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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beach Umbrellas

was supposed
to be a flea market Monday post....

but time and a bad photo shoot have put a crimp in that plan!

Instead I have been madly sewing away on yet another quilt!
Let's see---I have three, yes---3! quilts with their bindings half sewn. That "accomplishment" somehow gave me the idea that I could begin a another NEW quilt, despite the fact that I have a wonderful vintage Baskets top I am repairing and lovely redwork blocks to design and sew up into a treasure for a friend, I hope. And of course I already got into the NYC quilt design: http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=8918333902682601699&searchType=ALL&txtKeywords=&label=blue+transferware.

But during the snowy days of February I checked out a library quilting book and to my amazement, a favorite pattern "Spider Web" a scrappy string quilt classic,

 also known as "Wagon Wheels"

---was explained in the most incredibly easy terms. My aha moment turned into inspiration.
This was a perfect idea for the orange and pink fabrics I've been accumulating for the past, oh--10 years?

This is the original inspiration fabric, a vintage Lilly Pulitzer scrap.

And a cutter piece from a friend...

 intended for spring and summer lavender hearts.

And somehow in the spiderwebs and wagon wheels my beachy eyes saw summer sun umbrellas.

My creative moment was quickly followed by a virtual shopping trip to my favorite on-line quilt shop, eQuilter. http://www.equilter.com/ to hunt for the base fabric AKA The Sand or The Beach. I chose four sand-like prints, ordered small amounts---and loved them all. My helper, my daughter, loved them all too and talked me into using all four beach prints...adds interest, right?
While I waited for my beach prints I made these trial block sections:
Sand [center diamond]~
and Sea [turq center diamond]~
I made small color copies of the two tryouts and literally, not computer-ally, pasted (oh, okay, scotch-taped!) them into a small mock-up. Here it is with the fast little sketch of sea/ sand/ brollies in turquoise pen on the right.

The book had good directions, but---way too big. I didn't want a quilt with almost life sized umbrellas, did I? Making the try-out blocks made me realize the artist's 16 1/2" square base blocks were much too big. I went with 12 1/2" blocks instead. And with my little paste-up job I could see that to create the pinwheel, kinetic effect I wanted, I would need to use more contrast within my stripes collection. Back to my stash for lights and darks, plus a rare non-blizzard-day trip to Joann's fabric store added depth to my fabric choice. And I got to shop some more! yay!
And---well--- the directions in that book (I'll add the name later, lost the info---many great ideas!) were waaaay too complicated! Am I really gonna mark all of, let me see---30 squares, cut into quarters.....120 hand marked base triangles???
I don't think so.
Notched for the cut edge, that's the ticket, ladies.

And I figured out a fast way to pre-sew the stripes in bulk.

So now I am happy to report that the central sand colored squares are 2/3-ish done. Just have a bunch, maybe 80? turquoise ocean water blocks left to cut and piece. Then I gotta sew them back into squares, add an ocean border and...and, well, I 'll add an update really soon with more pix of the quilt as it progresses. And I'll tell you about the fab quilting design already chosen for this baby.

Then it's back to the much harder than expected, wow, so many glitches!---NYC: "Hot Town/Summer in the City" quilt. And the baskets. And the redwork....Oh yeah, all  those bindings. And the hand-beaded seashells....

 Pix when everything is further along! How-to's if anyone wants to know....