Rainbow Gardens

Stauffer SewJo(from here)

Sometimes I feel like this lady here, moving at snail’s pace, trying to make my entrance, but know I’ll miss it somewhere.  Slow-jo, or Missing the Sew-Jo seems to be a topic of conversation on Instagram and on blogs.  It’s the end of summer for the northern hemisphere, and we’re all a little out of sorts with the hot weather and all.  Frankly, I’m just happy to be on the snail these days, as for a long time I wasn’t doing anything but Recovery (it gets a capital letter around here).  So here’s some of my snail-sewing for the last while.Rainbow Gardens

Rainbow Gardens
Quilt #148
18″ square

This started when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to finish the block I had planned for the Kaffe Fasset Mini Quilt Exchange. My friend Lisa and I had been talking about patterns that were from the 1960s era, and this morphed off of that, as I wanted to subdivide the center to allow for greater color gradation.  I have the pattern and templates for sale in my PayHip shop.

IMG_6003 IMG_6009

I had fun customizing the quilting, using floral motifs in the floating center square, and geometric designs in the outer corner backgrounds.  Someone on Facebook said it looked like the glowing camera lens from Hal in Space Odyssey, which is a completely creepy thought, if you’ve ever watched the movie.  I prefer to think of it as walking through a large botanic garden, the rows of plants giving way in color as the varieties change, hence the name, Rainbow Gardens.


This was the original block, “Unnamed” from Woman’s Circle in 1963.  This is from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, which has been out of print for ages.  However, the other day I noticed on her blog that she now has an e-book version of this amazing publication (scroll down on the left of HER blog for the link).

Mini Quilt hanging

Here’s I how hang the minis: cut a large square and fold diagonally in half (this one is 6 1/2″ for an 18″ quilt) and sew it into the two seams top and side.  Cut a dowel to fit across–it works great.Rainbow Gardens_back obscured

And the back of the quilt.  I love this cheery print. Yes, I’ve obscured the name of who gets this, as we don’t send it out for a couple of weeks, and it’s forbidden to tell who our partner is.  I hope she likes it, though.

Spectrum blades finished

I had intended this one to be made for  the swap, but when I got to here, realized I just didn’t want to push forward on this, so went with the Rainbow Gardens design.

Back of Spectrum

Love the back, with all the papers.  This is an enlarged version of one of my circle blocks, and as soon as I get the mini quilt finished, I’ll put the PDF up on Craftsy.

Kaffe Circle Mini

Of course, once the pressure is off, the sewing can proceed apace, so then I was able to put the outer arcs on the design.


Then I got this far: center circle on and the background chosen and just didn’t like it.  But since I’m not under a deadline, I had time to un-pin, re-think.  I had put up this photo on social media with its twin (but with a different center circle), asking which center circle people liked.  It was so evenly split, it told me that I hadn’t hit the home run on center circle choices.  Back to the drawing board. . . and the quilt shop.  (Can you tell I’m still riding a snail?)

Rosette #4 partway done

I did get this far on Rosette #4 of The New Hexagon Millefiore block, then stalled.  Later, ‘Mater.

Bibimbap bowls

Bibimibap serving

The one day had a craving for Bibimbap (recipe *here*) and no energy to drive the hour to Orange County to get it, so had to make our own.  While it sounds complicated, dicing and slicing and blanching all those vegetables, it took way less time than driving to my favorite restaurant and back, and now I have another recipe conquered.

Mini House_frontlabeled

Earlier I’d written about my mini-quilt for the Houses swap, posted a pattern and a brief tutorial, keying off another popular tutorial online.  I’m sending off the quilt today (one day early–I just can’t stand waiting any more!), so here is the label for my quilt, a clone of the mini I’m mailing off to Indiana:

Houses Label

It was finished in that anxious week before surgery, and boy, was I weepy and sentimental, not knowing if I’d survive the surgery, or be diagnosed with cancer, or if they’d carve something up they shouldn’t.  I just wanted to hide in my lovely home with my beautiful quilts and out-of-control vegetable garden.  Yes, my mind can ruminate and imagine Worst-Case-Scenarios like no one else.  So this is how I felt, and six weeks post-op, I still like the message.  I’ll tell you what I put on my partner’s label. . . later.

Barbie dolls

And when really, it all is just too much, there’s always a spin through your Instagram pictures. . . or someone else’s.  This is from a new follower of mine.  I love all her knitted clothes for Barbie, plus all the cool poses in which she places Barbie.  I say, let the fashion doll come up with the moves.  I’m headed back to the snail while we get through the last hot month of summer.  Yes, here in SoCal our summer always lasts until the middle of October.  Can’t wait for fall, y’all!

16 thoughts on “Rainbow Gardens

  1. Your work never ceases to amaze me, Elizabeth. The colors are so incredible and the detail is perfect. With all of your creativity going wild in your mind, I don’t know how you have time to worry about anything else. Snail pace is okay for now. Your body is telling you what it needs.

  2. I’ve never heard of Bibimbap but it looks delicious. I think sometimes if we want to slow down or even take a break we should let ourselves and not beat ourselves up too much about it.

  3. The lady riding on the snail does look very glamorous! I’m not sure you can fairly claim snail’s pace when you can save time making Bibimbap at home. Wow! It looks like you’re ready to compete on the Food Network. Your pictures tempt me to try bibimbap, but the Google photos from local Korean restaurants don’t make the dish look near as appetizing.

  4. So many pretty pretty things. I believe that even with all you’ve been through over the summer you’ve gotten more sewing done that I have. At last you were on the snail . . . I simply fell off. But don’t worry it didn’t hurt. : )

  5. Such beautiful pieces Elizabeth. As we are in Long Beach the weather hasn’t been quite as bad as inland but even so it’s the first year in ages the a/c has run night and day for weeks. Hope your recovery is on track, let your body set the pace not your head!

  6. Some things you learn when your eyes aren’t focusing very well: The little houses in your “The Heart’s Solace” look like little faces to me. It started with the one in the upper left and then spread. Can’t remember the term for those who see faces in all kinds of places but . . . that’s me. And when I first looked at the photo, I thought “that’s an interesting border . . . and then I realized it was the fence against which you had hung it. Last, can I come eat at your house? That looks positively delicious. Your “finish” pic, as well as the set-up one, show that your touch for design carries through your life.

  7. I love the new pattern! And, the rosette, too! I think you are leading me astray……..lol. Hey, an hour away from Orange County? I live in San Diego County (in the most southwesterly city in the continental united states). Are we neighbors?

    xo Linda

  8. LOVE every one of your finishes – especially the rainbow ones. You got me motivated to start working on my EPP again. I am seriously tempted by that Millefiore pattern. I’ll probably decided to start working on it when everyone else finishes theirs. 🙂 For working at a snail’s pace you are getting things done! Hang in there.
    Lots of love,

Your turn to have a say:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s