Thursday, October 13, 2022

A small memorial

 Hello all. I have bad news today, so if you don't like being brought down, go on ahead and come back another time. I won't be mad. I hate bad news, too, especially this kind.

My mother died this week. She had had a number of health problems over the years, and it all finally came to the point of no return. We're trying to be comforted by the fact that she is now beyond the pain and suffering she endured for years, but it's hard.

As a little, tiny memorial, and because this is a quilt blog, I'm sharing a pre-blogging quilt that I made for her in about 2012 or so:

Not a great picture, but taken on the clothesline that she used for years and years. And really, I wasn't focusing on getting good backgrounds or pictures. This was a BOM from Marti Michell whose name I really don't remember. Sweet roses? Wild roses? I don't remember, but I think it came in the mail, on paper. How primitive! I might still have those patterns, too.

I do remember that there were these plastic templates to use that made every piece fit exactly. It all went together perfectly, including the sashing, but it was a bear and a half to cut. No strip cutting or piecing. I had it professionally quilted in pink thread, and it has lived on the bed in the middle bedroom ever since. It even has a marker stain on the backing from a careless grandchild. I didn't photograph that, because I know my mom was frustrated that she couldn't get the stain out.

So there we are. I wish I had something happy and uplifting to say, or at least some kind of happy, quilty picture. I promise to be happier after the funeral on the 22nd. A lot of us have to travel, so that was easier than trying to rush in from all corners of the country in just a couple of days.

Hug your moms or your mom-like people, or call them, or at least think about them today, okay? And maybe make them a quilt so that you can wrap up in it after they're gone, shed a few tears, and remember all the love on both sides of the machine. 

Peace to all,

Friday, October 7, 2022

Bright green wings

 Hi everyone, and happy Saturday! Have your leaves started to turn yet? Though we have a lot of leaves on the ground, there has not yet been a lot of color. I attribute that to all the rain we've had. It rained here for five days straight and the ground is still pretty soggy. The creek behind us and on the property beside us has been quite full, too.

Today I have the last of the birds for this year's RSC quilt to show. I gave them bright green wings and some colorful feathers:

It appears the green birds have an odd friend joning the flock! More about him in a minute, but the green birds look quite cheerful, don't they?

The only bright green birds I know of are parrots and parakeets, but I don't think these look like either one. They aren't green herons or mallards, either. I guess they're just themselves!

Last month's color was light blue, a color I am not particularly fond of, though I do have a lot of it that is years old. I didn't make any light blue birds, but I found I had to make this guy:

There is a great blue heron who frequents the property next to us, which is something of a wetland and is owned by the county. He's a very majestic bird, and if I was going to make a light blue bird, he was going to be it. I even managed to make his neck look fairly proportional, as great blue herons have very long necks. I'm thinking of adjusting the flamingo the same way. He's not a colorful bird, but I like him a lot.

I also put all my birds up on the wall to see what I have and how I might arrange them:

Quite the flock! I love them all. I know for sure I don't want them in rows, and I'm thinking of using a pale green background color to tie them all together. It looks like I might want two more to fill in some spots that are far too open, too. I think this will take some serious playtime to get right. Oh, no. Doesn't that sound awful?

Except for the two others I might need, I think that's it for my flock of birds for this year. It will be fun to see how this turns out. I made my birds using Lynne Tyler's Liberated Birds tutorial, which you can get right HERE. Try them, they're fun!

While we're talking about flight, the hubster and I visited the College Park Aviation Museum not long ago ans had a really nice time there. They have some unusual stuff, but also this display, which is in every aviation museum I've ever seen:

Quite common, but still well done! Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC22.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Arabella has a garden

 Hello everyone! I hope you have been having a really good week. I'm still very down, but trying to work my way out of it. Our friend Preeti has released a new pattern, and she asked me to test it for her. I was going to say no, but some things happened, and I ended up saying yes. There is a story, but first, here is my version of Preeti's Arabella's Garden pattern:

Well, that's different, isn't it? But wait, there's more! Take a look:

Yes, I ended up making two. Preeti does not know about the second one, so she's probably said a few choice words by now, but they both have a story and both turned out well. I didn't get a chance to quilt the toddler size, but I think it turned out very cute and colorful and deserves some photos just the same.

Okay, I said there was a story, right? I was going to tell Preeti no, because I have a lot of work I'm doing and the family crisis is ongoing, as is the heartache. Well, then my brother called and wanted me to make a quilt for my sister in law, and could I please have it by their anniversary? Yikes! Does anyone say no to family? You are stronger than me. So it turned out that I could help two people in one go, testing Preeti's pattern and making a quilt for my brother at the same time. Win, win.

Okay, the quilt looks quite Christmassy, which was unintentional! My brother requested "cardinals" because my sister in law lost both her parents and has been very into cardinals lately. And then I had to add in the green because that was really the only color that would work for the corners. I guess I could have used more gray, but that might have been too depressing. You just have to listen to the fabric, you know?
I went looking for cardinals, but all of the cardinal fabric I found was Christmas fabric. I chose the least Christmassy one I could find (and there were not a lot), then combined it with a striped piece I already had which featured cardinals on a black background. I fussy cut that piece and only used the black stripes. I think they worked, and I'm glad they are out of here.

I quilted this in a crosshatch with pale gray thread in most of the quilt and black thread in the borders. The backing is the remaining cardinal fabric filled out with some gray to make the right width and length. And did you notice the mitered corners on those borders? The quilt is soft and cozy and ready to send off, and I really hope she likes it.

My quilt looks more traditional than Preeti's pattern, but that's me, you know? The pattern was very, very easy, and Preeti has this way of figuring out the least work-intensive way of making things. It's her genius, really, and many of those techniques are in the pattern, which is lavishly illustrated so you always know what to do. Some day I will figure out how to make illustrations that are that helpful!

So now we should talk about the toddler-sized, really colorful quilt. There is no real big story here, but I wanted to use fabrics that were much happier than the cardinals, and is there anything happier than a toddler quilt with yellow stars? I didn't notice until I was halfway through that the fabrics were mostly dots, but there we are!

This was a joy to work on and went together very easily. Most of this fabric, except for the background, came from the scrap bins, and even the yellow star fabric was a leftover from other projects. I think it worked out really well and I'm looking forward to quilting it. Since it's so dotty, I'm thinking bubbles for a quilting pattern.

And there we are! Run right over to Preeti's shop and grab yourself a pattern. This is a very easy pattern with great illustrations, directions for yardage and fat quarters, plus a fun coloring page. Plus it's on sale right now. You will not be sorry!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. The photo below has nothing to do with the quilts, but this friend was waiting for me right off our patio when I came home one day. Just hanging out, you know, like you do after a hard day in the trees.

 Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Radiating stars

 Hello everyone, and happy first real day of fall. The high today is supposed to be below 70 degrees, so I guess someone remembered to flip the switch to make things cooler. I noticed on my way home the other day that there are some trees that are definitely changing color already. Can raking be far behind? 

The family crisis continues, and so does my heavy heart, but it has motivated me to clean the sewing room and pull out a few things. The hubster wishes it would motivate me to install a new mantel for the fireplace, but I'm not that desperate yet. I was poking around in the sewing room closet and found a container of blocks, so I put them together really quick:

It was very windy when I was taking pictures! I tried to get a full picture with everything straight, but it was not happening. I made these blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge in 2020, but somehow never put them together. I think I intended to make more, or add some colors or something, but it was 2020, the nightmare year, and it didn't get done. But now they're saved, so yay!

There are a lot of ways to put these blocks together, and I played around and finally put them in this radiating design. I like it, and when it comes time to quilt it I think a spiral will work really nicely. I could change my mind, and probably will, but it's nice to have a plan for now. 
These are very simple blocks, just a colored square placed on a plain square and stitched into a flip triangle, but they make such a nice statement, don't they? And there are so many fun fabrics in here, even the darker ones that I don't usually use. I put all the blocks I had together, then added a bright aqua small border and a wider multicolored border. I think they work nicely with the blocks. 

This little quilt finished up at just about 43 by 53, which will be a nice toddler size. I should have made bigger blocks or many more of them, but I'm happy with the toddler size and the empty block box. I now have three empty block boxes or project boxes, so I really should take my temperature or something. Or maybe find a new project to fill them up?

Hope everyone is doing well and has a nice weekend planned. It's my birthday this weekend, so the hubs and I are planning to go hiking and spend the day in nature. Afterward there will be chocolate cake, so that's a happy day, right? Have a good weekend, all!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique, and soscrappy for RSC22.