Monday, December 28, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas (Distant) Future

I started this applique at a Gwen Marston retreat (the last Gwen piece I have to share). The spark is from Country Living Country Decorating by Bo Niles from 1988. This book has been culled from my local library, so I'll have to find my own copy. This will be a nine block Christmas quilt. The original has deep sashing between the blocks with beautiful hand-quilting. There's a wavy vine border sporting big cabbage leaves. The red center and green leaves(?) will remain constant between the blocks, but I'm changing the shape of the light print pieces with each block - the second block has a pawn shape piece replacing the whale's tail here.
I wish I had some beautiful red and green delicate applique to show, but 'it is what it is'. The applique alone measures 14" across - big, clunky pieces, but I like it! You can probably see the stripes of the spread peaking thru on this picture, but the background is a solid (P&B 01).
A pic of my kitchen Christmas mantle. I finally broke down and paid a ridiculous price to frame this poster - a Christmas gift to myself. The red transferware plates were a gift from my mother-in-law a few years ago - I love them! My son painted the village tree stand - a treasured piece placed out of reach.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

This year, I actually planned ahead, and made a quilt for Christmas. Initially, I was to present the block of the month at my guild, so I chose the Cracker block. I liked it enough to play around with it, and decided to make "Christmas Cracker". It needed a bit of explaining at the guild meeting. If you are unfamiliar, the English have a custom of having a small, wrapped object called a cracker that they open at Christmas time. It is shaped like a cylinder and tied on the ends. There are little presents and trinkets inside. Well, to make a short story long, it resembles the shape of this block.
It is hanging in the dining room. The hanger is a iron curtain rod. The quilt hangs closely to the wall this way. I've included some close-ups so that you can see the wonderful quilting my friend Sandy Rice did on this quilt. Alternating blocks have holly, and the shape of an old Christmas ornament on them.
Where the light triangles come together she quilted a small feather wreath.

Isn't she talented? I am thrilled with it. I have always been a dedicated hand quilter, but this look would be difficult to achieve with hand quilting. And, it wouldn't be done for Christmas this year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Breakfast Club

The view out my breakfast nook this morning - the morning doves lined up for their turn at the feeder. Can't beat the picture of the snow covered branches!
Safe and Happy Holidays to you!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What a Surprise!

Trudging thru the airport after a long travel work week - head down dragging my luggage behind me. I'd taken new transportation, so I entered at a different terminal than usual. Oh, there's a beautiful two-storey Christmas tree ablaze in light blue lights with dark blue ornaments. Well, that was a nice surprise. Then I turn the corner and - WHAT! - a quilt show at the airport! OK, now I'm smiling. So, thanks to the Annapolis Quilt Guild for making my day! If you're at BWI, head to the International departure level for a quilt treat.

Unfortuantely, my camera was low on battery, so I only got a close-up of two of the quilts. The quilting on the feathered star was exceptional. I loved the small fans!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jewel Box

I finished this Jewel Box top on Friday, and have it on my design wall to admire for a few days. It really is straight; just hanging wonky on the wall. Working with a 1-inch "scale" is really my most favorite size. I've probably mentioned that my true love is doll and crib sized quilts, and this is a smallish crib size at 38x46. Vicki saw it and said, "Oh, wouldn't it be great full sized?" That's what I thought, too, but it's not gonna happen.
I did make 60degree diamonds in a sort of series - small (doll), medium (crib), and large (bed) sizes. The tops are done, but the quilting goes on and on. It was fun to do, as the diamonds make a variety of patterns. The bed quilt is seven sisters, and the crib is stars, while the doll is tumbling blocks. It would be something that I would consider again if I found another block that I fell in love with, and could be sewn in a variety of settings.
Anyway...this is the border that I was going to make, but it just felt too heavy.
I like this much better. I'm thinking just simple, straight line quilting on this one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back and Forward

Taking stock of the quilting department of my year. Completed four UFO tops (one bound and in use), which sounds pretty good. However, the 'started' column also tallies four. Only one in this category is from my 'bucket' list - Colorado. Fortunately, this one is nearing completion. Maybe my New Year's resolutions will include completing something from the 'bucket' list.

This top was completed in January of this year. I think it was started in 2002 - cover quilt from the Quilt Sampler (bubblegum pink) from J.J.'s Stitches.

This is the quilt back (detail above). The original plan was to use the same yucky gold from the top for setting triangles. I was about 2" shy on yardage, so I improvised from stash.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Old Photos

I've had some inquiries about the old photographs on the church pew quilt rack. Here are the two that have old quilts in them. This first one is nicely composed I think. The woman has some blocks she must be quite proud of resting on her lap. I just wonder what is in the basket! It looks like a giant egg. Any guesses? This one is truly one of my favorites. Doesn't he have the sweetest expression? This must be his best, and probably only, suit. I imagine that he is setting off to make his way in the world, and his parents wanted his photo taken, and used his bed quilt as a backdrop. On the reverse, "Greene Co. Kentucky" is written. The quilt is just great, too. I love fan quilting.
This one is a hoot. It is a promotional photo for the film, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". The quilt/dress in the foreground looks to have been in wonderful condition when it was cut up to make the garment. Remember when that was going on in the early 70's? I have some old magazines that show how to take an old quilt to make a skirt out of it. The examples in those magazines look as if they, too, used quilts in good condition. I suppose they thought "there's more where that came from".