Field Flowers • Top Finished

Field Flowers_1

Field Flowers (quilt top only)
69″ wide by 74 1/2″ tall

I took it out in the backyard for some photos, easily done with my new quilt stand.  It’s very satisfying to look at this, noticing scraps of fabric here and there that remind me of different quilts and times.

Field Flowers_4

The pattern is Flowers for Emma, by Sherri McConnell, and like a true A Quilting Life pattern, it’s easy to follow and a lovely design. [You can also buy it at Fat Quarter Shop.]  I’ve already tucked the completed quilt top away in the closet, awaiting its quilting (at some time in the future).  I added a couple of extra rows and a couple of hexie blocks to lengthen out each row, wanting it a bit bigger. Field Flowers_start.jpg

Here’s where I started, a year ago on April 25, 2018.  Nice to be at the “finished top” stage.

Riverside Flowers_1

I’m calling this Field Flowers, as each petal of my hexie flowers is small, and contains  visual treasures, like this vista of wildflowers in bloom on the hills around our city.

These are all closeups of small flowers at my feet: pops of color that delight.  So instead of a “Field of Flowers,” I chose “Field Flowers,” a different connotation entirely.

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Field Flowers_being photo'ed

Backstage, after the fans have gone home.

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The spring equinox supermoon is tonight. Don’t forget to look!
(You can also see it tomorrow night, too.)

 

Temperature Quilt, Etc.

Temperature Quilt_11

I’m making progress on my temperature quilt.  I don’t attach the months together until they are complete, so what’s shown is only January and February.  In my garden.  Of course.

Temperature Quilt_12

The Los Angeles Times published the unique factoid that our past February was the coldest it had been in 113 years.  I was remembering back to last year when we had a high of 84.  We get cranky in Southern California when it is that hot, that early in the year.  So we’re all loving this year, of course.

Wunderground, which is owned by Weather.com, has changed up my easy-access for looking up past weather.  So, after some searching, I found the Time and Date had the information I needed.  Their information for March for my area is not presented in a neat little calendar, but in a scrolling graph.  It works for me, though.  (Don’t know why Wunderground changed everything–now it only gives forecasts, not history, and yes, I sent them an email.)

Temperature Gauge for quilt

I finished my “Temperature Gauge” block, to go on the back of the quilt.  We had hail (!) the other day, and I wished I had some sort of indicator for that.  But my choice is to keep it simple.

Bee Happy Week 2

I finished Week One’s blocks of the ancient-history Bee Happy Sewalong Quilt, or as I call it, Being Trapped in the Dungeon of Cute.

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I used Sew Sassy Threads on the detail stitching on the Flower Pot.  It’s a thicker thread, made by Superior Threads, and it sews really easily.  Sometimes on thicker threads I like to use sashiko needles, but I this time used a regular needle with a slightly larger eye and it worked just fine.Bee Happy March 2019

Here they all are together, and yes, they are cute!  Leisa made me promise that there was no deadline for getting this done (we are doing this in tandem), so I’m taking it slowly.  It’s a good project for me to have as I like to have handwork at night to do while I watch Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up episodes.  I live in dread that she is going to ring my doorbell and make me pile up all my fabric on my bed, then make me give away all that doesn’t spark joy, saying thank you to each fat quarter that doesn’t make my heart sing.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  

Dublin and Fish and Chips

I leave you with this image of my husband standing out front of a genuine Fish and Chips shop in Dublin, Ireland, when we visited last September.


May your heart sing everytime you touch fabric.

Dublin Fabric Shop

This was right across the street from the Fish & Chips place.

 

 

Home-Keeping Hearts

Home-keeping Hearts

Home-keeping Hearts, top only
44 1/2″ wide x 51″ tall

I finished my most recent Merrion Square variation, a grouping of houses made by friends and Gridster beemates, plus a few more from my own workshop.  This would be a terrific signature quilt for an out-going president, or a friend who is moving away, with everyone signing their names on the doors.

I call it Home-keeping Hearts, taken from a verse by Longfellow:

Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Merrion Square Pattern_opquilt_illustration

To make this quilt, use the basic home unit from my Merrion Square pattern.  I originally had all my beemates put the lower sidewalks/treetrunks piece on, but when I was assembling them, I could see that only the lower row needed them, so I removed the others.

I originally tried out some dark 4″ borders, you know–to frame the piece, but when I held up the yellow-green floral from Kaffe Fassett, it just seemed to be the whimsical field of flowers I needed for my houses.  I did do an inner border of 3/4″ inch, as I love this print (it is in several of the houses I made).

Of course, it’s not finished yet…not quilted or bound.  I’m just about at Week 9 of rotator-cuff recovery, and using my quilting machine is a good three months down the road.  But that gives me lots of time to think about how I’ll quilt it up.  Thanks to all my beemates and friends who made and sent houses.  I think this is the fastest I’ve made up a bee quilt, ever!

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Continuing on:

Design Wall

Somedays it’s fun to just look at my design wall, even though a lot of it is “in-process.”  I put my house blocks up there as they came in from all over the world.

Mind Internet Sign

Saw this recently in my Instagram browsing.

March 2019 Gridster Block

I finished up my Gridster Bee blocks for Marsha.  She’d asked for blocks that resemble a circle of geese, but instead, they meander; the pattern is a free download.  You can find all our blocks on Instagram at #gridsterbee.  We’re going on our third year, and have a wide range of blocks up there, if you need ideas for a Block Lotto, or something fun for your next quilt.

What kept me absorbed throughout all this stitching?  Jane Harper’s novels. I finished up The Lost Man, and can highly recommend it.  I’m in the middle of the The Dry; I’ll let you know how that turns out.

 

Merrion Square • A New OPQuilt Pattern

Merrion Square, Version 2_OPQuilt

Merrion Square 26″ Mini Quilt

Merrion Square IG

First you saw this, way back in December of 2018.  I had this idea in my head and with a stack of Alison Glass fat quarters from Andover, I decided to try it out.

Merrion Square_v1_1

That idea led to this mini quilt, named for a square in Dublin that is known for its doors:

Merrion Square DublinMerrion Square_v1_3

At the center of the square is park, with interesting tributes to famous Irish poets and writers, so I had to include the bushes and trees.

Merrion Square version 1_OPQuilt

Then I changed it up a bit, making it a rainbow of scrappy and leaving off the border.

Merrion Square_v2_full

And then this version emerged from my late-night tinkering around.  Because of the (ahem) shoulder situation, I can’t quite quilt it yet, but I was able to sew it together.  (I think this is my favorite.)  I have since made three of these: one to send off for a sample for the Utah Valley Quilt Guild Workshop, another to head to the Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild, where I’ll be teaching it again in May, and one to hang around, just so I can look at it.

Merrion Square Quilts_1

I worked with my new Affinity Publisher Beta software and wrote it up, and now it’s available for sale in my PayHip shop.  Both versions are included — well, really, all three versions are included — if you go there, you can click on the little banner in the upper right corner and download a Preview, which includes a list of fabrics needed to make these.

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Some of you may have seen this on Instagram today.  I’ll be teaching this for the first time at a workshop with the Utah Valley Quilt Guild.  I’m pretty excited about it.

Gridster Bee Blocks_Feb13

You may have also seen this: I asked my Gridsters Bee Mates to make me up a slew of little houses, taken from this pattern.  I want to make a lovely little quilt of houses:

Houses Quilt

Sketch of Little Houses Quilt

I’ve had this idea floating around just as long as the others, and am looking forward to putting this together, too.

Merrion Square Pattern_opquilt_illustration

front of pattern

The pattern is $10.00, has 13 pages of colorful illustrations with clearly written directions.  It is available for a PDF download, and you can have it immediately.  I hope you have fun making this!

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This and That for February 2019

Bee Happy Quilt_Feb_1

You think I might have caught that wonky churn dash.

I’ve been watching the second season of Anne with an E, a show on Netflix that re-thinks the well-loved story about a certain red-haired orphan.  I binged-watched several episodes while hand-sewing and emobroidering the bees and other blocks from the sew-a-long Leisa and I decided to do.  It’s been good company while I’m still recovering.

Bee Happy Quilt_Feb_2

Okay, now it’s fixed.

blossom

I’ve been able to get out for a few walks around the neighborhood; this is our first blossom in our front yard.  We’ve had a ton of rain, and since we’ve been in a drought, the plants (and I) are loving it.

Flower Hexie strips

I was able to sew my Flowers for Emma blocks into strips.  Next up is sashing, the borders. I love this design by Sherri McConnell.Flying Geese BlocLoc ruler

I gave in and pressed the small triangles a different way, because, gosh!  How can I possibly make a year’s worth of triangles and not use this?

Temperature Quilt_Feb13

Here’s a month-and-a-half’s worth of triangle temperature markers.  It’s also an interesting way to note the passage of time. And yes, I have not yet Marie-Kondo-ed my design wall.  I like it just as it is.

Gridster Bee Blocks_Feb13

Bee blocks from my Gridster pals have been coming in: a row of houses!High Quality Life label

I’d actually prefer dark, rich chocolate to give me a high-quality life, rather than Snickers.  (Sign in my local Japanese/Chinese import store)

Quilted quilts_1

I sent out three quilts for quilting, and got them back in record time.

Quilted quilts_2

Now what will I do with them?  I have to figure out how to trim them, and bind them with one working arm.

Time Marker for Surgery

Only now we’re almost at six weeks.  I make these monthly time markers to send to my mother, to show her I’m still around.  Still have the sling, still one-armed, but I’m trying to keep up with all the projects around here.

Happy Stitching!

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Queen Bee for Gridsters 2019

(see below for the winners of the Temperature Giveaway)

gridsters 500 with label

February is my month to be Queen Bee, a phrase I picked up from hanging-out-across-the-ocean with Susan of Patchwork and Play (she lives in Melbourne).  I’ve gone through about a million different permutations, but in the end, I’m playing it safe and asking my beemates to build me a series of little houses, like the ones I saw as a teenager in the Daly City area, near San Francisco.

daly city

We’d drive up the newly built 280 freeway, look out through gaps in the trees and see the houses like zippers in the landscape.

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There are lots of houses also in Dolores Heights.

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But the USA doesn’t have a lock on houses crammed together: the first photo with the red house was from one of the villages in Cinque Terre, and the one just above is Porto Venere, Italy.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia.

little houses

We’ll see what my beemates come up with.  I’ve mailed them all the pattern, and look forward to seeing their creations!

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Thank you to all who entered the Giveaway for coldest and for hottest place you’ve ever been.  I started out by reading all the coldest, then had to go and put on another sweater; so many referenced the brutal cold the Midwest is experiencing.  Our hearts go out to you.

Although I was shivering by the time I finished Celia’s story of walking in the snow in ballet flats, the winner of the coldest packet is Susan Shaw, with her story of sledding with her brothers:

Coldest Day.png

I used to live in Wisconsin, and one summer we moved to Texas.  The A/C broke and my children and I sweltered in 100+ hea for week.  We’d gone from wearing our winter coats to the 4th of July parade to two weeks later, melting in the home.

So many of you had great “hottest” stories, but I totally related to Beth, who had to endure no A/C with all her little children:

Hottest Day.png

I hope you all stay warm…or cool, whatever the case may be!  I’ll be in touch via email to notify the winners.  Thank you all for entering!