Monday, February 1, 2016

January Jumble

Prairie Quilt Guild's tradition is that the immediate Past President may ask the membership to make a quilt block of her choosing. She then puts together the quilt as a remembrance of guild members. I took a little different path and asked for orphan blocks. One guild member gave me all of these vintage quilt blocks!

It took a bit of pondering but I decided on a layout after carefully measuring and trimming the blocks. Yes, quite a few points got chopped off and nothing is even. Some of the blocks weren't the right size so I added an extra strip of fabric. Do you see my little mistake? I didn't calculate the correct amount for the inner spacer border and had to add a narrow purple and gray strip under the red border. I like it just as it is and someday will have it quilted with a Baptist Fan design.

I'm guessing most of the fabrics are from the '60's, the era I grew up. They remind me of my Grandma Goossen's aprons. She was a great influence in my life and I miss her very much. She liked to crochet and tat but I didn't know until after her death that she had also quilted for a short time. The quilt she made was used up and gone before I came along.

On to another subject, Quilty 365. I told myself I wasn't going to get involved with this but I did anyway. The idea, which I think is a great idea, is to make a block a day in 2016. Here's the link if you want to play along:

January 1 - I made a block
January 2 - I made a block
January 3 - I forgot to make a block
One day, I remember I was supposed to make a block a day so I make 5 more to catch up.
I forgot again and again and again.
I think I'm going to make and applique the circles for the rest of the background blocks, stitch the blocks together, add borders and call it something like "Twenty-seven days in Winter" (if I make it to 27). I'm anticipating my kids cleaning out my sewing room someday and wondering why 27 days?!?

What's this mess? These are the bits and pieces for Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt, Allietare. I wasn't going to do this one either but I decided it would help me improve my piecing skills. Allietare is Italian for gladden, rejoice, become cheerful! 

For some reason, this project didn't have that effect on me and one day I decided my attitude would greatly improve if I put all the bits and pieces away. All the units are finished, some need trimming before they're sewn into blocks. I think I was just so disappointed with my piecing skills that I needed a break from this project. Maybe a quilt top will happen in the future.

I started working on Love Entwined again! Most of the little pieces in the flower arrangement are glue basted and waiting to be stitched. Do you see the red tulip on the left side of the pot of flowers? I got it all stitched down and realized the petals don't cover the stem, they just barely meet it. At first I thought I'd just applique a small circle at the base of the flower to cover my mistake but as time went on, I realized I'd always remember that it wasn't appliqued correctly. I made up my mind to take the flower completely apart and reposition it. 

However today at my Applique Group meeting, one of the ladies suggested that if I just move the lower red petals down I wouldn't have to take all those tiny petals off. Sometimes solutions are so obvious I don't recognize them!

Now this is totally different for me. I'm taking part in a color challenge and the first assignment is neutrals with only one (maybe two) accent colors. No patterns, has to be original work. Ordinarily, I would never choose gray and peach but it is a challenge so a challenge it will be. Its supposed to be finished in three weeks but I'm not even sure what finished will look like! Lots more work to do on it.

There's some play going on too! While in Houston at the International Quilt Festival last fall, I took two classes with Kaffe Fassett. This is one of the classes, Bright Squares from his book, Heritage Quilts. I haven't always followed the light, dark, light layout but I'm still playing and enjoying it.The colors are so much better in real life! 

I chose polka dots because, even though I seem to have quite a few polka dot fabrics, I rarely use them. Suddenly there seemed to be polka dot fabric in each quilt shop I went to and I ended up buying "a few more" fat quarters of fabric. Now I have more polka dot fabric than when I started!

One more row of three blocks to go and these are the squares I have left. At first I was going to use what I had left and discover new exciting color combinations. That's not working and I'm going to have to cut more. I was surprised which colors do not play well with others. I can't keep that bright yellow Aboriginal Dot from trying to steal the show.

Leftover squares are going to be made into a doll quilt for our granddaughter, Elizabeth. I hope she likes bright yellow and peach with pink polka dots!

 I'm learning how easy it is to make a Dresden Plate and what fabrics not to select.

Leo the Lion was delivered to our grandson, Ethan, during January. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a full photo of it. Just recently, the weather was 70 degrees where he lives so I don't know if he's able to enjoy this very warm quilt. However, winter's not over yet.

Mediterranean Hexagons was the other class I took from Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy at Houston. Last week, it went to the machine quilter. Since she's going to be closing her customer machine quilting business, this will be the last quilt she quilts for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out! 

This quilt will hang in the Common Thread's quilt show this June. If you're anywhere near Wichita, Kansas June 16 - 18, please come to our show!

This is the backing of my Mediterranean Hexagon quilt. A little out of my comfort zone but I like it. How far would you drive for a certain kind of fabric? Unfortunately, my local quilt shop didn't carry a Kaffe fabric which would work for the Mediterranean Hexagon backing. I purchased "Brandon's Brocade" from Material Girl in Grand Island, Nebraska which was at least a 5 hour drive one way for us, regardless of what Google predicted. Its not what I thought I'd buy but its what the quilt needs.

That was January for me. It started out dreary but ended well. I had a finish, a few quilts put on hold but am looking forward to a finish or two in February!

Until next time, Mayleen