March 16, 2014: 1. Projects update 2. Visit to New England Quilt Museum


I spent some time this week on my granddaughter Svetlana’s quilt.  I made 5 more blocks to bring the total to 15 (out of the 30 needed) and then finally took some time to do the machine applique buttonhole stitch around the leaves on several of them.  This highlights the edges of the leaves, anchors them, and prevents any fraying in the future.  In the picture below you can really tell the difference in the leaves that are outlined (the lower 2 groups) and those that are not:

31614 svq#1 edge highlight


Here are some more close-ups:

31614 svq#2close


31614 svq#3 close edge


And here are all 15 blocks on the design wall (the ones with outlined leaves are in the top 2 rows):

31614 svq#4 fullview


Click on pictures for close-ups!  There is going to be sashing between all the blocks when they are finally sewn together and I’m planning to do some sort of border with butterflies because Sveta loves butterflies!!

I finished sewing the fussy-cut stars to the background fabric and put the border on the first doll quilt for this year’s “Trio of Doll Quilts.”

31614 DollQ full


Some time before October this will be layered and hand quilted.  Now I have the challenge of deciding what design I want to do for the second doll quilt.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been studying Spirit of Japan regarding borders.  I pinned up some chunks of fabric above and below the quilt just to get a vague sense of how it would look as a rectangle and also to get some idea of whether any of the fabrics I have could work in the border:

31614 soj#1 rectangle


I don’t have enough of any one piece of my indigo fabric to use for both the top and bottom borders.  I didn’t want to drive well over an hour to the nearest place that carries this type fabric to shop for more and wasn’t sure whether I’d find what I want there anyway.  There’s also a part of me that is telling me to use what I already own!!   I considered using smaller pieces of fabric cut from the many pieces of indigo I already own and making a pieced patchwork strip for each border, but am not sure I like that idea.  I then cut 2 strips from the following fabric – just enough when sewn together for one of the 2 borders:

31614 soj#2 top border

And here’s a closer view:

31614 soj#3 closer top border

I really like this fabric as a top border.  I plan to quilt circular and/or spiral designs in red thread – something like sashiko – on the border and I think that will look good with this fabric.  I will have to use a different fabric for the bottom border (because I don’t believe I can purchase any more of this fabric) so that will be the next challenge to tackle. I am also thinking of appliqueing some red hexagon stars (like the blue ones already on the quilt) at the junction of the quilt and the border and will probably make one soon to see if it looks right.

And, of course, I am steadily quilting Spring Sonata.  28 of the 98 center blocks are quilted and I’m loving using the new silk thread I talked about in the last post.

I recently went to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA to see their exhibit of mostly Japanese quilts which were winners in one of the major Japanese quilt shows a couple years ago.  I knew this was an exhibit I did not want to miss since I am such a huge fan of Japanese quilts and I was not disappointed!  It’s a great exhibit and I highly recommend it if you have a chance to go.  I had the great good fortune to go to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in 2010 and this exhibit at the NEQM made me long to go back to that fantastic show some future year!

Today I will show only a couple of my favorite quilts in the exhibit.  First is an unfortunately blurry picture of me in front of one of my favorite quilts.  My husband sometimes isn’t the best photographer!

31614 NEQM#1 me


I absolutely love the graphic nature of the design of this quilt, the fabulous use of color and fabric choices, and the intricate and beautiful borders on the sides.  I love the fact that it is mostly hand done.   Following are a number of close-ups that show the incredible craftsmanship (and I included the label with the quiltmaker’s name and statement):

31614 NEQM#2 label


31614 NEQM#3full


31614 NEQM#4close


31614 NEQM#5


31614 NEQM#6 border


31614 NEQM#7 final


Another of my favorites was this one:

31614 NEQM#8 second Q


Once again, I love the graphic nature of the design and the hand quilting.  I really like how she carried the lily pattern, but without the stems, to the border design.  She was masterful in using this limited color palette and in using the black and white fabrics.  Here are a couple of closeups and the label:

31614 NEQM#9 close


31614 NEQM#10


31614 NEQM#11


31614 NEQM#12


READING:  I finished Ozecki’s “A Tale for the Time Being” and it was excellent all the way through!.  I’m on some kind of lucky roll with my reading because I am now almost finished with Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” which is also excellent!  I highly, highly recommend both these books.  Atkinson’s book was one of the New York Times top 5 novels of 2013 and was on many other best books of 2013 lists.  Ozecki’s book was a finalist for the National Book Critic Circle’s best fiction for 2013 award.  Both books are exceedingly well written and really make one think in depth about many issues.


That’s enough to absorb for today!  I have pictures of several more absolutely wonderful quilts from the NEQM exhibit to share but will do that over the next couple posts.  I’m heading into my busiest time of the year at work as the academic year ends in 2 months.  I have schedules to create for next year, performance evaluations to do, my own professional goals to achieve, and more, so it’s possible I might not be able to post quite as often (let alone get a lot of quiltmaking done!) for awhile but will aim for posting something at least every 2 weeks.

As always, thanks for stopping by and don’t hesitate to leave a comment!



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