I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Blue Baskets Cheddar Handles ~ A finish

Hi everyone. Hard to imagine but it is now June. Week 14 of isolation. This past weekend was mild and sunny and I was so thrilled to put the last stitch in my Blue Baskets quilt.

This project was begun in January 2019, a sewalong called  "Stringalong", for people to use up string scraps. HEREWe were supposed to finish the quilts we made by November 2019 [oops]. (For non-quilter friends, ''strings'' are long narrow cutaway pieces of fabric that many quilters like to save; I have no idea what generates these strings, not something I get when I do my cutting. But anyway...)

I am well known as a non-scraps quilter, but I had all the leftover blue plaids, thrift shop shirts, from When the Wild Geese Fly and had always meant to use the blue  plaids to make a Basket quilt with cheddar orange handles. So I joined in.

I stopped working on that project in May, because who wants to spend summer in the no ocean view sewing room; it was set aside til January 2020. Of course by then I forgot what I was doing and had to start over with Penny's lifesaving schematic of the layout, to get the top done.

I really love it.

It looks exactly like I imagined it would or could.

You can see it's a big quilt, and not a wonderful shape for a bed. I don't plan to use it on my bed so that's okay.

I  always intended for the background to be made up of many white ''shirtings", white cotton with tiny figures/ shapes.

I love how all the mish mash of prints [the best ones from Nancy!] start to blend as you step away;

..from a distance the effect is a textured white but one's eye unifies all the different patterns and just sees white, as planned..

Cheddar handles and sashing.

A mistake at the end here, the binding was supposed to be the cheddar solid, but I forgot and eked out just enough from my fave shirt. The binding isn't great, lots of bumps and squirms because of the shirt's flat felled seams and shaping. Someday I may redo it in cheddar..

Piano key border, because I was hounding blog friend Julierose to do a piano key border. She said Not on her project! , so I decided I would have one instead. I wish it was 2 " wider but its okay as is.

The fabrics are the blue shirts, mostly. There are two blocks [again, love] that are aqua/ Tiffany blue--just for interest, ''for pretty''.

And here and there I added a few not-blue-plaid fabrics again for interest and sparkle, like the brown fruit print and the Ugly Text.

I also used a black and white text that is a Dr Seuss book's words; I had used the wishes for a baby quilt. It reminds me of dear friends. And I love the idea of 100 years from now, some flea market shopper shaking her head and wondering about the silliness, the whimsy of its inclusion.

The backing is a darling tiny bluebells and daffodils floral sheet, with itty bitty red polka dots. What a find at the church flea, $2.oo; my quilter made it work. [Lori Cangemi, Quilter's Imagination]

As I've worked with Lori C for quite a few years now, I trust her ideas and judgement. I suggested the feathers and a few other patterns---this time I knew I didn't want Baptist Fans!, but let her choose what design to use and how to execute it. I think she did a glorious job, I am so pleased.

When a quilt is done, I like to wash and dry it. They crinkle and shrink a bit which I like, the freshness, the softness, the crinkle that hides all my flaws---though I forgot to measure this time. Here is that scary moment, putting the quilt into the wash--equaled only by the next scary moment, taking the washed quilt out. Yes, disasters do occur. I almost didn't wash Blue Baskets because our water can be randomly brown and it has been the ruin of many white sheets, towels, and tee shirts over the years.

But I'm glad I did!

Coincidentally I received a big envelope of more blue strings from blog friend QB that same day. Her String quilt was also blue and is exceptionally lovely. I plan to use up the rest of the my blue shirts and her blue strings to make a version of her quilt, a spiderweb design, she calls Mama Lou Sings the Blues, mine will be Two. How fun! Mama Lou by QB HERE  Video of the song is at the end of this post.

I am very satisfied with this project, I feel it looks as intended and meets my vision; it looks well-made, a goal I usually strive for and fail at. But it is, in a way, a sad or bittersweet quilt filled with memories and friendships.

I am pretty sure there will be no more church fleas, any fleas or thrift shop outings in my lifetime; no more second hand garments and linens that are safe to joyfully rediscover and repurpose. No Mexican dinners full of laughter and margaritas to celebrate a day of hunting.Those simple pleasures, yes, unimportant but I loved those outings!, are just memories now. How sadly our world has changed,  is unimaginably different.

PS Humble Quilts is giving away one of my little quilts, made with antique blocks and fabric. You can comment on her blog to try to win, if you wish. But hurry because the drawing is tomorrow.




gone to the beach...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Went to the Beach

Hi! The fog is billowing in again today, it is an oddly familiar scene, warmer air hits the cold ocean and we get fog.

The good news is the winds have subsided [you rarely get both gale winds and dense fog] and so on the day after Memorial Day I decided, Okay it is summer! I am gong to the beach. I think I have become a trifle agoraphobic over the three months of quarantine---I feel strange going to my beach or going out in my car; I have to pep talk myself into doing more, if only essentials. Instead with the virus, the big trucks, the cold cold days and high winds, I had been putting all my focus into walking Mo. Today Mo quite rebelled, as if, Mommy I am a chubby adult PUG; two miles is too much for me! And he sat and sat and wouldn't budge even for the offer of a wonderfully smelly Pupperoni treat. I had to coax him home by the nape of his harness, it wasn't pretty.

So the beach is looking good to me. [photos are't blurry, that is how the fog looks.]

If a smidge neglected.

No lifeguards yet, resident-only [and guests] access, checked by a uniformed guard instead of the bikini clad teenager whose summer job it usually would be.

The beach is, as always, essentially empty.

The roses are in fragrant bloom.

I loved this ephemeral installation of shells and treasures.

Next time I will bring a painted clam shell to add.

Back home Mo is still pouting,

though we made up and he went for a brief after dinner walk. He'll have a check up in a few weeks; I will ask the vet to be sure Mo is feeling okay---remember he fell down the stairs a few months ago, may not want to walk because he is in pain?

More iris, the brown and yellow iris suddenly bloomed this week.  The lilies of the valley are blooming too, so sweet and old fashioned.

And for the quilters or others who are interested, here is a link to a dealer in antique quilts. This past week he showed a selection of iris quilts, just wonderful, all so different yet so essentially IRIS.
FB HERE  or if that FB link doesn't work, here is the seller's eBay store, with gorgeous quilts, tho I guess the iris quilts have sold. HERE

And though I am assiduously keeping my focus on finishing Baby Pineapples, here is a sneak peek. So cute!

And poor Baby Ps, when we decided to make this a big girl quilt, not a crib quilt, I ordered more of its solid grey for the long wide outer borders. But no!---doesn't match/ dye lot? I ordered again from a different source; but all fabrics online seem to have a 3-4 week wait for shipping and 10 more weekdays in transit, so despite my efforts, Baby Ps will be set aside after I sew the last turquoise border. It is hard to wait---we are a bit spoiled about online ordering nowadays.

Here  are my blue batiks, for my Blue Pineapples throw.

Have  good weekend, welcome June!

kindness installation at the beach

[kindness seems in short supply online lately. It is very hurtful to be told we are stupid and gullible for isolating or wearing masks, that ''people die all the time, what's the big deal? And it's, you know, only old people or unhealthy people who die anyway." That is not just unkind, it's cruel.]



gone to the beach...finally!.......

different beach, another time

from Nicky in S Africa