Saturday, July 17, 2021

Hourglass Top and a Farm Photo

I've been resting most of this week after my week of huge energy expenditure at my daughter's home.  It usually happens that it takes a week to recover after a week's visit.  It's all good and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

This quilt was on the floor when I left.  It's sewn into a top, awaiting the next step.  (Ignore the white tags on the left.  They are the row numbers that I didn't remove after sewing.)
I really didn't think I would do the "Chinese lanterns," but then I hit on the idea of making a lighter rectangle in the middle with the hourglasses turned the other way.  It's a little different, a little interesting, I think.

I thought maybe a red border would work.  I have ~6" wide strips left over from another quilt, a backing, I think.  This red looks better in the photo than in person but I might still use it.  No red will be perfect because there are so many reds in the blocks.  When I have more energy next week maybe I'll try out some other colors/fabrics.  Maybe the top would benefit from a narrow inner border....  Pink, like the center blocks?  Grey/brown?  Black?  Hmmm....  I have some playing to do.
I'm still stitching the binding on Autumn Maples.  I hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

What else?  A reader said she'd like to see photos of my daughter & son-in-law's farm.  I hope to post those soon.
It was rainy most of the days we were there so there aren't any photos with blue skies.  Even so, it's always beautiful and peaceful outside at the farm.

--Nancy.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Feeling the Swift Passage of Time

Those of you who are of my generation will probably recognize this Joni Mitchell song, "The Circle Game."



You can read the lyrics here if you'd like.

My daughters--it seems like just a few years ago they were little girls--and grandchildren--one already nine!--are growing fast and I'm getting old!  Time goes so quickly.  I try to cherish every moment.

--Nancy.

Monday, July 5, 2021

July's One Monthly Goal

Autumn Maples is getting its turn (again) as my One Monthly Goal.  This time the goal is to sew the binding on so it can become a finished quilt.
It seems like it shouldn't take long but there are 28' of binding--these always take me days--and I'll be spending at least a week with my daughter and her family after her surgery and another week with my other daughter, possibly vacationing somewhere--so it might be a tight squeeze to get it finished.  I have part of one side and one corner stitched already.

I haven't quilted or hand-stitched anything for a while.  My callouses are gone and I noticed that two of my fingertips are already sore.  Liquid bandage is my quilting friend in situations like this.  I paint it on before I begin sewing or quilting, let it dry, and it protects my fingers.  It's a great help!  Have you used it before?
I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal July Link-up at Elm Street Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Patty.

--Nancy.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

To Email Followers of Joy for Grace

To all of you who follow this blog via email, I am in the process of transitioning to follow.it's email service in the next few days.  (I hope it works!)  I'm doing this because sometime this month Google is discontinuing its Feedburner email service for blogs.  I'm working to make sure there's not a disruption in receiving emails but if it happens that you don't get them and would like to continue having posts come to your emailbox, please return to this blog next week and resubscribe.

I'm grateful to all of you who read my posts however you do it and especially to you who visit and leave comments.  I love the feedback.  Thanks!

-–Nancy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Burgoyne Surrounded Block - One Monthly Goal Finish

I abbreviate the names of my quilts when I write them on my to-do list, but I didn't want to call the Burgoyne Surrounded block B.S.  That seemed downright cruel.  So it became Burg S. or BurgS.  Silly, I know, but it works for me.

My One Monthly goal was to finish one Burgoyne Surrounded block.  And here it is.

I planned that this block would be scrappy but decided I should choose a consistent color in each block for either the X or the circle.  (If I make more.)  After consideration, it became the X.  If I make more, each X will be a different color but the fabrics will be similar.  I like this block better in person than in this photo.  Anyway, it seems to me that the colors (against the light background) carry the pattern whether it's scrappy or consistent.  And I think the scrappy lights will carry the interest, especially on close inspection. 

I like the 15" size --only 2 seams are longer than 5½"-- but I've found the larger the block, the fewer the size options for a finished quilt.  With a 15" block, a quilt can be 30", 45", 60", 75", or 90" wide, etc., without sashing measurements added.  But, of course, a border could alter that measurement, too.

Will I make more?  Probably.  I think cutting takes more time than sewing.  I already have a few pieces cut, and I have more scraps....

I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal June Finish-up Link-up at Elm Street Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Patty.

--Nancy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Oh, What a June!

Early in the month our trusty, old, 1998 Honda CR-V (we call her R-V-etta) died.  When we learned she needed a new transmission we decided it would be better to buy a newer car instead of having R-V-etta repaired.  Oh, sad day.  She has over 311,000 miles and she's taken us to and from work, on trips around Ohio, and safely across the U.S. several times for over 200,000 of those miles.  How I love that car.  We're a one-car family so there was a bit of stress involved in getting a rental, then shopping for a car.  (Car shopping is always stressful for us, no matter the situation.)  We found a 2006 CR-V with 151,000 miles.  I hope it lasts as long as R-V-etta! 

Three days after buying the 2006 CR-V (yet unnamed) we drove to Lexington, Kentucky, to visit with our daughters and grandchildren and take them and our son-in-law out to dinner.  Fun times (but no great photos).

While our younger daughter has been home, she and I drove to Malabar Farm, home of author Louis Bromfield.  It's currently a state park, still operating as a farm. 

The silo with some of the barns behind.  The animals at the farm include horses, ponies, sheep, pigs, chickens, cows, and a cat or two.

The Big House.  We didn't tour it this time but from previous visits I know it feels very homey and comfortable.  This is the home where Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married.  Many other Hollywood stars, friends of Bromfield, visited.  We understand that anyone who came to stay was asked to help with the farm chores.

On the way up to Mount Jeez and views from the top.  It was a beautiful day, cool for June, with mostly clear blue skies and a lively breeze.  We understand you can see three counties from the top of Mount Jeez, one of Ohio's highest elevations.  This is a wonderfully green June in Ohio.  We have a friend who grew up out west.  When he was living here he  complained about how many trees there were and that there was too much green!
The Produce Market Stand. 
This structure stands over a spring where the water is diverted into a trough that was used to hold fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh and cool.  It is said that Bacall and Bogart both worked at this stand.   Can you imagine stopping to buy vegetables and finding them there?!  See photos of the produce stand then and now here.

We also drove to Buckeye Lake.  A few weeks ago the wheat was green.  On the way to the lake we saw it was golden and looked like it was probably ready for harvest.
Because some aspects of quilting are portable I made progress on several quilts.  I pinned and sewed together hourglass blocks.  I thought this was a fun view of them folded after pinning.
And I finished quilting Autumn Maples.  Don't you love those windy curves?

Today my daughter and I collected some sweet clover.  It's really a weed--an untidy one--that grows wild in the countryside and sometimes in untended areas of the city.  When I was a child we used to visit my aunt who lived in rural Pennsylvania.  In summer it always smelled so fresh and sweet near her home.  I once asked my father what smelled so good.  He told me it was sweet clover.  At the time I thought white clover was sweet clover, which we had plenty of in our yard, and I couldn't understand why our yard didn't smell as wonderful as my aunt's.  I finally learned exactly what sweet clover is, and now I try to cut some every summer, weed or not. Sweet clover has a chemical called coumarin which produces the wonderful fragrance.  Other plants with coumarin that smell similar are sweet woodruff, meadowsweet, angelica, lady's bedstraw, and sometimes some kinds of fresh-mown hay.  The fragrance seems to come after the plant has been cut and is drying.

For all the reactions my skin has to plants I'm grateful that I don't get a rash from my favorite perennials:  sweet clover, lavender, honeysuckle, violets, and lilacs.

And that was my June.  I hope yours was a good one!

--Nancy.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

June, 2021's, One Monthly Goal

It's Burgoyne Surrounded this month.  My goal for June is to make one block only, as a test block, and then I can decide whether to make a whole quilt.  I think the blocks finish at 15".
They have many small parts but it won't take more than 20 blocks to have a twin-size quilt!

From the photos above (a screenshot from a Google image search) you can see that there are many variations in color placement for Burgoyne Surrounded blocks.   Mine will be at least somewhat scrappy.  If I had to use identical fabrics for 20 blocks I would get bored.  I don't anticipate this block (or group of blocks if I make more) being a 2- or 3-fabric block!

I'm itching to use these 4-patch blocks I've been sewing as leaders/enders (when I remember).
They are 1½", the perfect size.  I'm hoping the darks will be consistent enough to carry the diagonal from corner to corner.  I'll play with colors and fabrics, in the color range of the 4-patches but probably somewhat brighter, for the rest of the block and see what I come up with.

There are a few Burgoyne Surrounded quilts that I like here, here, here, and here.

I'm still quilting Autumn Maples but I just couldn't bring myself to post another photo of it again this month. 

I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal June Link-up at Elm Street Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Patty.

--Nancy.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Block Names / Layout Names, Non-Quilting Life


This quilt hangs in the restaurant of The Morgan House, a gift shop and tiny restaurant in Dublin, Ohio.  Isn't it delightful?!  And calmer that it would be if the quilter had used more colors.  I included it in a recent post and asked if anyone knew if the pattern had a name.  Several readers responded in the comments.  Thanks so much for looking and sharing, ladies!
  • Julierose of julierosequilts and Jocelyn of Canadian Needle Nana called the blocks Dresdens.
  • QuiltGranma (who doesn't have a blog) thought the pattern might be called Sun Rays.  You can see two examples of Sun Rays quilts here and here.  (I'm including links instead of photos so I don't violate copyright.)
  • Janet of Rogue Quilter looked through Brackman's new book and suggested the pattern might be called Path of Fans, Chinese Fans, or Baby Bunting, among other names.  Images for Chinese Fans here, and Baby Bunting here.  Path of Fans below.

  • Robin of I Like to Create thought her mother-in-law called the pattern Indian Trails.  I couldn't find any images for Indian Trails with arcs, though Google doesn't have every answer.

As I was thinking about this quilt I realized that there are blocks and block names and there are layouts and layout names.  (Think about log cabin blocks and the variety of layouts possible, each with its own name.  And other blocks and layouts, too.) 

This is the block that makes the layout pattern for the quilt above.  Unlike the individual blocks for Path of Fans, these blocks have a little pie shape in one corner below the arcs and the "blades" of the arcs are irregular sizes.  Do you think she used paper backing to stitch the strips of fabric? 


I think the quilter took a somewhat casual approach to creating the pieced arcs.  They are irregular widths and the narrow edges are not placed in the same direction.

This is the layout for a larger block comprised of 16 of the smaller blocks.  I think the fan/arc blocks were about 6"-7" square.


The layout is similar to several of those named above even though the small fan/arc blocks aren't exactly like any of them.  Was the creator of this quilt a novice, or a very scrappy quilter with a limited access to fabrics, or was she just using scraps to use them up?  Whatever the situation, I think she created a beautiful and interesting quilt. 

Here are a few more photos of the blocks.  Such fun!  I find the quilting interesting, too.  It has a free-form, inexact look which I think compliments the blocks really well.





I'm glad The Morgan House shares this quilt with its guests.  It's a beauty and a treasure!

Aside from Quilting....
I've had the hardest time getting motivated to quilt or do much of anything else since coming home from time with my daughter and her family in early May.  She was having pains in her abdomen and went to the ER where they determined that she had gallbladder problems and would have to have surgery.  I've spent most of the month wondering if I would be called away spur of the moment or whether I'd have time to do laundry and put the mail on hold before going.  I learned on Wednesday that surgery is scheduled for June 16.  I have time to rest in preparation for lots of activity and to be prepared!

We had sorrowful event the Sunday before last.  When my daughter comes to visit she always brings her two cats, 4-year-old siblings Jack, a tuxedo cat, and Jane, a little grey and white.  On Saturday Jack kept raising his front paw.  My daughter examined it thinking his toenail might be broken or he had something stuck between his toe pads, but his paw seemed just fine.  He continued to raise his paw on Sunday until, on Sunday evening, his back legs became paralyzed.  It was alarming!  We immediately rushed him to the nearest emergency vet where he was diagnosed with a blood clot that caused saddle thrombus or arterial thromboembolism.  The vet said the recovery rate for this condition is about 5% and even if she chose treatment for Jack, it would be long, slow, and painful for him.  With two miserable choices, neither better than the other, she chose to have him put down rather than suffer.  He is at peace and without pain but here we are missing him.  Jack was a cat with personality, a boy who responded to "Hello" with a meow, liked to play fetch, and enjoyed being held like a baby.  It's no wonder my daughter is heart-broken. 

And hasn't this spring been crazy?  In early spring we had late-spring weather.  Then in mid-spring, we had winter weather.  These past few weeks we've had summer weather and now, yesterday and today, it feels like early spring.  What will our summer be like?!

I hope all is well in your home and with those you love.

--Nancy.
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