Monday, October 30, 2023

Bramble Blooms QAL - Possibilities

Who can resist a quilt-along hosted by and with tutorials from Audrey of Quiltyfolk?!  Especially one that promises a work at your own pace, with a variety of techniques and with fabrics already in your stash, those oldies you've been wondering whatever am I going to do with that fabric once loved and purchased but now seriously outdated.  I think some of us older well seasoned quilters have grown a bit tired of CW repro quilts and would love to dive into the world of color and improv quilting but lack the courage/knowledge of where to begin.  

I'm wondering to myself 'Can I do this?'   Well, I'm sure going to try!   Here's a link to Audrey's introductory post with our first steps toward Bramble Blooms I.  

First, the fabric pull.  A couple days ago I pulled a little tote filled with fat quarter +/- fabrics that was easily accessible and dumped them out.  I chose that multicolor floral fabric as my focus or starting point and began adding from there.

After a bit the pile had grown to this

I was pretty happy with this little pile, but realize it's heavy on the yellows and greens and a bit light on red/pinks, and have since added a couple more FQ size pieces.  I'm sure other bins will be raided as time goes by and I have an idea of where the quilt is heading.  I'm planning to do fabric pulls for the next quilts in the series once a suitable container is found to keep them, everything in here is already holding stash or scraps, or fabric pulls of other 'someday' projects.

I stitched the center panel this morning.

We had several glorious days last week, though it has now turned cold, rainy, and gray.  We were able to capture a few great photos of the ancient shagbark hickory tree before it lost its leaves.  Perhaps that's what contributed to the abundance of yellow/gold fabrics in this first fabric pull!  

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

An October Finish Anticipating the Holiday Season

This year's Christmas/holiday quilt is finally finished! I had a chance to take a few outdoor photos on the last warm and sunny day we had last week.

The leaves have been falling steadily for the past couple weeks.  This year's fall colors are somewhat muted and many trees are just dropping dry brown leaves, not having turned their usual bright display. Most likely due to our dry summer and the fact that we haven't had a cold snap with frosty nights yet. I haven't bothered to take my usual seasonal photos as a result.

The backing for this quilt is a very subtle cream print, a wide back from a few years ago.  I ditch quilted every single seam on the Janome and then hand quilted a cross-hatch in each block.  With the wool batting, the quilt is very lightweight and a bit puffy and soft.  The finished size is about 68x76 inches. And I should mention here that my inspiration for this quilt came from Gigi's Thimble blog here.
That plus a bin of some older French General and similar fabrics that had been calling my name for several years.

Next up in the hoop is my Vintage Spin top, the first block already quilted. Just a simple outline around the circles and next to the ditch in the light colored wedges.  If I can complete one block every 3 days this might just be another finish for the year.  Not promising anything at this point, but having fun with it so far.

Til next time, cherish each day and the blessings within. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Inching toward a Finish

Like the proverbial snail, slowly, ever so slowly, I'm moving toward a true-blue finish!  The last of the Christmas quilts I plan to make is finally all hand quilted, trimmed, and awaiting a binding, perhaps as early as week's end.  This is the top as it looked in late December last year.

In the latest of several glitches trying to get this one across the finish line - there were two potential red fabrics I had chosen as possible bindings.  My most favorite one that I for sure had enough of - just looked like it might be a bleeder, so several weeks ago I washed it in hot water with Synthrapol and predictably it did bleed.  After several more wash/rinse efforts, it appeared to have stopped the bleed, so it was dried and ironed.  Today, just before cutting into it, something told me to hand wash it once again - yep, a bleeder forever it seems.  It probably would be totally fine on a quilt with mostly dark fabrics and no whites, but sadly not for this quilt.  Second choice is an oldie Jinny Beyer fabric, probably 20 years old, a tried-and-true one that I love - but - likely not going to be enough to bind the entire quilt.  So, tonight a quick perusal of other reds to see if anything else in the stash might work.  Probably I'll end up with a pieced binding using two or three fabrics, not going to go out and try to buy anything at this point.

So, an update on the eye issue.  Saw a retina specialist a few days ago.  Turns out the latest issue which is really messing with my sight is fixable with one laser procedure!  In layman's terms it is a "secondary cataract" that developed behind the lens inserted when my cataract surgery was done four years ago. Medical term is posterior capsular opacification.  Interestingly, this is a very common occurrence after cataract surgery, showing up in about 50% of patients!  Who knew?  Fortunately it is very treatable, and the success rate is around 95%.  I feel blessed that there is a possibility that my sight may return to what it was early this year.  Just super impatient, since the first available opening the specialist has is the last week of November!  So, in the meantime, quilting is muddling along with one eye closed most of the time, otherwise I have no clear vision, near or distant.  Driving is limited to the country roads near us that are sparsely traveled, no city driving since I can't read the road signs at this point!

Hopefully, I'll be back with a finish soon.  Happy stitching!