Friday, March 5, 2021

Mini Contemplation and Catching Up

Though I thought about it a lot, no mini quilt was completed in February, and the next one will likely be on hold for another month or two.  

This piece has been nagging on my mind for the past several years, namely what to do with it!


 A piece of batik, though extremely heavily waxed and stiff, 18 x 12-1/2 inches, purchased several years ago at a thrift store.  The pencil lines outlining the figures are clearly visible, and it seems to be an original of some sort, but what?  Searching the internet several time over the years has yielded no clues as to its origin or its potential value - maybe no more than the dollar paid for it.  It does soften up a bit when pressed with the iron but the stiffness returns as soon as it cools, so I'm thinking it will be somewhat difficult to stitch and have no allowance for errors in machine quilting.  

But, I threw it up on the design wall a couple weeks ago right above this motley grouping of leftover HST's, and immediately saw a couple possibilities.

Maybe a broken dishes border around the batik after first adding a narrow coping strip?   I'm open to any ideas and also if any of you has seen a similar type of batik or know it's possible origin.

Meanwhile, since finishing Sing the Blues, I've been without an evening hand quilting project that I can work on while watching tv or chatting with hubby.  I dragged an old ufo out and have appliqued a few more of these little blocks.  
To be honest I'm just not feeling the love for this project and it's been put away again.  Had to take my own advice to a fellow member of our quilting ministry who recently said she just didn't feel like making quilts anymore.  She's an excellent self-taught crafter and artist who dabbles in all sorts of projects.  I told her that if she doesn't feel the joy in quilting right now, she should make what she loves, some of our members are involved with crocheting and other needlework projects also.   One of my personal resolutions this year was to only work on quilting projects that are bringing me joy, and so there's only a little tinge of guilt at setting those baskets aside until that happens.

What is continuing to bring me joy (and maybe a bit of much needed patience) has been working on the next step of my diamond jubilee quilt.  Cutting and stitching 303 flying geese so far, with only another 21 to make later today, although I'll probably end up with closer to 350 so I'll have a few options when it comes time to assemble all the sashing strips.  Then, it's on to making a bunch of 4-patch corner blocks, trimming everything up and assembly of the top.  I'd really like to have this top completed by my 75th birthday which is coming up rather quickly in a couple months.  I think I can do it.  

Meanwhile back to the hand quilting conundrum, I'm continuing to work on Quilty 365, trying for a couple hours several afternoons each week.  I need to work on that one in the daylight and before my eyes (and back) get too tired as the day progresses.  But I've come up with a potential solution for an evening project.  I finished marking Younger than Springtime this week at quilt ministry and the thought occurred that I could do big stitch hand quilting on the stenciled hearts in the smaller areas between sashings and later machine quilt the more complex stencil in the larger blocks.  So, I've selected 8 or 10 pastel shades of Aurifil 12 wt. and will begin that this evening.  

And the whole top:

So, now it's back to piecing flying geese!  Have a great weekend!





21 comments:

  1. Younger than Springtime is so pretty and I love the name. The hearts will look great. I'm turning to "Big Stitch" in my next quilt. There just isn't enough time, is there?

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  2. Also, I love the Batik piece. Have you tried ironing it on top of a brown paper sack to let the wax soak in. Perhaps it would remove some of it so it isn't so stiff. The hst are the perfect colors.

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  3. How do you piece your flying geese blocks? I've seen different methods; however, I paper piece mine. In fact I paper piece anything I can; I don't mind tearing off the papers since this method gives me precise piecing which I can no longer achieve with the tremors in my hands. As your friend says, I'm also not enjoying the process of quilting as much because of the tremors. I'll be 80 in one more month. Your work is always so lovely.

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    1. Thank you! I cut the pieces the way they did in Betsy Chutchian's book except that mine were a bit oversized since the first ones turned out too small. I used a bloc-lock template to trim them to size. I don't paper piece at all, and the 4-at-a-time method requires drawing lines on the back of all those small pieces. I can sympathize with you with the tremors and happy that you've found a way that works for you. I'm not looking forward to the time when I have to give up quilting, I've told my husband I want to die with a needle and thread in my hand!

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  4. I have been reading Grace Snyder’s “No Time On My Hands” and couldn’t help think that you too, like Grace, have no time on your hands. Can you imagine sewing together 87,789 tiny pieces to make a quilt, which Grace did? I love flying geese blocks.

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    1. No, I can't imagine anything that complex, patience is not my strong suit. I'll have to find a copy of that book though. And, you're right, I hate just sitting around with nothing to do!

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  5. When you can pick and choose the projects that bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment, I think we should all do that. Maybe your so called down time is a time to imagine.

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  6. Have you tried ironing the batik between paper towels? They might absorb the wax somewhat. I agree. Life is too short to sew things that do not give you pleasure.

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  7. Your batik is beautiful! I love the colors. It made me think of Russia or possibly the Orient. You should be able to get the wax out with a hot/warm iron. Press between layers of paper towels with newsprint on top and bottom. The paper towels will absorb the wax. I don't have much experience with batik but it yours uses regular wax, it should melt with the hot iron. I think the half-square triangles' colors look great with the batik. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this.
    That's a lot of flying geese to make! You go!

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  8. Your Younger Than Springtime is so lovely. I really agree with your hope/philosophy of working only on things that bring joy this year. Very interesting batik piece, I mean a view of women's work to really ponder. It "goes" well with your half square triangles.

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  9. The artwork reminds me of Millet's The Gleaners https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gleaners

    Tho I imagined your women are harvesting pumpkins or squash. It is a wonderful work of art, with its blocky rich colors. It has a slight Japanese feel also, or maybe Indonesian or Thai? "Thai batik is made using hot wax dripped onto the base fabric using a canting. Each colour has to be done separately so the more colours the fabric has, the more expensive it will be, and really good works used for wall hangings can be may thousands of baht." wiki

    I adore the Tiny Baskets, so cute! Could they not be a tiny quilt, I know the original was huge w hundreds of Baskets, how daunting.

    love

    lizzy

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  10. The heart idea to finish Springtime quilt sounds right on! I like the idea. I so agree...do what you enjoy and let the rest go. The wax print is quite interesting, but I have no ideas to help.

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  11. I can see why you bought the batik, but yes, it sounds to be a difficult piece to work with. Love the idea of adding an hst frame around it, bringing out some of the colors. Good for you--I'm glad that you're still finding joy in your diamond jubilee quilt. It's such a fantastic project. I've had absolutely no inspiration for my own jubilee quilt ideas and in fact, have almost given up on the idea! It's funny that those of us who hand quilt or hand stitch in the evening feel the emptiness and lack of having a project to work on in the evening that we connect with. Yes, we can do almost anything to keep busy, but really, if we aren't feeling the love, we just won't hardly do it!

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  12. I agree with Lizzy. Your Batik panel made me think of The Gleaners, one of my Mom's favorites. I do like your HSTs as a border, but I'd have to play with it and decide if I wanted that first solid border to be a little wider. I don't know if the narrow one would make the HSTs compete too much with the panel. It may work fine that way, but I would want to compare.
    Those cute baskets would make a fine mini just as they are. :)
    So many flying geese! I have never had to make that many for a project myself.
    Your big-stitch hearts will look great on Younger than Springtime.

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  13. Well aren't you the busy quiltmaker?! It's very reassuring that another quilter has as many making options as I do. Honestly, isn't it nice to be able to pick up and put down whatever your heart fancies? I understand about not wanting to work on basket blocks, and the need to take our own advice about working on what gives joy. Just last evening found me saying the same thing to myself! I need to start another Kawandi so as to have handwork immediately ready to pick up. That batik print is interesting, but I don't know a thing about it. I hope you find someone who does, and if not, the direction you're thinking to go, with those broken dishes, looks good! Love this quilt "Younger Than Springtime" that will be the ideal finish for your 75th birthday! It's an appropriate project that, in my case, I'd probably call "You're as Young as You Feel!" I'll admit that through the pandemic I've felt old more often than I've felt young, but getting a vaccination does wonders for improving one's morale. I hope that's how you're feeling too.

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  14. The batik piece is amazing! I hope you are able to find a way to use it/display it - whether as a quilted project or something else.

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  15. I think the batik piece is wonderful too and it also reminds me of The Gleaners! I'm also admiring your Flying Geese and your hand quilting plans. The pandemic seems to have shortened my attention span so struggle with long term projects.

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  16. Love that batik piece! Also love the little baskets. Choose your own happiness.

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  17. I think that I would just frame the batik piece! It really is so interesting just as it is. And I agree with others, the little baskets would make a sweet wee quilt just as they are. With a border? But do what makes you happy. I've been finishing a few small items that have been hanging around. A small hooked mat that my granddaughter helped hook, a tiny tumbler quilt, another doll sized quilt that I don't love but it's done! Now I'm finishing a table mat that's a combination of penny rug and cotton yoyo's, just trying to decide if I want "tongue's" or just finish with buttonhole stitch...Jan in MA

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  18. I like the match of your batik and the hst units - the colours look like they would sit together very nicely.

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  19. You can get rid of some of the waxy stiffness by putting brown paper over the piece and then ironing it. Several times. Good luck.

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