Friday, March 30, 2012


The big question is, can these two works in progress, especially the very messy, barely started color-wash piece being laid out on the 2 inch marked interfacing be put together, at least enough to be photographed and closely approximately measured for finished size by the end of April?
I don't know how I'm going to put the hexagons together, perhaps with corners to turn them into squares, or perhaps not. As for the color-wash piece it is to be the background, with a dark border [that much is laid out] and then sky and a bottom 2/3rd in floral design and with three dimensional butterflies scattered over it. That's a lot of work, especially since I've never done a color-wash before and I'm procrastinating because I'm afraid of how hard it is going to be. I have far more stash with flowers than the few pieces so far pulled out. I think I can do the sky one afternoon -- SOON, I hope. The butterflies can be added last. I've done the sort of butterflies I want on this quilt before.

The deadline is for the Bayberry Quilters annual show which doesn't happen until the first week of August so I will have all of May, June and July. But the show committee want -- and I understand their need -- to have photos and sizes to begin to plan how to hang the show. Somehow I'll manage although April is extremely busy with nonquilting activities. The hexagon quilt was a spur of the moment decision but I'm working on it a little nearly every day and enjoying it. I'll make a third quilt as well but it will be a small one for the red and white challenge -- a paper pieced feathered star with some paper pieced border, undecided upon at this point. I will probably hand quilt that one -- if I've got the two bigger ones done. Not that they're really big. I've got my work almost literally cut out for me.

Friday, March 23, 2012


S.A.B.L.E. is a new acronym I've just reads in the profile of a quilter. It stands for STASH AMASSED BEYOND LIFE EXPECTANCY. Love it! Will personally apply it every time I open my stash closet. I love making stash quilts, like the one in the picture. But even if I become a full time quilter -- won't happen! -- I cannot use up my amassed stash in my life time ... well, maybe if I live as long as I hope to on my best days, yes, I might. IF -- and it's a very big IF -- I don't add to the stash. But, just as I will add to the books I have that I want to read and can't possibly keep up with all of them -- I WILL continue to amass stash. Alas! But I love those gorgeous colors and designs. Love em.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cherry Blossoms in Versailles, Indiana

Nostalgia says places were more beautiful "once upon a time"-- when we were younger, before life began harder. Not always true. These cherry blossom photos were taken in a tiny southeastern Indiana town called Versailles [pronounced Ver-sales]. This is where I went to school. These photos were taken in the last few days as an early spring fills the Midwest with blooms, by Jack Demaree, son of a classmate of mine, then known as "Eddie D" to distinguish him from "Eddie C". From first grade to twelfth, that's what they were called. The woman who sent me the photos was then called Linda but has since become Lynn. Eddie D, if I remember right is one of our most recently deceased. Two of his cousins were also in my class and his grandparents lived in the house across the road from my parents' farm.

I do not remember the town looking like this. Yes, the courthouse -- the brick building -- stood in dignity on it's well kept square of lawn in the center of town and someone was always flying a flag, as was, of course, the post office. The sky was often blue like this. It's a bit like going through a family album and coming across an unknown photo of your parents as young people, perhaps a wedding or honeymoon photo and saying, "My goodness, they were a wonderful looking young couple."

Friday, March 16, 2012

National Quilting Day

I read on other blogs that today is NATIONAL QUILTING DAY. So I thought I'd post a few quilts I've made in the fairly recent past. They are no more than ten years old, if I remember correctly.

I no longer own any of these quilts, they've been given away -- oops, that may be a lie, I might own the bright colored one patch. It is an approximate copy of an Elsworth Kelly painting which I thought was far more appropriate as a quilt. I tried to give away or sell the majority of a stash of quilts before I moved from NYC to Cape Cod four years ago. Once here I have more storage space and occasionally am surprised what is in a particular bag of quilts on a shelf. But I still try to find homes for most of my quilts. How many does one need?
It's th making, not the having that I enjoy. I have no idea how many quilts I've made. I began quilting in the early 1970s and did not get rather neurotically hooked on quilting for maybe another fifteen years. But... that's a long time and a lot of quilts completed. I have photos of many, including the 350 or so 4x6 inch ones I made as a diary of my 65th year. But many have been forgotten. I think I am happiest about 13 crib size quilts, all variations of half-square triangle arrangements in various pastel colors, all with a fused image of a monkey somewhere on the quilt -- all were tightly folded into a fabric carrying case and went to Mongolia with me where they were donated to an orphanage. I smile at children discovering monkeys in a land that has no native monkeys. I will stop reminiscing now and do a little work on the current Work in Progress (see preceding post). Happy quilting everyone.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's a start

It's a start on a complex quilt. At the last guild meeting we had a members' flea market. Someone was selling the paper piecing pattern with printed papers for this unusual spiral, hexagonal quilt. I purchased it thinking, How on earth...? But I like a challenge so I got some scrap fabric and made a sample.

It's difficult to handle the spiral. No two pieces in the quilt (there are 39 in each hexagone) are the same size and shape. They are not cut out, one takes strips of the fabrics, works from the back and when done zigzags the spiral together, then covers the zigzagged seam with rick rack -- by hand is the only way to do it satisfactorily. Phew! But it's also kind of fun.

I pulled out a lot of pieces from a years-long collection of metallic prints and decided to make a sizable quilt -- what size exactly remains to be seen. But this is a start. As you see I reverse the light-dark of the fabrics in different hexagons. Two hexagons requires nearly all of two fat quarters -- paper piecing always makes quite a bit of waste. It will be a quilt of many colors but all in deeper tones contrasted with complex light fabrics. This is a start, I think it's going to take quite a while.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Pair of Stars

We quilters love stars. Stars are among the oldest quilt designs and today the variations are numerous. I have three books by Carol Doak who designs paper pieced blocks. I think the star patterns approach 100.

Above is a winter star design -- a finished quiltie that is nicely quilted and bound from Nancy Thorn of Connecticut who sent it to me in a swap. There's a cool austerity about the fabrics that befits its winter theme.

This black and white star is one of Carol Doak's which I made, I have made well over half of her designs. I love them and the variety of colors and fabrics I can use delights me. This is for a black and white swap. Although parts of the central star pattern look gray, that's because of the balance of black to white.

Just why I never seem to be able to take a photo where the light is equally distributed on the whole quilt block I do not know -- except to guess that it's because I do not have a proper light and do not understand my camera sufficiently.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Star Block

I was making a 12-1/2x12-1/2 block for a swap for someone who wishes for a block with red, white and blue -- but not patriot shades of those colors. So I chose a Carol Doak paper piece star which I really enjoy doing. This is it. I had it all together when I saw a mistake. I'll admit the mistake but will not point it out. When you're piecing 56 little bits into a 12x12 area, things can be overlooked or done wrong. I think often of reading that the wonderful Amish quilters always put a mistake into their work so as not to challenge the perfection of the Deity. I am so sure of my own imperfection that I don't even have to think about planting mistake. One inevitably happens. No apologies. I never had any illusion about perfection.