Greetings! November if off to a great start as I am currently packing to leave tomorrow for a 3 day quilting retreat with about 15 of my quilting friends in Kennebunkport, ME. We’ve been doing this every year around this time for several years now. I’m sure I’m taking way more to do than I’ll ever accomplish, but it’s going to be so much fun sharing stories and doing what I love with others who feel the same.
Here’s an update on my projects and you’ll get an idea of what I’ll be working on at the retreat.
I finally finished sewing all the berries and leaves on the 4 “Stardust” borders. I initially cut my appliqué borders larger than needed because of possible shrinkage from the appliqué so I had to cut these down to the correct size after measuring the quilt numerous times – not easy, especially when it’s a big quilt – 94 inches square with the borders. I have no floor or wall space big enough to fully lay this quilt out for accurate measuring. However, I managed to get it done! Then I studied possibilities for the corners, came up with an idea, and completed one of them. Here are some pictures, though I didn’t have space to get the whole thing open for a good shot: (click on pics to enlarge)
Here’s a picture of a corner with nothing in it and a closeup of the one corner I designed and mostly finished:
I plan to work on the other 3 corners while on retreat. I have all the new leaves and berries and stems prepped and ready to be arranged and appliquéd. Then I’ll have it basted on a long arm and will hand quilt it!
I have taken out Spirit of Japan #3 and gone back to hand quilting it. I’m now on the 10th “wheel” – out of 16. Back in January I mentioned I had hoped to have this done for the Cocheco show this year, but now I hope to have it done for next year’s show! I will take this to the retreat and work on it when I’m in the mood for doing something more relaxing and meditative:
I’ve been calling this quilt “the wheel” but am not happy with that. I looked up this block and it’s also called “ladies fancy,” probably because each quarter quadrant is essentially a fan. Am currently pondering other possible names…..
I am taking fabrics to the retreat to cut into large squares to sew together for the backing of the special occasion – “blue star” – quilt which I showed in a recent post. I’ll be incorporating the signature squares which I just picked up. I am also taking all the things I need to make a bag for a friend who is retiring and the squares to be sewn together for my next baby quilt. See why I said I’m probably bringing too much?!!! I hope to have retreat pictures to share next post.
I finished the designer Japanese circles quilt! I originally thought I would make a bed size quilt with a medallion center, but the more I studied this and played with ideas, the more I felt like the quilt is best as a smaller wall quilt. I played with lots of “border” ideas to go around the center, finally came up with something I liked, and decided this would be the final border, not just something between it and the rest of a larger quilt.
Initially I thought I might try these red and orange triangles, but they looked way too bold and fought with the center for attention:
Then I tried a multitude of different fabrics for the borders, thinking a combination of warm and cool colors might be right:
I finally decided on 4 different warm colored sateens with narrow sashing strips:
I’d love your opinion – does it look complete (hand quilting and binding to come, of course) as is? I have lots of other circles cut and will perhaps make some matching pillows.
I’ve also been working on this block for “Sweet Journeys”:
It wasn’t easy to appliqué all those hearts with their inner deep inner and outer points! This still needs small appliqué folk-art hands holding valentines in both lower corners.
This year’s Cocheco Quilt Guild show featured a special exhibit of quilts by long time guild member, Lorayne Dodge. Lorayne is 91 years young! She has been strongly influenced by the work of Kumiko Sudo. Today I’m sharing pictures of the quilts as they hung in the show from a bit of a distance and next post I’ll show some closeups. Most of these are hand quilted and hand pieced and they are beautiful!!! Lorayne included the ribbons she originally won when each quilt was previously exhibited in our show. There are many well deserved blue ones!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi