October 5, 2022: Story of “Sweet Journeys”; Donation quilt; NEQM photos; Autumn!

Greetings dear readers! This week the hats and gloves came out for those early morning walks with temps in the 40’s. All too soon, it will be long underwear and boots too😊! Last week I showed some hand quilting I’m doing on “Sweet Journeys” and some readers asked about the pattern for it. There is no one “purchasable” pattern, per se. The overall design/layout is by me and is a compilation of block patterns from various sources, several “tweaked” by me by adding birds.

The initial spark came from 2 fabrics. The background:

Sorry the photo is a bit blurry. It’s from Brackman and Thompson’s “Material Pleasures” line and I bought several yards of it when it came out in 1999. It waited years for the right project! After several more years, I found the perfect fabric for a border:

At that point I knew I wanted to make a Baltimore Album style quilt and started putting red, green,and black fabrics aside in a box with the background and border fabrics and thinking about designs, the border fabric dictating the color scheme. I had a stack of about 12 paper copies of various album style block patterns and I have no recollection at all of where they came from, though pretty sure someone gave them to me. I do not remember copying them myself.

If anyone recognizes the original source for these, let me know!! I “tweaked” some to allow me to add birds:

And I also used some of Ellie Sienkiewicz’s patterns from her books, e.g. this basket:

As for the center block, I saw this antique quilt at the Vermont Quilt Show in 2014 or 2015 (sorry for the poor photo) and LOVED it! I wanted to make it some day, but drafting the pattern would be daunting! Plus, I think there are nearly two thousand berries!!!

Amazingly, not long after that, I bought this book, published almost 30 years ago, at my guild’s library book sale:

And look what was in it:

I enlarged the pattern, as recommended, and decided to use it for the center of this quilt. Much less daunting than doing a whole quilt of these blocks!😊 From my blog archives, I’ve determined that I likely started the quilt around 7 1/2 years ago so it’s definitely one of those “long journey” quilts. There’s a song I play on the accordion called “Sweet Journeys” and that’s where the title came from. Making this quilt may be a “long” journey, but it’s been a “sweet” one. 🙂

Now that it’s cooler, I’m trying to get some hand quilting in every day. My goal is to finish SJ in a year for the 2023 Cocheco show. Meanwhile, I’ve been on a sleeve and label making binge getting ready for THIS year’s show, later this month!

I’ve also been working on finishing the top for my Library Donation quilt. Here’s what my design wall looks like at the moment. The circle blocks are done and ready to sew together and the sashing is just pinned up to give a sense of what this might look like completed:

Here are some closeup examples of the circle blocks:

The circles are fused using “Steam A Seam 2” fusible and then I use the blanket stitch on the sewing machine to secure the edges. This quilt is a main focus right now because I have to submit it by the end of the month.

My quilt “Golden Glow” is back from the museum! What an honor to have had it there. At the same time “Hospital Sketches” was up, a wonderful exhibit of quilts by Caro Breyer Fallert Gentry was on display. She’s an amazing quilt artist who has been at the top of her game and innovating for 40+ years!! Here are a few of her pieces:

I forgot to get the label on this one, but here are a couple of closeups:

And finally:

More of her incredible machine quilting – not my thing, but I admire the masters😊:

Each day a bit more color emerges in the landscape here and I’m trying to savor it while I can! Such gorgeous leaves!:

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

September 30, 2022: September Mini – “Falling Leaves”

Greetings dear readers. The last day of September is here and so is fall weather! Jackets and scarves are out and 2 quilts are on the bed😊. Nights are brisk, which is what it takes to bring out the fall colors. After making a very modern looking mini for August, I chose to make something more traditional for September and I wanted it to reflect the season. Here is “Falling Leaves”:

It measures about 15 X 19 inches. I used one of the traditional maple leaf block patterns and set the rows going in opposite directions. I chose a rich dark brown for the background and red, orange, yellow, and green for the leaves. The blocks finish at 3 3/4 inches.

I machine quilted around the blocks and in the borders, but hand quilted veins in the leaves:

I added a little extra interest by embroidering a gold line just inside the binding:

An old Kansas Troubles fat quarter was a good choice for the back:

I love autumn colors and am happy to add this mini to my collection of autumn quilts!

It is going to be a week or two before peak color arrives here in NH, but I’m delighting in the bits of color spotted so far about the landscape:

The bog is starting to color:

A “forest still life”:

”Falling Leaves” one more time:

Happy autumn to you all!

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

September 27, 2022: Updates on 5 projects

Greetings dear readers! I have reached the finish line with “Dutch HST Medallion”!

The sleeve is made and ready to be sewn on and the label will quickly follow.

The machine quilting is an overall design of floral shapes, chosen so it doesn’t distract from the piecing and the medallion.

I started the quilt 4-5 years ago as a way to be able to use and play with these lovely fabrics. At first the entire top was going to be just HST’s and I sewed a bunch of 16 patch blocks of them. Then, as often happens, they got put away as I worked on other projects. Then about 2 years ago, I unearthed the Dutch Medallion hiding in my stash and decided to use the HST’s with it. Adding the fussy cut hexagon medallion border and several more starts and stops as I worked on other projects finally got me to the finish line! Just in time for my guild’s show next month!

And I reached a milestone this week with “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light”! All the appliqué on the 4th border is finally complete! 4 borders = 916 hand appliqued leaves!

Here is just a quarter of the center to remind you what it looks like and above is the pattern, showing that all I have left to make are the 4 corner stars. Then I need to trim and iron the borders, add the stars and sew it all together! My plan is to have it long arm quilted because it’s huge and there would be 2 large quilts ahead of it in the hand quilting queue! I really don’t want to wait that long for it to be finished!

Speaking of hand quilting, now that the weather has cooled off, I am back to hand quilting “Sweet Journeys”. Another “long journey” project – I’m guessing at least 7 years now 😵‍💫. I’m still outlining all the pieces and then will fill in the background – a long way to go! I’d like to focus on it this winter and have it ready for the 2023 Cocheco (my guild) Show, a year from now. (This year’s show happens 10/22 and 10/23 and I’m involved in a lot! – judging, demo, set-up, etc! – will be busy next month!)

I have all 36 blocks for the center of my library donation quilt made and sewn together. I think it’s the definition of “colorful”!

Next I’ll be machine appliquéing circles for a border on this. I’ve been reviewing Sue Nickels and Pat Holly’s book on raw edge appliqué – an excellent resource.

Finally, project #5 – Ursula’s Spring Baskets! I have 8 baskets I haven’t shared yet:

I now have 68 basket blocks with 30 to go, but I might be slowing down with this project for a while as there’s no hurry. The older 2 grandkids didn’t get their “big bed” quilts till they were 7 and Ursula is only 3 1/2! Speaking of the older grandkids: Dmitri was 18 yesterday and Svetlana turns 15 tomorrow. I am deeply feeling the inexorable and too quick passage of time. Weren’t my own 2 children just those ages a very short time ago?! Wasn’t I a teenager not that long ago?😵‍💫 All we can do is “cherish each day.”

I’m grateful to be experiencing another autumn. A final burst of color before muted winter settles in.

I’ll be back later this week with September’s mini and some more fall photos. Have a great week!

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

September 20, 2022: More photos from NE Quiltfest

Greetings dear readers! I don’t have progress on projects to share in this post for a couple reasons. I traveled last week for my trunk show, which I’m happy to say was a resounding success! The members of the “Crazy Quilters of Cape Cod” were so friendly and welcoming that it was a real joy to share my quilts with them. The other reason is that I finally got started on a September mini and will wait to share it at the end of the month. So…this is a good opportunity to share some more of the excellent quilts from New England Quiltfest. You can enlarge any photo by clicking on it. Take the time to enjoy the details of these wonderful pieces!!

I love how this artist used these special fabrics, which I think are of South African origin – and all hand pieced, embroidered, and appliqued!

The craftsmanship on this next quilt was incredible, but hard to convey in photos – lots of intricate hand work, best seen up close:

A glimpse of the back:

The original spelling of my name was “Glady” until I changed the “y” to “i” in my early 20’s to stop people from automatically adding an “s”. I’ve only seen the name a handful of times so I had to photograph this quilt!😊:

I loved the composition, colors, – well, actually everything! – about this next quilt:

Beautiful appliqué, machine quilting, and overall traditional design for this one:

A lovely pictorial:

There was an exhibit of “mid century modern” style quilts which I found interesting and here are a couple of them. I especially like the inter-play of the triangular and rectangular shapes in Sidewalk Shuffle:

I’m loving the fact that I still have many more quilts from this show and from the museum to share and in one month my guild is having their annual show, so even more to come!

There’s definitely a nip in the air when I walk in the early morning and the sweaters and jackets are out! Leaves on bushes and very young trees are turning:

We are in a drought and the river is running very low. None of the solid objects in the river in this photo should be above water:

Last year at this time, because of abundant rain, there was a profusion of fungi and mushrooms of all colors. This year there are almost none 🙁. Thank goodness for several hours of steady rain last evening and through the night! On a recent walk I saw a “rafter” (flock) of wild turkeys:

And then a few minutes later saw these guys wandering about:

I generally enjoy these kinds of surprises on my walks, but hoping not to see bears! I’ll be back soon with project updates and more quilt photos!

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

September 12, 2022: Meeting Barbara Brackman!; new donation project; QLC border

Greetings dear readers! I went to the New England Quilt Museum Saturday and met Barbara Brackman!!

She, of course, ran the Hospital Sketches sew-along and came to the museum from her home in Kansas to give a talk about her design inspirations for the blocks. What a thrill! I also got to meet 2 other quilters who had quilts in the exhibit:

Here we are standing in front of Barbara’s quilt. The person second from the left, between Barbara and me, is Roseann Smith. I showed her quilt in a previous post – the one with the lovely sashing with 9 patch cornerstones. The person on the far right had made a top but didn’t finish the quilt in time for the exhibit and I’m sorry I didn’t get her name. The person second from the right is Denniele Bohannon, who I was meeting for the first time, and here is her beautiful quilt:

My friend, Liz, and I had the great good fortune to be able to have lunch with Denniele and her friend Beth after the talk and it was so much fun!! The experience once again reminded me how wonderful it is to be a part of the quilting community!❤️ Our shared passion makes it easy to make new friends!

Barbara was an excellent speaker and I enjoyed her talk. Here’s a photo of her quilt, which I hadn’t previously shown in full yet:

And here is the last of the quilts from the exhibit – the only male exhibitor – and it’s a wild one, but quite appealing:

The background is a bold multicolor fabric and isn’t pieced within the blocks. Can’t you just hear the “quilt police” say there isn’t enough contrast between the appliqué and the background!😊. I’m so glad we’ve largely moved on from that kind of narrow judgement.

Some time soon I’ll be sharing with you some quilts from the Carol Breyer Fallert Gentry exhibit which is running at the museum simultaneously with Hospital Sketches.

I’ve spent the past week working on 2 projects. For the Chevron Quarter Log Cabin project, I made and appliqued down all the border vines and I made all the leaves with the prepared edge technique and basted them all down:

I’m really happy with how this has turned out! But I am setting this aside for a while because I have promised myself I will finish appliquéing all the leaves on the “Stormy Weather” border (Stars and Sprigs project) and get that top sewn together before I appliqué the leaves for the Chevron project 😊.

The other project I’m focusing on right now is a donation to my local library’s annual silent auction fund raiser, due in early November. I chose a pattern from this book that I’ve used many times before to make baby quilts:

This is the picture inside the cover:

And here’s the quilt in the book:

There are 2 different blocks with points going in different directions. Blocks finish at 6 inches:

Here’s mine so far:

I plan to make the quilt center 6 blocks x 6; right now it’s 5×5. It’s been a lot of fun choosing fabrics for the blocks!

I don’t plan to use the border from the book. In previous iterations, I have used appliqué circles:

That’s what I plan to do this time around as well. I haven’t done any machine appliqué for a few years, so look forward to dusting off those skills soon!!

I haven’t posted anything from my walks recently because I’ve had so many quilts to share (still do!), but I’m still walking almost daily and enjoying the hint of fall in the air. Here are some delights I saw at the pond recently:

I go to Cape Cod on Thursday to do a trunk show for the guild in Falmouth. Hope to see some of you there!

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

September 5, 2022: Project Updates; More from the “Hospital Sketches” exhibit

Greetings dear readers! It’s September already! I’m thinking of those old movies in which monthly pages, one after another, would quickly fly off the calendar to signify the passage of time – that’s what it feels like around here. The quarter log cabin “chevron” quilt has progressed significantly since I last posted about it. First, I decided I was done making blocks at 50 and that this would be a crib or wall quilt size. Then I decided on the black print for the setting triangles, arranged the blocks so there was good color distribution, and sewed the center together:

After studying the quilt center for a while, I decided to see what a border would look like, even though that is unconventional for log cabin quilts. Here’s a “mock up” of my trial:

I love it and I’ve decided to go with this! It’s basically a repeat of the border I put on my Red and White Crib quilt last year, but in reverse values. I think I’ll embroider gold/cheddar veins on the dark value leaves.

Meanwhile, Dutch HST Medallion is back from the long arm quilter, Linda Bevins, who did a lovely floral curvy edge to edge overall design that suits the quilt top very well:

The pictures make the stitches look dark, which is not the case. They hardly show at all, which is what I wanted.

I’m using a lovely Edyta Sitar fabric for the binding and have the strips cut and ready to go:

I’ll show the whole thing again once I have the binding on. I’ve been also busy putting sleeves on quilts that are going into the Cocheco annual show next month and have labels to do as well. And I’ve started making my donation quilt for this year’s local library silent auction and will share that next post.

Today I’m sharing more quilts from the Hospital Sketches exhibit. These are wonderful, so take a few minutes to enlarge and savor them!!

Great hand quilting on this one!!!!
Love the embroidery embellishment on the pineapples!

I think there are just 3 left for another post, but do try to get to the museum if you can! These are worth seeing in person!

I’ll close out today’s post with 2 pieces from the New England Quiltfest show (still many more of those to come!). There was a small exhibit of quilts in triptych form. I was really intrigued and would like to consider making a triptych. I’ll show a few of these in another post, but there was a triptych in the show that blew me away!

I loved the stitching on another piece in the Nature Shapes exhibit as well and the colors are my favorites:

Fall is definitely in the air here in northern New England! I wore a jacket on my walk yesterday AM – 60 degrees. And it dropped into the upper 40’s overnight! My heart goes out to those enduring the heatwave out west.

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

August 30, 2022: August Monthly Mini – “Whirlwind”; and Book recommendations

Greetings dear readers! Every year my quilt guild has a “Challenge” contest. The “challenge” is issued in January and our August meeting is devoted to displaying the quilts anonymously. Members vote for their favorites and prizes are awarded. This year’s challenge was “The Magic of Geometry” and we were to choose a geometric shape and make a quilt featuring that shape with a perimeter no larger than 104 inches. Any fabrics, techniques, and styles could be used. I knew whatever I chose to do could double as my August mini. Without further ado, here is my entry:

My shape was, of course, a triangle- every piece in the quilt is a triangle except for the center square of each block.

I struggled for a while figuring out what to do, but finally was inspired by one of the blocks in this book:

My chosen block design is a foundation paper pieced log cabin variation made with triangles. The blocks are 7 inches and the quilt is 21 inches square. Since the block had a modern feel to it, I decided to challenge myself to make the whole quilt with a modern vibe.

All fabrics came from my stash and I had a grand time choosing the colors for each block and gradations from dark to light from the center outward. When I had trouble choosing a color for the center, I decided to use all the colors of the rainbow and I liked a little extra focus on the center with the black background there instead of the gray:

I found the perfect backing on my trip to Maine last month at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast – see those triangles!😊:

The quilting is a combination of machine (with the walking foot) in all the gray areas and hand quilting in all the colored areas:

Because of the way the blocks seem to “spin” and because the “spin” doesn’t orient from the same place in each block the way they are placed, there’s a lot of “movement” in the quilt, thus the name, “Whirlwind.” Guess what – My quilt was one of the winners!! I won a $50.00 gift certificate to one of my favorite shops, Quilted Threads!! I didn’t have an opportunity to photograph the other entries, but these will all be displayed at our quilt show in October so I’ll share them with you then.

Nann, at the blog “With Strings Attached” is a retired librarian and recently recommended this book and I second that recommendation – I loved it!

The story of 2 eighty year old women who have been lifelong friends is captivating and beautifully written. What a pleasure! I am also perusing my bookcases and making myself either read or get rid of books that have been there unread for years 😊. This one came out 20 years ago and I finally read it and enjoyed it!:

The insight into some of Chinese culture and the flashbacks to what was going on in China a hundred years ago were interesting and the storytelling is very good. I recommend it!

And look at these books that I’m starting to study:

Yes! Al and I are starting to plan our first international trip since Covid! It’s happening next spring (May) so plenty of time to plan and we’re going with our dear Canadian friends, Paul and Lee. So exciting! The anticipation is something that will help get me through the coming winter 😊.

Be sure to check out Wendy’s blog, The Constant Quilter, (link in right column of this blog), for all the August minis!

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

August 24, 2022: “Hospital Sketches” exhibit at the NEQM and “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space” is quilted and bound!!

Greetings dear readers! I finally made it to the New England Quilt Museum last week to see the Hospital Sketches exhibit. Of course, it was a thrill to see my quilt, “Golden Glow”, hanging in the exhibit!

The lighting actually made the quilt seem to glow 😊!

I’m not planning to share any more closeups of my quilt in this post because I’ve shown many over the past 3 years, but am happy to repeat that my quilt was made in honor of all the wonderful nurses that I worked with over my medical career. Here are several of the other wonderful quilts in the exhibit. You can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them.

I very much liked the different backgrounds, the borders, and the hand quilting on this one:

Loved the colors, the border, and the wonderful quilting on the next one and was surprised the stitching was done by machine, per the label, as it looks like hand work!:

I loved the vine sashing and borders on this one:

Congratulations to my friend Wendy Reed for having her quilt chosen for the exhibit! It’s done in her “potholder” style/technique. I had a hard time capturing the exact shade of green of her background, but I love it! I think the first closeup captures it best.

Here’s an excellent 2 color version; I love the border!

I have more of the quilts from this exhibit to share in future posts along with some of the quilts from Carol Breyer Fallert Gentry’s exhibit at the museum. Also more quilts from Quiltfest New England, so stay tuned!😊. It makes me really happy to be seeing quilt shows and exhibits again!

I promised to show “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space” in this post – the binding is on and all it needs is a sleeve and a label to be ready for the Cocheco show in October:

Janet Cass, the long arm quilter who did the quilting on this, did an excellent job of following my wishes for fairly simple quilting that didn’t stand out too much or try to compete with the pieced design:

You can see the binding fabric I chose in the above and below photos:

Here’s the back:

These closeups of the back show some of the quilting:

I’m really happy with this quilt! The “original inspiration” for most of my quilts tends to come from one of 2 different sources: 1) either a particular quilt block or a pattern (that I often play with such that the original pattern is unrecognizable 😊) or 2) a grouping of fabrics or a fabric pull that I want to work with. This quilt started with the former – the quilt, Cataena, made by Timna Tarr, which uses the traditional “endless chain” block. I used her FPP pattern for that traditional block, but my fabric choices, colors, placement of values, and overall design look very different from Timna’s inspiration quilt and I’ve created my own piece of art! Expressing myself artistically remains one of the major reasons I’m passionate about quilting. Many thanks to you readers for coming along with me on this quilting journey!!

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

August 19, 2022: More Quiltfest New England photos (Part 2)

Greetings dear readers! Today I’m sharing several more quilts from Quiltfest New England. Enjoy their beauty and hopefully they’ll inspire you!

Janet Stone – a quilt maker who has won numerous major awards for her alphabet quilts – had a wonderful new quilt at the show. Surprisingly, I didn’t see any ribbon on it at the show, but later learned it won the Viewers Choice award. Some quilters think that’s better than winning Best of Show 🙂. Her work is perfection; enjoy the closeups!

The back:

The next quilt was the first place winner in the traditional category:

This one won an award for machine quilting (and the piecing’s not shabby either!😊):

I really enjoyed the beauty and intricacy of the geometric design and use of color in this one and I’m a huge fan of circle designs:

The same quilter made the next quilt – hand pieced! as well as hand appliqued:

I very much enjoyed the hand quilting on this one:

Great appliqué on this one:

Marilyn Belford is known for her monumental pictorial quilts of mythical figures and this quilt is another in her series – a pretty amazing technical and artistic feat:

Last one for today’s post:

I’ve always liked Carol Grotrian’s work, especially her pictorials made with her own dyed/shibori fabrics and hand stitched.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these quilts – I still have many more to share in future posts. I’m currently binding The Inner Reaches of Outer Space and will save sharing it for my next post. Have a great weekend!

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

August 15, 2022: Quiltfest New England!

Greetings dear readers! The heat wave has passed! It was a heavenly 62 degrees when I took my walk at 8AM today. Now if we could just get some rain – I walked to the bog and it was dry🙁. I’m glad the recent bill that addresses climate change passed in congress and I hope it will help in the long run!!

One of the things I have truly missed during the pandemic is quilt shows! So it was with great pleasure that my friend Liz and I attended “Quiltfest New England” in Springfield, MA last week – First major show I’ve been to since Road to California in January 2020. I remember watching the news in my hotel room in the evening back then and seeing and hearing the reports of the total lockdown in Wuhan, China. Little did we know at that point how much our lives were going to change!!!

Guess who I unexpectedly found at the show- quilter extraordinaire Christine Wickert!

My blog posts from October 2021 (see archives) detail my visit to Christine in Rochester, NY last fall to do a trunk show for her guild. I had a fabulous time! Back then, Christine was working on a red and white silk quilt and it was in the show!

Isn’t it gorgeous?! It won the award for best hand work in the “traditional “ category. You can click on the photos to get even better closeups:

It was great to have some time to chat and catch up! And then later I also unexpectedly ran into Barb Vedder from Connecticut (“Fun With Barb” blog, link on right side of blog)! Great to see her and chat too! All the pleasures of attending a show – quilts/inspiration, shopping, and friends!

Here are just a few of the quilts from the show. The Best of Show was a quilt I first saw at the Road to California – pieced entirely of half inch (one inch before sewing)squares; incredible!

I loved this beautiful appliqué piece and the “creatures” were delightful – as was the quilting!:

This “frog quilt” was amazing and meaningful to me as a “frog hunter”🙂:

I love the title!😊. Here are several closeups of the 3 dimensional frogs:

This was a fabulous “temperature” quilt:

This next one was beautifully made and I loved the inspiration behind it:

I think that’s enough quilty visual beauty to absorb at once! I have lots more photos of great quilts to share with you over the next several posts. I’ll close out this post with a couple photos from recent walks:

I’m picking up “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space” from the long-armer later today – very excited! Will share it, along with more Quiltfest photos next post. Wishing everyone a very good week 🙂.

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