Field Flowers • Quilt Finish

Field Flowers_1

One of the challenges of finishing a quilt is figuring out where to photograph the thing.  So one night last week my husband and I went over to University of California-Riverside (UCR) to find some places that would set off the two quilts I was toting around.

I’d originally thought about the Botannic Gardens, with all their lush greenery and wooden benches; I’ve snapped photos in this place before, and Field Flowers, with its scalloped edges is so old-fashioned looking I wanted to head there.  It was closed.  As we walking back to the car to leave, I spotted this old greenhouse.  UCR is noted for its agricultural emphasis, as we breed a lot of the oranges you are eating now (Cuties, anyone?).  This greenhouse seemed the perfect place, for my husband, with three broken ribs, to be able to hold up the quilt.  (By the way, he has a Qh.D: a doctorate in Quilt Holding.)

Renaissance Figures Holding Ladybird

I also recruited two bystanders from the museum in Berlin to help me show off Field Flowers. Although their expressions are a little wooden, they held it in place without moving, so I was able to get a good photograph.

Field Flowers_2a

The center of this quilt was quilted by my regular quilter, Cathy of CJ Designs.  She left the basting in the borders and then turned it over to me to finish up those scalloped edges.  Since the pattern is by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, I knew she’d have good ideas of how to finish the quilt, so I pretty much mimicked what her quilter did.  More information about the pattern can be found on *this post.*

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I followed Sherri’s directions for cutting bias binding, but used a 20-inch square as I’d added more hexies to my quilt.  I needn’t have, as her directions would have provided enough length.

Field Flowers_2b

The single fold binding went smoothly around each curve, and didn’t add too much bulk.

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Earlier that day, we’d gone over to Gless Ranch, a local purveyor of oranges, as they had old farm equipment around their property, and lots of (newly trimmed) orange trees:

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Still my favorite place.

 

When we got home, I noticed it had gotten dirty from traipsing around, so threw it in a cool-water wash with a couple of color catchers (first invented in the UK, by the way), and dried it until almost dry on a low heat.  Like all other quilters everywhere, I love how the washed quilt looks (although I also like unwashed quilts).  Lay flat to dry, so there is no transferring of ink to other damp spots.  (As me how I know this.)

Field Flowers_6Field Flowers_6a

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Me, standing with Field Flowers in a field of ferns.

Happy Photographing!

Delectable Baskets: Quilt Finish

Food Basket Quilt_1

Delectable Baskets • Quilt #220
Approximately 70″ wide by 90″ high

Basket_7

Delectable Baskets gets its name because each basket is filled with food — well — food fabrics. I’d been collecting for over twenty years, so I had a few to choose from.  In February 2018 I was Queen Bee for the Gridsters, and put up a post about making basket blocks, deciding that I wanted to use my collection of fabrics with food motifs.  I sent each of my beemates a couple of squares. (There is a free basket tutorial on that post, if you are interested in making some baskets.)

Baskets of Food quilt top

Not only did my Gridster Beemates send me blocks, but a few other long-time friends sent them also; I had so many blocks that my quilt grew and grew, and then it was overflowing, a lovely dilemma to have.  So I pruned it a bit, as I was aiming for twin-size, and still have enough baskets for an upcoming wall-hanging.

Cathy of CJ Designs did an expanded Baptist Fan on it, leaving it nice and soft, which is a good thing, as I intend it for use in the guest bedroom, which is currently the quilting-and-thread-storage bedroom.  I promise that maybe I can share.

Food Basket Quilt_4

The back, using some Phillip Jacobs (on the right) and some Marimekko (from Crate and Barrel’s outlet sale some years ago).  The signature blocks (the white Xs) are pieced into the Phillip Jacobs, or at least I think that’s who designed that fabric.  At any rate, the print is a lovely-as-can-be radishes.Food Basket Quilt_5

Thank you to everyone who sent me blocks.  Delectable Baskets has been on my radar for  a couple of decades or more, beginning with visits to Fabric Patch quilt shop, the vendor mall in the early years of Road to California, a couple of Southern California Shop Hops, and an occasional trip to Utah.  There were no mail-order shops then, as there was no internet then.  We bought fabric from JoAnns which it wasn’t then (maybe Cloth World?).  I accrued fabrics a yard at a time, a piece at a time, a slow compilation.

This quilt was finished in an era where everything is on hyperdrive.  The internet runs, assists and invades our lives, helping and hindering us in our quilting.  Sometimes we are in a quilt bubble, making the same quilt (see my Flag Quilt from last post), using the same colors, same fabric lines.  Other times it brings us news of friends in Australia, in Japan, Canada, Germany and certainly from around the United States, and allows us to meet and be friends with people all over the world.

Our gathering of Gridsters would not be possible without the internet, and all members, past or present, contribute to my life is a positive and beneficial way.

I am happy to know you all, Gridster Bee member or not.  Thank you for enriching my life, making it a veritable feast.  I dedicate Delectable Baskets to you.

Christmas Criss-Cross Finished

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Christmas Criss-Cross, June 2019
Quilt #219 • 60″ wide by 66″ tall

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I started this for the 20th anniversary of a small quilters group I’d participated in, as we were given mini-charm packs of this print.  Of course, that only got my toes wet, as I soon ordered a Layer Cake.  Then yardage.  Then backing.

My quilter, Cathy Kreter, finished this up quickly and I put the binding on this past month (so, while I finished 12″ of the binding in June, technically it was finished in May, when I sewed the label on).

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It will be hanging out in my closet, waiting for the holiday season to arrive, a nice lap-sized quilt to use when watching all those holiday seasonal specials.  It doesn’t require a Quilt Ph.D to make this.  I walk you through the steps on an earlier post.  There are many variations of the block in my reference book, but I can’t give you a name for the block outright, as there are two basic blocks in this, both four-patch variations: one is cut on the diagonal and one on the straight.

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tiny-nine-patches

Get to Work Book 2019

In other news, my Get to Work Planner arrived and this time I ordered the elastic band to put on my old one, as I tape in all sort of things and the book has kind of expanded.

ESE Utlity Quilt_1

Recently I had an interesting letter in my emailbox.  A young professor asked if he could use the image of this quilt in a project he was working on for his English class.  Since I’d taken it in to my class when I taught the short story Everyday Use, I quickly acquiesced.ESE Utlity Quilt_2

Yep, it’s pretty wonky.  It was designed that way in a class I took with Roberta Horton in Houston, eons ago.  I treasure the quilt for that reason alone.  It’s #37 on my Lifelong Quilts lists.ESE Utlity Quilt_3

I think at one point I wanted to put an epigram on every quilt label, but in a quick survey, this is the only one.

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Lastly, such happy news arrived with the announcement of Affinity Publisher‘s public release on June 19th.  I’ve been a Beta tester in my own weasley and squirrely fashion for the last several months, sending in comments and notes on using the software.  While not a difficult software, there is a learning curve which is when I searched their tutorials and forums for help.  I use this to write my patterns, and I’m currently working backwards through the MSWord versions, and converting them one by one to a more professional look.

The introductory discount is 20% off the price, and there are NO SUBSCRIPTIONS to deal with (you know which company I’m referring to).  So mark your calendars, if you’ve needed software that can help publish documents at a higher level than a word processing program.

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).

AllFriendsinHeaven_1

 

 

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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AllFriendsinHeaven_Label

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.

Chuck Nohara11_15 blocks

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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Chuck Nohara_photo

Thank you, Chuck Nohara!

 

Plitvice • Quilt Finish

Plitvice Quilt_6 with poppies

Plitvice
Quilt #218 • 76 1/2″ square

Plitvice Quilt_1 full

After four years, I finally finished up the quilt of multiple pieced hexagons.  Yes, every seam on that top is hand-stitched. I’ve had many posts about this, but here’s its final and complete post: it is done!

Plitvice Quilt_2 back

Back of the quilt, using an Andover Fabrics wideback fabric. No piecing, no fussing around.  This was so slick–just buy the three yards and send it off to the quilter, Darby of Quilted Squid, who did a great job.

Plitvice Quilt_3 labelPlitvice Quilt_4 OPquilt

About that edge binding: it was supposed to be a faced binding, tucked behind the quilt, but once I saw it on the edge, that was the missing piece that fell into place for me.  I wasn’t quite sure I liked this pile of English paper-piecing, until I saw that.  But I stab-stitched the facing in perle cotton all the way around, to get that nice tight, bound edge look.  That’s why it’s so large on the back–I didn’t want to cut down the width of my facing, so I went with it.

Plitvice Quilt_5 detailPlitvice Quilt_5aPlitvice Quilt_7 on poppies

And if you’ve been reading my Instagram account, you know we are poppy-crazy out here with our California Superbloom, so we took the quilt on one of our poppy-hunting treks to get the two photos you see in this post.

Plitvice Words on Label

 

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

You can use the tags on this post (click on them) to search for other entries of this quilt, if more information is needed.  Many thanks to Katja Marek for starting us on the Millefiore road.