November 22, 2020: Odds and Ends and Updates

Greetings dear readers! I am currently “actively” working on 4 projects (and as you know, there are more “simmering”). It occurred to me that they fall into 4 categories – a “challenge” quilt, a “comfort” quilt, a “passion” quilt, and a “get it done!” quilt.

My “challenge” quilt is my sunflower quilt. I am challenging myself to tackle a difficult piecing, construction, and design project. It’s good for personal growth to try new things. I decided to go ahead and appliqué the sunflowers to their backgrounds with bias tape around the edges. Even though I still have 3 more sunflowers to make, I wanted to try this out. I used a similar technique many years ago on this quilt:

Could I remember how to do it? 🙂 My result is good, but the join at the end could be better so I will work on that, but I’m satisfied that this is the way to go forward with this:

I spent time yesterday picking out the fabrics for the bias tape edges – some are the same as the centers, some are not. I cut strips for 5 of the blocks and will get those made up and ready to go soon:

My “comfort” project is “Stormy Weather” aka the “Stars and Sprigs” project. I just have to follow the pattern and it’s simple piecing and hand appliqué. I can mostly relax with it. I just finished the 20th sprigs block:

No challenges, no worries, just easy process and peaceful stitching!!

My “passion” quilt project right now is “Maple Leaf Rag.” I just can’t stop making these leaves!!! I’ve got 56 now. Every leaf is different, though I have used some of the fabrics more than once and as their numbers increase I am having to re-use more fabrics. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if the quilt ends up with around 200 different fabrics in it. I don’t consider myself a “scrap quilt” maker, but I do love making “multi fabric” quilts. There is a difference. I don’t keep scrap bins and every fabric choice for my quilts is a deliberate one.

That fourth category of quilt I’m working on – the “get it done!” category – is my “golden” appliqué quilt which I am leaning toward calling “Golden Glow.” I finished hand quilting block #5.

I wish I had come up with something more interesting than simple cross hatching, but that was the comfortable fall back way to do this to get me moving to “get it done!”

Having the right quilting tools is so important. For a while now my TJ Lane thimble for hand quilting is the one that has fit my finger best.

Look what happened to it recently – a hole!!!

This renders it unusable!!!! Luckily I have 3 similar “Roxanne” thimbles and one of them fits me very well so I’m good for now. I read that TJ Lane will repair holes, but according to their web site they are “on break” for a while. Would love to get this fixed or get a new one!

Another important quilting “tool” is lighting. I own 5 Ott lights – 4 in my sewing room and a floor one by my living room chair. The latter one was ancient and recently broke so I immediately replaced it with a new one from JoAnn’s:

The new one is so much better! It’s sturdier and the light is bigger and brighter. So happy the old one broke!!!

One of the best things to come out of this terrible pandemic for me is my serious commitment to walking. I have been able to keep doing it for around an hour 5-6 days every week and I am exploring new trails, too, a couple of which go by small rivers in the woods:

It’s hunting season so I have to be careful and wear colorful outerwear and choose carefully where I walk.

Artistically, I love color!! My outdoors pictures have featured color, especially foliage of flowers in summer and leaves of autumn trees. It occurs to me as I pivot to winter, that I may need to focus more on line, shape, and texture now, instead of color. Some examples:

Can I sustain the interest through the winter months? We’ll see!!!!

Wishing you all a good Thanksgiving, whatever you choose to do and however you choose to celebrate it. As bad as this year has been, I know I have much to be thankful for and I’m going to concentrate on those things this week. Follow the experts’ health advice and stay safe and healthy!

Be kind, BE GRATEFUL, and cherish each day, Gladi

November 15, 2020: Quilt “energy”; Design Decisions; Thanksgiving blues

Greetings dear readers. I hope you are not yet tired of seeing maple leaves!

I am up to 49 of these and still loving every minute spent choosing the fabrics and making the blocks. This morning I happened to be looking through a 2018 issue of American Quilter and read an interview with Jane Sassaman. I was struck by her comment, “I think people can feel the love and energy that goes into a quilt, or lack of energy that goes into a quilt. Somehow there is a transfer of energy from me into my quilts.” I totally agree with this! There is a special passion and energy that seems to be driving me to make these maple leaf blocks.

I think the reason that I have several projects going at once and let most projects “simmer” periodically is that my energy for projects ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes. I love having the flexibility – no “real job”, no deadlines – to follow where my energy leads me and go from project to project when I am feeling stimulated by them and taking a rest when I don’t. My “energy” for any given project rarely stays with one project from beginning to end. But I’m happy to say that my energy for each quilt project always seems to be able to be rekindled after breaks so that I rarely have any long term UFO’s.

Right now, I show no signs of slowing down yet with this one!!

I originally thought I would have 6 horizontal long rows (alternating with 5) and 7 vertical rows for a total of 72 blocks.

Now I am thinking bigger – 7 across and 8 down which, because the blocks are set on point, would require 98 blocks. If I go with that I’m only half done right now!

We’ll see how I feel when I get to 72!

I also particularly like one other thing Jane said in the interview when asked how she knows when a quilt is done. “You know when a quilt is ready because it sings. I know now that I have to be willing to spend the time to make it do that. So if it takes another month to bury two million threads, that’s how long it takes. I really enjoy the craftsmanship.” AMEN!

I washed, ironed, and straightened my background fabric for the sunflowers and then cut ten 15 inch square backgrounds (will need 10 more eventually). Straightening the fabric is important for the grain – I lost almost 2 inches on this one. Always get a little extra fabric to take this into account.

Here is sunflower block #17 – only 3 more to go!

If I turn the outer edge inward to appliqué it onto the background, there will be a lot of thickness at the tips of the points:

Reverse applique also has its issues. I am seriously thinking about appliquéing bias tape around the edge instead of turning it under. This also adds an additional design element, e.g.:

Obviously it won’t look so wobbly when sewn down. What do you think? I’m considering some sort of appliqué at the block intersections and between the blocks, but it’ll be a while till I get there!!

Here is one more “sprigs” block for “Stormy Weather”:

Last post I mentioned I might be making some changes to this pattern. What I was considering is substituting houses and appliqué blocks from Kim McLean’s “The Village” pattern for the central 13 stars and 12 sprigs blocks in the “Stars and Sprigs” pattern:

The blocks for both patterns are 8 inches square and I would have kept the same color scheme – lt. and dk. gray backgrounds and Tilda fabrics. But I spent quite a bit of time studying this and visualizing what this might look like.

And I decided – NO. The more I looked, the more I thought the houses and appliqué from the “Villages” would not quite fit in – they need their own separate quilt – maybe some day 🙂 I like the Stars and Sprigs the way it is and I like not having to start making different blocks right now for this project. I’m comfortable making the stars and sprigs and this is a “comfort” quilt for me, easy and relaxing. That’s the way I’m going to keep it.

Outdoors it is late fall and some days you can feel winter in the air.

There are little spots of color hanging on:

On one walk recently I saw these 2 trees next to each other and thought “late bloomer” for the one with the red leaves:

It reminded me that I made a fall quilt in 2009 called “Late Bloomers” which hangs in our bedroom, so thought I’d share it as it hasn’t been seen on the blog for a very long time!

It was actually for a guild challenge in which we were given a piece of orange fabric that we had to use. The background blocks were constructed with a technique that called for layering 4 pieces of fabric, free-hand cutting them into 4 strips, rearranging some of the strips and doing curved piecing, then cutting the blocks down to size. The flowers were appliqu̩d and embroidered. A fun project and I wanted to use that piecing technique again, but never got back to it Рtoo many other wonderful distractions!!

I hope you are all staying well! This coronavirus is getting harder to evade as it now spreads in the community; the winter ahead looks grim. Al and I usually host family for 2-3 days and nights for Thanksgiving and we decided that it is too risky this year with our daughter seeing Covid patients regularly and the grandkids going to 2 different schools on some days. No pre visit quarantining would be possible. The type of testing available is inadequate. It is sad, but the wise thing for us to do is wait till next year. I imagine many of you are making the same decision. Sharing Christmas also looks unlikely at this point. The best we can do is follow expert medical advice and try to find what beauty and comfort we can in our day to day lives.

I haven’t mentioned my reading lately. Am currently reading a classic – Charlotte Bronte’s “Villette”. She’s best known for writing one of my favorites, “Jane Eyre.” This one is good, but a bit harder to get through in some sections. I do like immersing myself in another time period – 1850 – and, of course, some of the writing is beautiful.

The Lisa See book is historical fiction and is very interesting. I loved learning about Korea in the 1930’s and 40’s and about these unique “diving” women. It’s well written, but there are some sections that are grim because of problems (war, etc.) the country had during those times. Really happy I read it in spite of the rough parts and would definitely recommend it.

Follow the health experts’ advice and stay well!

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

November 8, 2020: Relief! Steady progress on projects; “forest bath”

Greetings dear readers. Today I – and I imagine many of you, too – feel relieved that the majority of the country voted for a man for president who is honest, decent, and caring, who believes in science, and who wants to try to unite the country, rather than further divide it. Someone with character, with empathy. Someone who will be respected in the international community. And a smart and compassionate woman is going to be the VP!!!!!!! It’s about time!

To assuage my anxiety as the week dragged on and the outcome of the election was uncertain, I continued to make maple leaves and am now up to 40!

As I was making the blocks this week, I was thinking how much I personally prefer “tone on tone” or small print fabrics to solids (always exceptions, of course). I think those subtle patterns on the fabrics add a lot of texture. See if you agree as you look at these:

Here’s my crazy “fabric pull” for this project, in boxes, by color (need to find a container for the reds!) on the floor beside my cutting table:

What’s truly crazy is that I have at least this much fabric in these colors still in drawers if I need more! In particular, I have a lot more reds. There’s enough for many, many more autumn quilts…..

My process is to cut the pieces for one or two blocks and arrange on the table before sewing – 20 pieces per block:

That pile of strips on the right are bias strips from which I choose a stem for each leaf.

I’m making slow but steady progress on “Stormy Weather” – 2 new stars, making 20, and sprigs block #18:

This sprigs block has reverse appliqu̩, but was still easy. The pattern calls for 40 sprigs blocks and there are only 20 sprigs block patterns, which means each pattern is repeated. I am considering a change in the pattern which I plan to discuss in my next post Рstay tuned!!!

I’m also making slow, but noticeable progress in hand quilting the “golden quilt.” Block 5:

I have to admit to another “mistake” with this quilt (in addition to the too thick batting). Many of the appliqué pieces are quite large – these are 20 inch blocks – and I was planning to cut out the backing fabric behind some of the largest pieces (to facilitate easier hand quilting), but took it to the long-armer for basting without remembering to do that. This means yet another layer of fabric – harder to hand quilt! I finally got up the courage to try it and it was, surprisingly, not as hard as I thought it would be. Yes, the stitches are bigger, but this is not a competition quilt! Can you see the red stitches at the junction with the orange fabric?:

I generally do not cut out fabric from behind appliqué pieces, especially small pieces, unless I plan to hand quilt on the appliqué.

The pieces for the next sunflower block with the first round of pinning done have sat on my sewing table for several days, but I just haven’t gotten to it!

A friend of mine told me about the app “All Trails.” It’s free and if you are a walker I highly recommend it! You can type in any location and the app gives you detailed information about trails in your area and what you are allowed to do on them besides walk, e.g. snow shoeing, etc. I now have found some new places to walk!

Today I walked in a local forest. It was lovely and quiet – almost no one else there. There were some open spaces and half way through was a bench to rest on:

I continue to enjoy and to study color as it changes and fades:

Have you heard the term “forest bath?” It’s “being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.” It’s known to be soothing, satisfying, restorative. I plan to continue with my “forest baths” even through the winter if possible! I also have to figure out what the “taste” part means! 🙂

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who reads my blog and I want to send out an extra special thanks to those who comment. I have no expectation for readers to comment – it’s not necessary! However, I truly enjoy hearing from you, even occasionally and I do my best to respond to each comment. I’m truly grateful to be part of the blogging community and consider many of you friends. Thank you again!!!

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

October 31, 2020: “Maple Leaf Rag” grows!

Greetings dear readers. The growth of “Maple Leaf Rag” over the past week shows how much I am enjoying making these blocks. Thank goodness, because I really need the distraction from worries about the pandemic and the election. I have 32 blocks – almost half of what I think I will need! And I’m mulling over design decisions.

I’ve never questioned that the blocks should be oriented on point as I love how they look that way with the tips pointing straight up. I don’t believe any sashing is required as I like the idea of a “mass” of them without any divisions. It’s going to be rectangular. I’m toying with ideas for a border….

Here are the new individual blocks:

I’m thrilled to be using fabrics that I’ve had for a long time – many from the 1990’s and 2000’s when I was building my fabric collection. I bought a lot of medium value “tone on tone” fabrics and those have not gone out of style and are perfect for these blocks.

I also found time to make Sunflower block #16:

I’m starting to think ahead with these sunflowers as to how I’m going to attach them to the background fabric. If I just turn the outer edges under and appliqué them down, there’s quite a bit of bulk where the seams from the 15 sections would get turned under. Reverse appliquéing them with the background fabric on top would be tricky because of the precise circles’ cutting and sewing needed to get it to come out flat. I could cover the outer edges of the circles with strips of fabric – basically bias tape- and appliqué that down without having to turn the edges under; this would add an additional design element around the block edges. Options to consider! I’m definitely planning to add appliqué designs to the block intersections. And of course there will be a border. 4 more blocks to go!

Almost finished hand quilting the 4th block on this still unnamed quilt:

I’ve been quite the busy bee this week as I also partially prepped 3 more sprigs blocks for Stormy Weather:

Speaking of “stormy weather” look what happened here yesterday:

Our first snow! It was just a dusting and is melted away today already. But a harbinger of things to come!

Al, knowing that we have a long and difficult winter ahead and figuring that we could use some new recipes, bought this book early this week:

He proceeded to make the “Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby” pancake, filled with delicious apples and served with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast a couple days ago:

Then he made the “Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes” for dinner – also really delicious!!!

Lots of the other recipes in the book look great! We have several of Ina’s cookbooks and they are good!

The color outside is almost gone – mostly browns with a few spots of gold and yellow. The other day, before the snow, I captured these beautiful peach colored leaves – looking at the backs reminded me of how we can sometimes use the more muted colors on the backs of our fabrics:


I also liked the colors of these birch leaves:

When next I write, all the votes will be in and I hope we will know the outcome of the election. I’ve always believed that “character matters.” Good character is essential in good leaders. I hope we will have a leader with good character going forward.

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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

October 25, 2020: Naming quilts; markers; late autumn colors

Greetings! As leaves – millions!!! – encroach on our deck, driveway…everywhere actually!, my maple leaves are encroaching on Stars and Sprigs on my design wall:

I think it’s time to take Stormy Weather down in order to make room for more leaves, though I plan to continue making blocks for both. The sprigs take longer and for a while that quilt will grow more slowly than the leaf quilt which needs the space now. Here are the newest 3 blocks for Stormy Weather:

And here are the newest maple leaves:

The fabrics are all from my “stash” (so far!) collected over 25 years. I have a good selection of autumn fabrics because I’ve made several autumn themed quilts. They are a mixture of batiks (about 1/3) and non batiks (2/3).

I think naming quilts is part of the enjoyment of the process and rarely have trouble coming up with something decent. My mind usually starts mulling over ideas not long after I start making something so I’ve already been thinking about what to call the new leaves quilt. “Autumn Sonata” as a companion piece to my “Spring Sonata” quilt?? Then Al, whose favorite hobby is playing piano, found this piece while digging through a pile of music looking for something else and I knew it was the perfect name for the quilt!

Now while I’m making maple leaves in the sewing room, I hear Al practicing this piece, trying to bring it back! So we are both working on the “Maple Leaf Rag” :):)

In contrast, I haven’t come up yet with a name I like for the “Hospital Sketches” Barbara Brackman sew- along and I’m in the hand quilting phase – very unusual!!!

For a while I was calling it “A Walk on the Wild Side” because of the gold color background, but I never liked the name that much and now feel I need to come up with something else. In reality, I’d like to call it “The Beast” or maybe “The Golden Beast”! The reason is that this quilt is physically a beast!!! The wool batting is super thick and heavy and the quilt is large so it weighs a ton and is hard to move around! Some day it’s going to feel good on the bed in the winter, but it’s hard to think that far ahead! In hindsight I should have used thinner batting or had it machine quilted, but there’s no switching at this point and the hand quilting is going OK. But what to call it……????

I’m marking the grid quilting lines with a hera marker – my favorite way to mark quilting lines – no actual marks on the quilt and the lines are easy to see and they disappear with the stitching:

Speaking of markers, Frixion pens are relatively new to me. I’m using them – Pilot brand purchased at the drug store – to mark the background fabric for the Sprigs blocks.

I wasn’t aware until a few days ago that the marks, even after removed by heat, can apparently come back in cold temperatures. So I tested mine. I drew on a piece of this background fabric, ironed the markings off and put the fabric in the fridge for a couple hours. NO return of the marks. Then I put it in the freezer for a couple hours – the marks returned, but were faint and they ironed right away again. So – unless a quilt is going to be outside in freezing weather, there’s not much chance the marks are coming back. I read that they wash away, too. I would recommend using these pens for marking lines that are not going to show anyway, such as the lines in appliqué blocks that are going to be covered with other fabric or for seam lines. I certainly would not use them to mark quilting lines.

Autumn ends in northern New England in mid November and spring doesn’t come until late April. That’s a good 5+ months of winter when the brown, gray, and pine green are periodically replaced for a day or two with a blanket of white snow and blue skies. I am still reveling in the last of the fall colors, though now it’s the mostly golds and russets of late autumn.

For a few more days there are sparks of color here and there, the most brilliant of which is my Japanese maple:

This brilliant red only lasts a week! Other spots of color, soon to be gone:

I voted by absentee ballot last week. Our town hall is 1/2 mile away – an easy drop off spot. I debated for a while whether to wait and vote in person, but decided that the election officials in our semi-rural and not heavily populated area can be counted on to make sure all votes are counted and there is little to no likelihood of any trouble. I am hoping with all my heart we do not reward the current administration (so bad for so many reasons!) with another term and look forward to the election being over soon. Unfortunately, the pandemic is not going to be over soon. Wishing all of you good health and comfort in your stitching (and/or whatever else gives you comfort!).

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

October 19, 2020: Still reveling in autumn colors!!

Greetings! Autumn colors here in southern NH are still glorious, though past their peak for many trees. On my walks as I see the leaves fall I frequently find myself thinking about the fleeting nature of everything. We so often fail to appreciate the vastness of time and our short sojourn here. That’s why one of my mantras is “cherish each day.” There was a lovely essay in the New York Times this morning by Christopher Solomon in which he says, poetically, “The turn of summer to fall always mixes beauty with melancholy. October’s yellow afternoons smell of winter at the edges. Everything lovely harbors an ending.”

I can’t resist sharing a few more autumn pictures, all taken within walking distance of home with my iPhone. By color, starting with PINK:

ORANGE:

GOLD:

RED:

I also want to share a view of a 19th century brick farmhouse that I pass on one of my walks – just a nice “late” autumn picture with lots of leaves already down!

These colors are inspiring my own Maple Leaf making – averaging about one a day and here are my latest 4:

The design wall with all 16:

I’ve also made one more sunflower – #15:

I finally pulled out my quilt from Barbara Brackman’s 2019 “Hospital Sketches” sew along after not touching it for several months. Only 2 of the nine center blocks had been hand quilted. With the cooler weather, it was finally time to get back to some hand quilting! I just completed a third block and have started on the 4th – still a long way to go! But a good project for this winter.

This is the first time I’ve used the “Quilter’s Dream” brand of wool batting and I’m not liking it as much as the Hobbs brand because it seems a lot thicker than the Hobb’s wool. Making my small stitches is harder because of that thickness and my hands are more stressed. Wonder if anyone else has had trouble hand quilting with this brand of wool? I will, however, persevere!!!

If you want to see some gorgeous quilts (and who of us doesn’t?!) google The Pacific International Quilt Festival and take a look at their virtual show. There are dozens (hundreds?) of quilts to view – wonderful prize winners, show entries, and special exhibits. As best I can tell all the quilts have full and closeup views. Since we can’t go to shows right now, this is the next best thing. Grab a cut of coffee or tea and enjoy!!!

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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

October 15, 2020: And then there were 12 (maple leaves)!; A sunflower ghost story; Speaking out

Greetings! Since last posting, I have made another 8 maple leaf blocks and am loving how these are looking and am enjoying being inspired by my environment and by my fabric collection, accumulated over 20+ years. Here are the 12, so far, on my design wall:

And here are pictures of each one:

Am truly loving choosing the fabrics. I go to my fabric drawers and pick a background and 4 fabrics for each leaf, the latter usually shading lighter at the tip and darker at the bottom. I’ll pick for several blocks at once, varying the colors, e.g.:

More blocks:

This next one was inspired by some of the intense “peachy” colors I’ve seen recently:

I’m sharing a few more fall photos and these will likely be the last ones as peak color here in southern NH was this week and it won’t be long before the branches are bare. Al and I drove across the southern part of the state and into southeastern Vermont yesterday and the colors were stunning! I missed getting some of the best pictures because we were in a moving car with no place to stop. As it is, it can be hard to capture the beauty with just an iPhone camera.

This week I also made sunflower block #14:

There’s a little story that goes with this one. When I made my little trip to Maine to the Busy Thimble last month, my major goal was to find background fabric for these sunflower blocks so I brought all 9 that I had made at the time with me. I was able to lay out the blocks against various bolts of fabric to help me make my decision. The day I was there, the ONLY people in the shop – which is in a rather isolated spot in the country – were Cindy (the owner), friend Wendy Reed, and me. While we took a break to have a picnic lunch on the shop’s porch, I left the blocks along with several bolts of fabric laying out on a table. At some point after the lunch I noticed I had only 8 blocks! All 3 of us scoured the shop (which isn’t that large!), looking at the floors, under cabinets, between bolts of fabric – everywhere! – and we couldn’t find it. I had to leave without it and Cindy still hasn’t located it! So weird!!! I swear a ghost took it!!!!!! In all honesty, I think it might have been folded up into a bolt of fabric, though we tried to look at all the bolts I thought I was considering. Anyway- when I got home, I determined I had enough of all the fabrics from that block to make it again and that’s the block you see above. If Cindy ever does find the block, I plan to replace the center with a light solid fabric and use it on the back of the quilt for a label!

Speaking out:

My blog is primarily a place to share my passion for quilting. In normal times I also share travel photos and I sometimes share book recommendations and the occasional family photo. During the pandemic, because I can’t travel, I’ve been sharing photos from my walks. I rarely speak out about the larger issues we face, but it’s certainly not because they don’t affect me or because I don’t think about them. As a retired physician who knows a lot about infectious diseases and was responsible for coordinating campus responses to public health threats from infectious diseases, I feel a need, however, to speak out at least once on our government’s handling of the pandemic. It’s been a dismal failure. The failure to have a coordinated, national, if not international, response, based solidly in science and the lack of a consistent message around all the measures that could help, including mask wearing, distancing, etc., and the lack of adequate testing and contact tracing, has caused the pandemic to drag on and to kill tens of thousands of people that didn’t need to die. The “New England Journal Of Medicine” – the premier (and most trusted) medical journal in the world – just published an unprecedented editorial (signed by their 34 physician editors) last week condemning the administration’s response to the virus, noting that tens of thousands have unnecessarily died, and urging that we not reward this incompetence with a second term in office. This was an amazing thing for the journal to do as they are essentially apolitical, but reality dictated they respond in this way. I am appalled and furious about this situation and agree with them! Now, back to quilting…..

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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

October 9, 2020: Lots of blocks! and more….

Greetings! A particular “maple leaf” block has long been on my list of blocks to try making – the one with the pointy tip. I find it particularly attractive compared to other pieced maple leaf block designs. On 9/21 Marie at the blog “QuiltBee” (rie-quiltbee.blogspot.com) showed how she made this block with detailed instructions and pictures and inspired me to finally try it! How could I resist with all the fall colors around me?! Here’s my first block – it finishes at 7 inches:

I love it! It’s a bit tricky to get all the pieced triangles going the correct way and I used a seam ripper several times before getting the hang of it. I realized the block is not hard to make – you just have to be mindful of what you’re doing! One change I made from Marie’s instructions was to make the template for the side triangles of the leaf point section larger and trim that section to size. That section came out too small for me using her template.

I was excited enough to proceed to make another block reversing the values, i.e. with a dark background:

Then I went back to the light background, but green with a red leaf:

And the latest one is another with a darker background. For the first 3 blocks I shaded the 4 leaf fabrics in each from lightest at the tip to darkest at bottom. For this one I put the darkest in the middle and don’t think it works as well. I’m not taking it out, however, because it might still fit when I get around to planning an overall design:

Uh oh – did I just start another project?!!!!!!! :):)

I recently completed 3 more sprigs blocks for “Stormy Weather” – now up to 15:

And here’s what I have so far – 32(out of 81) blocks:

The outdoor pictures of the blocks show the color better than what you see indoors on my design wall.

I made sunflower block #13:

Here are the first 12 on the design wall:

Pictures from today’s walk – I’m so lucky!!

Some Halloween decorations in the area:

I have some recommendations for other on line sites to check out! For some time, I have been reading Jen Broemel’s interviews with textile artists on their use of improvisation in design. In general she posts a new one every couple of weeks and I find them always interesting and I highly recommend them. Her blog is called “The Art of Improv” at jenbroemel.com.

I’ve also found the site Textile Artist at textileartist.org to be interesting and full of lots of good articles. Recently “The Stitcher’s Journey is Special” was quite good.

I also recommend Cathy Perlmutter’s blog “Gefilte Quilt” at gefilte quilt.blogspot.com. Scroll back to her post from 8/17/20 and enjoy – I couldn’t stop laughing!!! I also give Cathy credit for the pattern for the masks I make.

The Studio Art Quilt Associates – SAQA web site – http://www.saqa.com – has links to lots of you tube videos of exhibits and artists talking about their work.

Finally I’d like to put in a plug for a new song/video, “When Trouble Comes,” by my dear friend Craig Werth who not only is a wonderful musician, but he created my web site and blog for me. He co-wrote the song with Canadian singer/songwriter Allison Lupton and I think it is so apropos for our troubled times! Go to the Biography page at my web site (gladiquilts.net) and click on Craig’s name in the last paragraph to get to his web site (or Google his name and go directly to his web site) and the link to You Tube should be in the middle of the front page. Enjoy!

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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

October 4, 2020: Finishing yesterday’s post!

Greetings! I’m back today because I want to make sure I remember how to post in the “new” system that was put into place without warning and without training!!! That seems to be the story with a lot of technology these days, unfortunately.

I know we are all missing quilt shows and the excitement of seeing and being inspired by new quilts. Sometimes looking back at older ones can be inspirational as well. I’m trying to go through my quilt books to see if I can let any of them go and came across this:

It’s more of a pamphlet or monograph than a book, but has excellent pictures of 17 quilts by Ikuko Fujishiro. I believe this constitutes her entire output of quilts, but they are all amazing works of art, reminding me of the impressionists. She, unfortunately, died in 2004 at the relatively young age of 57. I’m sharing pictures of 4 of those quilts.

The first is her earliest from 1987 and looks the most traditional:

The next 3 might not get posted in chronological order, but the descriptions should have the year. How I would love to see these in person! I have a feeling seeing them in person would be like being in front of Monet’s vast water lilies’ paintings and taking in all the variations in color throughout.

A closeup above and even closer with the “description” below:

The next quilt is the one with the closeup on the cover:

A closeup:

Description:

And the last one:

Close up and description:

She says it took her 14 months to make the above quilt – it would have taken me years if not a lifetime!!!!!!!

Recently I had a decision to make about my Trunk Shows. Originally all the ones I had for this year got rescheduled to next year. Recently I was contacted about the first one for next year scheduled for late March. Their guild decided to go only with Zoom programs for all of next year. I’m guessing others may follow that path. They wanted to know if I’d do my Trunk Show via Zoom. I thought about it for several days and decided not to. I feel that a really important part of my trunk show is seeing the quilts in person and being able to see them close up. Since I don’t need to make money from my programs I think I’ll wait until guilds are allowed to gather in person again. Of course am hoping that will be at least by the latter half of next year???? It will be so tough on so many of us if the pandemic goes longer than that – don’t even want to think about it! Already worried about getting through the winter! I do, however, think that Zoom programs and workshops are here to stay and will supplement guild programs or at least continue to be available for individual lessons and this seems like a good thing.

Will finish up today with a few more pictures of fall colors:

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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

October 3, 2020: Updates and Autumn Drive

Greetings dear readers! I hope you are staying healthy and finding ways to get through your days reasonably well during these crazy times. I know that my daily routines of stitching, reading, music, walking, and chores (yes, even chores!) help to keep me grounded. On top of all the wildness going on out in the world, today I was faced with an unexpected total change of everything on my WordPress blog site and will need to spend some time figuring out how to write and post so I’m not sure how today’s post will look! You’ll have to bear with me and, in case things look different, that’s why! (I think the pictures may be bigger, which would be great.)

Just a few days ago I finished sewing together everything for the first 10 rows of the Hexagon Star quilt. Just getting the first 4 rows all together and sewn to rows 5-10, which were already together, took 2 months. I am now entering year 4 of this project and will put it away for a while before starting to work on rows 11-13 (or maybe I’ll go for 15 rows!!! Anyway, I think I’m ready for a break! (The tan background pieces are a bit richer in color than the photos show.)

I went on a star making binge for “Stormy Weather” and have stars #14 -17 done:

And I made Sunflower #12:

Two days ago Al and I took advantage of beautiful weather to drive north into the White Mountains of NH and enjoyed views of the mountains and foliage; it was wonderful to get out!

Originally this post was going to be longer and I have more to share, however, I’m going to end it here because I’m not sure what’s going to happen when I click on the “publish” button with everything looking and feeling different and I want to know if this works! If this is successful, I’ll be back soon with the rest of what I was going to share!

“All flourishing is mutual.”

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