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

Monday, May 11, 2020

April into May Quilt Update

                                       French General kit ~ fabric collage
Hello, hello! It's Monday and so begins Week 11 [12?] of the coronavirus staying home times. Today I have a little round up of quilt projects worked on in April and on now into May. The year is almost half over! What have I accomplished? Well. January and February were okay, but March was pretty much a dazed and confused loss for me. The uncertainty is appalling---will I get the virus, will my friends and family? Will we die? It's hard to maintain that level of crisis though and by mid-April the days seemed lonely and quiet but  more normal despite the tedium of making masks, masks, masks.

 I thought Mo's dog walker would resume her visits by now, I thought I'd be able to run essential errands---but I guess NOT. 

So I narrowed my world down to my little projects. I treated myself to this interesting kit from French General. here

It wasn't cheap! And it arrived wadded up in a ball, all crumpled. When I contacted FG, the response was, Let us know if anything is not usable. 

Well, again, I ''can'' smooth things out and use the contents, but I like things looking new and nice for forty bucks, I think $50.oo with shipping. Color me sad. Let down, disappointed.

Their logo is so darling. A scooter made of safety pins!

The blue, "French Blue" is outstanding.


The Basket block is authentically antique and very pretty, with fine quilting.

The applique fabrics are beautiful and generously sized.

There were  couple reasons to try this kit, beyond I want it.

The  applique fusible is one I have never used, so  an opportunity to try it out. And the threads supplied are a brand often mentioned in quilt and embroidery groups, but are very expensive and not readily available here. This is a chance to try the threads out .

Included is a backing, a new to me fabric Moda's Sashiko cotton canvas. hereThe indigo threads mimic the hand sewed lines of Japanese stitching called sashiko and also have the feeling of boro [Japanese mending] and Indian kantha quilting, all interests of mine. Opinion, the fabric is lovely but very perfect of course; it lacks the handmade charm of its inspiration crafts.

I also wanted to see French General's new lawn fabrics. here Lawn is an expensive, fine but sturdy, thin cotton, originally used for nightgowns and infant clothes, blouses sometimes nowadays. The fabric enclosed is, I think, their regular quilting cotton, actually more appropriate for applique anyway.

And look at these darling antique buttons.


I'm trying to get past the damaged wad it arrived in, and hope to have the project set up soon for deck sewing if the sun should deign to appear this year.


Next has been cutting 2 1/2" squares for the It's Yellow quilt. On days when  feel stressed and unfocused I can still manage to sit and cut the squares.

Now I am wondering what I should use for the main background of the quilt? Lori asked me if I have cheddar yardage, and yes I do. It is a truer mustardy cheddar, not brown as the photo appears, on the left.  I also have chrome yellow calico yardage, on the right.

Not sure which I prefer.

When I showed this fabric online awhile ago, I got a snide comment, Oh I remember THAT one from the 80s  [when calicos weren't ''authentic'' was the unsubtle message]. Well yes  or no but it's 30 or 40 years old and I love it.

I don't have enough maybe of the vintage-y chrome yellow yardage but I have a bunch of chrome yellows from the "Hideous'' project [Jamestown] that I could mix in. I have three yards of the vintage yellow, six of the cheddar. (School bus yellow is chrome yellow / cheddar is chrome orange. The nicknames are modern affectations.)

Or...isn't this the most beautiful perfect repro blue? Found online. [if the photo doesn't show, it is faded indigo with tiny white moons and stars.]

Windham Fabrics Cunningham quilters cotton fabric

It would be so cute with its celestial motifs, to go with the moons and stars of the borders. But. I've been choosing my scraps---you know I don't do scraps---I guess with the yellow in mind and I'm not thrilled. Photos are very useful design tools for quilting ideas and decisions. What do you think? Which yellow? Or blue? A blue quilt would be so much more useful.

First three Stars for Blackbirds project.

pattern envelope

pinterest, by I think Lorraine Hoffmann
I like her version with more crows.

Mine will of course be far brighter, because that's just me....

Do I redo the large star's background that is wonky and wrinkly? It is actually square/ rectangular but the shirt I used had cut darts that skewed the lines and made ripples.

Vintage blue velvet from my friend B.


I fibbed, there have been a few---3?--- sunny days. I finished the December block of Year in the Country.

I eliminated the ant-like deer and focused on Peace.

And today we braved the wind and sat out.

I finished all but two snowflakes on November. The pink moon will always remind me of the pink supermoon moon in that May of the coronavirus and the snow we had in that same May, the other night.

That block is the final block, so exciting! Why is that this block, my very favorite, is the last laggardly block? I loved it to much to let it go or what?



And a couple sneak peeks.

Blue Baskets!

And 18 Baby Pineapples finished yesterday.



That's all for now.



gone to the beach................

 PS This is another of the FG Baskets. Aren't they a delight!  I love this one, love red and brown combo.

Panier de Fleurs Stitch Kit