May 4, 2016: The value of contemplation

Greetings!  After my last post I was bored with my circles, not sure what direction I wanted to go, and planned to put them away for a while.  That strategy worked well for my first circle quilt, “Many Moons.”  I had fresh ideas after taking a break.  However, I somehow didn’t get around to taking the blocks off my design wall and found myself “contemplating” the whole every time I walked by it.  I realized that I shouldn’t make decisions without sewing some of the blocks together because that reduces the amount of background fabric available and changes the overall look.  So I proceeded to sew the blocks together in groups of 4.  It was immediately apparent that the squares I had experimented with previously were way too big (click on any pictures for enlargement and closeups!).  Here are the circle blocks not sewn together and with the larger squares at the intersections that I left you with in my last post:

42416 circle play#1

I decided to try one inch squares instead of the 1 1/2 inch squares and I decided to alternate red and orange ones.  In the following pictures the smaller “trial” squares are just stuck on -not sewn down or prepped:

5416 circles#1with border 5416 circles#2closer

Voila!!  Much better looking with smaller squares!  Then I had to decide whether I was going to fuse the squares or applique with edges turned under.  Fusing would have been much easier but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Fusing usually requires machine stitching the edges for stability and to prevent fraying and I personally prefer the look of a turned under edge.  I previously fused some squares in one of my quilts “Late Bloomers”:

5416 late bloomer full 5416 late bloomer close square

I decided I didn’t want the look of that machine sewn edge so proceeded to prepare one inch squares in the same manner I do hexagons by ironing the fabric over freezer paper:

5416 circles#3squares a 5416 circles#4squares b

I then started sewing them (after removing the freezer paper!) at the intersections of the blocks alternating red and orange:

5416 circles#5 5416 circles#6

I’ll end up with four of the 16 block sections and will then sew them together and add the final one inch squares at the resulting new intersections.  This will be the center of the quilt and when the center is done I’ll better be able to make good decisions about what comes next!  The lesson here is that there is definite value in leaving blocks, sections, or parts of quilts on the design wall to study and “contemplate” over time.   I love the word “contemplate” and feel that most people spend way too little time doing it in all walks of life!

I have more than half the second border of “We Are Stardust” complete:

5416 stardust border#1 5416 stardust border#2

There are 4 borders with 5 stems per border = 20 stems plus 4 more for the corners = 24 stems (each with 14 leaves).  I have 8 stems done and that is about 1/3 of the border!  My plan is for this quilt to be my hand quilting project for next winter so I think I’m on track for that!

I completed hand quilting wheel number 8 on Spirit of Japan#3:

5416 SOJ one wheel 5416 SOJ full

We recently celebrated my daughter’s 36th birthday – how can that be?  Wasn’t I just 36?!!  Anyway the grandkids were here for the celebration and stayed overnight.  Sveta had a chance to actually start sewing her quilt blocks together and got 2 rows done.  She has mastered the quarter inch seam!!!!!  She is now proficient in using the sewing machine without my help as well.  She still likes my help with pinning and cutting.

5416 Sveta sewing 5416 Sveta with rows

Here they are playing outside:

5416 GK's in rhododendron 5416 GK closeDmitri 5416 GK closeSveta

I’m blessed!!!!!

Here are two more quilts from the MQX show.  The detail in the first was really amazing.

5416 hadrian#1 5416 hadrian#2 5416 hadrian#3 5416 hadrian#4 5416 hadrian#5 5416 hadrian#6 5416 hadrian#7 5416 hadrian#8

I’m a sucker for quilts that feature autumn colors and I love leaves so I enjoyed this quilt:

5416 autumn wedding#1 5416 autumn wedding#2 5416 autumn wedding#3 5416 autumn wedding#4

Thank you for reading my blog.  I enjoy sharing what I’m doing and I hope I you enjoy hearing about my creative process and seeing my pictures.  I hope you are in some way inspired to start or continue working on your own projects.   Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day!   Gladi




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