Thursday, May 31, 2018

Piling Up Tops

Hello everyone, I've been so busy quilting that I haven't had time to blog. Nah, not really, I'm just not a good blogger. There has been lots to do around the house and in the yard this spring, and we're spending what time we can with our little granddaughter.

Warmer weather has finally come to Maine--80 degrees today and tomorrow with more warm days in the forecast. I'm not much of a gardener, preferring plants that take care of themselves completely. I've posted photos of my hostas in summers past, and they are a perfect example. They have done such a good job of taking care of themselves that quite a few of them are at least 6 feet in diameter. And my ferns along the edge of the woods are over 3 feet tall.

This year I had a yearning for a few flowers, so I bought some marigolds, pansies, and a few herbs and cleared a place for them in the back yard. The flowers don't seem to be doing very well, but the herbs are doing fine. Now that the trees in the back yard have leafed out, lack of sun may be the problem. Forgot about that when I planted the flowers. Like I said, I'm not much of a gardener.

I also bought three mayapples. My mother in Maryland had bunches of them in the woods beside her house, and I always loved them. I didn't know if mayapples would grow this far north, so I was surprised to see some at the nursery this year. They are a shade plant; and two of them are flowering, so they must be happy in their new location. I noticed this afternoon that something is eating the leaves, so I'll have to get to the bottom of that and fast.

I have been quilting as much as I can, and I have managed to get a couple of finishes and a small stack of quilt tops added to the pile with Stella Blue. My quilt chapter has been making and donating small quilts to NICU for a couple of years now, so charity baby quilts are an ongoing thing. I finished another Bricks quilt for NICU...

... another Teddy On Vacation (made one just like this 7 or 8 years ago, and this was from the left overs), still just a top ...

... and two more Jumping for Joy quilts (made the first one a year and a half ago from an article in Quiltmaker magazine), which got loaded on the frame yesterday. I don't know why on earth I bought so much of this teddy bear fabric, but it makes for a nice baby boy quilt. Still have plenty more to use up.

I was very happy to get the Halloween Fun top finished. Found a pantograph that looks like a spider web that I plan to quilt it with. Might have to practice a little first. Just have to decide if I want to use a light gray thread or something else.

 My potholder quilt was finished a couple weeks ago. The potholder method of quilting was introduced to me a couple years ago in a workshop by Wendy Caton Reed sponsored by my quilt group. Wendy is an award winning local quilter and has been quilting with the potholder method for many years; and she also writes a blog here. She had a phenomenal trunk show before the workshop featuring many of her original designs.

I love everything about the potholder method. Each block is finished as a small quilt, quilted and bound; then blocks are handsewn together to make the quilt. You can start small, just by sewing four blocks together; and you can keep adding more blocks until you get to the size you wish. At every stage, you always have a finished quilt.

After the first workshop, I made the first four blocks of this one-block strippy, which hangs in a narrow space in my bathroom. It was a finished product, and it stayed like that for quite a while. We just had another workshop with Wendy, and I made two more little blocks and added those to the bottom. I think I'm done with it now.

 After the Halloween quilt top was finished, I needed another embroidery project to work on, so I started Baltimore Revisited, which is a design from Anita Goodesigns. There are 20 different blocks. Each block is stitched out both in redwork and in a colored filled in design, so 40 blocks total.

I spent two months trying to decide which size to make and exploring different methods of quilting the blocks. In the end I decided to make the smallest size block, which finishes to 5-3/4"--because I like little blocks. And I decided to make it in the potholder style. I just have the one block quilted and bound, and the second one is just waiting for the binding. And I'm loving it.

"Myron's Campfire", from one of the Civil War Legacies book, was the next little top I finished. It measures something like 17" x 19" and was a fun, quick little quilt to make. I already had the civil war repros out to make the one-block strippy potholder quilt, so I got this finished up too.

The last top I've managed to get done is another Strip Tease quilt. I made one of these a long time ago and had a bunch of strip sets left over. I have several one-patch projects lined up to get rid of scraps and fabric I don't love anymore, and this was one of them. These are all 45 degree diamonds. On my list of one-patch quilts I want to make are quilts with 60 degree diamonds, half hexagons, half square triangles, and tumblers.


Julie Fukuda said...

Wow!!! You're on a roll. Love all those little quilt projects.
And ... plants that can thrive on neglect are my favorites.

Denise said...

You have been a very productive girl........

Chantal said...

Wow. You kept yourself busy. Kudos on all the beautiful projects. Hope you keep the momentum ... just come up for air and blog with us more often, okay? Enjoy! ;^)

Judy S. said...

I can see why you don't blog much; you are always either sewing or digging in the garden! Good to see your post.