April 6, 2014: New Applique Projects and more


I have just had a quiet and productive (from a quilting standpoint!) weekend.  My retired husband has left me alone for a week while he goes on a road trip to visit friends and family in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and NYC.   After working for 12 days in a row ( I have to do this about 7 times a year)  I was ready for a break.  I was able to spend some quality, uninterrupted time preparing some applique, a desire I mentioned in my last post.

I drew up this plan for the second doll quilt of this year’s “trio”:

4614 tealeaf draft

Each of the leaves is in a 2 inch square.  The above draft picture shows 4 blocks by 5 blocks but that’s only because the paper wasn’t big enough to show the planned 5 blocks by 6 blocks size that I plan to make.  I prepped 30 blocks with different 19th century reproduction fabrics:

4614 tealeaf#2fabrics

This will make an excellent portable project and should be easy.

Then I challenged myself to try to draft an original applique block for the bigger project using the bird fabric with the black background that I showed in the last post.  I decided to use the lighter but busier background fabric.  One of the main reasons is that I have enough of it;  I would have had to order much more of the darker background.  But I do think the lighter fabric will look good for the quilt.    I am thinking that this quilt will have Baltimore Album style blocks, probably all different without repeats.  That will make it more interesting.  I will likely set it 4 blocks across and 4 down in straight sets, but think I would like to do one larger center block instead of the 4 blocks that would normally be in the center.  The blocks will be 12 inches square.  This means the center block will be 24 inches square.  Since there is a directional design in the background fabric, setting the blocks on-point is not an option.  The biggest challenge will be to see how many at least somewhat original designs I can come up with!  Here’s what I have so far for the first block:

4614 Applique block

Here is a close-up that shows the upper portion of the block.  You can see the oak leaves are different.  After cutting out 4 of the one in the upper left corner, I am thinking I like the one on the right better.  I am thinking about using the bird that I have already used in 2 other quilts!

4614 App block closeup

Obviously this is a rough draft, but I’m liking it.

After working on the applique block design, I proceeded to do one of the things I enjoy the most when preparing to start a new project.  I spent an hour or two combing through my stash of fabrics, picking out fabrics that I think would look good in the applique blocks and would go with and enhance the border fabric.  I choose the colors – in this case, red,green, black, brown – and then try to pick fabrics in a wide range of shades of each color for variety.  Here are pics of the fabrics I came up with:


4614 Appliq Reds



4614 Appliq Greens

Blacks and browns:

4614 Appliq BlackBrown

And then I put them all together in a box just for this project:

4614 Appliq Boxed

It’s like shopping in your own private store! Now they are ready to go for when the block design is completed and template pieces are cut – hope that’s not too long from now!

Because of this quiet weekend, I completed quilting 4 more blocks from Spring Sonata:

4614 SS block

I did a rough count and believe I have about 44 of the 98 blocks in the center of the quilt done – almost half way with these.  That’s not halfway through the entire quilting project though because there are all the borders and the setting triangles to do as well.  It is going to be tight getting this done for the October show and may not happen!

I have still more quilts from the New England Quilt Museum to share.  Here are 2 more for this post.  First up is a quilt that was from the museum collection and not a part of their special exhibit of Japanese quilts.  I love this old Baltimore Album quilt and hope to use a couple of the blocks for inspiration for my new project.

4614 neqm App#1

4614 neqm App#2

4614 neqm App#3

4614 neqm App#4

And here is another one from the Japanese exhibit.  She uses antique indigo fabric in a very creative way, which I love.  Also, even though it’s blurry, be sure to read the exhibit label:

4614 neqm Indigo#1

4614 Indigo#2

4614 neqm Indigo#3

4614 neqm Indigo#4(tag)

What I’m reading:  “My Beloved World” the autobiography by Sonia Sotomayor, the supreme court justice.  Highly recommended!  The story is very well written and very personal with lots of insight into her childhood, family, education, marriage, and the development of her career.  I think she would be a wonderful person to know!!  She is idealistic, committed to service, and very human.  A great role model!

What I’m listening to:  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 – 4 times in the last 2 weeks!!  Saw one of my children’s piano teachers – Arlene Kies – who teaches at UNH, perform it with the Portsmouth Symphony 2 weeks ago.  Wow – she gave a beautiful performance of a piece that is universally agreed to be one of the hardest piano concertos in the repertoire.  Then Al and I twice watched the Youtube version of Vladimir Horowitz’s performance in 1978 with the NY Philharmonic – simply stunning!!  And then Al found a performance on Youtube which shows the music as it is being played – amazing!  This could be my favorite piano concerto though I also love, love, love Beethoven’s Fifth piano concerto – the “Emperor.”  The third movement of the Beethoven is perhaps the personification of “joy.”  The Rachmaninoff piece, esp. the second movement, may be the personification of “romantic.”

Thank you for visiting!!


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