Sunday, November 18, 2018

Red Xs for The 70273 Project

When I first learned of The 70273 Project I knew I wanted to make at least one block.  Janet's post reminded me just in time to cut a few white backgrounds and pull some red strips to take with me while visiting my daughters, just in case I might have time to stitch after finishing my little baskets for Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt.

I didn't have time while there but during the drive I was able to cut and fold some of the fabric for Xs and stitched one X today.


You can read more about The 70273 Project at The Barefoot Heart.  As of October 28, the count for XX blocks was 56,119.  And there are over 600 quilts already made from those blocks.

Each pair of red Xs represents the life of one physically or mentally disabled person whose life was stilled by Nazis during World War II. 

I was telling one of my daughters about the project and how powerful it was to see so many quilts together.  Below is a view of some of the quilts on exhibit in Munich, Germany, in September, 2018.
 


When I finish my blocks I'll post them along with the memory that caused me to want to participate in this project.

I'm linking this post to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Kathy.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Little Goal for a Short, Full Month

All things considered — that the first week of the month is already gone; that we'll be visiting with my daughters and grandchildren for nearly two weeks straight; that I'll be spending part of my time travelling; and that Thanksgiving is barely two weeks away — I've set my One Monthly Goal as stitching three little baskets for the Linda Brannock "Flowers" sew-along.


They are small baskets, on blocks that finish at 3½" x 4".  The pattern suggests that they be pieced but I believe I will cut and applique them which will make them very portable.


These little basket blocks fit on the quilt about a quarter way down on the left side.  I think all three baskets with borders included measure about 6¼" x 12½".


I'll choose fabrics and cut backgrounds and baskets tomorrow.

Finishing these three baskets and sewing them to the sashing is my One Monthly Goal for November.  I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal - November Goal Setting Link-up at Elm Street Quilts (and I'm getting in just under the wire!).  Thank you for hosting, Patty.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Oh Me, Oh My

With only a few feet of binding left to sew on Noah's quilt last night I was feeling discouraged for only finishing two quilts this year.  What have I been doing with my time?  How could I have accomplished so little when it seems I'm always working on something?!  Later in the evening I was organizing some digital photos and as I scrolled through a large, unsorted file, I had a different perspective.  Lots unfinished, for sure, but progress toward finishes, too.  (Though maybe too many beginnings for one year.)  These are some of the photos of quilt parts I saw.

Quarter Cabins.  I have a nice stack of these little 4" blocks and have been thinking of making a strippy quilt with them.  Barely an idea, no real idea what to put in the strip between the log cabin strips.  I'd love to participate in Julie's Log Cabin Lunacy.


Sweet Land of Liberty.  This was a sew-along hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts.  I started late then couldn't keep up and was considering either not finishing or turning the blocks into little medallion quilts.  I was thrilled to learn that she'll be hosting the sew-along again next year, this time on Cheri Payne's Facebook page.  Reprieve!  I have a second chance!


Red and brown four-patch blocks.  These scrappy blocks make me think of strings of rubies.  I became disinterested in this, or maybe discouraged or bored or uncertain how it would look when finished, but an image of it quilted flashed through my mind last night.  I just need to cut and sew, cut and sew.  The larger double four-patch blocks will finish at 3", four together to make a diamond/square will finish at 6".


The Blue and the Gray.  The red crosses on the right will become cornerstones in the sashing for the blocks on the left.  I've been collecting fabrics for the sashing pieces which will be cut at 5½" x 9½".













Linda Brannock's Flowers.  This is a sew-along on Facebook.  I started late on this one, too.  Most people are about done with theirs.  I've finished one more flower than is in this photo, have the pattern for the next block, and will have four more blocks to make plus half-triangle squares for the sashing.


Cheri Payne's Everyday Patchwork.  These need sashing, cornerstones, border, and applique on the border.

Little Spools.  These will finish at 3".  I have enough for a small quilt....  Or I could make more but I don't really enjoy making them.  These were leader/ender blocks suggested by Bonnie Hunter a few years ago. 


These aren't all the quilt blocks/quilts I have in progress, just the ones I've worked on this year.  While they don't amount to finishes, I can at least see that I've made some progress.

Oh me, oh my.  So many options, so much to do!  From these I will choose my monthly goal for November.   (And I will not start another quilt until one or two of these is/are finished.  I will not start another quilt....  I will not start another quilt....  I must not join a sew-along....)

--Nancy.
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Monday, November 5, 2018

The Binding and the Baby

I finished quilting the Barn Stars baby quilt last Thursday.  I knew I was in good time to finish it by Monday, the baby's due date.  On Friday I auditioned several possible binding fabrics but by Friday night I knew I didn't have enough of any one fabric.  Normally, I would have just pulled some similar-colored fabrics but since this quilt doesn't have the least bit of scrappiness to it, I didn't want to add scrappy for the binding.

When I awoke Saturday morning my first thought was getting to the fabric store to buy a yard of my chosen binding fabric.

And then I noticed I had two text messages.  The first came from my daughter, sent at 7:28 a.m. and said, "Headed to hospital."  The second, sent at 9:17 a.m., said,  "Baby boy born 8:39 this morning."   It was accompanied by a photo.


We're welcoming little Noah, the newest sprout on our family tree.  My daughter tells me he's a serious sleeper -- during the day -- but not so much at night.

If Noah and I had been in a race, his arrival before the quilt was finished, or vice versa, he won!  But there's no race here, just joy in welcoming a wonderful new baby.  My daughter has help staying just now so we'll travel to visit in a few days.  It's hard to wait to hold and hug a new grandbaby.

After conversations and congratulations and welcomes and virtual kisses and hugs, I went to the fabric store.  Sadly, the fabric I thought I bought there was either sold out or I bought it at a different shop.  I had to choose the next best fabric.

My auditions suggested that a dark, dark brown would be best, almost acting like a neutral.  Even though the print on the red border and backing fabric is black, I didn't want a black border.  This brown with black print, light brown, and small green stars is the best fabric I found.


The binding is stitched about half way around the quilt.  I hope to finish in the next day or two so it's ready to travel with us to its new home.


I'm off to stitch binding and think about my One Monthly Goal for November.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October's Party

by George Cooper

        October gave a party;
        The leaves by hundreds came —
        The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
        And leaves of every name.
        The Sunshine spread a carpet,
        And everything was grand,
        Miss Weather led the dancing,
        Professor Wind the band.

        The Chestnuts came in yellow,
        The Oaks in crimson dressed;
        The lovely Misses Maple
        In scarlet looked their best;
        All balanced to their partners,
        And gaily fluttered by;
        The sight was like a rainbow
        New fallen from the sky.

        Then, in the rustic hollow,
        At hide-and-seek they played,
        The party closed at sundown,
        And everybody stayed.
        Professor Wind played louder;
        They flew along the ground;
        And then the party ended
        In jolly "hands around."


I love the imagery of George Cooper's poem!  By the middle of October we're usually seeing views like the one above, with the glow of the sun through gold and bronze leaves, a brilliant carpet on the ground, and wind fluttering through the leaves.  But this year -- this year in central Ohio! -- we're still waiting for the leaves to change colors.  Here and there, bright trees dot the landscape but they are few and far between.  This year I'll just have to think of the beautiful colors in this photo and the imagery in the poem to enjoy autumn's beauty.

I hope your October has been beautiful!

--Nancy.
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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Reconsidering the Quilting on a Border


Because I want the center of this quilt to be the focus, I thought simple quilting on the 6" border would be best.  Simple straight lines, I thought, would be fine.  But how far apart?  I decided 1 7/8".  But now that I have part of the border quilted, I'm not so sure....


This amount of quilting on a border will probably not be very durable and the lightly-quilted fabric will probably not weather the wash and wear necessitated for a baby quilt.  In a word, I would describe the border as flimsy. 

Originally I imagined extending the diagonal lines of the stars to the outer edge of the border.  I didn't do that because the diagonal print on the fabric is at a different angle than the following the lines of the star point angles would be.  Has that conflict ever influenced any of your decisions about simple diagonal quilting?  Or do you (and perhaps I should) just ignore the print on the fabric and quilt across the diagonal print? 


At this point I have to decide where to add more quilting to this border, either so it doesn't detract from the center or enhances the center.  I still have a week and a half before the baby arrives and perhaps a little longer until we're able to meet him so I'm good to add more quilting.  I just have to decide where and how.

Have you ever quilted, bound, washed, and dried a quilt, then decided to add more quilting?  How did that work?

I happened to have this 10" hoop, below, purchased ages ago at a yard sale or thrift store, just in case.  It worked great when I finished quilting the centers of the stars, and I found it easier to take in the car.


I love having supplies and tools on hand "just in case" of a possible future need.  Is that a quilter/creator thing or does everyone do that?

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Trying to Beat the Clock

I have just another three weeks till grandbaby boy is born.  I'm working overtime, trying to beat the clock, to finish this quilt before he arrives.  (The photo below was taken on the diagonal.  You can see the border in the lower right corner.)

Enlarged variation of Kim Diehl's Barn Stars

There are twelve 12" blocks and a 6-inch-wide border all around.  I think I'm coming along well until I remember that the borders are almost equal to the center in size and will, therefore, take just as much quilting time.

This is how I've been quilting the blocks, below.  I have 10 of the 12 finished with this much quilting.  But I think the stars need double diagonal lines from the on-point squares in their centers to the edges of the stars, and maybe all the way to the centers of the adjacent blocks.  There's just too much unquilted space, especially for a quilt that will likely get lots of use. 


I thought about quilting with an all-over pattern for this quilt, particularly Baptist Fans, which is one of my favorites, but I couldn't reconcile the points in the stars with the curves of the fans.

Have you ever noticed that too little quilting makes a quilt wear out faster?  I have heard it is so but I haven't used any quilts long enough to tell.

Wherever you are in the world I hope you're enjoying October.  Last week we had temperatures in the high 80s here in central Ohio.  This week it's been in the 40s and we had frost this morning.  I'm hoping the trees change color soon.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #246 at Sew Fresh Quilts
> MidWeek Makers #145 at Quilt Fabrication

Nancy.
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Bluebells

I finally have a little finish.  Below is an in-progress photo of Bluebells, the sixth block for Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt.  I'm making this with a Facebook group (and am, as usual, behind everyone else).

Bluebells for Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt

I should have taken a photo or two of the pinned block and looked at it objectively.  Do you ever think something you're making looks great and then, when it's finished, realize there were one or two things you could have changed and it would have been better?  I do it too often.  I might have moved a leaf or two, and I might have curved a stem a little more.  I know I can still make those changes because I haven't cut out the back but I don't want to.  It's great to finish and be finished.  But then, it may happen that the block will insist on the changes (or maybe just my eyes will insist).

Bluebells for Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt

The background of this block is cut at 12½" x 19½" so it's long and thin.  Every block in this quilt is a different size.

September was packed with activities and events and I didn't have much time for sewing or stitching.  October's shaping up to be almost as busy.  Stitch by stitch, I just keep going to eventual finishes.

Do you ever have too-busy weeks or months to make quilts?

I'm linking this post to
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
> Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) at Sugarlane Designs
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Thanks for hosting, ladies.

Nancy.
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