Greetings! Over the past week, especially since I had my first experience of working only half time, I got on a serious roll making blocks for “Many Moons” and I didn’t stop until the day before yesterday when I had the top completely sewn together! It’s been rare for me to work like this in the past, but I can now see that it’s possible when more time is available – I like it!
Here is the story of “Many Moons.” It started 2 or 3 years ago when I gathered a group of my authentic Japanese fabrics in reds, black, gray, and pinks, thinking they looked nice together but having no idea what I would do with them. Some of the fabrics were purchased in Japan, some were pieces of old kimonos purchased from Kimono Momo vending at quilt shows and others were purchased from vendors at shows and shops selling these type fabrics. I added some other fabrics from my stash, including some reproduction fabrics, which looked good with them. I put them all in a plastic tub and periodically looked at them hoping to be inspired with a design. A few months later, while going through old Quiltmania issues for pleasure and inspiration, I saw this quilt on the cover (with closeup from inside) and thought my Japanese fabrics might work well for it:
However, I wasn’t entirely sure, so I just held onto the idea for a while. Last spring I started reading a lot about improvisational quilts and the pleasures of working that way. I was inspired to give it a try and my choice was to start appliqueing circles to square backgrounds in varying sizes using the Japanese fabrics in the red, pink, black, and gray colors. I decided not to follow the Quiltmania pattern but used the idea of combining circles of different sizes.
The project was languishing a bit but in November the online sew along – Quilty 365 – which challenges quilters to applique a circle a day, inspired me to get going with this and I made a bunch more blocks. My last few posts have shown you the individual circle blocks as I made them and last post showed how I combined them to create larger blocks. Late last week I got into a “zone” and didn’t stop until I had 30 nine inch blocks – enough to put them together 5 across and 6 down. The last seam was sewn the day before yesterday and here is the top (click on it to enlarge it):
Here are some closeups:
I have decided not to add any more circles in some of the larger rectangles – I think those provide nice areas to “rest” the eyes; more circles would be too much. I am going to have this machine quilted. I don’t plan to put a border on it – unusual for me! In fact, this entire quilt is a departure from my usual traditional quilts, but I really like it! My husband’s first reaction was “strange,” then he changed it to “different.” He really likes traditional quilts. That’s OK. I’m happy to say my quilting friends who saw it at our monthly gathering Tuesday evening like it.
Most of the “Quilty 365” circle applique participants will be continuing the next several months. I decided I want to continue to applique circles so I am making one of this year’s doll quilts with circles. Here’s what I have so far:
I’ll keep you posted!
I am continuing to quilt Stella Nova. The other day when I had it on the floor to measure it for the Vermont Quilt Festival application, the sun shown through the window onto it an highlighted the quilting:
I’ll close today with four more quilts from the Japanese Quilts exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. I love the bold graphic look and colors in this black and red quilt, especially the applique border. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the name of the maker for this one. It is hand done. Click on the pictures to enjoy the details:
I love how the maker of the next one used calla lilies to create her basic design and I love her color choices:
This next quilt was one of my favorites. I always love circular designs and these block designs are circular. I love the many varied fabrics and I particularly like the embroidered upper and lower borders. I would love to make a quilt just like this one!
Finally, this next one is really different but I like it a lot! I like the circles, of course, and I like all the hand stitching embellishment:
I am into my second week of semi-retirement and loving it so far. The extra time off feels decadent after so many years of full time hard work, but I’m enjoying it. I very much like not having the burden of the Medical Director responsibilities – what a difference this makes when I’m at work! So far, so good!
Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day! Gladi