Friday, September 21, 2018

Mission San Miguel

Hi everyone, and happy last day of summer! I know it doesn't feel like it everywhere (certainly not here!) but fall officially starts on Saturday.  I am ready for some cooler temperatures, but very unready for the season that follows the fall, which shall go unnamed for now.  So far, we have some dead leaves that have fallen, but nothing colorful yet.  Oh, and the tomato plants have given up, though they did produce really well this year.

This week I'm showing off my second free-pieced church!  Let's take a trip back in time, to last spring, so that we can pretend that I actually made the free-pieced church for the spring panel *in* the spring.  Just use your imagination! 

This is San Miguel Chapel, also known as Mission San Miguel, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It's reportedly the oldest church building in the continental United States, built between 1610 and 1626, long before any church building in New England or Virginia.  You can read much more about the church HERE.  It's an exciting story, really, because the church was originally constructed by the Tlaxcala Indians and it's been destroyed and rebuilt several times.  There are many historical pictures and pictures of the inside online as well.

I made this church using techniques detailed in Julie Sefton's book Build a Barn, No Pattern Construction. There was no pattern or anything, I just used a couple of photos that I had (which are not suitable for publication here since I knew even less about photography years ago) and pieced it in sections.  One thing I found helpful was to print out a photo on plain paper and then fold it to get a sense of the proportions.  Oddly, the church is almost symmetrical, in three parts.  The hardest part of the piecing was figuring out how to show the buttresses.  They're more like wedges than they appear in the quilt panel, but I think I did okay with it.

The main reason that this wasn't finished in the spring was that  I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect fabric to mimic the adobe.  That red-brown is a pretty difficult color to find.  Everything was either too light or too brown.  I had a lot of fun looking, though.  You may notice, too, that there are not a ton of plants around the church.  It is New Mexico, and most of the area around the church is paved, with other buildings very close to the church.  I always expect iconic buildings to be set off somehow by themselves, and then it ends up that they're across the street from a hotel or something, like the Alamo.  This church is in an historic district, but it's right there in a neighborhood, with apartments really close.

This church panel finished at 25 by 33, which is only a tiny bit different from the first panel.  This was a total coincidence, because I purposely didn't measure so that I could give San Miguel the space it deserved.  I was really surprised when I took the first church out of the box to take this picture.  Funny how things work out, isn't it?  I should also add that there are many details that will be quilted in, too, like the branches and leaves for that tree on the left, and the window panes.

So there's church number 2!  I've picked out the church for a summer panel, but I have a few things I have to work out for it first, like how to make the siding.  Maybe I'll make the fall church before the summer one because it's brick, which might be easier. 

Everyone have a great weekend!  There are no bridesmaid's dresses to alter this time around, but this weekend is my birthday and I have some gluten-free cake to enjoy. I have it on good authority that there will also be takeout, which we all know is my favorite thing.

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and TGIFF.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Cloudy with scattered stars

Hi all, and welcome to another wet weekend!  What a surprise, huh?  The weather people said this week that we've had the wettest summer in 50 years, thus confirming what I have suspected all along.  Of course, I can't complain, because we are not currently in the path of a hurricane.  If you are, my sympathies and please stay safe.  I hope it dries out for you very soon!

Since this is the dark blue month for the rainbow scrap challenge, I decided that it was time to put together the galaxy stars quilt top, which I've been making to use up some dark blue half yards that I bought to test out another pattern.  I never use dark blues, so they were just going to sit around here, doing nothing.  Instead, they've become this little quilt:

Oh, gosh, that turned out better than I thought it would!  It's been quite cloudy, so the pictures are a little dark, but that's letting all the colors of the stars shine through.

The pattern for this star is HERE, but I made mine larger, 8 inches finished instead of 6 inches.  They were super-easy to make, and I used all scraps in the color of the month to make the stars.  I tried to mix up all the backgrounds as much as possible each month, and I didn't have a set number of stars that I was aiming for.  This made the quilt a pretty relaxed project for me.

I put the stars up on the wall and played with the layout and the distribution of colors for a couple of days, which was fun.  I didn't want to put them in a plain straight set, so I moved them around a bunch until I liked it, then filled in with leftover blue squares.  I laid this out in rows, but pieced it in columns, adding a piece to the tops and bottoms of the columns to make the stars off set.  This made them look much more scattered, which was exactly what I was going for.

So there's one more scrap project down!  I'm really pleased with it. I didn't put any borders on this top, but I still might.  I have just enough for a small border to go all the way around, and enough scraps for a binding.

Hope everyone is having a nice, dry weekend and you all have something fun planned.   I have to go to my daughter's house and alter a bridesmaid's dress.  Wish me luck!

PS-- There's still time to enter to win a blogger bundle from Bernie!  Check out THIS POST for details.

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC18.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A bundle of fall flowers

Hello everyone!  How is your week going?  Many of you know my friend Bernie over at Needle and Foot, and her fabric shop.  This year she has been offering a series of fat quarter or half-yard bundles selected by bloggers.  For this month's bundle, she asked me! Little did she know that I am a September baby, so I really like many of the colors of fall and I certainly like colorful fabric!

Here is an artsy picture of the bundle I chose:

Oh, they look so pretty hanging there.  Here's a more sober picture of the bundle, along with fabric names:

Top, left to right: Lacey Star Cosmos by Sharon Holland, Cat in the Flowers, Bear Essentials 3 in violet purple.  Bottom row: Cottagely Posy, Twinkle in orange, and Woodblock Berry by Sharon Holland.

When I was choosing fabric for this bundle, I was thinking mainly of fall flowers.  Most people think of flowers as a spring thing, and I do love spring flowers, but fall has a beauty all its own.  Goldenrod, asters, chrysanthemums, some roses and lilies, astilbes, and Russian sage are just of few of the fall bloomers that add so much to the season.  There are no dainty springtime pinks or yellows here, but lots of deep saturated colors-- oranges, purples, deep reds, deep greens, and deep yellows.

I've started using the bundle to make some flower blocks for a fall flowers quilt, though I haven't made as much progress as I'd hoped:

Flower blocks are adapted from the Intricate Stitches project.

I'm seriously hoping this quilt will be finished sometime this fall, but there are some projects in line ahead of it, too.  But hope springs eternal!

If you're not into flowers, this bundle is pretty versatile as a base for other projects, since it combines well with other colors.  You could go really warm and put it with some more oranges and yellows:

Or go another direction with pinks and reds, and maybe a few purples:

Or try a little cooler with some blues and greens:

It even looks really good with last month's blogger bundle:

For my project, I chose to add a green and a couple of the fabrics from last month.  I might add another purple, too, to balance the one already in the bundle.  

So that's my bundle and my (incomplete) project, and here is your chance to win one of these bundles for your very own.  Just leave me a comment on this post, and I will choose randomly (using a random number generator thingy) on Sunday night, September 16.  Just to make it interesting, tell me your favorite fall flower.  Mine is actually asters, the bright purple ones, of course!  If you are no-reply, remember to leave a way to contact you or else you can't win.

This giveaway is now closed! Thanks to all, and congratulations to Deb, who won the bundle.

You can find out some more about this bundle at Bernie's post right HERE.  Now is also your chance to hop on over to Bernie's shop  and get this bundle for 20% off until Friday.  To go directly to the bundle listing, click HERE. You might find something else you like, too, if you look around a bit.

Hope there are lots of flowers blooming for you this fall!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Catch a falling star

Hi everyone! Good golly, it's already the end of the first week in September.  How did that happen?  It has been such a busy time for me lately, but I feel like things are finally starting to settle down.  At least I feel a lot less stressed now than I did a few weeks ago.  And though the calendar says September, it still feels like the height of summer around here (97 degrees today!), so at least some things haven't changed.

It's been slow stitching for the last several weeks, what with everything that's been going on around here, but this week I finally finished off this quilt top:

I call this quilt top Falling Stars, because the blocks look like stars to me, and when they're on point they kind of look like they're falling.  Well, you can't always explain a quilt name, right?  I love the colors in this top, and I also love the little shoo-fly blocks that are formed in the center of each block.  Now I want to make a bunch of shoo-fly blocks and put them on point.  There's another idea for the list!

I made this top to use up the last jelly roll in my stash, using THIS block from the Squared Away quilt project. I think it was perfect to make from that jelly roll.   To me, the block really screamed to be put on point, so how could I refuse what the quilt wanted?  The block was pretty smart, because the secondary patterns made by the blocks are really interesting.

This quilt top was pretty easy to put together, because the block is very simple, made mostly of half-square triangles. A *lot* of half-square triangles. There are 512 hsts in this top!  All of those hsts were cut using the Easy Angle ruler, which is easy enough, but is a really unforgiving method for making hsts.  It takes a bit of patience to make all of them, so I could only do a few blocks at a time before my eyes started crossing.

So, there's that top finished!  This one is already boxed up and ready to send off to Diane the longarmer for quilting.   I think it's asking for an allover quilting pattern, so I'm inclined to listen.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.  We are jetting off for a small adventure, which may or may not involve some tiny people.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Hope you have as much fun as we will!

Sharing at Finished or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and crazymomquilts.