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.

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 🙂

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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P1120813

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P1120822

Pink really is not my favorite color.

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:

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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.