that a 1 3/4 inch square was exactly 1/4 of the block and I could cut the two HST’s each into quarters and have all 4 of the smaller HST’s needed to make a friendship star!

No need to fiddle with sewing tiny pieces together!! Rearrange into a friendship star and you are short 2 cheddar pieces and have one solid color extra. Cut some extra 1 3/4 inch cheddar squares to finish the stars.

So cool! Anyway, I proceeded to make 9 stars. I wanted a rectangular rather than square quilt so I used some of the leftover little squares in 2 rows to extend it:

I also added a little detail at the intersections:

The border was a real challenge getting the pieces to not look too wild; some fussy cutting was required. The paisley designs on the sides are upside down mirror images of their opposites.

I hand quilted the piece in simple straight lines except for circles inside the stars:

I’m happy with how Friendship Star #2 came out! 19 inches X 16.5 inches.

Be sure to visit Wendy Reed’s blog, “The Constant Quilter” to get the links to several other “Mini” participants and have a look at the wonderful minis being made!

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

April 25, 2021: Oh happy days!!

Greeting dear readers. My spirits have been lifted!! After a long, isolating winter, Al and I had 2 wonderful days in a row visiting family and friends. We visited our daughter and 3 grandkids for the first time in 7 months and celebrated my daughter’s birthday. How tall the teenagers are! Ursula (27 months now!)is speaking in sentences 😊.

Hugs at the end of the visit felt great!
The next day, yesterday, we attended a potluck lunch with 3 other vaccinated couples, long time friends we haven’t been able to socialize with for many months. It was a beautiful spring day and felt lovely!

“Life” is feeling a lot more hopeful right now! So grateful for the vaccine! Of course we will continue to be careful and cautious.

Another fun thing happened this past week. At my guild meeting last week, the speaker was Sue Reich, who gave a wonderful talk about World War 2 quilts. After the lecture there was a drawing for a door prize- a copy of her book- and I won it!!

In 24 years in the guild, I’ve only won the door prize once before. This is a gorgeous, coffee table size book with lots of great pictures. Here are a couple examples:

Lots of great text to go along with the pictures and I’m looking forward to reading the book.

Today I marked the vines for the first border for Stormy Weather. Marking the lines on the paper pattern first with a Sharpie helped.

I pinned the paper pattern to the wrong side of the fabric and laid it over my light box:

The vines were easily visible! You can faintly see the leaves if you look closely. I’ll deal with those later. I used a white Bohin marker; here’s how it looked:

I started pinning on bits of the vines that have to go on first because the inner ends are going to be covered by longer vine strips. It took a while to figure out the order in which these have to go on.

This post is a bit of an experiment!! I have been blogging from my husband’s Mac computer for years and now I am trying it from my IPad. Ultimately blogging from my IPad will be an improvement, so fingers crossed ! I’ll be back in a few days with my April mini.

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

April 22, 2021: I can dream can’t I?……

Greetings dear readers! Happy Earth Day! Let’s all resolve to do what we can to preserve this beautiful planet!

I currently have EIGHT major projects going – 4 that I am actively working on and pictures of which you have seen (probably ad nauseum) over the past few months. I love how Audrey, at the excellent “Quilty Folk” blog, says her quilt tops are “napping” as they wait in a pile for their turn in the hand quilting hoop. I will take this one step further and say that the 4 major quilt projects I’m NOT working on right now are “hibernating”!!!! They haven’t been worked on since last fall. I stopped hand quilting “Sweet Journeys” to hand quilt Golden Glow.

I took it to the long armer to outline all the appliqué and blocks and was going to just hand quilt the background and then changed my mind and recommitted to hand quilting all of it after Golden Glow. It’s going to have to wait a few more months. There’s the “Time of Plenty” top ready for layering and adding to the hand quilting pile and then these two tops – Hexagon Stars and Half Square Triangle Medallion – that need to be finished:

I’m not at all sure exactly when these 4 projects will be awakening from their hibernation! 🙂

Why am I sharing all this with you? Because in spite of EIGHT projects in the works I am dreaming of starting something NEW!!! I know I’m not the only quilter afflicted with this problem!!! But I am allowed to dream, right?! Plus I’m looking for a machine piecing project to balance all the hand sewing I have to do.

I’ve been inspired by some of the quilts I’ve seen as I look through my Japanese quilting magazines. I’ve always loved fan designs and this one intrigues me:

There’s no pattern in the magazine, but there is a page showing the basic fan design and some different layouts. I also noticed there are 2 different sized fans in the quilt:

I don’t think it would be hard to draft the fans and figure out how to make this.

I also enjoyed a feature on tessellating designs and this next quilt is also a possibility as a design for my next one. I would definitely use a very different color scheme:

Again, no pattern, but a page showing some basic tessellations and I think I could draft my own. The one above is second down on the left:

Here are 3 other wonderful quilts with tessellating designs:

I’m also always tempted by the beautiful indigo quilts in the magazine. Here’s a lovely example and I especially like the sashiko embellishment:

So many temptations in so many different styles and colors!!!!

So….meanwhile, as I dream…..the reality is that I will most likely start another donation quilt before I start something new for me! 🙂 At my quilt zoom meeting this week it was announced that a new homeless shelter is being built in the small city where our guild meets. Our “community quilts” coordinator contacted them and they would love to have quilts for the 35 beds (mostly twin size) they are planning for so I think I will make one. I’ve picked out this pattern in Sujata Shah’s “Cultural Fusion Quilts” book so plan to get going when my sewing machine is back:

I finished the last 2 sprigs for “Stormy Weather” and now the center blocks are done!!!

I spent some time arranging the blocks so there is a good distribution of color; some of the sprigs block are placed facing down instead of up (as per the pattern) and here they are all together:

I spent some time this week prepping for starting one of the borders. I washed and ironed the border fabric (same as the stars background) and cut strips for 2 of the borders. The fabric is directional so I had to cut the top and bottom borders across the fabric and the sides will be cut the length. I made templates of the 14 different leaf patterns for the borders and made a decision to use the same vine fabric as in the sprigs blocks:

I realized that in spite of the very dark fabric, I can still use my light box to see through it to mark the vine pattern as long as I mark the vines on the pattern with a black Sharpie first. So happy that works!!! Am excited to move onto this part of the project. Once my sewing machine is back I will start sewing the center blocks together.

I’ve been enjoying walks to the pond. There’s a bench and a chair to sit on and it’s great for meditating – so quiet (except for occasional birds) and peaceful. The pond has several turtles and the tadpoles are big enough to see easily, but I couldn’t get any good pictures of the wildlife. Recently there were some great skies and nice reflections on the water and everything has buds:

Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are!

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

April 14, 2021: “Stormy Weather” progress and a walk on the shore

Greetings dear readers! My one and only sewing machine – a Bernina 440 QE that I’ve had since 2004 – is going in for its yearly maintenance tomorrow. I missed last year because of the pandemic so it needs this!! I love my machine and it has performed beautifully for 17 years. I’m guessing I must be one of the few quilters out there with only ONE machine. This means that for the next week to 10 days I will have to do hand work – no problem!!! Meanwhile, I’ve spent time this past week doing more machine work while I can, e.g. I pieced this month’s mini – no peeks! 🙂 – so I can work on hand quilting it while the machine is gone. And I finished up all the stars for Stormy Weather! Here they are:

I also finished 2 more sprigs, leaving only 2 more to do!!!

Center blocks almost all done!!!

While the machine is gone, I’ll finish up those last two sprigs and maybe have time to get started on one of the borders. My first challenge is to figure out how I am going to mark out the vine on the dark background (same as the stars in the center). I don’t think my light box is going to work very well to show the pattern lines on the very dark gray. Any ideas are welcome!!!

I also made all the parts for the second Maple Leaf Rag border and basted them in place so I have that whole border to work on while the machine is away. The first one is almost completely done. Here’s one closeup and then the nearly finished one with the second one so you can see how the embroidery enhances it:

I find bits of time here and there to add a few hand quilting stitches to Golden Glow and now 2 borders are complete and 7 of the nine center blocks – slowly getting there!!

We had a beautiful spring day recently so Al and I drove a half hour to Odiorne State Park – on a bit of NH’s 17 mile long coast – and had a lovely walk:

I found an interesting tree:

With some amazing textures inside!!

My book group read this book this month and I can definitely recommend it – very, very good!

I’m also reading this book “Vesper Flights” which is a series of essays. I like the description on the inside jacket: “A literary cabinet of curiosities about the wonders and oddities of the natural world.” There’s a lovely short essay on walking in the woods in winter which, of course, I loved!!

Wishing you all a lovely spring and good stitching.

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

April 7, 2021: “Corona Zig Zag” is finished!!; “Stormy Weather” update; in the woods

Greetings dear readers! “Corona Zig Zag” is at last complete!

Started January 2020; top finished about a year ago and it took me this long to get the back made and the quilt off to be long arm quilted by Sue Foster. Log cabin blocks are 3 3/4 inches, each with 21 pieces.

There are 144 blocks = 3024 pieces and the quilt is about 45 inches square – a lap or wall quilt.

There are several hundred DIFFERENT fabrics in the quilt – my own collection of reproductions supplemented liberally with “Primitive Gathering” charm square packs I collected at shows.

I decided on the “streak of lightening” arrangement for the blocks as the “zig zag” appearance best described the swings of my emotions during the early stages of the pandemic between hope and anxiety.

So happy to have this finished! For now it will live at the foot of one of our guest beds.

I’ve been making progress on “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light.” I love working with these colors in the spring! Here are the newest blocks:

72 of the 81 center blocks are complete – 4 sprigs and 5 stars to go before the border!

Next picture is a little better for accurate colors:

I also recently completed adding the bias trim and appliquéing the LAST TWO sunflowers for that quilt!

I have been toying with the idea of enlarging the quilt and adding another vertical row of sunflowers – 5 more – to make the quilt wider because I’ve decided I don’t want a wide border on this. Since the design wall is occupied I did not get an updated picture, but here’s an earlier one:

On the other hand, the more I think about making 5 more blocks, the more I think I will make it a twin size and move on to getting the sashing and hearts ready for sewing these together! I’m thinking of eventually adding a narrow border – maybe even just 4 inches or so, with a vine – of course :).

We’ve had some nice days for walking in the woods and I am enjoying noticing signs of spring here and there. I can walk to the Lamprey River from my house, but there’s another nice trail to the river about 2.5 miles away that I can drive to. Al and I walked there recently. We start through a young birch forest:

On the way to the river, an interesting birch stump with many interesting textures:

Closer:

A new (to me) forest creature with moss:

A triple monster:

And finally the river:

I read about pussy willows and they can be bushes or trees as tall as 20 feet and the budding out of the “catlets” are a harbinger of late winter/early spring. Here’s an update on what those cattiest look like!

And here’s the tree:

And the maples are budding out very early this year!

I finished sewing my donation quilt together and made a back so it is ready to go off for machine quilting – I’ll show it again when it’s done.

We are trying to arrange a date and time to be with the grandkids again, probably outdoors for now – very complicated because of crazy complicated schedules and situations of all involved, but it WILL happen some time in the next several weeks. My group of close friends is planning an outdoor “pot luck” lunch gathering in a couple weeks – we are all vaccinated – can’t wait!! My heart goes out to all who have been isolated from family and friends this past year. Seems like an end might be in sight! 🙂 So thankful for quilting which has done so much to keep me grounded and functioning during this time!!!

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

March 31, 2021: March Monthly Mini(s)

Greetings dear readers! For this month’s “mini,” I decided to stretch the idea of the “mini” a bit and make two “table toppers” that have been on my “to do” list for a while. They are both for pieces of furniture in the living room. Both pieces of furniture were obtained at a local “antique/used objects” shop. Here’s the first – a small, about 13 inch square side table for which I made a simple 11 inch square top with one fabric each side and machine quilted with cross stitch:

Note the oriental design that is my basic design aesthetic for the room. Here’s the other side of the topper:

Because of a redesign we did many years ago my living room is L-shaped and there’s a baby grand piano in the middle which doesn’t leave much empty floor space so we don’t normally keep a coffee table out, but we like to have one to put out for appetizers when we have company (looking forward to doing that again within the next few months!!!). We bought this very light weight one that we can store in the basement when not in use:

I’ve been wanting to make a cover for it, wanted to keep it oriental, and wanted to feature red:

Remember those “gold” fabrics I showed recently as a “teaser”! I used several different golds and reds. The blocks were foundation paper pieced using one of my favorite “go to” books:

And here’s how it looks in the area of the room we sit with company:

Of course, it will be covered with little plates and bowls of appetizers when folks are over, which will tame down its brightness. But I think it fits in well with all the other orientatal touches in the room – thought I’d share some of those with you. Here are some prints and pictures we have up:

Asian style fabrics on the furniture and pillows:

In the picture above you see one of the 4 pillows I made with authentic kimono fabric I purchased in San Francisco years ago. And below I show one of my Sashiko pillows and a needlepoint pillow my mom made as well as part of one of my Oriental Meditation quilts on the wall and one of my Spirit of Japan quilts on the back of the couch:

I machine quilted the coffee table topper by simply stitching around each block and around the edges of the gold, plus some straight lines in the borders:

My machine quilting skills are elementary so I’m always glad when the front and back don’t end up with any visible wrinkles and the edges are relatively straight!! I could have done more quilting, but figured this was enough for a table topper.

Thanks to Wendy Reed at The Constant Quilter for hosting the Monthly Mini group and go to her blog at theconstantquilter.blogspot.com to see monthly minis from all the other participants!

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

March 26, 2021: A day trip with quilting, music, and chocolate!

Greetings dear readers! We have had some days with beautiful spring weather recently – highly unusual for March in northern New England. There’s a part of me that’s worried this is a sign of climate change, but after being cooped up at home in the cold all winter, I want to focus on the present and enjoy it. So, knowing we’d had our second vaccines last week, and with a gorgeous sunny day in the 60’s and low 70’s this past Tuesday, Al and I took our first day trip since early last October with 3 destinations in mind. We were careful and didn’t go anywhere or do anything risky. First stop was:

This is a wonderful shop about 75 minutes away in Massachusetts. I got to spend the gift certificate Al gave me for Christmas! I was practical and bought batting and replenished my supply of hand and machine needles. I treated myself to a Bloc-Loc ruler for making half square triangles. And of course I had to buy at least a few quarter yards of fabric for my “Stormy Weather” quilt:

There’s a nice place for lunch sandwiches right next door with outdoor seating and the weather was perfect for that! Then we headed westward another hour and a half into central Mass. to the town of Sunderland to:

Al wanted to get me a new accordion for my birthday if there was one I liked there. The one I have is good, but needs a couple of keys repaired at some point. The shop – the closest one with accordions, by far – specializes in button accordions, but had some piano accordions.

Alas, none of the accordions I tried out felt or sounded better than the one I currently have. But, I did manage to get 4 new books of music. I’m very excited and am already working on a half dozen new songs with many, many more to explore!

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to getting together with my musician friends to play music together. As soon as we’re all vaccinated!!

I don’t have a picture of our third stop, but it was Walpole, NH, a quintessential small New England town where the Burdick’s company makes some of the best hand made chocolates in the world! Quilting, music, and chocolate – I’d say that’s a great day! We drove in an “oval”, not retracing our path, and were out for 9 hours. A great and restorative break from routine

Meanwhile, close to home, we are going to have to take down a few pine trees around our house. Our house was built almost half a century ago and we’ve been in it for 37 years. The pines have grown significantly over those years and many are 80-90 feet tall. If they fall on the house the damage would be significant.

About half way up one of these monsters, there’s a significant amount of rot which you can see if you look carefully at the middle of the next picture:

So, we’ve had the tree service company come by to evaluate the situation and are scheduled to have 5 of the pines taken down in May. I hate the idea of taking down trees, but in this case we have to do it. There will still be plenty around!! 🙂 Also, by the way, I could buy a new high end sewing machine with what this is going to cost us! 😦

I’ve been working on the nursing home donation lap quilt and have almost finished sewing all 9 sections , which will then be pretty easy to sew all together:

Someone else from the guild will quilt it for me and then I’ll bind it. I do need to piece together a back for it, though! I’ve realized this quilt is a bit too ambitious for a donation quilt – 900 pieces!!!!! Don’t think I’ll make anything that requires quite this much sewing again for donation projects!!

Remember this??

I showed this last November – my favorite TJ Lane sterling silver thimble with a hole in it. I didn’t do anything about it for a quite a while. One option was to send it back to the company. They would fix it and asked for $10.00 for shipping it back, plus it would cost me a few dollars to send it. One reader suggested checking with a local jeweler. Given the troubles with the postal service recently, I decided to check with a local jeweler and they fixed it for me for $20.00 – done in 3 days. YAY! I remember getting this thimble at a quilt show quite a few years ago for around $35.00, I think. New ones are now $100.00!!

I created my instagram account (gladiquilts) this past July and wasn’t sure how active I’d be on it. Turns out I post somewhat regularly, every several days and have gotten into following a number of other quilters. I have to be careful not to spend too much time on it, but it’s tempting because of all the wonderful quilts that can be viewed. I still prefer reading blogs and have no plans to stop blogging! In fact, am looking to update my web site and blog soon. Anyway, wanted to quote something that Jane Sassaman said on a recent instagram post, that caught my attention: “I have a weakness for FORMALITY in both my fabric designs and appliquéd compositions. So symmetrical designs regularly appear.” I very much feel that way too. I’m more of a “make order out of chaos” quilter than a “display chaos” quilter and have trouble breaking away from symmetrical designs.

I’ll close with a few pictures from recent walks. First, the bog, looking spring-like already:

What is this tree by the pond with the fuzzy buds? I really need to do a better job of tree identification!

My path to the river:

Hard to get close to the elk – this is my best in a while!

I’ll be back on the 31st with my March mini!

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

March 20,2021: “Circle Love”

Greetings dear readers! Today is the first day of spring and it’s a lovely, sunny day here in NH – feels so good! I’ve been doing a lot of appliqué and appliqué prep this week and have been sewing my quarter square triangles together on the donation quilt, so even though I’ve put in a lot of hours, there’s not much to show.

I’ve also been working on my March mini and don’t want to share it until the end of the month. I’ll give you a little “tease” though. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that for a lot of years I collected Asian style fabrics and I’ve made many quilts featuring them. Right now they are out of style, but I still enjoy using them. I’m currently trying to organize these fabrics and here are just the Asian “gold” fabrics:

They are beautiful!! I believe they are mostly Hoffman and Kona Bay and I collected the golds because they make great backgrounds and accents for the colorful Asian prints. So – I’m using bits of some of them in my March mini. And, of course, there’s hardly been a dent in the collection!

This past Sunday, the 14th was my birthday – 72!! The days, weeks, months, and years keep rolling by and I’m trying to cherish every minute. Al made me a fabulous Osso Bucco with polenta dinner:

And a cake. Maybe next year we can have a family get together!! We got our second vaccines the day before yesterday – so glad!

For the first time ever, the daylight saving time change was on my birthday so I lost an hour of it :). My birthday also falls on Pi Day: 3.14…….. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had an affinity for and love of circles. I’ve used circles in SO MANY quilts, either as the main design element or as added detail, so I decided to share pictures of these circles as the feature of my blog post today.

A block from my Mariner’s Compass quilt – not sure why I haven’t made another quilt with compasses as I LOVE them!:

Indigo River- center circles featuring vintage indigoes, plus the moons over Mt. Fuji:

Some of my doll quilts featuring circles:

My Asian quilts featuring circles:

My Japanese quilts featuring circles:

And a potpourri of other circle images in my quilts:

That’s a lot of circles and it doesn’t include my current sunflower project! It also doesn’t include several of my quilts that use “fan” designs, which are really partial circles!! Yes, I think being born on Pi Day has had an influence on me!

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

March 13, 2021: My “donation” quilts (and more)

Greetings dear readers! “Mountain Star” is finished!! It’s even got its label and sleeve!

This is one of 2 quilts I’m donating to my local library’s silent auction which will take place this spring.

Sue Foster, the long arm quilter, did a fantastic job with the quilting!

I hope it brings in a decent amount of money for the library! My other “donation” quilt is what I talked about in a previous blog as my first “leader/ender” project. I somehow envisioned it as a twin size quilt, figured I’d need 300 of the small quarter square triangle blocks, and I had a timeline to finish much later this year. However, my quilt guild put out a call recently for more lab quilts for a nursing home. I changed my plans and decided to make a lap quilt which will require only 225 blocks and the “leader/ender” project morphed into a priority instead! I’m well on the way with about 2/3 of the blocks made:

A little closer:

All the half square triangles are made and here’s what’s left to sew into quarter square triangles:

This project started as a way to use up the large number of 5 inch charm squares I’ve accumulated. The sad thing is that the basket is still full!

I think there’s enough there for another dozen of these lap quilts! Good grief!! Maybe I’ll just keep going and make at least another one :).

I recently felt a strong need for some “fabric buying therapy.” With no quilt shows and vendors for over a year, with having to stay home this entire winter, and with one vaccine in me, I felt bold enough recently to treat myself to a trip to my LQS and bought some more Tilda fabrics to use in the last sprigs and the upcoming massive appliqué borders. Aren’t these beautiful?!

A little closer:

Even though we are some weeks away from “green” outside, I’m noticing buds on trees and shrubs and starting to hear the birds sing.

Did anyone else notice the MASSIVE number of pine cones this year – at least here in New England? Look at the tops of these trees – still a lot of pine cones even after many came down throughout the fall and winter:

And this yard is representative of many around here:

I did a little research and learned that this is probably because of the severe drought we had here in 2020. Pine trees respond to drought by increasing their pine cone production. Hoping the drought ends this year!

I’m sharing some more Japanese quilts today from my Japanese magazines – nice to have the “eye candy” since we still don’t have shows to attend. I’m sorry I can’t give credit to the makers of all of them as the writing is all in Japanese.

On this one, I love the border, the bold colors, and the use of buttons and ties:

This next one I know is by one of my favorite Japanese quilters, Noriko Masui. I love her use of stripes and her fussy cutting in this one and the overall design is modern and fun:

This next one is masterful use of the tessellating “inner city” design. Also notice the curved, flowing quilting, esp. visible in the upper left:

Finally, I love the blue color, the distinctive fabrics, and the geometric design of this one:

Nice hand quilting too!

I periodically enjoy looking at the last section of Thomas Knauer’s book “Why We Quilt” in which quilters talk about why they quilt. I do this anytime I start to have any doubts about all the time I spend quilting. One of my favorite quotes of his is “One of the beautiful things about quilts is that there need be no other reason to make one than that we find pleasure in the process.”

I hope all of you who quilt are finding that pleasure in the process!

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