Friday, July 20, 2018

Gone Fishin'

There's a fish, or maybe a "fish-vane" (as opposed to a weather vane) in one block of the Sweet Land of Liberty quilt.  So I've been fishing for a fish pattern to use.  (Wouldn't it have been fun if I'd photographed these on a blue background?)

I searched "vintage fish illustrations" on google and found some great fish.  I made screenshots of three that I liked, then cropped and printed them.  Then I cut them out to help decide which to use.

They are a little too big for the block but I decided that I could cut on the lines and when I turned the edges under, the fish would be about the right size.

I deliberated which fish to use and finally decided on the first one, above at the top, with the upturned tail and mildly astonished expression.

So I chose fabric -- something that's been in progress since the beginning of the month.  Plaids or prints or plain?  Browns or greys or sea-weedy greens?  Or maybe some other color I saw in the vintage illustrations on google?  I kept leaning toward greens but couldn't commit.  I finally chose this greyish-green and black check for the body and added the other fabrics.

I like this little fish a lot but somehow it doesn't strike me as primitive.  Tomorrow I will make a pattern of the middle fish of the three, use different fabric, and see what I think.  To be really primitive I suppose I should just draw a fish free-hand.

I believe it has always been true that I must see it before I can decide, and sometimes I must also see a photo of it before I can decide, and occasionally I must look at it and the photo of it for days before I decide.  Oh, to have an artist's vision!

Having a fish in this quilt captured my heart.  Isn't fishing one of those great American pastimes?  When I was a child my father bought a wooden boat in need of repair.  After some months of work it was ready and he took me fishing several times a week for four or five summers.  Sometimes we caught nothing, other times we pulled in a fish each time the line went into the water.  Those were the days we didn't want to go home!  It's one of my treasured summertime memories.  You can read a post about it on my other blog if you're interested.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the other fish turns out and which one becomes the fish-vane.

Do you go fishing?

I'm linking this post to 
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
> Friday Night Sew-In at Sugarlane Designs 


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Little of This, a Little of That Sweet Land of Liberty

When you applique by hand do your blocks end up not lying flat?  Like this one?  This is a poor photo with not-quite-right colors but it was the one that showed how it's not flat.

After this photo, I pressed it and most of the "ruffles" came out but there are still a few waves at the edge.  Should I be concerned about them?  Do I need to change how I applique?

I think this block may get two more stars, small ones, but I'm not sure yet.

I finally made one of the pieced stars.  I think they are supposed to be paper-pieced but I just cut a quarter inch around the seams (except on the edges where I added a half inch), and stitched them together.  Below, these are partially stitched with the papers pinned in place so I would get the pieces sewn together correctly.

And this is my first finished star.

It could have been wider but I cut it to 5½" x 7½" as the directions said.  It could have been wider and longer.  I'd like this quilt to finish wider than the ~60" I've heard it will be so perhaps I'll let these stars be wider and add width on other sections of the quilt.

This quilt is fun but it's the craziest way I've ever made a quilt.  Cut a little off here, add a little there, make it fit one way or another.   It's just a bit of a challenge for me with my perfection-leaning tendencies.  Learning lots, though.

While I've been working on this quilt and Linda Brannock's Flowers blocks, I have not been hand quilting.  I fear I will come to the end of the year with nothing but one finished quilt and a few finished tops to show.  That's not bad, I suppose, but I do love those quilted and bound finishes.

I learned a month or two ago that we'll be welcoming a new grandbaby in November so I need to begin thinking of a quilt to make for him/her.  I haven't talked to my daughter for a few weeks because she's been away on vacation but I suspect she knows by now whether the baby is a boy or girl.  When I know that I can decide on a quilt.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #234 at Sew Fresh Quilts
> Midweek Makers #133 at Quilt Fabrication
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Victory Bowl for Sweet Land of Liberty

I've just started stitching the appliques in place for this block of Sweet Land of Liberty.  I think it is my favorite block so far.

Victory Bowl for Cheri Payne's Sweet Land of Liberty

The stems near the bowl are almost finished.  I'll have to evaluate the placement of the cherry stems and the doves before I stitch those.  And maybe that bowl needs moved a little to the right....  Or not....  It's not exactly a symmetrical bowl (as per the pattern).

I cut out the little letters to spell victory.  Oh, they are small, especially for me as I struggle with turned-edge applique.  I know I will have to glue the edges under.

The pattern for the star happened to land on the block and I placed it on the bowl and wondered....  Maybe a star or three instead of "Victory."  Maybe....  (Not in pure white, though.)

Victory Bowl for Cheri Payne's Sweet Land of Liberty

I stitched the flag that goes under the eagle today.  I didn't follow the pattern exactly.  It was for paper piecing, which I don't do.  I just tried to cut the fabric to about the same size as the pattern.  I think it's a lame little flag but I probably won't change it.  The blue looks a little lonely so I think I'll add a white star.

Eagle and Flag for Cheri Payne's Sweet Land of Liberty

The eagle gets a star on his chest and the block gets one small star in each upper corner.  There will be a 2" border all the way around this block.

I'm eager to begin the fish weather vane.  I hope to choose fabric tomorrow.  Fish are often silvery-grey, but do I really want a silver-grey fish in this quilt?  Probably not, but maybe.

This is a fun and challenging quilt to make, fairly far out of my comfort zone, but I'm learning so much as I go along.  Many thanks to Lori of Humble Quilts for creating the sew-along.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social # 233 at Sew Fresh Quilts
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
> Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
> Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Thanks for hosting, ladies.


Monday, July 9, 2018

How To Get Blogger Comments Forwarded to Your Email (Again!)

Follow these steps to receive comments in your email:

1.  Go to Dashboard in blogger

2.  Click on Settings

3.  Click on Email

4a. If the box "Comment Notification Email" is blank, add your email address and save.


4b. If the box already has your email address, remove it, save, then go back and add your email address again and save.

Doing this will subscribe you to comments.  You'll receive an email from Blogger that offers you the choice to subscribe or not.  Choose subscribe and you should begin receiving email notifications again.  (Except you won't receive them from yahoo and aol email accounts (because of settings in yahoo and aol).)

I hope that helps some of you!

Okay, I didn't figure this out on my own.  The lovely Barb Vedder posted this blogspot solution a week or two ago so I give her all the credit.  (Thank you, Barb!)  But I'm posting so that those who don't follow her blog and didn't read this workaround there might read it here.  And if we all posted this, maybe, eventually, we could all get back to responding to comments like we used to a month or two ago!

We can only hope that Blogger will soon return to how they processed comments before GPDR came into effect.


Friday, July 6, 2018

One Monthly Goal for July

This month I need to put a priority on making blocks for the Sweet Land of Liberty sew-along hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts so I'm choosing part of one section and another two sections to finish in July.

I made the eagle months ago and lost it, found it, and began working on the quilt.  This eagle gets a flag across the bottom of its block.  I hope and think it will be quick and easy.  This is one of the early blocks.  I'm far, far behind schedule with only June's and July's sections finished.  This eagle section will help me catch up. 

More time-consuming will be two other blocks.  The first is the "Victory Bowl" -- a bowl with flowers, stems, and cherries, and two doves.  The second is a "Liberty Fish" weather vane with flag.  Plus six paper-pieced stars (not in photo below).  I'll probably adapt those and either applique them or machine-stitch them.

Such whimsy.  I am enamored of both blocks and look forward to working on them.

If you're working on Sweet Land of Liberty, with or without a pattern, I found a helpful blog, quilting with ragdolls, where the quilter shares some of the challenges she had making the quilt and gives some pointers to make it easier.  (We all know that Cheri improvised a lot as she worked and her patterns give us the same opportunity.)  If you click the link it will take you directly to her posts about Sweet Land of Liberty.
Of course, I have other things I hope to accomplish this month but I'm setting these as a priority.

We've had a week of hot, humid weather.  The thermometer was in the high 90s most days, and the humidity and dew point combined sent the heat index to 100 degrees or above.  Today, finally, it will be a high of about 80 and there's a wonderful breeze.  Today is my kind of summer day!  I hope you're staying cool, or warm, depending the hemisphere where you live.

I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal - July link-up at Elm Street Quilts.  Thank you for hosting, Patty.


Thursday, July 5, 2018


I love blue morning glories but I didn't have and couldn't find a good blue to translate the live glories into fabric glories.  So I stitched Ipomea purpurea or the Knowlians Black variety.  Even so, my colors aren't true to those flowers, either. 

Block C, Glories, for Linda Brannock's Flowers Quilt pattern

This is block C, "Glories," of Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt pattern.  I think it is my favorite of all the blocks (but I admit I would have liked it better with blue morning glories).

I tried about two dozen different fabrics for the vase. Three were close in color to the flowers and I liked them but they didn't offer much contrast or interest.  When I tried lighter fabrics with colors that I thought worked with the flowers, they seemed to disappear into the background.  While this vase fabric may not be perfect, I don't think it shouts "wrong choice."

Those little finger-like centers?  Oh my gosh what awful stitching!  I attribute it to the fact that I glued under the edges and the glue was really stiff and hard to stitch through.  Next time I will use less glue and I should probably think about buying a large magnifying glass.

As I was stitching down the last leaf it occurred to me that I could have used a different green fabric for the leaves or the stems so there would have been some contrast.  But too late to change them all.  I changed the placement of the leaves for this block.  In the pattern the points were turned up toward the flowers.  I guess I'm just too much of a realist:  heart-shaped morning glory leaves point down or outward.  I don't know that my changes improve the block at all, but done is done.  

When you make large blocks (this one is 15½ x 20½") for a quilt along what do you do with them while you work on subsequent blocks?  Fold them in a box?  Hang them on a wall?  Lay them flat somewhere?  I have the blocks for this quilt pinned to a bulletin board with about six pins across the top, hoping not to distort them.  What works for you?

I'm linking this post to
> Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Stars Can Wait

These are my blocks for this month's Sweet Land of Liberty sew-along hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts.  Thank you, Lori!

 Sweet Land of Liberty couple, checkerboard, Snail's Trail blocks
In the original pattern there are stars on the corners of the checkerboard block.  But the stars can wait.  I tried several different colors but none seemed quite right.  I'll add them when I finish some of the previous parts of the quilt and see what color stars the block wants.  (Your quilts do tell you what they want sometimes, don't they?)

Sweet Land of Liberty Economy blocks

I love this quilt for the challenges it offers me as a new-to-primitive-style quilter.  The casualness is probably really good for me even though it feels (maybe) a little stressful at times.

I wasn't sure I'd enjoy making the Snail's Trail blocks but they turned out to be fun, if just a little time consuming with so many seams and presses between.  They make me think of ocean waves, perfect for a quilt called Sweet Land of Liberty, which makes me think of the song, "America," in which we sing "from sea to shining sea."

I don't enjoy making the Economy blocks much but I love them when they're finished.  I might love them so much that I'll make a whole quilt of them.  You'd think that a block with 8 seams would be a piece of cake to make, but lining up the triangles required care and was time consuming.

I'm looking forward to the time when I have sections of this quilt that can be sewn together.  Those who started the quilt in January are half finished.  I may not finish "on time" but I'll work to catch up and eventually finish.

I love the unpretentiousness of this quilt.  It doesn't take itself too seriously, adapts to imperfections, and encourages a bit of improvisation when needed.  I think Cheri Payne was a masterful quilter and quilt designer.  As I work on this quilt I am impressed with how she made things fit together yet kept the casual, primitive look.  Unpretentious, yes, but also very busy.  There will be so much to look at when it's finished.

This is a quilt I know I would not have made without the support and encouragement of others working on it at the same time.  Again, thank you, Loir.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Aerial Photographs & Art Map Quilts

This could be a Really Random Thursday post except that it's not so random because it is about quilts (in a way).

So.  I love aerial photographs.  I find them fascinating and beautiful.

Years ago, when I was in college I happened upon a large-format, inexpensive book of aerial photographs at a used book store.  I took it home and marveled at the colors, the arrangements of houses, fields, rivers, cities.  It is a treasure, buried now in a box with other rarely-used books.  These days I can use Google to search "aerial photographs" and find screen after screen of images I find interesting.

The images above come from Earth View with Google, a website where you can choose a location on earth and see photographs at both a far distance and closer to the earth.  In aerial photos I see a kind of beauty about the way people have organized and arranged the land -- farmlands divided into fields, towns and cities where homes line streets organized into communities -- and photographs where nature has arranged the land her own way.

A few months ago, at a library I rarely visit, I was browsing the shelves of quilting books and came upon Art Quilt Maps:  Capture a Sense of Place with Fiber Collage---A Visual Guide by Valerie S. Goodwin.  It caught my eye in the same way aerial photographs do.  Maps and aerial photos are similar in that they are both elevated views of a place.

I doubt I will ever make an art quilt map but I fell in love with this book and the creations I saw inside.  Here are a few pages.  You see maps, of course.  Do you also see improv quilts?

Improv, yet they capture the essence of a specific location.

Chapter topics include, among others:
> mapping out ways of working
> materials and tools for creating a fiber-art map
> background music:  the landscape layer
> step by step ways to create that background layer (paint, translucent fabric, etc.)
> materials and techniques to create lines and shapes
> fiber-art travel maps
> mapping personal memories and landscapes

Throughout the book are small galleries in each chapter showing finished quilts and how the techniques were used.  Also included:  gallery of work by the author, gallery of work by students, and resources. 

Perhaps this book will appeal to you. 

Do you like to look at aerial photographs?  Have you ever made a map quilt?

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