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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Welcome Spring

Hi everyone! The other night I went out with friends for a Celebrate Spring dinner. As the long harsh winter drags on, well, any excuse for a celebration!

We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Best peach margaritas!

And delicious fajitas and steak tacos.

Good ideas for the coming summer, things to make on the grill. Note to self, look for fajita marinade recipes. And remember all the ''fixin's".

And look at the amazing sky we saw as we headed home. Sunset now is at 8 PM. Crescent moon and HUGE planet, I'm told it is Venus [I thought Jupiter, but no].

I think you can still see the planets at sunset, go out and look? [the pinker spots are planes landing at JFK].

I've had this quilt top out in my bedroom all winter, folded by my desk while I contemplated what to do with it and how to finish it. It's a perfect spring project, with its sweet pink sashing.

It was quite soiled so I rinsed it gently with Orvus soap and Retayne, by hand. Rolled it in many towels to remove the heavy water, then hung it to dry. It was too dirty to handle otherwise. I did not try to do a deep clean or soak and some age stains remain; I will attend to them after it is quilted.

The top was very long and narrow, so I have removed two sections of the blocks [Chimney Sweep] and tiny pink polka dot sashing. I will add this to the side to make a more ''normally'' shaped textile. The 1 1/2" blocks are hand pieced with the most perfectly even tiny stitches. The sashing is machine sewed, very firmly. It took me almost two hours to remove just the one seam! The sashing is actually not a polka dot but is instead four tiny pink diamonds set in a square, each just a pinprick in size.

I want to finish this top because the fabrics are so interesting and adorable. I always think a top like this would be wonderful inspiration for a designer of quilting fabric. I love studying the patterns and designs. Despite its scrappy style, the palette is well thought out and carefully limited to pink/ reds and black/ gray/ indigo, with a few pastels. No yellow or bright green or purples have snuck in.
Here are some of the blocks up close:

Is this a Prussian Blue and Madder red? Or just tacky late 1800s scrap bag bits?

This is my favorite block. You have to look close!

I was so surprised  and thrilled to see this tiny face peeping out from the corner!

Another lucky horseshoe corner,

and fussy cut bluebells or fuchsias in the other corners.

The maker used every tiny special piece she had. The corner triangles are about 5/8" finished.

The bad news is that, upon close investigation, I can see why the top was not finished, perhaps.

This sudden jog in the side seam is a challenge. Do I try to undo it and make it all fit or should I just piece in a section of an antique shirting ,like a shim in a wooden wall?

The sun is shining today, so I'm off to the beach with Mo! Gotta walk of that margarita! And Mo's birthday cooky, a gift from his crush Molly the Maltipoo.



gone to the beach