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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fall Festival ~ A Finish!

Hi! I finished Fall Festival [top] today, Tuesday. I'm so happy to have it finished, and exactly as scheduled. [This blog post is late because  I had an issue with the photos, must retake tomorrow morning, too bad.]

I'm quite pleased with this project. I dropped out of the internet sewalong because  the pace was far too rushed for me. I want to savor the quilt process, to enjoy each block, not rush to a deadline just to start yet another quilt.

My ''mantra'' lately has been good craftsmanship, and I think my efforts show on this top. It's a little thing but my most hated part of quilting is removing the threads on the quilt's back, so tedious---yet machine quilters insist on pristine backs! If I am quilting something myself I just ignore the threads. On FF I was determined to clip every single thread as I worked, to not have ANY threads to trim when done.Oh yes, much, MUCH  better, though in the close ups I see my applique work needs improvement, as always.
Here is the schematic for the project's final layout. I outlined each section in a different color; Patek's designs are like jigsaw puzzles.

I used a color design board for this quilt, a new idea for me.

I feel it worked well, keeping my colors and fabrics coordinated and on target.

I changed a few blocks: I added the white crow to the top swag, along with oak leaves and acorns.

I added more Flying Geese to the spacer sashing, partly because I love FG and also because I was afraid I didn't have enough of the vintage-ish print.

This is a situation where the time-honored tradition of subbing a new fabric partway through isn't very successful, because the geese's triangles should float in the perceived sky; this means the FG's sky and sashing must match or one's eye see a break in the concept, in the flow. I had three yards of khaki calico, but there was a big portion of the center cut out, used elsewhere. I had about 18" of 4 1/2" strips left when done.

I also eked out the three reds used in the appliques--

...saving every scrap for a few Flying Geese to match for color movement. Some of the red Geese have two or even three tiny pieces sewed into one 2" x 4" triangle.

And I eliminated the boring Jan Patek House block, I must have made, I don't't even know, 6 so far!? The block I used instead is my fave block, I love it!

I began with a Cheri Payne basket or Vase block, added my own flowers (the big Sunflower inspired by the one on Wild Geese), oak leaves and acorns, the date, and a  blue moon.

Of course I love the pineapples even though I had to remake them; they were crooked at first.  They are decorated with reverse applique, new to me. Aren't they the cutest!

Blue Moons, how fun.

Westering Women is all set to go to the quilter, so I can't have FF quilted for awhile. Meanwhile we can choose a backing for FF. I intend[ed] to use the brown dots, ordered it specially for the quilt. It is darker and prettier in real life.But I also have this fun plaid patchwork yardage that I could use? The colors are a bit wrong? And it looks like India madras, might it color run? Which do we like?

I'm so happy to now have caught up on old big projects. I can't stand the idea of what is quaintly/ cutely called UFOs, unfinished objects, in the quilt world. Starting new---my reward for finishes. Good times ahead--- March and spring!
On a quilty note I thought you might enjoy seeing some friends' projects. Neither blogs or posts on FB, I don't think.

First, blog friend Penny, in South Africa. Here beautiful Westering Women blocks. I love her colors.

I asked her if the quilt world's focus on American history becomes boring for her, and she said the themes of travel and pioneering are universal; that parts of  her country were settled in much the same way, exploring the open unmapped veld of inner South Africa.
And from my friend BJ--we had no idea we were both working on Westering Women! Here is her quilt. Finished and hand quilted. I was very impressed. She hand quilts almost all her quilts. Nice dark rich colors too.

Here are her handmade doll quilts. Great display ladder, too.

And her handmade dolls, her own design--with antique crib and handmade doll quilt. A gift for a special little girl.

I adore the face of this dolly, don't you.

Mo of course supervises everything! Here he is inspecting my sewing desk.

"Whatever does Mommy DO up there?"

"Sigh. It's so boring. And noisy."

Happy March!



gone to the beach...

Friday, February 23, 2018

Nothing Much

Happy Friday! Today's blog is "about nothing"---anyone remember the old Seinfeld episode about the TV show about nothing, lol.  It's been a quiet week here at the beach, grey, drizzling, not too cold, but not warm either---35, 40*? I noticed the city was very warm, almost 70* one day. I thought I'd have Fall Festival to show you guys today, but no. I am working intentionally slowly, measuring each piece many times. My ''word'' of the past year and for 2018 is good craftsmanship, and I think it shows in FF.

The beach is foggy and desolate, but the spring cleanup earth movers have arrived already. They started early, Feb 15 instead of March 1. Maybe all my complaints about scaring the migratory endangered birds has paid off? Oystercatchers will return March 17! Plovers April 1st.

I'm always wary of walking on the beach when the trucks are working. Last year they ran over someone, in a town nearby! Sure they paid him a few million bucks but still.

New candle for March: "Happiness", a mix of bergamot and mandarin. I love it, though I'm not thrilled with the jar , too dark.

And I treated myself to a trial 3 pack of perfumes from PHLUR. $18.oo. here I love the idea of an aware and ecologically good perfume company with natural ingredients. Not crazy about the scents themselves though, or the name Hepcat, yeeesh. Bad choice, they just could have called it Brooklyn instead? I have worn Angel from Thierry Mugler for years and it's hard to change. I love perfume and wear it daily, just a light spritz, even on days I'm home alone in old sweats. Like brushing my teeth, just something I do.

The flowers of the week are pussy willows. I went to a different market and they had these exceptionally lovely grey velvet plushy branches. Usually the PW branches are scrawny and rustic--- yes, charming, but not gorgeous like these.

 Ten stems $3.oo.

I like winter-y branches. Mo and I collect them after windy days. Sometimes they flower or sprout tiny leaves, you never know.

Even if not, the linear dark lines appeal to my eyes.

I am learning to use my new "Rolls Royce" printer. I bought special fabric paper pages for it. Here is the first  label.

Too expensive though, I think it was 14.99 for 4 sheets of printer fabric. Is that possible? More experimentation is needed.
Thinking ahead, once Fall Festival is done---I have had requests from etsy customers for more of my velvet strawberries w silver caps or handles., so if you would like one pls let me know!

Then, when FF is done, I can begin new projects! I joined an online group to make this beautiful quilt this year.

I haven't dared start yet though. The project includes the option of buying a monthly kit. It's fun to see what someone else chooses and so far the fabrics are lovely. I always have wanted to make a Feathered Star block, but I think it was the inspirational words on the corners that sold me. Lots of nice applique for next summer on the beach, too.

I won't try to keep up with the group, of course. lol. Did I tell you about the Block of the Month [different project] group on FB, I had to resign? They kick you out if you do not make each month's block on time!? How anal is that!--- I can't think of any nicer way to put it. So I bowed out; I have the pattern anyway, I just would have enjoyed seeing other peoples' work.
I'm also still dithering about Antebellum Album colorways. The taupe is eliminated. Blue the front runner.

For the person (Denno / Denise) who asked me about the Covered Wagon fabric, you are a NO Reply blogger! I put ordering info on the blog post you wrote to me. Right now I do not have scraps as it will be the backing of WW, using full length and width til trimmed---and it is very costly to mail to Australia. Fat Quarters Shop will sell you a one yard for under 9.oo USD and mail it, they're set up for international shipping. I am sorry I am not, even for a freebie. Send me your email though if you want me to contact you when my quilt is finished; it could be months though.

Today's chores include mending socks and nightgowns, pinching pennies here! But mostly I mend socks because I can no longer find the soft puffy ankle socks I love. I also have to do alterations on Mo's newer raincoat. You can see his opinion of a walk in the sleety rain, below.

The newer raincoat is too long and he can't potty with it on, poor little man. It also had armholes like sleeves! This one has sleeves too.

How many dogs will let you put them into a coat w plastic sleeves, so stupid. Not Mo, he cries.

So I better get busy here,  I'll see you all soon. Have a good weekend.



gone to the beach....