Greetings! Since returning home from vacation, I have felt the strong urge to just MAKE something using the sewing machine and piecing the blocks for the baby quilts has fit the bill nicely. I finished the 36 blocks for the center for one of the quilts and have the pieces cut and ready to piece for the second one:
Pieces ready to go for the second quilt:
The 36 blocks will be surrounded by blocks with solid backgrounds and machine appliqued circles. I have the solids mostly cut out; aren’t the colors of these Kaffe shot cottons scrumptious?:
Eventually the border will look like this (a previous, similar baby quilt):
I start most days reading quilting blogs while I have my first cup of coffee in the AM. I have been amazed to read that some quilters have numerous “UFO’s” or “unfinished objects”. I could understand maybe up to a dozen or so as I do understand the urge to start something new and exciting and different, but some have admitted to 30-40 and recently someone said she had 70 tops waiting to be quilted!!! That’s not me. I am a FINISHER. I am discriminating in the projects I begin; I usually think about the project for a while and am pretty sure it is something I will like before starting it and devoting time to it. I checked my closets and found that I have 3 – THREE! – UFO’s. This doesn’t count a couple of projects that I’m taking a break from but have every intention of getting back to, e.g. my Baltimore album style “Sweet Journeys.”
I decided to put one of those UFO’s up on the design wall and guess what – I am newly inspired to finish it!!! I believe this project was started about 10 years ago. The design was inspired by a quilt I saw on-line that was in an early Tokyo International Quilt Festival. Someone had posted pictures from the festival. I drafted my own block based on the picture and used my own, different choices of fabrics. I used 30’s fabrics and Oakshott subtly striped cottons as the solids. Here are 2 block examples:
I found that I had enough blocks, minus 2, for the following layout (click to enlarge):
Inside the box with the project were enough pieces cut for several more blocks and a paper that indicated I was thinking about a layout of 12 blocks across and 9 down. I decided to make it 10 blocks across and 9 down so made two more blocks:
Here are a couple of closeups:
Now that this UFO is seeing the light of day again, I like it and want to proceed to finish it. Not sure now why it languished so long in a box out of sight. I knew it was there and hadn’t forgotten about it. I do have the task of squaring up the blocks before sewing them together, but that shouldn’t be that difficult. I see some sort of applique vine border around this – of course!!!!
On vacation I managed to sew a fair number of leaves on the third border strip for “Stardust”. Progress continues “leaf by leaf”:
This past week I chose backing fabrics for the two doll quilts and this week will get the batting cut and quilts layered and basted, ready for hand quilting. Hand quilting small doll quilts is more palatable than hand quilting a large quilt (e.g. my Spirit of Japan quilt) in the warmer weather. The yellow and gold colors of the backings are richer than I was able to capture in these photos (more like the quilt backgrounds, actually):
I sewed the 2 halves of this center section of my second circle quilt together and added the squares on point at the intersections to complete what I think is going to be a medallion center of a twin size quilt. I also picked up a piece of fabric that is going to play a role in the next “border” around the medallion:
All the above it what I’ve been up to! I have to confess, though, that I, by virtue of reading other blogs, have been sorely tempted to begin at least 3 other on-line sew alongs! So far I am resisting, but not sure I’ll continue to be able to hold out. I’m most tempted to join the “Gwennie Inspired Medallion” sew along, Gwennie being, of course, the well known quilter Gwen Marston. It starts with a “basket” center of your own choice, preferably an original design of your own in the spirit of improvisation. The second “level” or “border” around the center has the theme of “childhood.” Ideas are swirling in my mind and I may join in at some point.
I am also tempted to join Barbara Brachman’s Morris Hexagon quilt along. One reason I resisted at first is that I don’t have a lot of “Morris” fabrics and wasn’t sure I wanted to work with them, but I have seen that several participants are using entirely different fabrics. My basket of chintz fabrics could be a starting point…. And, finally, I am also very tempted to join in the “Log Cabin Lunacy” quilt along. I love log cabin designs and have made a pineapple variation and a court house steps variation, but never a “straight” log cabin design and this has been on my “to do” list for a very long time. Now could be the time to start…. We’ll see if any of these options become a reality!!!
I’m looking forward to attending the Vermont Quilt Festival this Friday and will post pictures so stay tuned! A major task the past few days was getting “Stella Nova” ready for delivery ( a friend is taking it today) to Vermont and prepping and shipping “Spring Sonata” for the AQS Syracuse show. It’s a hassle, but I strongly believe we should share out work. I love going to quilt shows and appreciate when others share their work, so feel an obligation to do the same.
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi