Thursday, February 23, 2017

One Finish, Three WIP's, and Two WIP's-in-Waiting

 My nephew Chris married Andi last spring. Andi and I shared a Pinterest board, and this collaborative quilt is their wedding quilt.  It's 70" x 86".  I love the low-volume look and - not to sound like a broken record - it has a terrifically soft feel.  Andi likes sparkle, and the backing of this quilt is all about the sparkle, in the softest and 100% cotton way.  This couple lives in Orlando, so I batted this with wool.  It's lightweight and perfect for their climate. This quilt is currently in the mail.  Quilting for such a happy reason is a joy - it's great fun to think about their future! Chris is the oldest of my nieces/nephews and has always had a special place in my heart.
My new dining room quilt - almost ready to be basted!

A twin bed quilt - same design as the dining room quilt.

A Hazel Hipster for one of my favorite people

A jelly roll and leftover of shot cottons - something for above the new entertainment center perhaps

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Working at a snail's pace - but working!

What an odd February!  No snow - warm weather - perfect for walking.  Chris and Andi's wedding quilt is together, and the quilting is almost finished.  I found the perfect backing at Quilter's Quest last week, and it will be the binding as well.  I need to make the binding, and - Voila!  - completion soon.
This quilt on the design wall is taking shape very slowly.  It's been 15 years since I made a new quilt for my dining room, and I think this design will be perfect for the room.  Since John has to look at this quilt, I asked him for his input, and he has helped me rethink my way.  Each block will remain 8 1/2" by 11"; but I am not going to repeat any fabrics, and each fabric will be something connected to text or paper.  I have a several blocks I'm not using and will turn those into a bed quilt at some point.

My good buddy Cecilia had a birthday.  She is all about the sparkle, so I found my sparkly fabrics and made little drawstring bags in three sizes. Quilt buddy Melissa made me one of these bags for Christmas and then shared the pattern with me.  These are Fold-It-Hold-It bags, and you can get the pattern here

I am getting close to finishing the hand quilting of my Glam Clam quilt - just a couple more grey clams and then the greens to go.  This quilt has a border, and I want to quilt that, too.  So it's still a ways from completion.  This is the 4th quilt - and the 4th winter - that I have hand quilted.  I am thankful to quilt bestie Mimi for showing me the patience and to my class at QuiltCon 2015 with Maura Ambrose for helping me establish my technique.
This may not look like much, but this is our Valentine's Day present to one another.  We got rid of the big entertainment piece (see below) that would only house a 19" television.  This new piece, much to our dismay, came unassembled.  And like many couples, we don't always work well together.  But yesterday we did!  We got this piece assembled, went out for a new television and DVD player, and - this part is huge - even got everything hooked up and working.  We were smug with satisfaction last night!  This new piece goes with our dining room furniture.  We loved the other piece and have had it for over 25  years.  It will go on the curb for the LaGrange pick up day in April - unless anyone wants it.  Anyone?  Anyone? And I think another new quilt is in order!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


 Eighteen years ago my high school hired a new principal, and we locked horns almost immediately.  I remember coming home from school angry - steam-coming-out-of-my-ears angry.  During this time of anger, my cousin Jim died tragically in a house fall when his three children were very young.   All the anger I had was redirected into grief.  And this grief became a quilt.  I gave this quilt to my Aunt Betty and Uncle Leonard to give to Jim's widow Lorna when she was ready.  (Lorna just recently and happily remarried - I don't know where the quilt is.)

So today is February 1.  I have had over two months to get used to the idea of minority-elect President Trump.  Every political announcement churns my stomach.  And this is not a way to live for the next two years.  I am redirecting my disgust and abhorrence into action  - I will work through media, financial donations, and quilty comfort.  I am doing what I can where I can.  Kind of like cleaning a closet or writing a paper or making a quilt:  small daily steps.  And these steps add up, especially when combined with the daily steps of others. 

Eric Zorn is one of my favorite Chicago Tribune columnists, and his Perspective article yesterday gave me great comfort. He points out that the many of the marchers from January 21 don't feel directly threatened by Trumpism.  I fall into that category - I'm straight, white, of some means, have excellent health insurance, and "won't be alive along enough to be morally sickened by the poisonous air and water in a deregulated America."  I don't have anything to lose or gain by protesting.  Except self-respect, personal honor,  concern for those who have less, and leaving a better world for future generations.  I like that Zorn thinks we're at the beginning of a Liberal Spring.  I think so, too.

This amaryllis was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law Chris.  This plant is already 24" tall, and it's just been planted for one month.  It is my symbol for optimist and growth.  I can't wait for the bloom.
The fabrics above are three jelly rolls that whisper to me daily, "It is our turn?"  The top set is Zen Chic's Luster.  The middle set are peppered shot cottons which I know will be part of next winter's hand quilting project.  And the bottom set is "Aubade" by Janet Clare.