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!

tiny-nine-patches

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.

UVQuilt Guild 2019.png

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!

Merrion Square Quilts_3Merrion Square Quilts_2

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!

tiny-nine-patches

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.

dolores heights sf_2dolores heights sf

There are lots of houses also in Dolores Heights.

IMG_6111 copy.jpgIMG_6096 copy.jpg

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.

city-walls_dubrovnik_19-window.jpg

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!

giveaway-banner

 

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!

 

Prepping the Quilts 2018

Road to California Logo

Thank you all for the lovely words of encouragement you wrote in response to my last post.  I’m making my way through them, and will answer them.  However, everything I have done lately…is done lately.

Annularity_May 2018LabeledNorthern Lights Medallion on bench

These two lovelies were juried into Road to California 2019, and so I spent a morning prepping them to head off:

Prepping for Road_1

Now you see the bit of errant blue quilting thread…

Prepping for Road_2

…and now you don’t…Prepping for Road_3

…thanks to these trusty friends.  This is an old quilter’s trick, mentioned in several older books I have.

Names on labels are covered up. I also had to make sure my name and contact information are included on the quilt, and I do that in a label near the hanging sleeve, and that’s covered up, too.

Quilts into a clear plastic bag, into their box, and off to Road to California, not to be seen until January 2019, in the show!

A Few Thoughts on A Year of Making Frivols

My friend Simone asked me what I was going to do now that the Frivols were all finished.  “What do you have planned for 2019?” she asked, oh so sweetly.

Let me review:
Elizabeth's Lollypop Tree Quilt_7

2011-2014 I worked on my Lollypop Trees quilt.

shinecirclesquilt_frontl
2014-2015 I worked on Shine: The Circles Quilt.

christmas-tree_5halloween-1904_front2016 I did not one, but TWO, Quilt-A-Longs (Halloween and Christmas).
2017 I had shoulder surgery and it seemed to be the year of small quilts.

Northern Lights Medallion_4
2018 was the year of the Frivols, plus the year of working in Painter’s Palette Solids.

And 2019?

It’s time for a bit of introspection and reflection here.

I am feeling a bit bereft because I feel like I have nothing in the pipeline, nothing in the brain for creativity.  I see everyone’s IG feed, their blogs, I go to quilt shows and there’s just no sparking going on. Awol Erizku, a contemporary artist, titled one of his paintings “When You See Too Much, You See Nothing;”  perhaps this is what’s happening here.

And so the “what now?” kind of morphs into “Nobody’s at Home in My Head” in spite of the fact that I have successfully slain the Frivols Tins that have been living rent-free in my closet for two years.  I recognize that this “I-am-a-useless-cretin” thinking often crops up after an extended period of making, of pedal-to-the-metal.

I am happy that I finished my goal of making all those quilts, but really, I am mostly happy that I am finished with Frivols.  It has been a year of learning, a year of exploring different palettes and fabric styles, but mostly, it has been a year of sewing someone else’s creativity and living in some else’s quilty head.  That last part has been the hardest.  I was pretty excited right off the bat to  make these but after about the thousandth HST, or another tin of colored print fabrics to be augmented with a background of white…I had to dig deep to finish up this project.

It’s like when someone wants you to make them a quilt, and you agree, all the while thinking in your head I can do anything but one of those Star Wars panels, and then they show up at your house with Star Wars panels, it’s torture to get that quilt made.  I wonder if this happens sometimes with our UFOs, if all of a sudden our interest or our tastes change, so what was once interesting, is now banal and you just can’t stand to work on it.

Frivols 12_12a

But I’m happy to be finished.  I set a goal, I powered through it, and I appreciate all the cheering from my readers.  You made a difference, as always.

I will donate some of these quilts to the Neonatal Quilt Project in our Guild and to the group that gives quilts to the foster kids who have aged out.  I will gift a few more, and my favorites will live at our house.

Thank you all!

Frivols_all3Frivols_all_12XDONEs