Happy July 2019 • This and That!

Teeny Tiny Flag Quilt_3

In this episode of This-and-That posts, I wanted to lead off with a little freebie for your Fourth of July: the instructions for a Teeny Tiny Flag quilt.  You can whip this up quickly, and it slips over a dimestore 4″ x 6″ acrylic frame.  I made one recently for a friend in the hospital: no flowers or balloons were allowed.  This brought some cheer to her stay as she loves red, white and blue.

Teeny Tiny Flag Quilt Illustration

I thought you might like the how-to’s, so download the PDF file (please re-download this new file–earlier this morning, there was a glitch):

Teeny Tiny Flag Quilt

I finished it off with some cute buttons.  For more Tiny quilts (and Teeny-Tiny quilts), visit the Tiny Quilts tab, above.

Sunday Best

Here’s a new favorite book of mine, Sunday Best Quilts, by Sherri L. McConnell and Corey Yoder.  Sherri and I have been friends for a while ever since we shared English assignments for the classes we were teaching, at two different community colleges in two different states.  I also appreciate her wonderful quilt designs, and have enjoyed her fabric lines (favorites are Bright Sun, Creekside and Front Porch).

I expect certain things out of books these days.  I’ve stopped buying everything that’s new as I was pretty burned out with what I call “vanity” books — a famous quilter gets a book and really, it was nothing new under the sun.  So now I am pretty selective about what I’ll add to my quilt library.  The book has to have 1) a new way of looking at familiar quilts, 2) a thorough (but not mansplained) direction section, and 3) great photographs, plus 4) the writing has to be pristine and readable, no small feat.

This book fulfills all four of those criteria. If you are looking for a new book to add, I can recommend this one.

Scissors and Negative People

Truth.

Guild Rummage Sale_3

So our Guild had a rummage sale this month, well, really it was a Clean-Out-The-President’s-Sewing-Room/Garage sale.  Evidently people had been bringing her stuff for many years; husbands would call when their wives had moved to Assisted Living, and leftovers from classes all just sort of congregated in her garage.  Time for it all to go.

Guild Rummage Sale_2

I am always fascinated by what quilters used to do Back in the Day.  Like these vests.  Did we really a) have haircuts like that, and b) dress like this?

Guild Rummage Sale_4

Another binder had templates with lots of code numbers on them, and then these illustrations.  I loved “Home Grown” #8, and think it would make a great block in a quilt.  No, I didn’t bring that one home.

Guild Rummage Sale_1

But I felt like I scored with this box of “vintage” magazines (really, they are just 20-30 years old–how is that vintage?).  I’d bought a few things here and there, stuffing my dollars in the Rummage Sale Jar, but at the end of the night, when so much was left, she said, “Take it all away!” So we did.

Ladybird Prep_2

I wanted to post some construction images from Ladybird, the quilt from the last post. At this point I was thinking: what am I doing? This was the quilting after the first day. I threw it on the spare bed and left it there for two days.

Ladybird Prep_3

Better.

Ladybird Prep_4

In the end, I was pretty happy with it, finding lots of ways to be creative with mostly straight lines.

SAVE ME THE PLUMS -- cover

Finished this book.  I loved it and I’m not a New Yorker.

I had wanted to leave you with my larger flag quilt, all quilted and bound, but it didn’t happen.  So Happy Fourth of July, with a quilt top:

BetsysCreation_4thJuly

Long may it wave! (click to see it in action)

 

Ladybird • Quilt Finish

Ladybird_1Ladybird is finished.

Ladybird_2Ladybird, the name a shortened version of ladybird beetle (or ladybugs as we call them in the States), has a rich folkloric history, with allusions to religion, good fortune, death, and old rituals.  This original quilt, with its split block design, evoked the tiny beetle, a godsend to gardeners everywhere.

Ladybird_7We’d had a bumper crop of their babies around the yard when I started this, little crawly things that my husband identified as the early stage of ladybird beetles (the official name).

Ladybird_6a

I don’t know how I came up with this original pattern, but the colors and the accents just sort of found their way to this quilt.  I also don’t know how I figured out the quilting, but like anything in my life, the starting is the hardest.

Finishing is easier.

Ladybird_3

Background fabric is from Jane Sassaman.

Of course you are familiar with the rhyme:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire, and your children will burn.

There are multiple, maybe even a hundred, versions of this rhyme in many different languages and countries.  The one I quoted above is dated to 1744, and is often thought to reference the burning of stubble in the fields after harvest, a practice discouraged now because of air pollution, but common in early times.

Ladybird_8My husband found the photography site for us at University of California-Riverside.  It’s the artwork on the front of the Genomics Building by Jim Isermann, the sculpture influenced by geometric shapes of molecular structure and its illustration. Yeah, I’m in love with this.  And did I mention my husband broke three ribs last week?  Yet he still helped me schlep around the quilts (and holding one up for me in another upcoming post), even clamping on one side where I couldn’t reach.  (It was a small household altercation with a huge yard waste container; he will be fine in about six weeks, but for now I do the trash.)

After dinner at our newest Vietnamese restaurant, we flew away home. Thankfully, our house is not on fire, but, regretfully, our children are gone.

Pattern will be coming soon.