Quilt Frolic is Almost to Her Party

Okay.  As I bemoaned mentioned to Cindy, my Quilting Mojo has been in short supply lately, whether it be the rejection from Road or post-trip let-down or the stacks and stacks of grading that has come in at the end of the semester (and research papers still to arrive–next week). Or the talk I had to give in church.  Or the 60 pretzel sticks I’ve been asked to make for a holiday party.  Or the fact that my Christmas boxes have disgorged their contents all over the living room, but I haven’t had time to put out the trinkets, nutcrackers, swags, bells and whistles and favorite-seen-only-once-a-year Christmas objects.  Welcome to the Holidaze?

So it’s best to go back and pick up on some older projects when the energy level is down, and that’s why I like WIP Wednesdays with Lee, as #1–it gives you something to focus on mid-week, and #2–I can pull out one of those pieces on my in-progress list and start getting it done.  Thanks, Lee!

So, here’s Quilt Frolic–almost done.  This quilt had come back from Cathy, my quilter, just before I left to New York, and as most quilts do, it sat quietly waiting for me to return and to finish it.  It’s in progress with the binding half-way sewn on.

This pattern was from Film in the Fridge, published in a magazine, and if you click on Quilt Frolic in the tag cloud to your right, you can get more information about it.

The back is a conglomeration of fabrics.  It took forever to sew this together, and usual, the jury is still out on whether pieced backs are “my thing.”

Detail of the back.  This pattern is a fun way to use those large-scale prints, but still have them controlled.

Hey–I even got the labels printed out and sewn on.  I hated it when I realized I’d switched the dimensions of this quilt.  So now it’s really short and really wide, instead of the other way around.  This ought to tell you what a brain fog I’ve been in.

And the little story about why I call it Quilt Frolic.

Here’s a bit of Christmas: the red and white table runner I made this summer, with contributions by my readers.  (Thank you again from the bottom of my quilty heart!) I put two of the nutcrackers on it–voila!  I’ve decorated at least one surface.  Now to do the rest. . .

Quilt Shops

Purl Soho

In New York City, everything is at they say it is.  If they say it’s grand and wonderful and amazing, it is. (It is.)  If they say to pronounce Houston, as in Houston Street, as “How-ston,” then you do.  And anything south of Houston is known as SoHo, using the first two letters of south and Houston.  I learned that one right away, as someone was giving me directions to see Purl Soho.

I’d come to New York City with my daughter Barbara, in order to create some memories and have some fun.  We’d been doing lots of stuff together the past couple of days, but decided to split up this morning so she could accomplish one of her goals of buying a purse, and I could get to a fabric shop or two.

This section of town is right above Little Italy, which is above Chinatown, which is where I had started that morning with my daughter, who was determined to “buy a purse.”  (She bought four.)  The picture above is the corner of Broome and Mercer, and just down on the left is. . .

. . . PurlSoho.  Whoopee!

The sun is finally shining after two days of rain, as you can see in this shot just inside the front door.

A wall of fabric in hoops.  Sometimes we forget that fabric shops like their stash, too.

While this shop is not a “supermarket” type of store in terms of size, its ideas and creative fabrics are supersized.   I wanted to buy a quarter-yard or more of everything in there, but how would I get it home in my suitcase?  They have mail order, so I was comforted that I could get what I wanted once I arrived home — and their warehouse is in the neighboring county from me.  Close, actually, when compared to NYC.

Blurry shot of the back of the shop.

And blurry shot of their yarn wall.  Such color!

About this time, my daughter found me (love having cell phones!), exhausted from two and half days of non-stop go go go, so we went to some place close and delish for lunch: Le Pain Quotidien, where I had this artsy cobb-type salad.

She had the Belgian waffle.

Then we both headed home on the subway, and crashed for a couple of hours.

Quilt Shows

No use wondering anymore

This was in my email box when I got home from New York City.  In triplicate.

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for submitting your entry, Come A-Round, to be considered by the jury for the 2012 Road to California Quilters’ Showcase. We regret that we are unable to include your entry in this year’s show.

The amount of time available for the judging of quilt entries and the space limitation for display means that not all the entries submitted can be exhibited. A three-member jury’s task is to select a display of quilts in a wide variety of patterns and styles for the Showcase.

The jurors appreciated the time and effort you took to enter our show and hope that you will consider entering again in future years. Thank you for your participation.

Person Who Sends Out These Letters


My only snarky comment over all my quilts being rejected is the “sincerely” tag at the bottom: *Yeah, right.*

Okay.  I’m over it.  I guess for a rejection letter, this one isn’t too bad.  I know this show prefers heavily quilted quilts, and I just can’t bring myself to do that.  And it is a high quality show, and I have had several quilts in it already, so I guess it just wasn’t my turn.

Sigh.  I had a great time in New York, saw a lot of sights including TWO quilt shops.  Photos to follow in the next few days.  Now to finish unpacking.

Something to Think About

A Little Reading, A Little Traveling

I ordered several books off of Amazon, and have been enjoying them a little each night.  Here’s my latest two.  I’m still paying homage to them for my Come A-Round quilt, which was their design.

Tomorrow, I’m headed here with my only daughter, Barbara (I wrote about her here, which also shows the quilt I made her).  We have to get up an the unearthly hour of 3:30 in the morning, out the door by 4:00 a.m. in order to drive to our hub airport some distance away for our 7:00 a.m. flight to The Big Apple.  We’ve been making lists of things to see, to shop for (City Quilter? Purl Soho?), to look at (Ground Zero), to watch (a Broadway Show with Daniel Radcliffe) and we’ll get together with my son who is there that week for business.

Our Google Map is studded with push pins in four different colors: yellow for shops, green for sightseeing, blue for our transit/hotels, and pink for places to eat (macarons anyone?).  We’re excited to go and make some memories — enough memories to last a lifetime.

Finishing School Friday

FSF–Autumn Quilt

I just finished sewing this together, and smoothed back up on the wall to do the next step: audition borders.  Those blocks have been orphaned on my wall for nearly a month now, so it’s nice to have them all sewn together (so I won’t worry about them falling off and never getting them back in the arrangement I’d decided on).

I went up to Bluebird Fabrics, which stocks a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, thinking that his florals might do the trick.  But I decided it was mixing two different time epochs–not where I want to go with this quilt.  So I dug back into the stash, looked through some books and think I’m heading toward a pieced border, with that stripe as a divider to let those edges glow.  It’s interesting how “of a certain date” these fabrics are, as well as a certain look.  I’m trying for a mellow quilt top here, like the golds and reds and browns of autumn mellow into a beautiful display every year.

But Mother Nature always has a leg up on us, as she paints her fall palate.  I noticed when we were in Canada last month, how much better the Halloweeny/Fall colors looked against a gray sky and the softer contrasts found in the northern autumn light.  All those pumpkins look out of place here in Southern California, with our bright light and the continuous greens of plants and trees.  So it’s no accident that we don’t have “fall” here, at least not until January, when the liquid ambers blaze into brilliant reds, then quickly turn brown and fall off the tree.  So, as I work, I try to keep in mind the atmosphere of Montreal and Quebec City and the small island north of that old city as I work on this quilt.  Luckily it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, which will help me stay focused.

Blog Strolling

Quilt Night for November 2011

Quilt Night was over at Jean’s house this month.  And guess what?  It was just Jean and I there–we chatted and visited, talked about how we met our husbands (we’re both in second marriages), our grown kids, pets, recipes, and of course, quilts.

But first, check out this beautiful spread of treats: caramel brownies, vegetables and dip, fruits (including some awesome fresh raspberries), salsa and Halloween chips in black and orange.  I must admit the brownies and the raspberries held my fascination.

Jean went first for show and tell.  She’d finished the quilt she had been working on at October’s Quilt Night, and was now sewing on the binding.  It is a stunner.

I couldn’t get a very good picture of it, but you can sort of see the beauty and complexity of her work.  She owns a long-arm, so she’d quilted it herself as well.  Jean’s a Renaissance woman!

Then we got to talking about combined fall/Halloween quilts.  She pulled this one from her table in front of her TV — one side is a beautiful fall fabric and the other side are these cute log-cabin-style pumpkins.  We also talked about the ebb and flow of Quilt Nights.  Sometimes after a big bash, we go small again, like tonight.  I was so ready for Quilt Night–it had been a long week and I needed to get out and go.

Finally, after working all evening, I have something to show: the Halloween House quilt was quilted.  I trimmed it up and sewed on most of the binding, but when it got to the end and I wanted to try to join the binding fancy-style, my brain gave out, so I gathered up and went home (with a few brownies for Dave).

I’m so glad I went and so glad Jean and I got a chance to chat and sew together.  Really, whether it’s two or twenty, isn’t that what getting together as quilters is all about?  Thanks, Jean!