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 :-)

LeRouvray

Paris Tower Framed

“Not Cheetos! Cheetah!”

Five years old is such a wonderful age, and my five year old grandson asked me if I would make him a Cheetah quilt. “Cheetos?” I asked. “I think it will be really hard to find fabric with Cheetos on it.”

“No! Not Cheetos! Cheetah!” he screamed! We went through this same conversation several times for months, while I sought out the right fabrics.

I had a wonderful piece I had bought in the airport in Lusaka, but it didn’t have a Cheetah, it had a Leopard, and I knew he would know the difference.

And I did have a beautiful, sort of sepia tone Cheetah panel, but how to integrate them? Finally, I used the Big Five panel for the back, and the cheetah panel, and a lot of leftovers from previous African quilts, on the front. I put loops at the top so it can be used as a quilt or used as a hanging, and hung with either side showing.

He loves the quilt. Right now it is on his bed.

CheetahQuilt

CheetahQuiltBack

Bag Lady

In Kuwait, a wonderful generous lady taught us how to make small bags. It takes several steps, but the results are wonderful.

It’s coming up on Fall, when all our charity quilts are due for this year’s project, when bazaars need donations, and, of course, Christmas is also coming. I’ve been busy with bags, and this is the first round completed – I have more, many more, in the works:

00FirstRoundBags

00ParisBagsBlue

00ParisBagsStreetScene

These are so handy – make-up, medications, chargers, snacks – each in its own travel bag. Woo HOOOOO!

Hydrangea Triple Irish Chain

HydrangeaTripleIrishChain
HydrangeaTripleIrishChain

It’s been a while!

Somehow, around February, I got a fresh breath. I’d been kind of unenthusiastic about quilting, but suddenly I spotted some fresh fabric, hydrangeas, which I love, from Keepsake Quilting. I ordered six yards and I knew I would repeat the lilac triple Irish chain I did while I was in Kuwait. It has become one of my favorite quilts, roomy, just the right size and weight to sleep under in the hot steamy Pensacola summer.

I’d forgotten how easy it is. Two blocks, one with the feature fabric, one with complimentary squares forming the chain, you just take the colors from the focus fabric. I’m still clipping off stray threads, but for the most part, it is finished, quilted, bound. Woo HOOOOO!

All of a sudden, I don’t seem to be able to link, oh arrgh, but if you want to see the Lilac Triple Irish, called Dancing Lilacs, you can find it in June 2007.

Colors of Kuwait: A Quilt Series

It all started with a conversation about a baby quilt. My sweet young Kuwait friend is having a baby, and I asked her what she thought about a quilt in ‘the colors of Kuwait’. “What colors of Kuwait?” she responded. “When I think of Kuwait, I think of black and white.”

That got me started. I found Kuwait rich in color. I never knew the desert could be so flat, and that in the beige-y-ness, there could be so many variations. All the flat white-to-beige-to-grey and a thousand variations, and with such a neutral background, any color at all made a splash. I thought of how very green a palm tree looked against the flat beige hard-packed soil, how a turquoise dome stood out; I thought of the colors in the souks, and oh, the colors of the Arabian Gulf.

I knew exactly how I wanted to proceed for her baby, but I also thought of her, a reader, a Kuwaiti now living in a cold country. I thought she also needed a quilt, a quilt big enough to wrap her and her two little boys as they read stories on a cold winter’s day.

I decided to do another Wild Stars series, use the best Kuwait colored blocks for her new baby and use the leftover blocks for a children’s charity my small quilting group has identified for the coming year.

Note to self: No. No, you cannot cut through 25 layers of cloth. You were mistaken. You can cut through 13, but not 25. So, good! Learned a lesson right off the top!

This time, by piecing every square exactly the same way, they all came out around 15 1/2 inches. I had to add a thin strip to two squares, but out of 25, that’s not bad.

Loved the color combinations, how they came together, and loved them so much I used the same fabrics for my friend’s quilt, with a little of the Gulf thrown in. This is the quilt for my friend, a Kaleidoscope of Kuwait colors, which came out to be about 65″ x 65″:

00ColorsOfKuwait

For her new son, Colors of Kuwait in wild stars:
00ColorsOfKuwaitAziz

Squares made with leftover blocks:
00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare1

00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare2

00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare3

Last quilt, a rectangle, still 32″ x 46:
00ColorsOfKuwaitRectangle

Maze or InterConnected Circles

00InterlockingCircles

I made this quilt months ago. It looked complex, and I wanted a challenge. Once I saw how to do it, I went ahead, but this is one of the most tedious quilts I have ever made.

Mostly, it is tedious because it is repetitious. Half the squares are snowballs, half with one color, half with the other.

All the alternating blocks are exactly alike, just given a quarter turn so that on alternate rows all one color is on top and on the others, the other color.

Once you get through the endless putting together of the same squares, assembly goes quickly.

I used this quilt to practice feathers :-)

Big yawn. I thought I would do it in a garden print with garden-y white and green circles, sort of like a lattice work. If I were to do it again – which I won’t, because it bored me to tears – I would do it with a stronger background print.

Note: A lot of people love this quilt. That’s fine with me; my objection is only that once you know the trick (it’s all an optical illusion) it just isn’t that interesting to make, for me.

The Generous Heart

“A friend is going to Pensacola!” my Kuwaiti friend wrote to me, “What can I send you?”

My heart immediately went to my two favorite places, the supermarket and the fabric souks. Did you know it is illegal to bring in fresh green vegetables into the United States, or meat? (I brought some jerky once from South Africa and ended up with all the people who were bringing monkey brains and special Namibian melons to all their family members. Fortunately, I got a lecture, not a fine.)

So – just a little fabric, I asked. Something Kuwaiti looking, or African, colors in combinations you can’t get here in Pensacola.

“Doh!” as Homer Simpson says. I should have remembered how generous my friend is. It’s something she isn’t even aware of, she just gives, freely gives, like she thinks everyone is as generous as she is.

Her friends delivered the packet to my door. In it are yards and yards of fabrics, and as I lift them to my nose, I can smell the souks. . . I miss the souks :-)

So much fabric, such a wealth of fabric!

00FabricKuwaitSouks

But even better – look at the bag she packed it in!

00EgyptForEgyptians

I asked her about it and it is a good thing I did. I had immediate thoughts of using it as a center medallion in a quilt, but she said it was designed by a famous Egyptian artist, Helmi El Touni, to raise funds for medical treatment for students and protestors injured during the Arab Spring. She also said she did not think the ink was water proof. Oooch! I needed to hear that! Now, it will not go into a quilt but maybe some kind of frame . . . I love those braids :-)

I smile every time I see these fabrics.