Quilt tops

These are more of the wonky star block that I love making. I love the jive of the colors, and even some that when they come together I think I don’t like, they grow on me after a while.

I finished the tops in November. There was a trip to Venice, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia and Greece, and then Christmas, and then finally I got three of them quilted and bound, one is still on the sewing machine.

These are the unquilted tops:

To you, they may all look the same, but to me, usually one color dominates. I have a lot of fun practicing quilting skills, when I can find enough time in one chunk to quilt. Meanwhile, I have all the reciprocals – dark stars with light backgrounds – to piece and assemble for the next batch. I have a friend who is struggling with a grave enemy, cancer, and it seems it will take a while to battle, more than a year. I think I will make him one of these to cheer him on.

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Nothing Since August??

Yes, I have been quilting. I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since last August, except that life is different when you no longer live the nomadic life.

Once you settle, you . . . kind of have to grow up. Everything we never really wanted to do. It has its merits – spending time with grandchildren. Not having to pack up a household every few months or couple of years, and unpack it again, no more of those frequent long trips when you live overseas and someone in the US is sick, or dying. . . those are the good things.

For me, losing the nomadic life has meant losing all the time I had to quilt. When you go someplace new, it takes time to connect with your community, your husband works long hours, I always had quilting – and quilting had me. Now, we are more connected – church, family, commitments, obligations, freely made . . . it all takes time.

I started this quilt in November and finally finished it in February. It is for a good friend, a woman I admire so much. She saves cats. She finds abandoned cats, feral cats, traps and neuters them, and works valiantly to find them new homes. Her first cat is a gold cat, my favorite kind of cat; she says Lucy taught her about the world of cats needing homes. My friend creates a better world by her selflessness, giving her time and focus to caring for and re-homing these lovely creatures. She just found us two more, Ragnar and Uhtred, and I made the quilt to honor her.

I need to thank my friend Paramjeet, who made sure I had the self confidence and the skills to do the kind of intense quilting that goes into surface quilting. I had tried it previously once, and where I quilted intensely, I distorted the quilt. Oh arrrgh. This time, it worked out better.

Made from a quick design, and quilted in the red part with an adaptation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. That was fun 🙂

This quilt is for a lady who works for me, and with whom I have become friends. She got to pick out the fabrics, and there were a lot of them. The challenge was figuring out how to make them all work together. It seems to have worked out; she loves the quilt. We both like African fabrics. Her favorite block is the one with the fabric from Ghana, it has green flowers and kind of jumps out of the quilt.

I forgot, there were also cat hammocks, and cat cage pads, and some cat coasters I also made. I am in the process of a series of quilts, those wonky star quilts, for this years charity project. I always end up loving them so much that I have a hard time giving them away 🙂

Dressing Up a Three Year Old

Not quilting, but taking up my time for a very important birthday were a set of dress-up clothes in some of the silky, sparkly fabrics I have collected. Dresses, tutus, tunics, long flowing scarves that can be wrapped also as sarongs, and even a boa from my quirky favorite local fabric store, A & E.

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My stitching group helped me find tiaras and crowns, and I supplemented with “gold” jewelry collected from Al Rawnak, in Doha, bangles and headpieces, even “gold” jewelry for hands and fingers. Happy happy birthday, little Naomi!

Using Up Old Cuts

“Ah!” my husband sighs as he comes into the quilting lounge, “Back to your favorite colors!”

Am I so predictable? No! But I have had these hundreds of half square triangles for about seven years now and it’s time to get them together and get them out. I will admit I love working with the sea colors, greens through blues to purple, and I loved working on these two quilts, one of which will be a charity quilt and one I will just hang on to because often the right person just comes along.

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Using Up Pink Scraps

Don’t you usually have some sort of default for cutting up scraps of leftover fabric? I gravitate towards 2 1/2 inch strips and 2 1/2 inch squares, just because they are so useful, and because when I am using graph paper to plot out what I am going to need, I often use 1 square = 2 inches, so having squares and strips that size just tends to work for me.

And then again, sometimes I have too many squares or strips. I am finding ways to use them up, but sometimes I get bored, or just want to try some other way of doing things.

With grandparenting, I seem to have a lot less time for quilting, but as our group still has requirements for give-away quilts, I spent some time trying to find a way to use the scraps in pleasant quilts.

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Pink really is not my favorite color.

Jonathan’s Star

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My first quilt for 2016; I’ve been working on it sporadically since October. With my husband retired and after-school care for our grandson, I just don’t have the uninterrupted time to focus that I used to have 🙂  I’m not complaining, and at the same time, it is very satisfying to be able to complete a quilt from time to time.

I am using up a bunch of half square triangles that I cut and sewed to make friendship quilts. I’ve had them ummm. . . maybe seven years now, and it’s time to use things up or pass them along. I got bored with the friendship stars and did one of the eight sided stars in the center, just for fun and to practice the principles of medallion quilts, i.e. that borders must relate to the center.

Le Rouvray

My sweet little granddaughter shows signs of a nomadic spirit 🙂 She is a lively, fun filled girl, with strong preferences.

I’ve had a variety of squares from Le Rouvray, a quilt shop on the Left Bank, very near Notre Dame. I’d go in there, but the fabrics were always so expensive that most of my French fabrics are from the outdoor markets in Metz, Strasbourg and Colmar.

These squares have vexed me for so long. How to use them? I finally found a rosy French red that sort of tied them all together, and just sewed them all together. The quilt is a perfect size for a 2 year old, and has all kinds of French scenes on the back, left over from her Mother’s engagement quilt.

I also found some Eiffel Tower burlap and mounted in to a wood frame. Let’s get her started dreaming of Paris 🙂

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Paris Tower Framed