Monday, September 28, 2020

And Then There Were Five

 After a couple months' hiatus I've gotten back to piecing blocks for my Diamond Jubilee quilt.  As you may recall I decided to make a version of the Sunflowers and Flying Geese quilt found in the book 19th Century Patchwork Divas' Treasury of Quilts by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle.  My quilt will be a bit smaller, with 13 sunflowers planned rather than the 18 shown in the pictured quilt in the book.  

I made four sunflowers in September, bringing the total to five, and here they are.

Try as I might, I can't get correct colors indoors, so I took them out on the back porch for individual photos where the color rendition is much improved.

This was my first block, completed a couple months ago.

These are fun blocks to piece, though fiddly at every step.  The most difficult part of the process is cutting all the tiny pieces, needing to be cautious so my thumb and wrist joints don't give out totally. And I'm definitely not going for perfection with these, just reasonably good points is fine with me.  My goal is to complete four additional blocks in October and then another four in November which would bring the total to 13, then begin making a zillion flying geese in January.  So the four I hope to complete in October will be my One Monthly Goal for the month.  

Our dry conditions in late summer and early freezes with temps in the mid 20s for several nights in a row have blessed us with an incredibly gorgeous display of fall colors in this area.  We are probably very near peak colors, and have had bright blue skies to go with them for the past week or so.  That will be changing in the next couple hours as the winds have picked up and rain is predicted for the next several days.  We went grocery shopping at the large supermarket about 25 miles from here this morning, and the hillsides along the way were just glorious.  Sadly my camera was sitting on the desk.  After returning home I took the dog for a walk out back and snapped a couple hundred photos, none of which have been edited yet, so I'll leave you with this little indoor vignette for now.

I'll be back in a few days with shades of autumn and my progress on Lori's 50 Shades of Brown quiltalong at Humble Quilts.

Happy Quilting!

Linking with Patty at Elm Street Quilts to post my One Monthly Goal for October.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Three Misfits

An appropriate subtitle might read "She thought she could but she was wrong!"  The story begins a year or maybe it's two years now, anyway quite a while ago when I read one of Bonnie Hunter's posts about her delectable mountains quilt and her free pattern for same.  It looked easy enough, and I proceeded to cut a huge pile of squares in hopes of making some sort of "purple mountain majesties" quilt of my own.  Long story short, try as I might, I kept messing up on the final cut to complete the blocks, and my mountain majesties were quickly turning into a one-way spiky trek up the same l-o-n-g mountain.  Only a few blocks turned out right, and they will show up eventually in the photos below.  So, what to do with all the uncut large HST's still sitting there?  Arrowhead blocks maybe?  Made two of those but didn't care for them, so the final option became hourglass blocks.  By this time I was thoroughly tired of messing with them, hated looking at the fabrics, gave away all but a couple of the purple HST squares to a visitor at one of our quilt ministry meetings, and threw the remainder together into three small wheelchair lap quilts for one of our local nursing homes.  Thus, the finale:

These quilts are smaller than they appear in the photo, the largest is about 40x40 inches, the smallest one around 34 inches square.

The backs:

Some closer shots:

The center panel of this last one is a piece of fabric from our ministry stash that has a coated shiny, almost crinkly texture.  Pretty, but it created havoc with the machine tension on the back of the free motion quilting.  There are a few little messes of dark thread on the reverse behind the panel, but with the coated shiny texture I was leery of unstitching and redoing because it seems certain that the original needle holes were going to remain.  Too bad, because it was overall the nicest of the three quilts.

So, there endeth my long sad saga with The Three Misfits.  You gotta show the bad along with the good, right?  

The past couple days have been spent slowly cutting lots of tiny pieces for the next four blocks of my Diamond Jubilee quilt.  I'm making a version of the Sunflower Quilt shown in Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle's book 19th-Century Patchwork Divas' Treasury of Quilts.  Hoping to have all four blocks completed by the end of the month.  I really want to devote much of my time now to making this quilt, so I may end up linking the three little quilts above as my mini(s) for the month with Wendy at The Constant Quilter when she posts her mini at the end of this month.

The trees are beginning to color up on the higher hillsides, and we had our first real frost night before last.  Autumn will be in full glory very soon.  Our skies are hazy with the smoke from the western wildfires and we just heard that remnants of the smoke plume have reached Europe.  The sunrise today was an exceptionally bright orange in contrast to the beige-grayish sky.  Eerily beautiful, but the knowledge of the destruction left in the wake of the fires is so very sad.  Our prayers go out to all those who are enduring the terrible air quality conditions as well as those potentially in the path of the wildfires.