Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bramble Blooms I - some progress to date

While some have already completed their center applique, there always has to be someone bringing up the rear, right?  Slow but steady is my mantra for this quilt - any current project for that matter!  Improv and applique are so out of my comfort zone, yet this project and following along with Audrey's thought process as she builds her quilts is so inspiring that I couldn't resist joining in.

So, several ideas came to mind for the center applique.  First, it was sunflowers.  I got as far as sketching out a pattern and inking it onto some mylar template material, then sanity prevailed as I figured out how many individual petals would be needed to complete one flower, much less two or three as I'd planned. Saved for BB-2 or BB-3 perhaps?

Tulips looked easier for this relatively simple center, so I thought.  Stems cut and pinned, then narrowed down.  First paper tulip tryouts added.

Tried adding fabric - um, no.

At this point several things were bothering me.  First, the random (boring) placement of stems, with nothing to anchor them.  I really wanted something more cohesive, what about a vase or flower pot?
The blue funky flowers also had to go.  After rummaging through a lot of fabric pieces, I remembered the small bin of Japanese yukata fabrics I'd been collecting a few years back.  Thinking in terms of a geometric design for the flower pot, I found this fabric and folded into shape and put it up on the design wall, added some leaves - yes! 

After moving things a bit -

Then this

I think this is pretty much the final design, a bit more trimming, and the vase will be a bit shorter as the bottom edge still needs turning under and basting.   Some of the leaves need to be tweaked a bit as well.  Hoping to get the major elements marked in place and get everything off the design wall and ready for final stitching over the weekend.  

It has been a busy but satisfying week.  The laser procedure for my eye was on Monday, and was a total success beyond my wildest imagination.  I can see colors again and everything is crystal clear with sharp edges. I don't need to turn on every light in a room in order to see.   I even threaded a needle without the help of the little threader I'd been using!  The doctor, after looking at all the tests, decided that both eyes would benefit from the laser and so he went ahead.  The entire procedure for both eyes took less than ten minutes, and the result was immediate!  Prayers answered!

We had our first snow this week, now rain is predicted for the next several days.  We did enjoy several clear nights during this full moon, I always love seeing the sky by moonlight, especially with sparkling snow on the ground.  

Til next time, may peace and joy surround you this holiday season!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Vintage Spin is a November Finish

 Earlier this week I finally put the finishing stitches in my version of Kathy Doughty's Vintage Spin (from her book Adding Layers).

I've been waiting for a less dreary rainy day to grab a few photographs, but yesterday finally gave up on that idea and just went for it.  Wet grass, winds gusting to near 35 mph and 40 degree temps and all.  But this morning it's only 32 degrees, and still mostly cloudy so maybe Thanksgiving was the better day after all. 

I hand quilted this one with a light lavender 12 weight Aurifil thread, first outlining each of the black circles and then along the edges of all the light colored wedges.  After taking off the hoop the circles puffed out a lot more than they should have, especially on the back, so after putting the binding on I went back and quilted smaller quarter coin size circles in the middle of each black one, effectively turning them into donut holes as you can see from these photos of the back.

The batting is heirloom wool, which I love for hand quilting and for the softness and light weight of the finished quilt.  This time I had to piece every square of leftover pieces to have (barely) enough to cover the backing.  

The outdoor photos were taken before washing the quilt.  Here it is after the delicate cold wash cycle, and a spin through the dryer on a low setting.  It was still slightly damp from the dryer so it is now resting on the guest bed to finish drying.  After quilting and washing it now measures 76 x 62.5 inches. 

To be honest, when I finished putting the top together I wasn't particularly fond of this quilt, but now after seeing it all soft and puffy in all its finished glory, I've fallen in love with it.  This one may just become our favorite knock-about quilt, and the grands will love snuggling under it on the couch when they visit again.  

I'll try to post an update on my progress with Bramble Blooms I sometime next week.  In the meantime, enjoy all those Thanksgiving leftovers - I know we will!