September 14, 2015: Updates; World Quilt Show Part 5

Greetings!  I am very busy at work, but I try to slip in some sewing, a few minutes (or sometimes an hour!) here and a few minutes (or hour!) there whenever I can.  Last post I showed the fabrics for the “bronzed brown” stars and here they are completed:

91315 brown star#1 91315 brown star#2 91315 brown star#3 91315 brown star#4

The first star above is my best example of a “bronzy” shade of brown in the center print.  The one to its right has that shade of brown in half of the star points and the lower left one has that shade in the background stems and leaves.  The fourth star also has some of that shade of brown in the corner blocks (leaves) and the points are a “bronzy” brownish shade of olive green. Click on them for closeups.

This weeks’ stars were to feature “crettone” which is a type of chintz, but apparently seen in the latter 19th century whereas true chintz was more typical earlier in that century.  I found several fabrics that fit the bill and could not limit myself so I am currently in process of making 5 of these!  These will take me over the 100 stars mark – I’ll have 104 of them!

How do I make these stars?  I spend about an hour or so going through my fabric collection picking the feature fabrics and finding other fabrics that will go with them so I can use 2-4 different fabrics in each star.  Then I spend another hour or so cutting out the pieces for all of them at once.  I then lay the stars out in pieces on my sewing table and then I chain piece.  There are 4 sewing “passes” to put the stars together.  The first one involves pinning and sewing a star point onto the center of each of the 4 sides and then pressing them open:

91315 chain piecing#1 91315 chain piecing#2

Often I will do this piecemeal whenever I have a few free minutes.  Next I sew the second point onto each piece (second “pass”) – pin, sew, iron:

91415 star production#1

Then these are snipped apart and I “square” these up so that each one measures 2 inches by 3 1/2 inches and the seam points that are sticking out are trimmed off:

91415 star production#2

Then I put the stars’ pieces in their places:

91415 star production#3

In the picture below the pieces are separated a little so you can see them better.  I next will sew the top 3 pieces together, the middle 3 pieces together and the bottom 3 pieces together – the third “pass.”  I press the seams open.  I haven’t done this pass yet for these 5 stars.  The fourth and final “pass” is sewing the top, middle, and bottom sections together and pressing.

91415 star production#4

By having all of this set up in my sewing room I can take advantage of even 5 free minutes to sew a few seams or do some pressing and before I know it, I have more stars!

I started a very simple new block for Sweet Journeys.  I need to do some simple applique right now – my life is too complicated and I need something easy and soothing!  Here’s the block and where I am right now:

91315 SJ block#1 91415 SJ crooked stem 91415 SJ crooked stem fixed

Look at the stem in the first picture that is at about 10:00 on the circle and see that it is crooked.  I am not a perfectionist and I often decide to leave minor errors and imperfections in my quilts.  Life is too short to insist on perfection.  However, that crooked stem was too visible – the eye just went right to it and I decided it had to be fixed – see the second picture.  Much better!

I looked up how to draw “Baptist Fans” which I want to quilt all over the star crib quilt, Stella Nova:

91315 baptist fan

I will probably make cardboard or plastic templates for these.  Eventually I’ll get to the hand quilting but I think it’s going to be hot again the next several days.  I’m going to quilt with pink thread which should be fun!

Today I am going to share some of the quilts from the World Quilt Festival that were part of an exhibit of quilts using the color gray.  I think the exhibit was called 50 Shades of Gray.  Enjoy! (click for enlargements)

91315 gray1a 91315 gray1b 91315 gray 1c

Really liked the organic designs on this next one:

91315 gray 2a 91315 gray 2b 91315 gray 2c

Wonderful interpretation of Debra Kemball designs:

91315 gray 3a 91315 gray 3b 91315 gray 3c

Very much liked the night sky in the background on this one:

91315 gray 4a 91315 gray 4b 91315 gray 4c

Loved the hand work on this next one:

91315 gray 5a 91315 gray 5b 91315 gray 5c 91315 gray 5d

This one was really fun!

91315 gray 6a 91315 gray 6b 91315 gray 6c

I liked the sashiko designs used for hand quilting on this one:

91315 gray 7a 91315 gray 7b 91315 gray 7c

Wonderful tessellation on the next one!

91315 gray 8a 91315 gray 8b

I am pretty sure I still have a few more photos from this show to share in a future post!

What I’m reading:     I recently finished reading “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante, an Italian author.  It’s the first book in a series of 4 books about the friendship between 2 women who grow up in Naples and this book covers their childhood and adolescence.  The series follows their lives into later adulthood.  The fourth and final book in the series just came out this month to excellent reviews.  It is well written and interesting and I recommend it, but am not sure when I will get to the next one.  Right now I am reading a 4th book by W. G. Sebald – Austerlitz, winner of the National Book Award in 2001.  I have loved everything I’ve read by him this summer, but this may be the best one yet; am not quite half way through.  Once again his voice is mesmerizing and the writing is incredible.  It is intellectually stimulating, but written so that it is not difficult to read or understand.  Some of the sentences/thoughts are so interesting that they make me stop and think for several minutes. It seems to me that one of the themes is TIME and how it passes and all thing pass away.  Another is the devastation that occurred in Europe in the mid 20th century because of World War 2.  If you have  an interest in serious literature, I highly recommend it:

91315 books

Enjoy each day and be grateful!   Gladi




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