July 28, 2014: 1. Projects’ progress 2. Reading and more France

Greetings!

I completed the first of this year’s trio of doll quilts and started the third one (second one is waiting to be quilted)!  Because of their small size, it doesn’t take long to quilt them.  Here is the one in the “pumpkin seed” or “leaf” pattern, just finished, hand appliqued and hand quilted (click on pictures for enlargements and details).  This is approximately 14 x 16 inches:

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Here are a couple of close-ups of the back that show the hand quilting much better than the front:

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I love the striped binding!:

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Remember the picture I shared of the fabrics I bought at VQF this year?

72114 VQF purchase #3

Here is what I have so far for the third of this year’s trio of doll quilts, using these fabrics:

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This is the Amish “Roman Stripes” design.  Each of the blocks is currently 3 1/2 inches and will be 3 inches finished.   I plan to have 12 total blocks, 3 across and 4 down.  I drafted my own pattern for paper piecing:

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After making the first 3 blocks with only the fabrics I purchased in Vermont, I studied the quilt from my book of Amish quilts that was my original inspiration:

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I realized that the fabrics I was using were all just a little bit too dark and the quilt needed some lighter fabrics for “sparks” of color.  If you really look at the quilt above in the book, there is a sprinkling of lighter fabrics throughout which add “sparkle” to the quilt.  Then I remembered that I had quite a few more Oakshott cotton fabrics in my stash from previous purchases.  Voila!  There were several that were lighter but looked just right in the quilt.  I had to use “shot” cottons because of the special “shimmer” they provide.  If you look at the picture below you might be able to see that I used only fabrics from this year’s VQF purchase in the farthest right block in the lower row and the first and only block in the row below it and you can see how the addition of some lighter fabrics in the other blocks add interest and “sparkle.”  At least I think they do!!  I plan to add a border similar to the one in the picture in the book.

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For the guild Challenge quilt, I completed the top, layered it and have started quilting.  It’s frustrating not to be able to share it until mid September!  No progress on Spring Sonata while I concentrate on these other projects.

What I’m reading:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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I am really, really enjoying this book!  I love reading for intellectual stimulation and for ideas  and for the beauty of the language and I love discussing books with other knowledgable readers.  For pure reading pleasure, though, I truly enjoy a very well written, well plotted historical novel and this novel qualifies as that.  It is very inventive, a wonderful story, and takes place mostly in the first half of the 19th century.  The heroine is a botanist and there is much reference to all the scientific advances of that time period.

One of the things the heroine muses about is time.  She figures there is “divine” time which is “eternal” and unfathomable because of its duration, “geological time” which still stretches out for eons, but is less than “divine” time, and “human time” which is incredibly short.  She also studies mosses and speculates there is “moss time” which is far longer than human time but shorter than geological time.

This discussion in the book  and the reference to “geological time” made me remember our trip to Peche Merle in France.  Beynac, the village in which we stayed the second week is located right in the heart of the area where most of the caves are that have the celebrated prehistoric cave paintings.  Lascaux is the most famous but no one is allowed in any more because the visiting crowds over the years were causing a lot of deterioration.  Now one is only allowed in to a re-creation of the Lascaux caves.  Rather than do that, Al and I decided to go to one of the caves – Peche Merle – with prehistoric paintings that is still open to the public on a limited basis.  Only a certain number of people are allowed in each day for guided tours.  We got reservations in advance for a tour in English.  It was fascinating and wonderful!!  We were not allowed to take pictures, but here is a picture of a postcard with some of the paintings:

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The entire long and convoluted underground cave was fascinating with all kinds of stalactites and stalagmites and other rock formations created over eons of “geological time”, in addition to the paintings.  Note the “hand” on the postcard.  I posted about the hand as a symbol in quilts 2 years ago and here it is being used as a symbol approximately 25,000 years ago!

Here is another postcard picture from France; it’s another medieval village on a hillside, better captured fully on the postcard than in my picture, tho I include some of my pictures of the place as well:

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Here are the nearly 300 steps that pilgrims supposedly walked up on their knees!

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Thank goodness there were 2 funiculae that could be ridden up and down to get to various parts of this town!

Summer is flying by!  I am intermittently at work but have quite a bit of time off and flexibility in my schedule when the university is not in full session.  I have exactly 4 weeks left before my full time (and then some!) schedule resumes.  A tough decision looms – do I work one more year or two?  No idea, right now.

Thanks for visiting!

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