Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Six years in the making

 Hi everyone, and happy Thanksgiving! Where did November go? Seriously, it just slipped away from me. Maybe you really can fold space and time. That would also explain the never-ending laundry and dishes, wouldn't it?

To celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to show off a finish that I am really thankful for and that seems really appropriate today. It's been done for a month while I dithered about whether I should add anything else to it, but I've finally decided it's perfect as is. Here we are:

Can that be the Paper Dolls quilt, after all this time? Yes, yes it is! 

I started this quilt way back when we lived in Wisconsin, for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2015. I packed up all the dolls and moved them to the East coast, then finally finished the top in Delaware. And it stayed in the closet for a long time after that. I hate it when that happens, don't you?

I finally pulled it out earlier this year, reworked it a little by rearranging the rows so that it's more square and suited for a bed, and sent it off to Alycia to be custom quilted. She did an amazing job! I went back and forth for a couple of months about the binding, then finally went with the binding that matched the border. It helps that I already had that binding made. I planned to add some embroidery, but in the end I just added eyes to the dolls and let that be enough.

The custom quilting Alycia did is fantastic and really makes the quilt shine. All of the dolls have flowers on their skirts, and there are a variety of different backgrounds quilted in. Look at the extra special quilting on the bride! Isn't that beautiful? All of the dolls got special treatment, and a lot of the bigger open areas are feathers. It turned out so great, and I'm so happy with it.

I don't know why it took me so long to finish this quilt, because I love all of the dolls. Some of them are based on people I know, and some of them were just dictated by the available scraps. Oh, yeah-- everything in the quilt except the borders and sashing is a scrap of some sort. It was a scrap challenge, after all. I can't pick a favorite, though the bride was based on my daughter, so maybe I could go with that one. Really, though, I love them all.

The saying in the center of the quilt is not in the pattern, but I think it adds a lot, especially since these are all women of different races, ethnicities, and ages. We all could stand to support each other more in spite of our differences, don't you think?

If you zoom in, you can see that the dolls have a variety of different-colored eyes as well as different hairstyles, and some of them have really wild hair. I had a lot of fun creating all of them with all different personalities. Some of them turned out to be very different than I thought they would be, but they're still great. Just like people, you know?

I want to give credit to the designer whose pattern I adapted for this quilt, even though it looks like the website no longer exists. The dolls were designed by Phyllis Paul, and I used her pattern to make the doll bodies, but made up my own hair appliques and block arrangement. I'm really sorry that her pattern doesn't seem to be available any more, because the dolls were pretty easy to make. If you see it anywhere, be sure to grab a pattern!
This quilt is going to live on the bed that our granddaughter uses when she is here. That's really why it finally got finished-- I can't wait to see her making up stories about the dolls and looking at all of their fun clothes and hair styles. And who doesn't want to sleep under a doll quilt? (Or on top of it, as my granddaughter does.) 

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are finally getting together with some family. It's a much better holiday this year than last, that's for sure! Enjoy the pumpkin pie!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, Patchwork and Applique, Oh, Scrap, and soscrappy for RSC 21 (and finally finishing RSC 15!)

Friday, November 12, 2021

Chasing squirrels

 Well, hello everyone! Been a couple of weeks, hasn't it? Sometimes life is more complicated than we want it to be, and really, I would swear it's only November first. Wasn't Halloween yesterday? In the last couple of weeks, I pieced a queen-sized quilt (which is a Christmas present, so it will be shown in January), visited a quilty friend, worked more than I can say, had about 50,000 meetings, and also managed to sleep a little. And, hey, the furniture that we ordered in April finally came! So if I need a nap, there's a place for that!

So, while I was piecing my gift quilt, I also veered off in a squirrelly direction or two. Several bloggers, including Julie, Wanda, and Nancy, are making Gridlock quilts, from a pattern by Kaffe Fassett. It happens that I need a quilt for myself, and you know what happens when a squirrel bites, so. . .

Yep, those are the first few blocks I've made for my very own Gridlock quilt. Once I saw Julie's and clicked through to the others, there was really nothing I could do but go and get the required book from the library (the only Kaffe book my branch had, too), start sorting fabrics, and start stitching. It just had to happen!

I need a backdrop for Zoom calls and classes, because I've rearranged the guest room where I taught last year and I don't necessarily want people staring at the bed in there (even though it's covered with a lovely quilt), plus I have a lot of leftover neutrals, so I was looking for a pattern for a neutral quilt. This one won't be as colorful as the others, but I think it will make a lovely backdrop.
I'm sorry to admit that the squirrels have run rampant in other ways, too. Last weekend Gudrun Erla had a one-day quilt-along with her new Phoenix pattern, and while I couldn't quilt along, I did pretty much assemble the whole top for that one, too. I just have a couple of blocks to go, so that will be finished soon, too.

I really don't know what got into me, but a while ago I purchased a bundle of towelling fabric, which I have never bought before. It sat and sat, and then last week I was bored so I just grabbed it, squared the ends, and hemmed the darned things. They are fantastic! I don't know why I waited so long to do them, but they work great. The hemming was super-simple, too. 

So that's my story for the last couple of weeks-- just work and chasing squirrels. At least they're friendly! Plus, even though I have to be stuck at work *a lot* right now, I get to enjoy this lovely view:

The view from my office, with the rain moving out.

Hope you all have had a good week and have some lovely views of your own, and not too many squirrels. The only way to get rid of them is to make the dang things, you know? Happy weekend!

Sharing at Finished or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Oh Scrap!