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

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Auditioning Fabrics ~ 1880 Sampler and Sajou

Hi everyone! I've been intermittently working on fun quilt projects, nothing is as interesting to me as choosing just the right fabrics, especially for a long term project like 1880 Sampler

I love seeing the special project box filled with tiny colorful quilt blocks, in this case 36 full 4 /4 1/2" blocks and 8 half blocks.

And leafing through my notebook full of each week's patterns and my notes on how to make the blocks [since I never understand rotary cut instructions]---almost a diary of the past year.  I have the idea to make this again in red, so saved the pattern's carefully.

When the project was unveiled in January, I was In Love with the background fabric, as well as with the unusual, idiosyncratic inspiration quilt. I had to have that calico, tan and black, and a FB member helped me locate it, in a fabric group entitled something like Indigo and Claret (Paula Barnes, designer), how misleading.

More recently though while studying how to produce the odd zigzag block setting, I realised the original was much blacker and set off the  floating blocks more clearly.

I ordered a group of black/ white/ tan prints, partly as substitute ground fabric ideas and partly to replenish my always low stock of neutrals, especially black.

The other day, camera phone replaced and functioning!, I got everything out and set up my auditions. I reminded myself that the Temecula sewalong design was inspired by but not a block by block copy of the original sampler quilt. Maybe the deeper ground wasn't going to be the best? Let's see!

Original 1880 Quilt, from Stella Rubin Antiques.

Link to TQC's finished project photo: here

Fabric one, the TQC tan and black:

Fabric 2: a very interesting but not pretty ''seaweed'' that closely replicates the antique.

Fabric 3:  My favorite fabric; I love this one.

4- Another black sprig, almost as good as the seaweed but boring in this context.

5- A white ground sprig vine that looked surprisingly good. Lots of pop and clarity.

6- Another personal fave, the black on white tiny dandelion puff, so adorable.

I liked this one because it is named as a Sampler of the same era as my project. Plus, you know, dandelions?

Which did you prefer??

The winner is the black seaweed. Not the prettiest but the right guy for the job. I cut my first triangles today, cannot wait to work on the setting.


Then we have Sajou the little Humble Quilts project. It gets a border this final week, and we're under pressure to have it ready for the Friday September 26 reveal. The border is pyramids or dogtooths or Circus Bunting. I had very much planned to use the powder puff polka dot in the border alternating with all the colors from the center checkerboard. But No! Ugh, awful, the dots overwhelmed the gorgeous Provencal paisley of the previous border, so no.

Last night late, much auditioning and tryouts---stripes?

 I finally decided on this beautifully deep pumpkin cheddar, another ''seaweed''. [Though I've hoarded it for years and hate to cut it up!] Fine, reads visually as a solid but with texture; great color.

But then. As I was cleaning up my desk I draped the central section over my sewing machine and as I replaced scattered pins and tidied my scissors, I stared at that center absentmindedly. What pops, what sparkles? Aha, another treasured fabric, the picotage rosebud on white, I think it's B. Brackman's  C. 1825 or Recently Arrived from London? It's the white ground print to the upper right:

Yes that will be the calm but bright row of triangles, isosceles, as Lori kindly points out. Again the instructions made not a whiff of sense to me. Later in the coming week after my guests leave, I'll reread and venture ahead.HERE is Lori's version and the antique inspiration quilt.

A final plain border...red paisley? More triangles? This is a concentric medallion style quilt, after all. We''ll see. Probably not by Friday though,lol lol.

PS I was a bit sad for the 1880 project to be finished. Nothing new on Fridays, to look forward to. But wait! TQC must know how we feel because, already started, their very intriguing Christmas sewalong. Picture me digging in my heels and resisting. This baby is due to finish Black Friday! here

On the home front, it is very cold and worse, very windy. 45 mph! And dark. Where is my warm October? Mo and I dread the frigid bedtime walks.

''The National Weather Service has issued the following special weather statement for Long Island:
Northwest winds will increase to 20 to 25 mph with gusts of 30 to 40 mph today. Some wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph. With trees still partially to full foliage, these higher wind gusts could take down some tree limbs or small trees and hence may cause some power outages.''
''Temperatures will be 10-15 degrees below normal Sunday with wind chill temperatures in the 30s most of the day. A frost advisory will be in effect for the entire island from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday.''

Unheard of! I am off to cover my little flowering lime tree. See ya soon.



gone to the beach....