Greetings! If you know me or have been reading my blog, you know that I strongly encourage quilt makers to create their own unique quilts without using patterns or kits because it is such a rewarding process. When you work that you you have to take time to “listen” to your quilt tell you what it does and doesn’t “need” to bring to fruition the overall vision you want to convey. “Creating as you go” can be a challenge and can be frustrating at times, but can also be exciting. I also encourage using a design wall as you go. My design wall is located in a place where I look at it several times a day. I often stop and assess the current project and ask myself if it is looking good or not, whether it needs any additions, changes, etc. or not.
Recently my current project has been saying “bland” whenever I go by. The Oak Leaf and Reel blocks needed something more:
I decided to add berries between the leaves:
MUCH BETTER!!!! Those little red dots add significant punch to the design! (click on pics to enlarge and see details)
Then I started studying the pieced blocks and they needed a little extra “punch” as well. So I cut some 2 inch red squares and stuck them in the middle of the blocks:
(Sorry for the finger in the way in this picture!) Again, much better! I love the additional “pop” that the red gives. Now, though, I am going to have to appliqué those red squares to the centers of the blocks. No way am I re-doing all the blocks from scratch or taking any seams out to be able to piece in re-made centers!!!! To me, the quilt is now quite a bit more interesting with the added details and I really like the extra red color.
I have a tentative name for this quilt – “Time of Plenty.” I’ve been thinking how this is a “time of plenty” for me. Plenty of beautiful fabrics, plenty of time to sew since my retirement, plenty of inspiration from numerous sources, plenty of support from family and friends, and overall good health. I am so grateful for this and my hope is that, given climate change and the current political situation, we are not heading into a “time of deprivation.” We all need to do what we can to prevent that.
I had several pieces of floral fabrics with much lighter backgrounds that I had pulled for possible use in the above project, but they didn’t get chosen. I felt an “itch” to use them and to keep doing some piecing with this group of fabrics so I am making half square triangles without having a final plan yet on how they will be used, though it will definitely be a different project:
I’m actually thinking the entire center of the quilt could be 2 1/2 inch half square triangles with a simple vine appliqué border. Very simple. Not every piece has to be complex!
The center of “Summer Breeze” is 99% quilted and I have been thinking, thinking, thinking over the past few weeks about how to quilt the borders.
There are 4 different borders on the quilt and they are added in a “staggered” way. I looked at all kinds of resources – books on Sashiko, magazines, books on design, including how to depict wind, etc. and nothing seemed just right. I had to keep in mind the center is all circles. I didn’t want circles for the borders. I was almost ready to go with long rows of straight lines when I came across this picture in one of my Quilts Japan magazines:
This will be perfect! It’s kind of a modified Baptist Fan design. I love the feathers in there, but I won’t do that for my quilt because I don’t think it will show up on the busy background fabric. Feels good to have a plan for the border!!!
“We Are Stardust” is home safely from the Vermont Quilt Festival. They have 3 judges and each judge individually scores each quilt on a 100 point system, then the scores are added and divided by 3 for the final score. My final score was 97! I’m happy with that! However, if I had just had one more point I would have gotten a purple “Exceptional Merit” ribbon instead of a blue ribbon. I’m not complaining though! Always happy to get a blue at Vermont. My 3 scores were 95, 97, and 100! Can’t believe I got a score of 100 from one of the judges!! The comments were all positive. A point was taken off here and there by 2 of the judges with no specific explanation, but they were all in the “workmanship” category except for one point off on the “visual impact.” I’m guessing it’s because some of my points didn’t come out perfectly in the piecing and some of the quilting stitches weren’t even because there were areas of thick seams to go through in places and there was some chintz in the quilt which is hard to quilt through. Of course I got one point off for my binding – I always do! I don’t think taking those points off was unreasonable and am happy with my scores! No complaints!
I promise to share a bunch more pictures from the Vermont Festival in my next post! Have a wonderful 4th of July (a good holiday to think about how we can best preserve our democracy in these troubling times) and stay cool!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi