May 23, 2018: New project moving along!; Hand quilting; More Houston show pictures!; Haiku for today

Greetings!  I’ve spent my quilting hours the past week exclusively on 2 projects.  I am very much enjoying making blocks for my new project.  This one, so far, is a lot about the beautiful fabrics I’m using –  the colors, designs, and how they work together in this particular palette.  Here are some of the blocks (click on pics to enlarge):

I’m planning to make 16 of these for a 4X4 setting.  These will be on point alternating with blocks with appliqué – possibly small pots with flowers and leaves.  Right now I’m struggling to decide on a background fabric for those appliqué blocks.  I had initially wanted to use a green fabric that I’ve had for a few years, but I am worried that it’s too dark.  I love the yellow print fabric but am worried that it’s too “busy” to support the appliqué.

Would love feedback from my readers on either of these possible choices!  I am also wondering about considering something in the same shade of yellow,  but more solid reading.  Di Ford-Hall has a small yellow plaid fabric that, at least on line, looks like it might work….  This will have to “simmer” for a while as I finish the 16 pieced blocks.  I probably should make a “mock-up” of the appliqué to see how it looks before making a decision.

The other project I’m working on is the hand quilting of “Summer Breeze.”  It’s all circles and the center is almost complete!!

The back:

I still have a few more posts worth of pictures to share from the Houston Quilt Festival!!!  Here are some more from the special exhibits.  I don’t think I’m repeating, but even if I am I think you’d enjoy seeing the pictures again!  Click on pics to enlarge and enjoy!!

This group is from the “I Am An Artisan Challenge” in which they used Kaffe  “Artisan” fabrics.  I hope I have the labels straight:

Missed the label on this one:

Having just made a silk quilt, I enjoyed seeing this one made of silk:

A modern quilt that I liked:

A beautiful album style traditional quilt made by hand and, not surprisingly, by a Japanese quilter:

Love the red background in this one!

It was just last June – almost a year ago! – that I challenged myself to write a haiku a day.  Then I challenged my son to join me as we texted our haikus to each other each day,  My son only lasted a few weeks!  He then continued to enjoy receiving mine daily even though he wasn’t reciprocating.  I faithfully wrote and sent a haiku every day for 5 months – 150 poems!!! – and then I faltered.  I stated missing a day here and there and then a week here and there.  Now I’m sending only a few per month, but I haven’t stopped.  What I’d like to do now is challenge myself to write poetry, but not be confined to the haiku form.  We’ll see where this goes….

In the meantime, I’ve written a 2-verse haiku for today to share with you:

Corruption at heart,

Of heart, justice kicked to the

Curb; dark times indeed

 

And yet…..wonder and

Amazement at the rites of

Spring dispel the gloom

 

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

 

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May 15, 2018: Busy time!; New project update; Yet more cleaning!

Greetings!  This past week has been very busy!  On the 10th I attended a retirement party for 2 people I worked with closely for over 20 years.  It was great to see a lot of the folks I enjoyed working with day to day for many years.  As I’ve probably said before, since my own retirement almost 2 years ago (!!!), I miss socializing with the people I used to see every day, but I don’t miss the work itself!  Earlier last week I came across this quote,  which I think was on the “Brain Pickings” web site (which is great):

“We know of individuals who are – or have been – spontaneous, whose thinking, feeling, and acting were the expression of their selves and not of an automaton.  These individuals are mostly known to us as artists.  The artist can be defined as an individual who can express him(her)self spontaneously.”

That started me thinking about “spontaneity” and I realized that retirement has allowed me to be a lot more spontaneous in my actions.  This is a major gift of being retired!  Not having to be at the work place all day, not having to follow a schedule so rigidly allows for many more spontaneous actions.  It’s wonderful!!!  I’m grateful!!!  I believe it’s been good for me artistically.

On the 11th I participated in the annual music group concert, playing a set of pieces with the rest of my “band.”  We decided to rename ourselves “Tutto Bene” i.e. “it’s all good”!!  We used to be “Quatro Formaggi” but sometimes there are more than 4 of us playing together so this new name was suggested and we embraced it!  I spent a lot of time with “Diana” (my Accordiana accordion) in the weeks leading up to the concert:

All my practice paid off and it was a fun concert.  I’m so lucky to have music in my life and to be able to play music with others!!!

Over the Mother’s Day weekend, I attended my granddaughter’s annual dance recital.  I love dance recitals!  My daughter took ballet lessons for years and I loved all the practices and shows.  Here are my lovely daughter and granddaughter before the performance:

And after the recital with my grandson who had come straight to the show from a soccer game:

Then to top off the sequence of events, yesterday was my 41st wedding anniversary!!!  And would you believe that Al suggested we drive up to Keepsake Quilting so I could shop and then we’d have lunch afterward?  He’s so supportive of my quilting!!!  It was a gorgeous day, the drive there is beautiful along Lake Winnepesaukee, and we got to enjoy the wonderful spring green colors along the drive:

I splurged on these fabrics to supplement the ones I already have for the new project:

I dug out the Quilters Newsletter magazine that had the cover quilt I mentioned in my last post, which is an updated version of the antique quilt I showed:

Then it hit me – this is not the block I want to make!!!  This is not the block I showed you from  Jinny Beyer’s and Barbara Brackman’s books!

Look at the block on the left and compare to the one on the right:

I finally saw that the geese sections of the block on the left go to the corners diagonally whereas the geese sections of the blocks in the quilt on the right bisect the sides.  Duh!!!!

I decided I don’t want to remake the same quilt and decided to challenge myself to make blocks with the geese going from corner to corner.  I want 4 geese, not 3 and I found this block in Jinny’s book:

It’s a 10×10 grid and it took me a while to decide how to draft and make it.  I ended up deciding the easiest way was to make the geese 3 inches across the bottom and 1 1/2 inches tall and then make the rest of the block fit.  I finally got all the measurements figured out and the block is 11 inches unsewn, 10 1/2 inches finished.  And here’s the first block!!!:

I love the colors and am really excited to make more blocks.  The plan now is for these to be set on point alternating with appliqué blocks on a pretty light green fabric.  Stay tuned!…..

Meanwhile, I continue to clean!!!!  My main fabric closet in in wonderful shape right now.  The top of the cupboard was jammed with “stuff” and now houses nicely organized plastic tubs of fabric that I didn’t want to give away (I’m giving away plenty!!) but am less likely to use for now:

There are no more tubs of fabric all over the floors in my sewing room!

The closet in my sewing room is cleared of all “stuff” I don’t need anymore and nicely organized with still some space to spare:

I’ve gone through almost all my magazines, e.g.:

And saved only all my Quilter’s Newsletters:

and all my Quiltmanias and Japanese quilting magazines:

These 3 magazines have lots of pictures and projects worth saving and revisiting from time to time for inspiration.  I don’t see getting rid of them until I’m forced to downsize and leave the house.

Stuff I’ve gotten rid of:

Class samples that I don’t need anymore and don’t want to make into a finished object

Projects that I don’t want to spend time finishing (mercifully few)

Templates (for an untold number of appliqué projects over the years!)

Duplicates of notions

Judging sheets (from shows/competitions I’ve entered)

Old show programs – why did I save these????

Show ribbons – saved only the really special ones; decided I didn’t need most of the ones from my local guild shows

Left over pieces of batting!

Bags!!!  I attended numerous medical conferences over the years and often was given a bag.  I have had a serious bag and container problem!  Am getting rid of most.

Patterns that I know I’ll never use (luckily I didn’t buy too many because I like to design my own things)

Magazines  (tore out articles or patterns I might use and kept these to a minimum)

Fabric that I no longer like or am not likely to use

Still to do:   Books, though I don’t see getting rid of too many of those until I move.

I even washed my curtains!!!  I feel so good having done all this cleaning.  I now know 1) what I have, 2) where things are, and 3) have a clearer sense of what I want to do in the future.

The frightening thing is that I realize I need to do this with every drawer and cupboard in the house in addition to the garage and attic!!!!!!!!!!  What I’ve done with my sewing spaces should be just the beginning of this type of cleaning and getting rid of stuff!!!   We’ll see if I can maintain this as the weather gets warmer and the outdoors beckons…..

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 7, 2018: The border journey was sweet!!; More cleaning embarrassments; New project percolating

Greetings!  The border is on “Sweet Journeys” and it went much more smoothly than I anticipated.  I had enough fabric to miter the borders, but not enough to match the directional bird print perfectly in the upper and lower borders, but I am happy with how it turned out.  You don’t really notice that everything isn’t matched perfectly and it looks fine as is and will look even better when the hand quilting is added (click on picture to enlarge!):

I’m really happy that I didn’t add anything more to the center medallion.  Now the quilt goes into the hand quilting queue!  I have to finish hand quilting “Summer Breeze” and the 2 doll quilts (and maybe a third) by October for our show – should be easy.  Then comes the silk quilt, “Star Trek” which I don’t think I will quilt that heavily – I see myself doing that in the fall and perhaps “Sweet Journeys” as my hand quilting project for next winter.

Meanwhile, I’m still cleaning.  It’s great to have the time to do a little bit each day as I feel like it. I don’t know why on earth I saved so much stuff over the years.  I think one of the reasons is that I thought I would duplicate/reuse some things or maybe even use some of the stuff for teaching, which I now think is very unlikely.  I also think I put things away and forgot about them and then couldn’t find them and bought more – terrible!  Here are some of my worst EMBARRASSMENTS:

Pigma pens – found most of them tucked away in a drawer and I have enough for a lifetime!  (These are the ones that still worked!)

Nubs of marking pencils that I used to use – why did I save these???  Now I mostly use a Bohin refillable marking pen or a hera marker:

Templates!!!!  Mostly freezer paper and from almost every appliqué project I’ve ever done.  Why did I save these?  I guess I thought I might reuse them one day – NOT!  This picture is just one small portion of the templates!

And I saved the cat templates I used to make my grandson’s quilt 7 years ago!  Am I ever going to make this again?  NO!

What to do with class samples?  I don’t really have many as I haven’t taken that many classes, but here is a 27 inch square quilt I made in 2005 when I took 3 days of classes with Sue Nickols thinking that I would get into machine quilting.  I actually was doing quite well by the end of the 3 days, but I never made time to practice and lost all I learned.  That’s OK.  I prefer to spend my time piecing on the machine and doing hand work.  But what should I do with this class sample I made?

Now that the “Sweet Journeys” top is complete, I have been thinking about starting something new using some of the lighter reproduction style fabrics.  The Di Ford fabrics are an example.  I’ve been gathering some of this type for a while.  In fact, I made a new drawer in my storage area just for them!

I’m thinking of making something similar to this antique quilt that I love:

It’s from this book (sorry it’s sideways!):

In fact, there was a quilt patterned after this one featured in a Quilters Newsletter magazine in the early 2000’s (I have it somewhere but can’t find it!) but it was mostly in blues and did not have the oak leaf border.  I used the pattern in the magazine to make this quilt, but substituted my own appliqué in the alternate blocks.  This quilt, “Floral Diversion” was completed in 2005 and we sleep under it in the winter:

I looked up the pieced block in my 2 “go to” books for identifying  blocks:

Jinny Beyer:

Barbara Brackman:

Since there are other blocks with the “rambler” designation, I’m going to call mine “spring beauty”  which is perfect because spring is now coming out in all its beauty!  I will design something different for the alternating appliqué blocks.  And will probably eventually design some sort of appliqué border!!   Making this quilt will give me some machine piecing work and some hand appliqué for the summer.  I’m looking forward to planning some sort of color scheme/usage and getting started!

Meanwhile, I completed 4 more appliqué blocks for “Spring Fever”:

I had 18 blocks from last year and now am up to 36.  I think this is going to be a child’s size quilt, perhaps 6 blocks by 8 blocks.  That would be 36 X 48 inches.  If I add a 6 inch wide border (thinking swags with hearts) that makes it 48 X 60 inches.  I think that is a good size for this.  Now the question is whether I will continue on this now or put it away for a while to concentrate on the new project!  We’ll see…..

Now that spring is really here and everything is turning green, I’m going to enjoy it!!!!

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

 

May 2, 2018: Will the next step of “Sweet Journeys” be as sweet?; My exhibit is over; More cleaning

Greetings! I have correctly sized and sewn together all the pieces for the center of the Sweet Journeys top!  (click on the picture to enlarge)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I talked about adding more design around the outer portions of the center medallion block (e.g. a dogtooth border or small appliqué vine), however, once I got all the blocks cut to size and started adding the sashing, I realized that i like the “emptier” space.  It seems to give the block more “breathing” space, kind of like the old idea of giving the eyes a place to rest.  And I think this will be good space to add some interesting quilting – maybe feathers – to break up the cross hatching that I’ll likely do in much of the background.    I started the blocks for this quilt 3-4 years ago and it’s great to see it finally come together!!!

Now for the border!!!!!  All along I have planned to use this fabric for the border – in fact it inspired the colors for the rest of the quilt!

Below I have pinned up the fabric folded to the approximate width the border will be and there will be a 1 inch red border strip between the center and the outer border:

The border is going to be a challenge because if you look closely you can see that it is directional along the length of the fabric.  I only have 3 yards to work with.  I have to cut at least 3 strips (maybe 4 ) along the cross grain so the top and bottom go in the same direction as the sides.  One strip won’t be long enough to go all the way across, especially since I’m hoping to miter the corners.  I don’t think I have enough fabric to perfectly match the extra pieces I’m going to need across the top and bottom and am hoping it looks OK unmatched.  This is why the heading of my post today asks whether I’m going to enjoy this part of the journey or be frustrated!  I’m thinking of the 19th century and how women “made do” and were not always able to match everything.   I do have a couple of backup plans in case I run into problems, but am hoping not to have to go there!  I’ll keep you posted…..

My NEQM exhibit is down!  Al and I went to the museum Monday to get the quilts and bring them home.  It’s nice to have them home and back on the beds and walls, but I must admit there is some sadness that such a wonderful experience is now at an end.  Thanks again to Pam Weeks, the curator, for inviting me to exhibit my quilts.  What an honor!

The best part of picking up the quilts was seeing Janet Elia again!  She was volunteering at the museum to help take down my quilts and put up the new exhibit.

Janet is the new friend I made when she invited me to do my trunk show for her guild in Taunton, MA last October.  At dinner the evening of the trunk show I discovered she was going to Houston and lacked a roommate and it was because of her invitation to me to join her that I got to go!  It was one of the highlights of my year.  Janet is such a lovely person – check out her blog Janet Ann Creations.

Meanwhile, I am continuing to clean and weed my sewing area!  I have a corner cupboard I inherited from Al’s grandmother and it was crammed with notions, scissors, lights, starch, embroidery thread and all sorts of “stuff,” in a not so organized fashion.  I cleaned out some other spaces and found better places for a lot of it and got rid of what I won’t use.  I mostly buy fat quarters or third or half yard pieces of fabric so the drawers I store much of my fabric in are perfect for those sizes.  Not so good for larger pieces that I had crammed in them.  I set aside all larger pieces of fabric and stacked them in this cabinet.  Perfect!

I have a weakness for magazines, but have realized they are like “sugar” in the diet.  A quick “high” but not much nourishment there.  Now the only one I get regularly is Quiltmania.   I’ve been throwing many of the others out, but saving all Quiltmania and Japanese magazines.  Still keeping Quilters Newsletters for now.

That pile of magazines in the corner was twice that height and I expect most of it to be gone when I’m done.  I take one last quick look through each one and rarely decide to save anything.  One of the magazines I had several of is Fiberarts:

It has since gone out of business.  In one, I came across a review of one of my favorite books on creativity, Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit.”  I have it and highly recommend it!  Loved this quote from the book that was in the review:

“Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft.  Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering.  Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.”

I also had been saving lots of articles torn from magazines during previous cleanings.  I pared the pile on the left in the second picture by 3/4ths – only saved what you see on the right:

I’m realizing I’m not going to have time in my life to get to all the projects I want to do and am getting more selective about the patterns/articles I save.

I found 2 more old projects during my cleaning!  One deserves to be saved and one not!!  I made this small wall hanging during a class with Susan Cleveland at the Vermont Quilt Festival 10 years ago.  One of our major learnings was how to do piping, even within a piece,  not just along the border.  Somehow I put this away and forgot it, but I like it and think I should add it to my hand quilting pile:

Then there’s this piece from a Joe Cunningham class about 3 years ago.  He had us strip piecing 3 fabrics and cutting up the strips in ways that made for a somewhat random look to the fabrics:

I love the fabrics I used, but am not that happy with the overall look.   Definitely not a wall quilt.  I think it’s too bright for a baby quilt.  I could cut it up into placemats, but the colors wouldn’t work for my dining areas or dishes.  Any other ideas?……

Next up for cleaning is this closet!!!:  Yikes!

My quilt group had a pot luck dinner last night to say good bye to Havrilla who is moving to Arizona at the end of the month.  We all made blocks with a southwest theme and then Kathy made this great bag to give her:

We will miss her but she says she’s going to invite us to visit her in the winter or early spring for quilting retreats.   That sounds fabulous!

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

 

 

April 26, 2018: Benefits of cleaning and “weeding”; still more pics from Houston (Yoko Saito and cats!)

Greetings!  I am continuing to clean and “weed” out stuff I don’t need or won’t use.  (Love that word “weed” as I think it perfectly describes what I’m doing!  I’m weeding inside instead of outside!)  I am pretty sure that I moved into my current sewing room – the second largest bedroom in our modest sized house – 5 years ago, but it could have been 6.  It was my third move after previously using the 2 smaller bedrooms when they became available one after the other as my children left home.  That was the last time I went through everything and got rid of some stuff, but not enough.  Back then I was still thinking that I’d get to every project in my dreams and wasn’t nearly ruthless enough in my “weeding.”  It was really time to do this again and more thoroughly.

The major benefits, of course, are improved organization, being able to find things more easily, and not feeling as dragged down by too much stuff.  It really does feel better!.  I can tolerate a certain level of clutter, but am not one of those people who does well in chaos.   An added benefit I’ve learned, though, is rediscovering long forgotten beginnings of projects.  Look at these 2 1/2 inch blocks that I hand appliquéd many years ago (click on pic to enlarge):

I have been thinking about making something to donate to my guild’s penny sale at our fall show and this might be just the thing – a doll quilt or small wall hanging!  I started sewing the blocks together and the appliqué looks a bit off, but I think I may be able to add some details to make it look OK.

Then I found these blocks:

I remember going to a Sylvia Einstein program at our guild meeting several years ago and she talked about inserting strips improvisationally into fabric and I loved the idea.  I wasn’t able to attend the accompanying workshop because of my work schedule, but I went home and the next day made these blocks based on what she said during the lecture.  Then I put them away and forgot them.   I love these and now I really want to make more and see what happens!!!!

And look at these blocks that I rediscovered!!  All made of silk with the circles fused and machine button hole stitched.  These must be at least 10 years old – don’t they look very modern?!  Before “modern” was really in?

I like the look enough to consider making more blocks and playing some more with this!!!   This also could be a penny sale give away.  Or maybe my daughter or granddaughter would like a wall hanging…..

I found some orphan blocks from my “Circle Visions” quilt – I can tell that 2 of them didn’t made the cut because there isn’t enough contrast:

This one wasn’t finished and I can now remember how I sewed the bias edging around the circles as part of appliquéing them down to the squares of color underneath:

Wonder if there’s anything I can do with these 4 blocks, e.g. a table runner or scroll-like wall hanging????

I don’t think they go together that well.  Should I save them or pitch them?

Meanwhile, I am working on Sweet Journeys.  Here’s the central medallion on the design wall with the rest of the blocks (not all the sashing is back up):

The outer blocks must be cut to 13 1/2 inches.  I always initially cut appliqué blocks large to accomodate some shrinkage with stitching. See how I rigged up my 16 1/2 inch ruler for the job?  Highlight the 13 1/2 inch lines with tape and find the center, then place on blocks aligning middle of block with center on ruler.  I mark around all outer edges of the ruler with a pencil line 2 edges at a time, flipping the block upside down and repositioning for the second 2 lines.  Those will be the cutting lines:

The upper left block is cut; 11 more to go:

I have to be extra careful with the cutting so I don’t ruin a block at this point!!!  The sashing is going to be 1 inch finished so the central medallion is 27 inches finished.  The grapes pattern in the center is about 20 inches.  This leaves a 3 1/2 inch space all around the edges that needs to be filled in with something, e.g. dogtooth border, narrow vine border, etc.  I’m studying it to decide what to do.

And I’m hand quilting “Summer Breeze” – about half of the center is completed:

I never finished sharing some of the quilt pictures I took at the Houston show last November so will try to remember to continue to add some of these to my future posts.  I have 3 more of Yoko Saito’s quilts to share – please enlarge the photos and enjoy the amazing details:

Love this cat quilt which was part of the “In The American Tradition” exhibit.  I have several more from that exhibit to share soon.

By the way, the videotaping of my quilts at the NEQM on Sunday went beautifully!!!  It took us 3 hours to do.  I framed the talk around the 6 reasons I’m passionate about quilting and talked about each of the quilts as illustrative of one of those reasons.  I think it’s going to come out well!  It will be a great remembrance of the exhibit for me and my family and I will enjoy showing it to those who couldn’t make it to the exhibit.  I’m not sure at this point if I will use parts of it to promote my trunk shows or to help me to participate in any other quilt exhibits or if I will sell copies or even give them away.  We’ll see……

Only 2 days left for the exhibit!!  I’ll be going down on Monday to pick up the quilts and bring them home.  I’ll be happy to have them back, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share them with visitors to the museum.  What an honor!  Really, a dream come true!   Lots of positive feedback, which means a lot to me.  Although I make quilts to please myself, it is always great to have that validation from others.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

 

 

April 21, 2018: Spring cleaning; Workshops and new “gadgets”; update on Spring Fever”

Greetings!  So far, this has been one of the worst weather springs in New Hampshire that I can remember.  Since being outside has been so unappealing, I decided do do some “spring cleaning” of my fabrics.  I started making quilts 25 years ago and that means 25 years of collecting fabrics – too much!  And tastes and interests change over time.  Here’s where I store much of my fabric collection:

The drawers, which have been mostly, but not exclusively arranged by color, were getting out of control as they were full and I just kept stuffing things in anyway, making it hard to find things:

In addition, I have a cabinet full of my oriental fabric collection:

And plastic tubs of fabric were starting to take up every spare space in my sewing room (this is just one example – there are 3 other spots piled with these tubs!):

It truly was time for me to sort through everything, get rid of what I likely will never use, and reorganize so that the fabrics I do use most are most accessible and not stored away in boxes!  My mantra was “Be honest and realistic in thinking about what I might do in the future and be ruthless in getting rid of stuff that is unlikely to be used!”  It’s hard because one is inclined to save everything, thinking that one has “forever” to do things and “that little scrap might be just the thing I need someday” but I made myself stop thinking that way.  Although I use numerous different fabrics in most of my quilts, I’m not a “scrap quilter” per se because I carefully choose each of those pieces.  No way did I want to spend time ironing and cutting up all my excess fabrics into usable size pieces to keep just in case.

So for each drawer, I am making up gallon bags of fabrics I will likely never use again or that no longer appeal to me to give away (I haven’t even done all the drawers yet!):

and putting fabrics I still like and might use but probably less likely, i.e. colors I’m less likely to use (like purple and pink!!), into plastic tubs to store in closets to pull out if I need:

This is creating much more space in the drawers to rearrange things so that  more of the fabrics I use a lot of are in them and I can get rid of most of the extra tubs lying around the sewing room.  Ultimately I’ll have a cleaner, more uncluttered look.  For example:

2 of my rearranged reproduction fabric drawers:

My mostly solids and reds drawers:

I think this is going to be super helpful.  Now I just have to finish doing this with all the rest of my fabric – I’m probably only half done – AND do the same thing with all my books and notions!!!!!!!!  Just moving all this fabric around has sparked some ideas for new projects, too!

I’m in charge of workshops for the Cocheco Quilters Guild.  This week we had Adele Scott for a guild program plus 2 full day workshops so I was very busy.  I actually took the first workshop which was “On The Edge” all about edges of quilts.  I learned some very useful tips to make better bindings and reduce “waving”.  We also covered piping and got some info about prairie points and scallops though were a bit rushed to cover things by the end of the day.  Overall useful.  I definitely want to try prairie points and scalloped edges some time.  I didn’t take the second class which was all about using the Westalee rulers for home machine quilting but I was there to help.  It seemed interesting, but not enough to get me interested in doing this.   I’m just not a machine quilter.

Adele is a good teacher.  Her guild program was about products and gadgets.  I’m not much of a “gadget girl” and normally resist buying things like specialty rulers, etc.  I generally am very careful to consider whether and how much I might use something before buying.    I did purchase a few things from Adele, though.

I think my best purchase is this Vivilux light.  Up to now I’d resisted buying an extra light for my sewing machine which is 14 years old and doesn’t have one of the newer, brighter lights.

This light makes a HUGE difference.  I don’t know if you can see this well in the photos below: Without light on the left, with on the right:

Take my word for it, this is a great light and I’m loving it!

I  bought an ironing mat for pressing delicate fabrics (like the silk I like to use!!), fabric with embroidery, etc.  I think I will use this a lot.

I’m ever on the lookout for the perfect marking pen so bought this one recommended by Adele:

The marks can take a few days to disappear (or immediately with water) and indeed I do see my marks on the sample (upper left corner) disappearing.  So far, my favorite marker is the Bohin brand.  I also really like using a Hera marker whenever I can because there are actually no marks except the temporary indentations in the fabric.

I am usually loathe to buy specialty rulers, but I love flying geese so I broke down and bought this product that supposedly makes creating geese in numerous sizes very easy.  I’m eager to try it and will let you know!  Normally I paper piece geese so we’ll see if this is better.

Because the price on these was excellent and I have been wanting more of them, I bought this tin of 100 wonder clips:

I made several new stars for the spring quilt along with 2 new appliqué blocks (click on blocks to enlarge):

Exciting news!  I am going to the New England Quilt Museum tomorrow with my very good friend Craig Werth (who set up my web site and blog for me) and he is going to videotape me talking about the quilts in my exhibit there.  I’ll include the part of my talk from the opening that explains why I’m passionate about quilting.  This should be fun and the video will be a wonderful way for me to remember my exhibit over the years.  Hard to believe it is only up for one more week!

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

 

 

 

April 10, 2018: Spring Fever!; last of the Japanese quilts at NEQM

Greetings!  The calendar says it’s spring, but I’m still waiting for it to warm up here in New Hampshire.  My eagerness for warmth, leaves, flowers, more time outside, color(!) is giving me “spring fever.”  I also find myself more and more, with my quilting, driven to choose seasonal colors to work with.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a year or more, you may remember this from last spring/early summer (click to enlarge):

and these:

Exactly a year ago I started working on these blocks because, after a winter pretty much confined to the house with two fractures, I was in the mood for spring and lovely pastel colors and this project was just what I needed!  By mid summer, however, my attention turned to other projects and I put these away.  This week I was moved to bring them back out, once again, being in the mood to work with these pretty colors.

Last year I had no real idea how I wanted to arrange the blocks.  When I got them out this time, I put them up on the design wall and really like the alternating of the appliquéd and star blocks:

I made 4 new star blocks this week (so far):

I’m looking forward to making many more of both the appliqué and the star blocks over the next several weeks – during spring!!!  I may just call the quilt “Spring Fever”!

The applique blocks are coming from this book:

Here’s a picture of Faye’s full quilt:

I like her border and may do a swag border for my quilt (though I’m a long way away from getting to the border on this one!):

I have only 24 more berries to appliqué down to finish this block!:

I am pretty sure I’ll need some sort of border for this central medallion in order for it to fit the quilt so will next have to figure that out before I can sew the blocks together and put the borders on:

Today I’m sharing with you the last pictures I took of the Japanese quilts at NEQM.  The last day of the exhibit is April 21 and I encourage you to go if you can!

I LOVED the trapunto effect the quilter achieved on this one with her very close background quilting.  Also the color green is very soothing and peaceful and the embroidery adds a lot too.  Be sure to enlarge for details:

Gorgeous  quilting, embroidery, and trapunto on this one too:

Ditto here!:

Loved the blue colors in this one and the overall design achieved with use of bias strips in the center.  Beautiful use of ombre color/fabric and the border is nice too.  As usual for many of the Japanese quilts, wonderful hand quilting!!:

And finally, an interesting “white” quilt with the theme of “snow” (machine quilted):

Wonderful exhibit!  I hope the museum continues to show these quilts in the future.

Disaster averted!   Look what happened last Wednesday night during the wind storm we had:

A huge pine tree right in front of our house – right outside our bedroom window – came crashing down onto our stone wall, the power line, and into the road, completely blocking it!  If the tree had fallen the other way it would have landed on our house.  And I was in bed at the time! (11 PM).  We had only minor damage to our stone wall and electricity was restored about 10 hours later.  Now we just have to have the tree chopped up and hauled away and get the remaining tree down.  We were lucky!!!

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