February25, 2018: Project updates and Part 2 of Japanese Quilts at NEQM

Greetings!  I finished the first doll quilt top!

I really enjoyed paper piecing these 3 1/2 inch blocks and like how they look like hourglasses or pinwheels.  I’ve always liked patterns that produce secondary designs.  Last year my trio of doll quilts were all English paper pieced.  I think this year my trio will all be log cabin variations.  I’ve already started to pull fabrics for the next one!

“Sweet Journeys” has been in the works for a couple of years already.  I’ve been pondering ideas for a medallion style center and think I finally have my answer.  I put the blocks up on the design wall  – not in final order yet as I inadvertently put more of the blocks with birds and berries on the right side.  I put up some sashing strips to see how they would look.  I had a copy of the center design enlarged 300%n at Staples and this is what I have (click on pics to enlarge):

This pattern is from this book published 24 years ago:

It was the block used in a gorgeous antique quilt at Vermont a couple of years ago.  That quilt had 4 center blocks like the one above, but also a great matching border.  Sue Garman was contemplating making this quilt and publishing a pattern when she died and some of her friends are making the quilt anyway, in her honor.  I was loathe to commit to making the whole quilt as there are SO MANY BERRIES but I think I can handle one block.

As you can see, the block doesn’t quite fill up the space.  That’s on purpose to maintain some proper proportions.  I will add some sort of simple border around the outside of the block to fill the space and to separate it from the border blocks.  I would love to hear from any readers if they think this block is NOT a good idea for this quilt!!!  It’s going to be a lot of work and I would hate it to not look right!

The winter quilt was looking just a bit too plain for me:

So I started playing with some very skinny pieces of fabric to see what some added embroidery lines would look like and I added a circle at the tip:

I liked it enough to go ahead and do the embroidery and appliqué the circles on a few blocks:

On one block I went even further and added french knots:

But I don’t think the French knots look that good so have decided not to continue with them.  I like the more abstract look with just the straight embroidery lines and the circles at the tips.  Just the amount of extra interest I was looking for!

After I finished the block with the French knots, my granddaughter asked me how many knots were in the block.  Together we figured out that there are over 100.  If I had decided to do this with all 80 of the blocks I’m making for this quilt, that would have been over 8000 French knots!!!!  So glad I decided I don’t like them :):)

I finished hand quilting “We Are Stardust” in early December and did no hand quilting for over 2 1/2 months.  Now I have started hand quilting my Asian circles quilt.  It feels good to be hand quilting again:

And I put the binding on and finished the donation baby quilt I’m giving away:

Here are some more Japanese quilts from the NEQM for your viewing pleasure.  Make sure you enlarge the pictures so you can enjoy the wonderful details!

The details on this first one are amazing!!!

I absolutely love fall colors and leaves so this one took my breath away!  My autumn quilts have no blue in them and I love how she added contrast with deep, deep teal colors in the background.  I also liked that some of her fabric shimmered – she didn’t just use cotton:

The next one is an incredibly creative version of a Baltimore Album style quilt!  I also, of course, loved her use of red, my favorite color, for the background!!!

I really liked the bold graphic nature of this next one and her use of multiple colors.  Notice that it is entirely hand made!  I also like how she added the curved pieces to the outside blocks so the edge of the center of the quilt is not a straight line, but a series of curves and then she added curves to the outer border as well:

We had the grandkids with us for a few days this past week over their school vacation week.  My granddaughter Sveta loves her new quilt!

I had her make the label for it.

I think I was this flexible once a long time ago!!!:

Equal time for Dmitri:

We always play lots of games and music when they visit:

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






2 thoughts on “February25, 2018: Project updates and Part 2 of Japanese Quilts at NEQM

  1. Paul McKenna

    Well there is great progress being made on several fronts, Gladi! I like the combination of elements that goes into the painstaking construction of a quality quilt; even including the services of Staples! Such interesting things in this latest post. We really liked seeing the photos of the grandchildren; you’ve created a fine space for them to enjoy their time with you and the musical components are rich! All our best to you folks…

  2. Wendy C. Reed

    That doll quilt is sensational. My colors! I think your Sweet Journeys quilt will look wonderful with that center. My friend Deb Grana owns a 4 block quilt in this pattern and I have always wanted to reproduce it. I think your idea of using it as a center is fabulous. I love your winter quilt and it is funny as I looked at the french knots I thought “should I tell her I think it looks better without them?” and then I read further – great minds do think alike! I love the circle and straight stitching additions. It now really feels like a pine tree in winter to me. I too am working on hand quilting my Quilty 365 circle quilt. I started over a year ago but abandoned it until now. I’d like to get it in our Maine show this summer. Thanks for sharing the Japanese quilts. I am trying desperately to get to Lowell to see these and particularly your quilts! These last few months have been very busy and the only opening I have before the end of April is Saturday March 31. Would you be available that day to meet for lunch? It will of course be weather permitting. I don’t drive in freezing rain! my cell # is 207-841-7534 and I think you have my email, but it is gwreed15ATcomcastDOTnet. Hope it all works out. I am so excited to see your work all in one place!


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