July 23, 2021: Japanese quilts, Part 4; Moving the goalposts 🙂

Greetings dear readers! Without further ado, here is another batch of Japanese quilts from the NEQM exhibit. This first one was one of my favorites. I love everything about the design – I’ve always been a big fan of circular designs and compasses – and the handwork is wonderful:

This next one was another favorite – absolutely wonderful use of silk kimono fabrics and great hand appliqué and quilting in a gorgeous “Baltimore Album” design:

The next one is a really unique interpretation of the Hawaiian style quilt. The card indicates machine stitching, but much of it looks hand done to me – hope I got the right card:

The last 2 I’m sharing today are contemporary/modern in style and were interesting to study for both the designs and the stitching:

And the last one:

I still have a few more of these quilts for one more post. They are really worthy of study for their designs and workmanship, especially their hand work, and I hope you are enjoying them as much as I am!

We are now well into July and the beginning of the second half of the year. I thought I should review my quilting “goals” for this year so I looked back at my early January posts. At the time I set my goals, I did not factor in any donation quilts and I’m already working on my third one and I had not made a decision to join the “Monthly Mini” group which I later did. My response? Move the goalposts!!😊 I love having the flexibility to do that and not experience any anxiety! The main effect of this is that I’m not making a mad dash to finish hand quilting and binding Golden Glow for my guild’s annual show in mid October.

I still have most of 2 borders to quilt as well as the background of one block and the sashings and I need to add some stitching in the larger appliqué pieces not to mention the binding and label. This would be doable if I drop everything else I’m doing, but I don’t want to do that. I admit that I’m dragging my feet on this project, but I just love the variety of things I’m working on too much to focus on just this. I’m confident it will eventually get done!😊

I’ll save the rest of my “yearly goals” update for my next post and finish this one with a few more “earthly delights” from our vacation:

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

July 16, 2021: Japanese quilts, part 3, and much more!

Greetings readers! I’m sharing 5 more Japanese quilts from the NEQM exhibit with you today. If you live anywhere near the museum in Lowell, MA, it’s well worth your time to go see these quilts in person for all the wonderful details. The hand stitched details on this first one are phenomenal!

I like the color, the radiating design, and the use of circles on this one:

I like the use of indigo fabrics and the variety of hand stitching on this one:

The hand piecing and quilting on this next one was excellent and I think she did a great job of using fabrics well and designing borders to make a classic pattern really interesting:

I adore the use of color and vintage kimono fabrics in this next one!

Hand pieced! And I like the use of the “Panama pyramid” blocks in the border!

Happily, I still have several more Japanese quilts to share in another post or two! That’s good because I don’t have much new work of my own to share. I finished all the appliqué for the first border for Stormy Weather- yay! The second border is all prepped and ready for appliqué and I’m putting the vines on the third border. I’m working on a small quilt for my guild’s annual challenge and it will double as my August mini so I can’t share it yet.
Totally unexpectedly, I found a one yard piece of fabric at the Fiddlehead shop in Belfast, ME for the border of my Red and White quilt; it’s perfect! I was going to use solid red, but am much happier with this:

Of course, I’m not done!🙂. I’m planning on adding vines and leaves to that border, but hope to speed it up with machine techniques. This needs to be done for the guild show in mid October.

When we vacation on Cape Rosier, Maine we always make it a point to visit Blue Hill Books, a wonderful independent book store with a great selection of books. When we were there last week, I bought this book:

My walks have very much made me want to learn how to better identify trees that I see. This book looks wonderful and makes the case that it is well worth learning to do this via tree bark rather than using leaves. Of, course, using a combination of both probably increases one’s chance of accuracy. I love the textures and patterns on tree bark so this should be really enjoyable! The book has lots of detailed information and great pictures too. Here’s an easy one, a tree in my neighborhood:

I knew by the leaves that it was an oak, but here’s the page on it in the book:

And the leaves match too:

I look forward to exploring!!

Now for some other “earthly delights” from my walks. I saw these adult turkeys with 10 chicks! They scurried away before I could get closer for a better picture:

I love the variety of colors of the day lilies that are out now:

The cattails are coming out around the pond:

There’s an old, falling down barn on one of my walks. I’ve been taking pictures of it intermittently for some time, but never captured an image I liked until this week when I walked in an early morning fog:

I like this quote from my new book on Bark: “The art of seeing, and the connection to place, grows exponentially when you learn to stop and observe….There are always new discoveries to be made.”

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

July 12, 2021: Back home!

Greetings dear readers! It’s good for the mind and for the soul to break from usual routines and experience the new and the different. We just had a lovely week at the Hiram Blake Camp on Cape Rosier, Maine. Our cabin was nestled in the trees at the edge of the water:

With beautiful views out to the Eggemogin Reach, the channel of water that connects Penobscot Bay to Blue Hill Bay:

Big sailing vessels often pass through here, going back and forth from the Bar Harbor area to and from Camden or Belfast or Castine. We saw this one while visiting the lovely town of Castine:

Our own water adventures were much more modest!!

The cabins are comfy, but have no wi-fi, TV, or central heat. We used the wood stove briefly most mornings. Here’s the kitchen/dining area:

And looking the other way, the door on the left leads to a screened porch and the one on the right to the bedroom:

I walked most days, really enjoying something different from home, especially the water views!!

I especially love it when the surface of the water sparkles from the sunlight:

I saw some different flora and unusual lichens. Late lupins:

Sea roses:

I collected a few stones on the rocky beach:

We had only one beautiful sunrise, but it was spectacular!

We ate the best, most sweet and tender lobsters three times! No pictures! On 2 rainy days I managed to appliqué around 150 leaves on one of my Stormy Weather borders, but who’s counting!😊

I went to one wonderful quilt shop in Belfast, both on the way to the camp and on the way home.

They specialize in more modern style fabrics and have a fabulous collection of florals; I couldn’t resist 🙂!

Yes, I do have – and have had for a while- a couple ideas rolling around in my head for what I’m going to use these for so it wasn’t totally an impulse purchase! I don’t, however, know when I’ll get to it with so much else to work on right now 😐.

I promise to post again soon with more of those fabulous Japanese quilts. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

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

July 3, 2021: More Japanese and “car” quilt pictures from NEQM

Greetings readers! This post is going to be a quick one because we are leaving later this morning for our one week vacation on east Penobscot Bay in Maine. We’ll be staying in a cabin at the camp we’ve been to many times over the years and it will be a joy to soak up a different environment with water views, new walks, kayaking, and more. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of photos to share 🙂! I’m taking plenty of appliqué to do in quieter moments 🙂. For today’s post I’m sharing pictures of several more quilts from my recent NE Quilt Museum visit. Take time to admire the beautiful designs, details, and workmanship:

Here’s the museum’s statement about the Japanese quilts:

Hope you all have an enjoyable holiday! I have to go finish packing!😊

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

June 27, 2021: June Monthly Mini; Web site update

Greetings dear readers! My mini for June is finished a few days early! I’ve been seeing “squircles” all over Instagram recently. These are “imperfect circles” or squares with rounded corners – sort of a cross between a circle and a square. This design goes along with the trend for improv and imperfection in contemporary quilts. I decided to give this a try and here it is:

I drafted my own “squircle” and decided to use fabrics from my Asian stash. I thought the hand painted fabrics I was gifted a few years ago would make an interesting background. The squircles were hand appliqued:

The piece was machine quilted. It’s 12 inches by 20 3/4 inches. I mentioned in a previous post that Al and I have been watching the “Big History” course from “The Great Courses”. It starts with the Big Bang, goes through the formation of the stars and galaxies, then the solar system and planets, then the appearance of life on Earth and so on till Homo sapiens shows up in lecture #21 and the modern age (starting 1700) toward the end of the 48 lectures. It’s got me thinking about the Cosmos, our place in it, time, etc. and those background fabrics started to look like space and the squircles a bit like planets. The bottom strip is water, from which life emerged.

And the top strip is atmosphere:

The plants on the squircles represent Life and I’m calling the mini “Out of the Elements.” The demise of stars is what releases all the chemical elements into space and out of those elements life was able to form on our earth.

Of course, when my husband first saw this he guessed the squircles were pumpkins!!😊. So much for serious meaning!😊

I found an excellent backing for the quilt- it looks like space:

For the machine quilting of the upper and lower strips, I tried Barb Vedder’s (see Fun With Barb blog – link under my list of Inspirations on the right side) idea of alternating straight and wavy lines which worked perfectly! Thanks Barb! The rest was simple straight line outlines. I’m happy with how this came out! The squircles were fun and I may want to work with them again. Be sure to check out Wendy Reed’s blog, The Constant Quilter, to see the rest of the monthly minis!

I have some exciting news! My Website has been fully updated! I’ve been working with Holly Knott who has done a great job! Her web site is hollyknott.com. She is not only a website designer, but also an artist and quilt maker herself. Should you have any desire to create or update a website, I highly recommend her. After 9 years of the same look, I finally have a new header, a new look to all the pages, and, most important, the quilts I’ve made over the past 4-5 years have finally been added to the gallery. Take a look! Let me know if there are any problems or glitches.

As always, some “earthly delights” to enjoy:

The grasses have grown up around the edge of the pond so that I can’t see any more frogs- they are too well hidden. I still enjoy the unique wild foliage:

I saw these along the side of the road:

And it’s hydrangea season!

OK – I try to avoid showing many family photos, but I know some of my non-quilting friends read my blog so I’m sharing a couple photos of the grandkids. We had a great visit with them this week. Ursula is talking up a storm!😊

And the older ones are growing up so fast!

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

June 22: Blog anniversary and much more, including another NEQM visit!

Greetings dear readers! I can hardly believe that, as of this month, I’ve been blogging for 9 years. It’s been fun for me to share my quilting journey as well as some of my travel adventures and occasional family photos. Making new quilting friends with whom to share my passion has been truly wonderful and I enjoy and appreciate all your comments. Thank you all so much!! My hope is that my work provides pleasure and inspiration.

This week in the quilting room there’s been an “awakening” (from hibernation 🙂) and a “resurrection” (a project I thought was dead). I got a bit tired of making leaves for Stormy Weather and “woke up” my half square triangle medallion project. I had 6 hexies to appliqué and finished those:

Next I need to sew on this narrow border:

And then I’ll start playing with the HST’s to see how they will best fit:

My guild is having an exhibit of red and white quilts to celebrate our 40th anniversary at our show this fall. Months ago I showed a couple blocks I’d made, but I lost interest shortly after that, thought I wouldn’t participate and thought the project was essentially dead. However, I pulled out those few blocks a few days ago and decided to keep going!! Resurrected!! It’s going to be a crib quilt and the blocks for the center are all made and mostly sewn together- 3 seams left:

These are all French General fabrics:

I plan to add a red border with some cream appliqué and maybe some red embroidery embellishment on the cream. Stay tuned!🙂

Last week I went back to the New England Quilt Museum to see the new exhibit of Japanese quilts and met my quilting buddy Janet Elia there. We enjoyed the exhibit and had lunch together; I forgot to get a picture of us! It’s been so wonderful to be able to do this and not wear masks and not be worried about being safe!! The exhibit was wonderful and I’m going to enjoy sharing pictures with you over the next several posts. The quilts were a bit more contemporary than in previous exhibits of Japanese quilts; the quality was mostly superb. Here are 3 of my favorites.

I especially love how the maker’s use of color and value changes how the overall design of the quilt is perceived even though the blocks are all pieced the same – masterful!! And the kimono fabrics! And the hand quilting!

I just LOVE how the maker used a variation of the palm leaf design for the border on this one! And the hand piecing! And the embroidery embellishments!

This whole cloth quilt was really amazing!! The quilting is phenomenal! I will share many more quilts in future posts, but the exhibit is up until September and I highly recommend you try to see it if you can!!

There was also an exhibit of quilts of classic cars – really fun!

The artist paints her images and has them printed digitally on cloth and then free motion quilts them.

I’ll be posting some more of these in future posts too.

Of course, I have to include a few earthly delights from my walks!🙂

My quilt guild is meeting tonight indoors for the first time in almost a year and a half! My music group met in person indoors for the first time a week and a half ago – it was a magical evening! My book group meets in person indoors for the first time later this week! I am so grateful and am cherishing each day! Hope your life is starting to get back to normal too! Gladi

June 15, 2021: “Modern” quilts at the NEQM, brief updates, and “earthly delights”

Greetings dear readers! During my visit to the quilt museum there was an exhibit of “modern” quilts in addition to the Pilgrim/Roy “Cheddar” quilts exhibit and the exhibit of Wendy Reed’s quilts. The Modern quilt exhibit consisted of quilts by several members of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and here are several for you to enjoy:

This last photo from the exhibit was my favorite of these:

I’ve been paying pretty close attention to the quilting world for the past 25 years. It seems to me that there are 3 major categories of quilts – “traditional”, “art”, and “modern”. Of course there is overlap between these categories, especially between “art” and “modern.” And there are examples of quilts from long ago that could be called “modern” today – that’s why I put the quotation marks around the word. As is true in just about any area of creativity, there are within each of these categories examples that are outstanding and works that are pedestrian, pieces that are spectacular and work that fails for any number of reasons! My “maker’s heart” – what makes me joyful and passionate as a maker – has been firmly entrenched in the “traditional” category for a long time now. But I have long loved looking at and admiring the best of the art quilts, even though I don’t feel drawn to making them. It’s taken me a long time to warm to what is nowadays considered “modern,” but there are occasionally pieces in this category that “sing” to me and make me want to consider making something in this genre – stay tuned! 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on making leaves for the second border of “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light.”

Choosing the fabrics is part of the fun:

I’m slowly making progress on the hand quilting of “Golden Glow” though it’s hard in the hot weather. The 8th (of 9) block is done and I’m outlining the vines and leaves on the 3rd border and will then go back and fill in the cross hatch:

I finished making all 20 of the blocks for my next donation quilt and arranged them in what seems to be a pleasing way:

I’ll next sew these blocks together and probably add a narrow border. Then I’ll have to decide what to use for a backing and whether I will need to piece something!

I have a few more pictures from our trip to the Flume to share. For now I’ve decided not to put a video on the blog because of the space it would take up in my blog’s “Media Library”, which is limited, but this still might happen at some point.

This whole area of the forest was strewn with large boulders which were deposited as glaciers moved through the area long ago:

Trees were endlessly fascinating and showed their attempts at survival:

The flow of water over the rocks and the play of sunlight was fascinating too:

I’m a “morning lark” as opposed to a “night owl” and am almost always up by 5AM. When the weather warms up, I start taking my walks earlier in the day to avoid the heat, sometimes as early as 6 AM. There’s something really beautiful about the light that early in the day – the intensity of the colors it creates and the shadows and sharp contrasts between light and dark. As the sun rises in the sky, colors can become more faded and washed out. Here are a few pictures from a recent very early AM walk:

Look at the next 2 pictures of the same grasses taken at different times on different days – the difference in the colors is pretty amazing!!

Don’t you just love the windmill that the elk farm has on the barn?!

I have new neighbors – 4 goats on a nearby farm!! I could not get close enough for a good picture 😦 but instead will share a picture of another neighbor – a young cow:

Not new to me as I grew up on a large dairy farm!

I have to finish with a bit of color – the humble clover with the pond in the background:

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

June 8, 2021: “Stormy Weather” update; escaping the heat at “The Flume.”

Greetings dear readers! I am making slow but steady progress on “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light.” The center of the top is all sewn together. Here it is on my deck with probably the best look at true color I’ve been able to show – better than the indoor light on my design wall:

The vines for the first border are all stitched down and all the leaves are made and basted down – only a few of them are appliquéd so still a lot of work awaiting:

Even so, rather than do the leaf appliqué just yet, I decided to do the vine applique for the second border next so I could move on to choose fabrics for the leaves and have a pile of those waiting to be prepped. It’s nice to prep (prepared edge so I turn the seam allowances under before appliqué) about 20 of these a day and spread that job out over time. We have 2 separate weeks of vacation coming up in July (Cape Rosier, Maine) and August (Cape Cod) and the appliqué of these borders might be my take along project. I am kind of wishing I’d decided to appliqué the vines, but not the leaves, with the machine, but don’t want to change mid stream so will stick with all hand work for the rest of this project. Here’s that second vine border, almost done:

And a couple more closeups:

We are in the midst of a 5 day heat wave here in the seacoast area of NH. When it gets this hot (mid 90’s), there are 3 choices for keeping cool – stay in an air conditioned space (we have window air conditioners and fans on both floors of the house so it it relatively comfortable), go to water – the beach or a lake, or go to the mountains. Yesterday we chose the latter and went to one of my very favorite places in NH – The Flume, a gorgeous gorge in the White Mountain National Forest. It is significantly cooler there and Al and I had a marvelous 2 mile hike. Plus the 1 1/2 hour drive each way in the air conditioned car and ice cream after the hike! The Pemigewasset River runs through the gorge and there are several water falls.

It wasn’t crowed at all. Look at these fabulous Jack in the Pulpits along the ledges in one area:

Loved the play of light on the boulders in the river – those stripes!!

The mosses and other plant life on the rock walls was lush and interesting:

This tree was growing right out of the wall of granite!

The waterfalls were so lovely! I feel cooler right now just looking at these pictures!

At a couple points along the trail there were openings with views of the mountains:

A stellar day!! It was still 91 degrees when we got home, but we avoided most of it for that day and were able to be outdoors.

I am not sure if I can post videos to my blog; I’ve never tried it. I may try posting a very short video from the Flume some time in the next few days just to see if I can do it. Would love you to hear the rush of the water from the river. I also have more museum pictures to share and some more interesting pictures from this hike so will do that next time.

Be kind, be grateful, stay cool (!), and cherish each day, Gladi

June 4, 2021: Quilt Museum pictures, Part 3; Earthly Delights; Books

Greetings dear readers! Today I continue to share more quilts from the NEQM visit – the rest of my pictures from the Pilgrim/Roy exhibit and a couple more of Wendy Reed’s quilts. Then I’ll have one final, Part 4, in which I’ll show the last of my pictures from Wendy’s exhibit and some of the modern quilts that were up in a separate gallery. This past weekend 2 new exhibits were hung, one being, Quilts Nihon featuring Japanese quilts so I am very eager to get back to see this one and eventually share those on the blog!!! Unfortunately I missed getting pictures of some of the information cards in the P/R exhibit so I don’t have information on some of these, but be aware that they are antiques and without attribution anyway. First, 2 more from Wendy. I love her use of this great border print and the hexagons are wonderfully fussy cut:

Wendy’s stash is out of this world and she used it well in this next one! Great quilting too!

From the Pilgrim/Roy collection, focusing on use of the color cheddar:

I really, really like the on-point setting for this sampler quilt:

I have a special fondness for Princess Feather designs. This was a beautiful top!:

I also want to share an old top that was on sale at the museum shop. I did not want to spend the money to buy it, but I would put this on my “want to reproduce some day” list! 🙂 The appliqué is a unique interpretation of the Christmas cactus block, I think, and doesn’t look difficult!

Earthy Delights: I almost missed seeing this Lady Slipper down by the river the other day – just happened to look down and there it was. They aren’t seen that often so a “sighting” is special:

I took a few minutes to look for more, but only found one that had been broken by a branch falling on it:

I have 4 different lovely walks that I can take right from the house and I rotate those, but there are many trails that I can drive to in a short time so I like to mix those in for variety. One of those recently yielded this picture of a mighty oak in the forest that looks like it might have been burned at one point – a lightening strike?

The bog is a place I can walk to (no driving) and looked lush after 3 days of rain recently:

I love the pattern of the roots on the path near the bog. I have to watch where I’m going so that I don’t stumble and fall!!!:

Down by the pond there was one lovely Japanese Iris at water’s edge:

And I am still having fun hunting for frogs!! Can you find both frogs in this picture? They love to hide at the edge of the water and sometimes leap out into the pond when I pass by, but many just stay still, allowing me to photograph them:

A Japanese Iris from my own yard:

I recently finished 2 books that I can highly recommend.

Both books are beautifully written. Both are set in rural, pastoral, farming landscapes; Hannah Coulter takes place in rural Kentucky, in the mid 20th century (mostly), and My Antonia takes place in the Nebraska prairie of the late 19th century. Both, but especially the latter, made me reminisce about my own childhood on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania in the 1950’s and early 60’s. The freedom to explore and roam through pastures and woods without needing supervision is so different from what most children experience now. Also the farm work that was required of them! I love Willa Cather’s writing and am thinking about re-reading “Death Comes For The Archbishop” and “Song of the Lark” each read and loved many, many years ago. I also want to explore more Wendell Berry.

I’m also indulging in some of “The Great Courses” because my local library carries many of them. These are multi lecture, often college level courses on a wide range of topics on sets of DVD’s. Lectures are often a half hour and the number of lectures varies from course to course. I like to hand quilt while I’m watching and listening. I watched all 48 lectures on the History of European Art, which was fabulous! Now Al and I are watching this one together and absolutely loving it!

There are 48 lectures and we don’t even get to the rise of Homo sapiens until lecture 18! So much fascinating information on the Big Bang, the formation of the stars and galaxies, the solar system and our planet, the early geology of our planet, the first life, single cellular organisms, followed by multicellular organisms, etc. A fabulous overview/perspective on “big” history, indeed. I was a natural sciences major in college so I love this stuff!😊

Oh – I should show at least one picture of a quilt I’m working on. 🙂 Here’s the status of the latest donation quilt I’m making – 16 blocks made, 4 to go:

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

May 31, 2021: May Monthly Mini

Greetings readers! For 2/3 of the month I had a hard time coming up with an idea for a mini that would engage me enough to start making. By May 20th it was pretty much “now or never” time and luckily inspiration struck! The day before I had been to the NE Quilt Museum to see Wendy Reed and her exhibit and I remembered being struck by her use of black in her wonderful half square triangle quilt, “Kathy’s Fabric (Boudreau’s Surprise)”:

Obviously I wasn’t going to make anything as elaborate as Wendy’s quilt with the beautiful cheddar appliquéd center and that gorgeous border fabric, but I could make a mini half square triangle quilt featuring black in half the squares and using brighter reproduction fabrics. I decided to limit myself to pink, green, blue, and yellow colors and to make the HST’s 1.5 inches finished. I’d use 8 different fabrics of each color and find a reproduction black print that I had enough of. Here’s my fabric pull:

And here is the finished quilt!

It is 17 inches square and the colors radiate out in order in each quadrant, rather than being randomly placed. Placing the yellow HSTs where they are highlights the vision of the on point square in the center.

I also didn’t want the “flying geese” effect of the blacks coming together in the middle of each side so I added the pink strips down the center vertically and horizontally to separate those squares:

I finished it with the black fabric for the border, with pink squares in the corners and a poison green/black fabric for the binding, and then hand quilted it very simply with straight lines, on point. You can see the quilting best from the back:

The center of the quilt, without the borders, is 12.5 inches. I could see how several of those blocks together could make an interesting larger quilt. Maybe even set on point:

Will have to put that idea in my “some day, maybe” list…. 🙂 For now, I am grateful to have been inspired by my trip to the museum, by all of Wendy’s quilts, and especially, in this case, by her wonderful half square triangle quilt. Go to Wendy’s blog, “The Constant Quilter” to see all the Monthy Minis for May!

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