All Are Friends In Heaven • Quilt Finish

AllFriendsinHeaven_4full quilt

All Are Friends in Heaven
Quilt #188  • 78″ square

This quilt, made of 6″ blocks designed by famous Japanese quilter Chuck Nohara, is finally finished.  We took it out to the local area for some shots with wildflowers, as it’s been such a beautiful year.  My husband was the best quilt holder (thank you, dear). Although her name reads masculine, Chuck Nohara is a woman who taught quilting to many in Japan in the 1970s and 80s.

While I am currently past 200 quilts in the listing, I first posted about this top at the #188 slot.  Rather than rework my lengthy listings, I decided to slide it into place where I first wrote about it.  I will link it to this post, showing its completion (which is why I don’t like to only post the quilt tops, preferring instead to number the quilts when they are finished).

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Why has it taken so long?  I had always wanted to quilt it myself.  But one bad week during my recent recovery from rotator cuff surgery, I realized (or believed) that I would never quilt again, so had my husband help me box it up and send it off to Darby for quilting.

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I chose this meandering loopy pattern for the quilting, and I’m quite happy with it.

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The title comes from a poem by Robert Pollock, a religious poet from Scotland.  I liked the idea of that line, that we are all friends in heaven, as this quilt was made when Susan from Australia, and I (from California) corresponded and chose blocks to work on, as we both had a hankering to make a “Chuck Nohara” quilt.  That seems so far away, although with FaceTime videos, emails and notes, the distance does shrink.

When I first did research on all these little tiny blocks, one blogger called them Friendship Blocks.  They were made by the hundreds by Japanese quilters, sent in to teams who would take all the blocks, make quilts with them, which would then be auctioned off with money going to charity at the Tokyo Quilt Show.  Now these blocks are pretty widely called Charity Blocks, but because Susan and I, friends across the ocean, chose to make them together, I’ve always thought of them as an expression of friendship.  And as we participated in the online groups, we made other friends.  So they still remain Friendship Blocks in my mind.

Chuck Nohara book

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We each chose two per month, and I’d make a little sign like this and we’d put them up on our IG accounts and blogs and get to making.  I realize that the quilt photos in this post are from far away, you can head to the link #chucknohara_opquilt on Instagram and see all the blocks that I have posted.  We also tagged them #chucknoharaQAL so they’d be grouped with others around the world who were making these tiny blocks.

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My first set of blocks, finished in December 2015.  Yes, from start to finish, it’s been a little over three years to finish up this quilt.  I seem to excel at the long game.  Here’s Susan’s quilt:

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Such a different, and wonderful, quilt from the same blocks.  Here’s a closer picture of my quilt without the quilting:

Chuck Nohara Final TopThe upper left block is her signature block.  The lower right block is mine.  I planned that the outer stars would run from deeper green, to yellow, and back to green as they moved along the edges.

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Thank you, Chuck Nohara!

 

Now this is fun! Annularity hits print

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I’ve been waiting for this, and even though I still don’t have my paper, in-the-hand catalogue…hooray!  my quilt, Annularity, has hit print.  This is a screenshot of the digital catalogue.

The direct link to this page in the Fall Keepsake Quilting catalogue will allow you to order yourself a kit, if you like.  I’ve made two of these…now it is your turn to play with color and with the cool Painter’s Palette Solids.  (Or, if you want, you can just order the pattern.)  Thanks, Keepsake!

Happy Quilting!

Jolly Old St. Nicholas • recap

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I recently received an email from a reader, asking me about the details of my Jolly Old St. Nicholas quilt.  Her simple request pointed up a problem all of us blog writers face: how to find things on our blogs.  I do have an index, but she specifically asked for more information about that quilt, which is NOT on the indexed link.

While it may seem strange to have a post about Christmas in June, I will occasionally be going through some long-term projects, and collecting all the information about that quilt in one post, linking to other posts when necessary.  I can see several that are strung out across several months, that would benefit from this coalescing.  So here it goes for Santa.

Santa's Village Pattern

Pattern: I used Santa’s Village, from Thimblecreek, but with many changes.  See Construction Photos section for more info.

Outside Large Green Blocks: I didn’t like many of the pattern’s original blocks.  So I drafted my own in QuiltPro Software, and asked my Mid-Century Modern Beemates to each make me a block, shown in this post, where there are 14 blocks to choose from.  You can download templates (or pattern pieces) for each block on that page.

Construction Photos

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On the original pattern, you can see the top of the tree and the tips of Santa’s toes being chopped off by the addition of their giant rick-rack.  I decided I wanted a cleaner finish as I wasn’t keen about the “chop-offs” on the original pattern.  I measured carefully, placing everything just so, but in the end, I slimmed down the top of the tree (inset) so everything would fit.

I also added a 1-inch red band around the outside edge.  Be careful in your measuring.  The center Santa block needs to finish at 24″ so if you are going to add a one-inch border, then the center Santa needs to finish at 22 inches (cut the center white square down to 22 1/2″ inches to allow for seam allowances).

The feet were a torture to applique, but they make this guy, so stick with it.

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As mentioned before, the blocks were made by my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee; here I audition them for their placement around Santa.

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Then it was time to start on the trees and houses.  The original pattern has a lot of funny pieces at the ends of the trees.  Basically  you make a sort of flying geese block, stretched or regular (depending on where in the tree stack it is), then added a spacer at the end to even it out.  I eliminated those end spacers on the top and middle triangle sections as I thought it was a lot of bother.  You can figure this out.

Truth: My pattern is either lent out to someone, or in a proverbial “safe place.”  Either way I can’t put my hands on it, in order to be more specific about this.

Another Truth: This pattern needed several more rounds of pattern testing.  I did talk to the designer at a quilt show sharing with him some of the problems I had with it.  He wasn’t very happy with me.

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I’m showing you both of these photos, so you can see the types of spacers between the house and the tree.  I had to put one on each end of a house-tree strip in order to make them fit (different from the pattern), so don’t hesitate to make adjustments if needed.  You can see what I’m talking about if you look at the original pattern, where the tips of the trees in the corner are touching the houses.  Mine don’t touch.

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Since my reader asked me about the center Santa, I thought I’d throw in a couple more photos showing how cute he is.  Yes, sir.

And that’s Jolly Old St. Nicholas!

 

Triple Squares in “On Your Mark”

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My friend Simone recently launched her first line of fabric for Paintbrush Studios.  It’s called On Your Mark and has its origins in punctuation marks.

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Because I’m a pal, I get to sew with it.  I made her a baby quilt using her fabrics, perfect because the fabric has a lovely soft hand that the quilt won’t be scratchy at all.  I call this Triple Square.

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It’s basically a variation of a nine-patch, using 2-1/2″ squares with side pieces of 2-1/2″ by 6-1/2.” It goes together very quickly (like I started it Saturday afternoon, and delivered it, unbound, by Monday evening).  You may have seen this at QuiltCon, where she used it in her demo.

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Triple Square, 42″ square

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It finishes at 42″ square.  I quilted it in random angle lines, going around and over and above the brightly colored squares.  I threw in some random other background pieces, just to spice it up.  Then I channel quilted it around the outside edges, to create a type of border.

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The reverse of Triple Square

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This is Simone’s free downloadable pattern for her collection, titled Gumdrops, which you can find on the link at the top of this post.

Look for Simone’s fun and colorful collection coming soon to a quilt store near you!

Rainbow Gardens and Quilt Mascot?

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My Rainbow Gardens has made its way out into the world.  I was contacted by the Victoria Quilter’s Guild in Victoria, B.C. (Canada) to ask if it was all right if they used my quilt for their poster.  The theme of the quilt show and sale is the City of Gardens, which is one of Victoria’s names, according to the website for the city: “Victoria – otherwise known as the “City of Gardens” – is home to a number of spectacular gardens that range from formal to heritage, exotic to west coast, and multi-themed to mostly rhododendron.”

So, a quiet and reserved “YESSSSS!” was my response.  I soon will have the poster in my possession, which I plan to tape up on the door to my sewing room studio.

Rainbow Gardens Poster

While the real life poster should arrive here soon, I was sent this image of the poster by a an observant reader of mine, who saw the poster and sent me a photo of it.  If you are up in that area, put it on  your calendar — I would love to go to a quilt show that has live music.

Japan Tokyo 2020 Logo

Since we’ve all just finished watching the Olympics in Korea, I thought I would get you prepped up for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, by showing you their patchwork-like logos.  Can we make quilts like this?  They are auditioning their mascots now, because no matter where you are in or what you are doing in Japan, there is a mascot for it.

I think we need a quilt mascot.

Lady Liberty in Quilts

I made this image in my very first Digital Art Class; the other students thought I was pretty much a nut-case, but I still like Lady Liberty draped in a quilt.  But now as we are more international, we need a cute little quilty creature (I vote patchwork with some appliqué) to carry forward our message.

Go to it, you creatives!

Annularity II

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This is the story of the design of my quilt Annularity.  It is also the story of Annularity II, which will hang at QuiltCon in Paintbrush Studios Booth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annularity II
Quilt Number 194
Designed and Pieced by Elizabeth Eastmond
Quilted by Natalia Bonner
59″ square

The story of this begins when I was contacted by the fine people at Paintbrush Studios, who make the ever-lovely Painter’s Palette Solids.  I submitted one design for review, time passed, things changed; I thought the process was dead in the water.

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But I had all these lovely fabrics, so we started the process again.

Annularity Fail

I played around in QuiltPro, my favorite quilt design program and came up with the above design messes.

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I showed them to Simone, seeking advice, and she said, “Don’t forget the white.”  Negative space is critical, but sometimes you get in the weeds of a thing and you can’t see your way clear.

Given that the Great American Eclipse was on my mind, I started calling my quilt Annularity:

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I began building the quilt top, remembering the white.  But when I got to the outer edges, something still wasn’t right.  A designer can do all the designing they want to, but then the fabric takes over and slowly, the outer edges morphed from the planned design to what you see at the very top.  Then there was the problem of the center.

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I tried lots of combinations: yellow, aqua, violet, maroon but finally finished with periwinkle, one of my favorite colors in the Painter’s Palette Solids line-up.  I finished it and when Paintbrush Studios told me that Natalia Bonner was going to quilt it, I was over the moon, because I quite admire her work.  I bundled up the quilt, sent it off, and then waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And I began to wonder, even though I’d tracked it to her address, if it had gotten lost.  I worried, then did the next best thing:

My Annularity

I made another.

In the rush, I didn’t have all the correct fabrics, so some are pieced.  But then I heard from Natalia that she had the quilt.  Whew!  Since it’s going to be hanging in the booth at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, I gave the first one a new name, since now there were two in the world: Annularity II.

Pineapple Fabrics has the complete line of colors needed to make this design, and you can soon buy the quilt pattern from them.  Come and see Annularity II in the Paintbrush Studios booth, #905.

But I’ll be quilting mine, Annularity, bit by bit, sharing that experience as I proceed.  In the meantime, enjoy the photos of Natalia’s fine work:

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