My prompt for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild “Bee Inspired” improv challenge was “Shapes.” And, I set up a palette of clear, bright SOLID colors and hoped people would have fun playing with making shapes.
It took me some time to get the wonderful blocks I received into a coherent quilt top, but I’m really happy with how it came out.
The top is 87 wide by 81 long—so I found an equally wide 108-wide backing in Belfast yesterday at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. I’m going to bind with the bright aqua that is in the quilt and have ordered some aqua thread for the longarm.
The top does seem to be a happy “Wild Thing.” I know I’m happy with it.
On Tuesday, the big log cabin, “Peaceful,” arrived at its home—the home of my niece Lucy Howser Stevens, her husband Colby, and their three adorable children, who now have a doggie family member.
I love this picture:
But I love this one even more!
Dogs can love children deeply, and apparently this dog does. And dogs also love quilts!
Lucy chose these colors: grey and blue. And after much discussion. with me, she chose the lavender “chimney” (Kona “thistle”), which works really well in this soft, traditional quilt and which is there to remind her of her mother’s once-favorite color: purple. I really like this quilt—so much so that I’ll make another one in light and dark greys with a black chimney in the very near future. What’s been fun has been working with colors I would not have chosen on my own—the blue and grey. I don’t ordinarily like working with someone else’s colors, but this quilt has been a joy to make from start to finish.
Lucy and Colby are now in their first purchased home, and they are in the midst of making it their own, with home projects which include lots of painting of rooms. They will now choose the paint color for their bedroom.
I used the Creative Grid 12-inch log cabin ruler, and I really love how easy that ruler made this quilt block. I quilted with a light grey thread—and you can see the architectural backing in pictures below. As the quilt is 96 inches square, I used a 108-wide backing and a dark navy print for the binding. The pantograph is one I’ve used many, many times: Anne Bright’s “Simple Feathers.” I also purchased a Dream Cotton king batting rather than having to piece a batting for a quilt this size.
Here’s the backing—the quilt is mirror-image square, so the backing can go on the bed in any direction.
There are sheep, birds, stars/moons, villages, words, flowers, trees, leaves, paperclips, and all sorts of happy, whimsical organic prints in this quilt. The sheep are there to remember Lucy’s Uncle John, now deceased.
“Peaceful” is plenty big enough for their bed:
And look at that grey pillowcase with it!
It was a pleasure to make this quilt for Lucy and Colby and their family. Now I know that something special I have made will bless their lives together and their family.
It’s another beautiful day, so I’ll spend at least one hour weeding. Of course, when I get outside in the garden, I usually stay longer. It’s always, “just finish this bed,” or something like that. But the birds are singing, AC is delighted we are “working” at something, and the fresh air is so delightful.
Here’s a fun project—which comes via A Quilter’s Table blog.
Somehow my post I thought I published May 1, didn’t get posted. In part because wordpress now puts all drafts in a separate place, not on my main listing of all my posts.
I can now say that along the way of all my clean-up/clean-out projects I pulled a muscle in my upper back that has been REALLY painful. AND, I used a water bottle for heat, wrapped it in a towel, and it felt so, so good. But it blistered my upper back. Who knew?
Today is the first day I haven’t been in a lot of pain, and that feels really great.
So, I mailed the big log cabin, “Peaceful,” and I’ll post final pics when it arrives at my niece’s home next Monday—hopefully, God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise.
BUT, I did get “Bokey” quilted on the longarm, and here it is, getting its binding installed:
I was going to quilt with an interesting geometric pantograph, but my longarm wouldn’t hold to the line and kept jumping off in really ugly ways, so I stopped, took out those stitches, went to the front of the machine and quilted freehand, which I actually like to do. This episode is one of the reasons I am trading this machine and getting a new one—which has a hopping foot that will move upwards when it encounters fabric thickness.
But, I really like how my quilting came out, so it’s all good:
You will see why I chose this warm gold colored thread when I show you the quilt with its backing.
Everything is so green and lush outside! The lettuce in my cold frame is ready to be eaten now:
The daffodils have just been beyond glorious this year. And this is the time of year when I vow to plant more, and I chuckle as I always wonder why I ordered more bulbs when fall and planting time rolls around. Down in the meadow, there are hundreds and hundreds of daffodils now. I planted them the first fall—in 2004–so it’s been 17 years as of June.
The raspberries I planted last spring are THRIVING. They have sent up shoots all over the place. And I’m spending time today getting the weeds out of the strawberries—to the left of the raspberries. They just run loose in that space, and last year I filled two gallon bags for the freezer.
And I’ve mowed twice.
I need to do massive weeding—but the black flies are in full force at the moment. So, I wait for a breeze rather than slavering myself with something natural (peppermint essential oil, for one thing) that will repel them.
Clearly I have been absent without leave from this blog.
BUT, I have been SUPER BUSY for the past two weeks—and have accomplished so much.
When the wonderful folks who help me with big outside projects came Monday two weeks ago to take up the winter boardwalk and get out some deck furniture (just enough for me this summer so far) and do some other winter clean-up tasks, I discovered I had a mice infestation in the garage.
Oh. My. God!
There was mice crap everywhere—despite the fact that I trapped 30+ last fall out there. The instigator, I think, was a bag of unsecured grass seed that clearly drew them into the garage. So… It took a solid week, but I completely cleared out the garage, keeping only the things I’ve used in the past 8 years. Everything that needed to go, went: rehomed, recycled, or taken to the dump. (I have a few more big items that will be picked up very soon now.) It took 3 pick-up loads (a really nice friend helped); the minivan FULL loads to the dump; and loads of time cleaning, sorting, culling, and
Now my children will never have to deal with clearing out the garage down the road.
Along the way, my new car came. Those of you who read this blog might recall the Subaru “unintended acceleration” adventure I had last December where I got rid of that car. (The dealer promised to use it for parts.) Then I realized that the Toyota Sienna minivan was really too big for me and now 8.5 years old. To make a long story short, I sold it at CarMax in South Portland on Tuesday and am thrilled with what I got for it and what a nice experience selling to CarMax was. The combined total of $$$ from these two cars knocked off half of the price of the new car: a 2021 RAV4 Prime, which is a plug in hybrid. It is AWESOME, and the right size for me.
I can already see that I could go forever without using any gas given that I do mostly short trips. And yesterday I discovered that if I put the car in the hybrid mode, it recharges the battery itself—up to, I think, 80% on the electric battery. It plugs into a 110v outlet when I do want to fully recharge it. It gets 90mpg while working between the electric and gas modes and 40 miles on the electric motor.
Next I tackled two dry storage spaces on the third floor. All the Christmas stuff has been sorted and most of it rehomed—I only kept special items I thought some of the grandchildren might want some day. Everything kept has been labeled and boxed in plastic bins—not cardboard boxes. While dragging down the many boxes containing items to be rehomed from the third floor—at least one packed with CDs was really heavy—I clearly hurt a muscle in my upper back, so I’ve had to take it easy these past two days. Most of the pain is gone now, but it will take a few more days.
Somewhere in the past few days I mowed for the first time, traded my longarm for a new Innova, almost finished the binding on the log cabin for my niece, put the “Bokeh” quilt on the longarm, and went to bed early as my days were exhausting me.
I’ve never gone so long without sewing for at least several hours a day—and I’ve really missed my sewing projects.
But now I can begin again, knowing I’ve earned my sewing time and my blogging time.