Jennifer Paganelli sent me her new Circa line for a commission quilt. I'm going to add a little Kona Curry and Kona Cerise.
Also, my happy news from this weekend is that I now have a design wall! You have no idea how thrilled I am to finally have a design wall - a floor to ceiling design wall! I am hoping that the design wall will help me work through my unfinsished projects and keep the new ones moving along.
This is the next long standing work in progress that I want to finish. B's aunt made these applique and embroidery blocks while her husband was overseas during World War II. I sashed them together ten to fifteen years ago but they've been sitting in a pile since then. There was some yellow fabric with the blocks that I was originally going to use for the backing but I am afraid that it might be too fragile. I have orderd some Kona curry for the back. I plan to hand quilt it.
I also have some basket blocks that B's aunt made. When she gave me the blocks so many years ago, I didn't know it would take me this long to finish the quilts.
I love that there is a window right next to the design wall. Just look at that light!
We still have a bit of rearranging and organizing to do in the sewing/craft room but I am making progress!
Miss P is working on a "habitat diorama" for her research project on penguins. I'll try to share a photo of that when she's finished. She's made some pretty cute paper penguins.
I was thrilled when Jan of Daisy Janie asked me to participate in her Bee Block Blog Hop to celebrate the release of her New Leaf line of fabrics. I am a real fan of her fabrics. She has put a lot of thought and research into her organic fabrics and has written some great articles on the impact of organic versus non organic.
Did you know that each yard of organic fabric from Daisy Janie has prevented 1/3 of a pound of toxic fertilizers and pesticides from being used to grow cotton? That's almost 5 pounds per bolt.
The cotton in Daisy Janie fabrics is also harvested, processed, printed, and finished without the use of toxic silicone waxes, chlorine bleach, harsh petroleum scours, azo dyes, formadehyde or heavy metals.
All that and she still comes out with fabrics with beautiful rich colors like these.
Now, about the blog hop - There are fourteen participants in the blog hop. Each participant has made a 12 inch block from these fabrics and mailed them back to Jan who will be making a quilt. You can read more in Jan's blog post - there's also a chance to win a bundle of fabric so if you want to enter you'll need to read about the particulars on that.
The block I made is called Grandmother's Favorite. It's a traditional one but these fabrics really give it a new look.
Below are directions to make the 12 inch finished version of the block.
For the center, cut a 6.5 inch square. For this block it is fussy cut from one of the large scale print in the New Leaf line.
For the corner blocks cut two dark and two light squares that are 3 7/8 inches. Then cut them on the diagonal.
For the back ground on the sides cut four 3 7/8 inch squares and cut them in half on the diagonal.
For the side triangle sections cut one light and three dark 4 1/4 inch squares. Cut them twice on the diagonal as shown below. Lay out all of the pieces as shown below. Now, you can start sewing it all together. First, sew the corner halfsquare triangles together into squares. Next, sew the center side sections together, starting with the two triangles in the center as shown below. Next, add one of the other small triangles. Then add the other small triangle.
Then add the larger triangles as shown below. Now the block is in sections that can be sewn together like a nine patch. It's almost finished! This was the point in the process that I realized I had the block arranged wrong. I needed to switch the corner blocks around. It would work this way but I like the look below much more.
Sew those together and ta-da! there's a great looking block.
I finally quilted the Medallion quilt that I made at Gwen's retreat in September.
The center section was quilted before Christmas. I started in the center and outlined the applique, then I stitched in the ditch around the saw teeth and stars. Then, I was paralized with indecision for quite a while on how to quilt the corners. I knew I wanted something curvy in there. I tried drawing branching feathers, I searched the web for ideas, I spent a lot of time agonizing over it. Finally, this week I decided to go ahead and quilt some largish feathers to fill the corner. I think they turned out OK. I'm not sure sure that the large scale feather goes with the smaller scale of the rest of the quilt. Maybe I should have done a branching feather with smaller lobes. Hmmm.
I'm happy to have it finished and move on to the next thing. Do you do that? Do you go ahead with something knowing that it may not be the best choice for the quilt just to keep things going. I don't like to be stuck. This quilt really had me in a pickle. I didn't want to move on to another project and have this quilt sitting around unfinished for who knows how long. Yep. I'm glad to have it off my mind. I think this design, although not perfect for the quilt, is good enough.
I still may add a little more quilting around the applique, but then again, maybe not. The finished quilt measures 40 by 40 inches.
I have another quilt basted and waiting. I only know how I want to quilt parts of it...so I may be back in the same boat pretty soon. I hope not. I hope I can get inspired and finish it quickly because it's a quilt that I'm really eager to share with you!