Greetings and happy new year!
My first major quilting accomplishment of the new year was completing the Spring Sonata top on New Year’s Day. Actually there is one small decision yet to be made before I baste the layers together and start quilting – whether to add any birds to the border. I studied several options and and have come down to feeling I should either put only one or none on. There’s only one spot on the entire quilt in which a bird looks OK and I’m not sure it needs it. Here are pictures of the finished top without the bird and the last picture shows the bird in the one spot it might work: ( double click on pictures for enlargements!)
Upper left corner without bird:
Upper left corner with the bird:
Leave me a comment with your vote – yes or no for the bird!! My DLM quilt group meets on Tuesday evening and I will ask members’ advice before basting the layers together later this week.
I mentioned in the last post that I bought the backing fabric at Keepsake Quilting a week ago. It’s a Hoffman screen print which is perfect because it is just the right shade of green mixed with some gold and brown and continues the nature theme, adding the idea of water from rain, which, along with the sun, is needed for growth in the spring.
In terms of quiltmaking, what do I hope to accomplish in 2014? I would like to complete the hand quilting on Spring Sonata in time to exhibit it at our guild’s annual show in October. Is this realistic? Hard to tell because what lies ahead is something of a mystery, but for now that’s what I’m going to aim for. I think it’s possible if I stay healthy and life goes well in general. I’ll have a better sense if it is truly realistic by the summer.
I would also like to complete the top of Spirit of Japan #3, the Wheel. This means getting all the blocks made – that shouldn’t be too hard. It also means designing and making a border – that will be more of a challenge!
This year I am in charge of my guild’s annual “Challenge.” I can’t reveal the details yet since guild members won’t be hearing about it until our meeting on January 21st. However, this means that I will definitely be participating and will make a challenge quilt. Details will be revealed after the 21st! I also want to make my third “Trio of Doll Quilts.” I have already been thinking about designs that I’d like to do for these.
This year I plan to make a utilitarian bed quilt for Sveta, my granddaughter. Both grandchildren got baby quilts when they were infants. Then I gave my grandson a “cat” quilt for his bed when he was 7. Now Sveta will be 7 in September and I want to give her a bed quilt to enjoy too. I picked out a pattern, fabrics from my stash of asian sateens, and made one block to get started. The pattern comes from a book in the Great American Quilts series (there were 11 of these books with lots of great patterns!):
Here are the squares and the background fabric:
And here is the first block, so far:
It’s not quite finished yet. I decided that, rather than hand or machine applique the 12 leaves to each block, I would fuse them on and then outline each with a button hole stitch by machine – this latter step is not completed yet; when done I think it will make the leaves more distinct and attractive. The hardest part about making this block is that the corners are mitered! – that makes construction quite a bit more difficult. Nevertheless, it has to be done so that the leaves cover up the seams. I will probably try to put butterflies on the borders since Sveta loves butterflies!! No rush on this project as it can be a Christmas present!
I have 2 more quilting goals for 2014. I would like to try trapunto on a small hand quilted piece. I absolutely love the look on trapunto on quilts and really would like to add this skill to my repertoire. I also would like to piece a sunflower block (or several?!), possibly by hand. The traditional sunflower block is one of my favorites but it is moderately complicated and would be a good challenge.
Given my very busy work schedule, the above goals are probably ambitious. What strikes me, however, is that I have several “projects in waiting” that are not realistic to add to this list!! I have 1) a basket of Dutch Chintz fabric waiting for me, 2) another basket full of authentic kimono fabrics , 3) a plastic container full of dupioni silks that I want to make into a quilt, 4) a gorgeous Moda bird and flower fabric that will make a great border and a group of coordinating fabrics for the center – waiting for me to come up with a design that inspires me, and 5) a pile of beautiful modern Japanese fabrics awaiting a decision about a design for them. I need an extra few days a week!!!
What about personal goals for 2014? For some time now I have had 4 basic guiding principles: “Create, Enjoy, Serve, and Preserve.” (In no particular order of importance.) I strive to be creative in approaching challenges I face and I believe there is great merit and value in actually creating “something” be it a quilt, a poem, a musical composition, a painting, etc. Artistic creativity is one of the highest achievements of humankind and I want to be a part of it! By “enjoy,” I don’t mean anything hedonistic. I mean that I try to maintain a sense of awe and wonder toward life in general and try always to enjoy the beauty and mystery of life. By “serve” I mean that it is important that I try to help others, be kind and generous and not be self centered. My career as a physician certainly helps me to be able to do this! And, finally, by “preserve” I mean 2 things. First, I hope to act in such a way as to help preserve the planet, the environment, great traditions, and all the “good” things life has to offer. Second, I try to preserve my body and mind as they age. This means I need to try to eat healthy and get some regular exercise – I need to do a better job with the exercise this coming year as it is often what I let slip when time is short! Although my diet is quite good, I should eat less sugar and more fruits and vegetables.
So…my goal for 2014 is to continue to focus on the above principles! How does quilting fit in? Quilting for me is an artistic, “creative” pursuit and it also helps fulfill the “preserve” function by helping to relieve stress on my body and mind!! I “enjoy” the quilting process immensely, I “enjoy” the community of fellow quilters, and I can even “serve” others by making a “community” quilt for donation to a worthy cause of helping to work on our guild’s raffle quilt that raises money for charity!
Thanks for stopping by!