April 24, 2016: Circle Play; More pics from MQX show

Greetings!  I spent much of my quilting time since the last post working on the Japanese circle quilt.  I completed the 8th horizontal and vertical rows and decided the quilt needs to be larger – maybe a twin size?  That means it can’t be square.  I bought some more gray background material to add variety:

42316 circles new backgrounds

These are slightly darker than the original 4 I used in the center and I cut out squares to create more rows from the new fabric to make it rectangular (click to enlarge):

42316 circles full view

Here are closeups of the newest circles:

42316 circles new#1 42316 circles new#2 42316 circles new#3 42316 circles new#4 42316 circles new#5 42316 circles new#6 42316 circles new#7 42316 circles new#8

There are 56 new background squares in the full view picture above.  I spent a chunk of time cutting out 56 new circles for these squares and arranged them all on the design wall, then took them down, keeping them in order for future applique:

42316 circles new cut out

HOWEVER….while the new circles were up on the design wall, something didn’t seem right.  There were too many circles and the whole thing felt boring.    The more I thought about it, the more I felt that this “layer” of the quilt needs something other than circles and the middle needs something to make it at least a little bit more interesting.  So I started playing.  This is not a show quilt or an heirloom quilt – why not have fun with it?!!!  I’m toying with the idea of fusing some extra elements to create interest.  In this next picture you can see that I cut out some squares and strips and am playing with how they might look:

42416 circle play#1

Stay tuned – who knows what this is going to look like before it’s done!!!  I think I will use the new circles I just spent all that time cutting in some way around the outer edge of the quilt, but we’ll see!!

Meanwhile I want to mention that I have been using YLI silk thread, light gray, to applique my circles.  I love this thread!   It’s very thin and seems more manageable than other silk threads I’ve tried.  I wanted to use something that would work on circles that change color along the edges and this is working well.  On the closeups below, you can hardly see the stitches (if at all!):

42316 YLI thread 42316 applique edge unseen#1 42316 applique edge unseen#2

I also managed to finish hand quilting wheel #7 and start wheel #8 on my Spirit of Japan quilt:

42316 wheel #7 42316 wheel#8

On Friday I took 3 good friends who are NOT quilters to the New England Quilt Museum to see the Japanese quilts:

42316 Friends and I at NEQM

Sara, me, Liz, and Susan – they really enjoyed the quilts!!  It was so fun to share the experience with them and I was grateful to have a second look at these fabulous quilts. We followed this with lunch out together – a great day!  The day before that Al and I spent with the grandkids (it was their school vacation week).  It was a gorgeous day and we spent part of it at Lynch Park in Beverly, MA – the park is lovely and right on the ocean.  Sorry I forgot to bring my camera and didn’t get a picture of the kids for family and friends who follow my blog!  I was cognizant that I would never have been able to enjoy these 2 fun days if I were still working full time – I’m so grateful!!  The extra time still seems like such a luxury!

Here are a few more quilts from the MQX show:

Margaret Solomon Gunn had a second first place winner.  I showed the first one in my last post.  This was a beautiful whole cloth quilt and the quilting was stunning:

52416 Ode#1 42416 Ode#2 42416 Ode#3 42416 Ode#4

The next picture is of the very interesting border treatment, but the color did not come out right – the above purple is closer to the real color:

42416 Ode#5

Next is a very complex design by Marilyn Badger – she just won Best of Show at the AQS show in Paducah with her latest quilt (not this one):

42416 Exub#1 42416 Exub#2 42416 Exub#3 42416 Exub#4

Next is a quilt by a duo that has collaborated on a number of award winning quilts:

42416 cache#1 42416 cache#2 42416 cache#3 42416 cache#4 42416 cache#5

This quilt won Best Wall Quilt:

42416 beauty#1 42416 beauty#2 42416 beauty#3

I still have a few more for the next post.

I think I’ll take a little break from working on the circle quilt and get back to appliqueing leaves on the borders for We Are Stardust.  I may start another block for Sweet Journeys.  I’m still trying to decide on a piecing project and looking at a look of pictures of quilts for inspiration.  I like having the freedom to choose what to work on as the spirit moves me.

Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day – Gladi

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