Greetings! I love early spring (and here in northern New England “early” usually means May!) when the leaves first come out on the trees in that wonderful light spring green color and there are pops of pink and other pastel colored flowers in the landscape, all of which support the usual seasonal feelings of hope and renewal. These feelings have been especially prominent for me as I inch closer to complete recovery from my injuries and escape from my confinement to the house during the winter when I was barely mobile.
Being surrounded by all this has been making me want to work with lighter colors in a quilt. However, these are not the colors I usually work with and my stash is almost devoid of pastels. When a friend invited me to go to Keepsake Quilting with her this past week, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get some pastel fabrics and to start a new quilt. I could either use the quilt to drape over the couch on my screened porch – a la “cottage style” – or I could even just indulge in using these colors, enjoy the process, but then donate the quilt to charity – something I’d like to do more of.
Keepsake Quilting is one of the largest quilt shops in the nation and is only a 75 minute drive from where I live. It’s the first shop I went to 24 years ago to buy fabric for my first quilt! I try to get there a couple times a year. My friend and I had a wonderful time shopping there in the morning and then having lunch before driving home. Here’s what I bought:
A “layer cake” of 10 inch squares in light florals (click on pics to enlarge):
A package of 8 inch squares of lighter prints:
And several 1/3 yard cuts of pastels that I liked:
Here they are all together; don’t they look pretty!
Now the key is to start working with them right away – to take advantage of this spring mood – and not put them away in a box! Since the purchase, I have been looking at quilt patterns for inspiration. This is going to be a simple quilt that shows off the colors and the fabrics and I am leaning toward using the “snowball” pattern in which the fabric is featured in squares and there are triangles in the corners of each square that become squares on point when the blocks are sewn together. There’s not a lot of “value” change in the colors so any complicated pattern is not going to show up well unless I add in darker colors. I could see doing that for the little squares on point between the blocks for some pops of color, but I don’t want darker colors to be more prominent. Hopefully I will have started cutting by the time I next post!
Many years ago I made a quilt with floral fabrics – not my usual choice (orientals being the exception), but I fell in love with this particular fabric line – and I called it “Floral Diversion” because it was a “diversion” from the usual fabric palette that I like to use.
You can see the full quilt and some closeups on my web site. I think this new pastel quilt will be “Floral Diversion” #2. I’ll enjoy making it, but I doubt #3 will happen any time soon!
Meanwhile, I have added another row of 6 stars to the silk quilt (additional circles not added yet):
I appliqued the center of Sunshine and Shadows to a narrow red border (black border is next):
And I continue to hand quilt fans on Stardust; I have 37 of the 56 fans done. Minutes spent on this here and there do add up over time.
In my non-quilting life, I performed on accordion with my group “Quatro Formaggi” in 2 benefit concerts, each featuring several acts, over this weekend. Our sets go about 15 minutes. I have been practicing like crazy to get ready and my injured elbow is feeling it! My knee is still not normal. If it were not for my injuries, I think I’d already be cutting up my new fabric, but I have to pace myself. Nevertheless, I’m grateful that I am moving around pretty easily with no brace. The concerts were fun, but now I’m going to let my body rest a bit!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi