Hi everyone! It's a beautiful sunny morning at the beach, we've had our walk and now Mo has his chewy outside on the deck.
He is very happy, though he has forgotten his training not to bark at helicopters and seagulls. But earlier this week, oh yes, we had snow! Mounds of whipped creamy snow. Lots of trees are down, too bad.
What have Mo and I been up to during snowy March?
Well, Mo escaped and ran away in the midst of the ice storm segment of the last nor'easter. He ran out when I was saying goodbye to a friend; he bounded off into the storm like a huge fat bunny, feet hardly touching the ground. It was quite a sight and very scary. After much calling and chasing , he decided to poop in a snowdrift [something he quite loves!] and was recaptured, carried home in disgrace. If he had gotten lost in the storm, I don't think he'd have survived.
My focus project for this month was to finish my March School Girl Album blocks:
[they're square! Just the floor and the photo].
Here is the main block, in blue and white.
It's called Lend and Borrow, though I know it as Lady of the Lake. The young woman it represents was a student at Mount Holyoke College, in the 1850s; the block was popular at that time as a friendship quilt block. The lend/ borrow aspect is a bit obscure, though Barbara Brackman mentions Mount Holyoke's focus on strict New England values. May it can be thought to refer to the motto, Never a borrower nor a lender be? Antebellum Quilts Barbara Brackman HERE
I used some shirting and indigo scraps, a gift from my friend BJ, plus the text fabric to suggest signature or motto.
I set block 2 out with block one and some antique blue and white Nine Patch blocks.
Maybe to use, (though I need 16 Block instead), or as inspiration?
The sampler blocks kind of go lost? I will wait before I decide. [later]Looking at the idea here, I actually am starting to like the busy alternate blocks, hmmm.
And this is my second version: " Hideous Jamestown / HJ" block, reduced in size to 9".
It will get sashing, so no alternate blocks quandaries.
The fussy cut central toile triangle shows a pair of squabbling children, fighting over a ball, below. Toiles have interesting scenic images, and as I look at this one to choose designs, I am amused that the scenes are quite, uh, off-color? Drunken lovers appear often, usually dancing, hands in improper places!; kids fighting; naughty dogs; men loafing and drinking. Not a story of bucolic charm after all. [A friend of mine bought antique purple toile on French eBay. When I looked closely at that fabric the scenes of lovers were quite graphic and risque. I suppose it was considered amusing when the toiles first were made
I finally found the vintage embroidered quilt blocks I've been hunting for, folded up in the blues for for SG 2.
These are funny little creatures called Brownies, from a series of popular children's books, late 1800s, I think. Brownies seem to be like mischievous teenage Kewpies? Or kewpies are maybe baby Brownies, more research needs to be done.
Aren't they so cute!
I had planned to make pincushions with them for my etsy shop but on close inspection I believe they are the four seasons. "Four Seasons of the Brownies", isn't that funny!? The embroidery is very beautifully and expertly done.
Spring ~ Baseball
Summer ~ Watermelon
Autumn ~ Halloween [I think they're in costumes?]
Winter ~ Snowman and snowball fight!
Plus a cow, just because I love cows and other barnyard animal blocks.
I think the four seasons of Brownie life should remain together, don't you? I will make the Brownies into a small quilt instead, I think.
And I made this tryout work pad for my pieced blocks, especially for my Temecula Quilt Company blocks which I'll show you another time. I used a quilted place mat and cotton batting. The batting holds the cut block pieces in place on my work desk as I sew.
A lot of pieced blocks are diagonal or asymmetrical and each block has to be attached just so, in correct order. My little work pad holds everything in place and can even be rolled up and stored or taken along for portable sewing, if used for applique.
I put a loop on the top [obviously in the wrong spot, gotta move it] so I can hang up the work pad on my bulletin board too, for auditioning color ways or storage. I am quite pleased with it! And at 12" across it is almost big enough for the blue SG blocks, too....
I can't believe winter has passed so quickly! Only another 6 weeks for sewing room projects, hard to imagine. I have not been as productive as I hoped, still plagued with almost daily migraines. [thanks, everyone who asked! The headaches last for months, waste many days, then poof, are gone sometimes. You never know.]
Must keep focused and positive. Soon I hope I'll be sewing on the deck with Mo or lugging everything down to the beach. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
[also making velvet sewing strawberries, if anyone wants to preorder. Sue, yours are being worked on right now.]
gone to the beach.....
PS speaking of going down to the beach, the beach is is still inaccessible due to storm flooding. So enjoy these beach pics from the deck.