Monday, May 30, 2016

Last Week

We don't often have company, so it was a treat to have friends visit for five days last week. Greg and Patty are from my husband's hometown - Mason City, Iowa - and I've known them since 1972. For two years now they've lived in Texas and we consider it an honor that they take time away from their home and family to be with us. A whole lot of laughing goes on when we're all together.

Patty always makes our visits a treat because she asks for girl time. So, via golf cart, we went to my hair stylist so Patty could get a trim, and then next door to the Nail Saloon (not a misspelling!) for pedicures and manicures.

Lunch out, a nice Dan-made evening meal, a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominoes, and a second day spent shopping fulfilled the request for girl time!

In between activities, Patty and chatted in my sewing room about 12 quilt blocks she brought along. They'd been stored away for more than 30 years! Talk about a UFO! :-) Patty says she made the blocks in 1984 when a group met monthly at the library (on her lunch hour) to get a pattern, and draw, cut, and hand-piece a block.

After playing with how to layout the blocks, we settled on this vertical chronological arrangement: January's snowflake in the upper left; May's basket in the middle top; and September's school house in the upper right, ending with the Bethlehem Star at the bottom right. June's block of the outline of Iowa and Iowa's Wild Rose (state flower) is special.

The blocks were pretty wrinkled - Cranston VIP Printworks fabric from the mid-80s is thin - and not the same size. After Patty left, I spray-starched, pressed, and trimmed each block, and added compensating strips of Kona Ruby to those blocks that needed just a bit more to measure 16" X 16" unfinished. They look much better now.

Patty and I figured out a quilt arrangement using EQ7, so she'll end up with a king-sized (104" X 111") quilt for her master bed, and ordered fabric online - Kona Prussian (blue) for sashing, and Kona Snow for the drop around all four sides. A batt of Quilter's Dream Select Cotton is coming too. Patty wants big undulating quilted feathers in the borders which seems just about perfect for this traditional quilt. We looked online and found hand-quilting: amishhandquilting.com for $1.10 per yard of quilting thread. Patty's hoping to find a group of Iowa Amish women to quilt this.

Our Central Florida MQG is participating in the 2017 QuiltCon East Charity Quilt Challenge. I've collected the fabrics for it, and have been thinking about our design. I'm working on it with Becky.

The MQG has rules that include what size to make the quilt, and which solid colors and manufacturer's brands are allowed. These are the Kona solids to which I have added Kaufman Blueberry Park prints. Prints are permitted that match the solid colors.

I wanted to play with the prints and the free foundation paper-pieced Beach Chair Block I found on the Cotton and Steel blog, so I made this 10" block. Doesn't that Kona Yarrow look good as sand? There's also a Retro Shell and Lawn Chair Block. I think I need to make more for a wall hanging.

This Memorial Day weekend found me making a huge mess in my sewing room. I have been thinking about an original design I'd like to create for QuiltCon East. It isn't coming together as I imagined. Even though I first drew and colored on graph paper, I've lost something in translation. Thought I'd make this with solids from my stash, but the background is coming out more pastel-colored than I imagined.

On the right side of the design wall are all the blocks and circles that have been made and discarded. I'm collecting some nice pieces for a backing! 

After two days of this, in frustration and disgust I sorted through everything and put it away - except for what's on the design wall. It's percolating. Ha! Perhaps I already have a name for this unknown entity! Linda

8 comments:

  1. I really like that beach chair block and the fabrics work beautifully. I just love the Blueberry Park fabrics, those flowers make me happy. I've been looking at your design wall for a while wondering what you think isn't working. I'm sure after some "percolating" it will evolve into something spectacular, like it alway does with your work.

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  2. So much happening in your life Linda! I did laugh at the comment about going to the library-at lunchtime- to sew! I remember in another time being able to knit at lunchtime! Now I just get enough time to eat my lunch at my desk while I work!
    I love the solids/circles piece in the last photo- surely it is going to be more than a back? Patty's quilt is going to be great too!

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  3. Happy for your girl time. The quilts look interesting especially the last one.

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  4. I'm in charge of our guild charity quilt too. Two years ago I designed it. This time round we're trying to have more input from all involved so hashed it out at our sew day Sat and now I need to hand out sections and let people go to it with their own interpretation within the guidelines. I also have a QuiltCon concept percolating on my design wall. Quarter circles involved just like yours. Love the colors you have . . . sometimes time is the best way to let an idea mature. Good luck.

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  5. What fun to get out those long-term blocks and give them a new life. Percolating... that's an important part of a quilt design!

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  6. What a great friend Patty is, to insist on "girl time". Very wise - then the husbands know what to expect!!
    I am in awe of some-one who can design like you. I dont think I have enough confidence in my own ability or maybe I just dont want to be bothered. I'm a lazy quilter. :-)

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    1. I'm the lucky one as I can no longer drive due to a retinal disease. There is no public transportation where I live so girl time with Linda is precious to me! She is a dear friend for her time, not only girl time but taking on my qullt top. She's a rare treasure

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  7. You did an amazing job on helping Patty rescue those 30 yr old blocks. I like how you equalized them too. Your design wall looks good so far. I know you will end up with an amazing entry into QuiltCon East. I'll keep watching you create it.

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