Here is how the sky appeared as I looked out from the front of my house early this AM:
I own several of well-known quilt historian and author Barbara Brackman’s books and have been reading and enjoying her blogs regularly for the past few years. This year, beginning the first week in January, she started a quilt-along featuring the basic star block which often goes by the name “Ohio Star” or “Sawtooth Star.” Every Wednesday through 2015 on her “Civil War Quilts” blog she features and gives detailed histories of particular fabrics or colors that were typical of the mid 19th century and invites readers to make blocks – at least one a week – featuring the color or fabric she talks about that week. Throughout the year she is going to feature potential settings for the blocks and then each maker will put them together in his/her own unique quilt (or quilts!) at the end of the year. She calls the quilt-along “Stars in a Time Warp.”
The blocks I’ve been seeing quilters make looked so beautiful that I finally gave in and decided I had to do this too – the very first time I have ever participated in a quilt-along. I have 2 large drawers full or reproduction fabric so no shopping – other than from my own fabric collection! – was required. Making the first block was so enjoyable that I couldn’t stop until I was completely caught up except for this week’s block. Here they are:
Featuring “turkey red” color:
Featuring “Prussian blue” color:
Featuring the color “double pink”:
Featuring the color “cheddar” or “chrome orange” (mine is cheddar):
Featuring a solid green color typical of the time period; I didn’t have the solid but the print in the center is a very close approximation of the color:
Featuring “shirting” – these are fabrics with light background and tiny prints. I generally don’t buy or collect these but finally found one I could use in a charm pack I bought a few years ago.
One reason I don’t buy “shirtings” is their light color – now that I look at the block, I wonder if I should soak it in some tea to darken it….maybe…
Here they are all together:
These blocks finish 6 inches square and have been so much fun to make that I am considering making this block in a 4 inch size for one of my doll quilts – stay tuned next post. I will also continue to show you each new block for “Stars in a Time Warp” as the year goes along.
My goal this weekend was to get all the blocks for Joyful Noise sewn together – and I did!!! Here it is (click to enlarge):
It was a challenge to match all those points but I think I did a pretty good job. Much of the work of sewing the rows together was having to press the seams open in order to reduce bulk, but it had to be done. I decided there will be NO circles or any other shapes appliqued to the center of the blocks so that I can cut away the bulk. The quilt looks best with nothing blocking the spaces where the leaves come together. They match well enough and pressing the seams open helped with the bulk. I do think this one will go out for professional machine quilting because there are too many seams to hand quilt through. Here it is with the border fabric tacked up:
My next task on this one is to make the red strips to applique to the borders and to cut the borders from the fabric.
I’ve made a few more circle blocks for the “Improv Quilt” and started to embroider some embellishments. Here are 4 of them:
There are 2 rows of embroidery around this one:
Closeups of the 2 larger blocks – love these fabrics together!
I have always been fascinated by space and astronomy, the solar system, the planets, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the how we humans have pictured the “space” in which we live. One of my favorite books is Timothy Harris’ “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” in which he describes how we humans’ perception of the Universe has changed over time. This week I treated myself to a fabulous book by Michael Benson which covers that very story with gorgeous pictures:
The book is full of wonderful pictures dating from as far back as 3000 years ago to as recent as a couple years ago and I am going to have a great time reading and looking. Some of the older pictures are really fascinating:
Below is a picture from 1660 depicting the Copernican universe with the sun in the center of the solar system (Copernicus is in the lower right of the picture):
Below is a picture from 1660 depicting both the sun in a Ptolemaic, geocentric cosmos, and alternatively the heliocentric scheme proposed by Copernicus.
The picture below is from 1671 in Germany – “The Selenic Shadowdial or the Process of the Lunation” – a graphic depiction of the lunar phases.
I love this next one and wish I had the skills to turn this into a quilt. It is from 1888 and the caption reads: “A missionary of the Middle Ages recounts that he had found the point where heaven and Earth meet.”
Several pictures depicted comets, which were felt to be omens:
The next one is the oldest known picture of Stockholm, Sweden – 1535 – and depicts a phenomenon that occurs when there are ice crystals in the sky:
This one is from the French Renaissance in 1570 and depicts the beginnings of a solar eclipse in Paris:
The above pictures are a TINY sample of the fabulous pictures in this book. I showed older ones because I am particularly fascinated by them but there are many modern views of the universe and its contents as well. I will enjoy this book for a long time!
Thank you visiting and reading my post. Cherish each day! Gladi