Friday, April 27, 2012

Tasty Thank You!

Around noon today, we got a call from Edible Arrangements asking if we would be home to receive a perishable delivery? I was pretty sure it was a mistake - perhaps someone had given them the wrong phone number. Today is not a birthday here or any other occasion. But no, they had my name, the delivery was intended for me. Hmm.... what could this be about?

It's from Robin's Dad/Jewel's husband, CJ. (He and I share the same initials!) - it came with his hand-written note thanking me for helping to finish Jewel's Baskets. What a sweet surprise - pretty, too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Shindig Quilt continued

I finished the quilting part of the raffle quilt for the Shindig.  Photos were delayed when I dropped the camera  - we're limping along until we can get a new lens. Surprisingly, these came out: we get good light in the afternoon on the lower slope of the driveway.

Here's one of the entire quilt -

 And of course some closeups to see the quilting!

The four stars with white backgrounds got the simpler motif set in a circle, - then there is curved cross-hatching on two scales (1/2 inch and 1/4 inch) with some feathers to fill out the surrounding white area.

The stars on a blue background got the more complicated version of the motif set in the circle.  Then I surrounded the star with  a feathered circle - maybe it's a feathered wreath, but I usually think of a wreath having the feathers on the outside of the ring - or both sides. Here the feathers are just to the inside.  The space between the star points and the feathers has a simple meander.  Outside the circle are 1/4 spaced lines. You can also see the corner and  side triangle motifs in this photo.

This next photo shows a detail of the wide blue border - half circles, feathered like the ones above, with lines spaced at 1/2 inch inside and outside.  The very outer border is scalloped and the scallops are filled with more curved cross-hatching.

I have to include one last shot to show how the designs worked together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jewel's Baskets

Back in 2008, when I was still quilting professionally, and shortly before we moved, Jewel asked if I would quilt a quilt she was piecing. I agreed and put her on my schedule - always about six months out for custom work. Her time on my schedule came and went and she hadn't brought the quilt to me. There are a lot of reasons a person might change their mind about having me finish their quilts, so I didn't say anything.

Some time later, Jewel's daughter Robin asked me if I had Jewel's quilt. Jewel had forgotten where it was. The missing quilt turned out to be an early symptom of the Alzheimer's Disease that killed Jewel in early 2011. I contacted Robin after the funeral was over to say that I knew she would find her mother's quilt, and when she did, I would be happy and honored to quilt it for her family. Robin let me know when she found it, and put the final borders on the quilt. I just got back from delivering the quilt to Robin.

Jewel was a beautiful woman, and I knew Jewel's Baskets would be beautiful and a pleasure to work on. Her quilts were always pretty, made with rich colors in quality fabrics. This one turned out to be a king-sized quilt with plenty of room for traditional quilting.

Robin is an accomplished quilter, and she likes to incorporate circles in her designs, so feathered wreaths were the obvious choice for the setting blocks. I made a swag to fit the side and corner triangles.

To let Jewel's work be the star of the quilt, I kept the quilting to a minimum on her baskets. They got simple cross hatching while the flowers in them got simple continuous curves, with leaves quilted on the green fabrics. The red inner border has classic Egg and Dart, based on a circle.

Robin pieced the backing out of seven different floral prints. Sorry about this photo, but I had to rumple it up because it was much larger than the 2 king sheets I laid it on for protection on the driveway, the only place close to big enough to see the entire quilt.

I know Jewel's family will treasure her quilt.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A small glimpse

Quilting the Shindig Raffle quilt is coming along well. I was smarter than usual and am taking photos of what I have done so far. Because I enhanced my paper design plan right on the quilt, as I roll, I will forget what I've done. I usually have to roll the quilt back and forth a lot to remind myself. Photos will be much faster, and more accurate than a drawing.

For example, in this area, I wound up placing my long curves (the ones that have the feathers inside the large triangle) a visual extension of some of the curves in the motif. It does show up nicely from the distance of the photo. I think this will be pretty marching around the stars.

The quilting motif inside the 6 inch circle is a modified portion of a design from a 1930's era Better Homes and Gardens quilting pullout. Our committee of three started with an idea of a traditional quilt, though we took a turn to more contemporary with the fabric choices. Although there is also a contemporary flair to my quilting, I'm using designs based on tradition -- cross hatching, feathers, circles and straight lines. I like to repeat designs. The one shown here also appears in the blue stars in the field of the quilt. I used a more complex version of the same design in the field's white stars. I was able to re-use stencils I made of these two designs for a quilt I worked on for Dorry back in 2009 - see photos of the quilt and motif source at the end of this post.

I thought I might be working on this quilt for up to three weeks, but it's been a lot of fun and the quilt is already approaching 1/4th finished... I just started on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Now it's my turn....

Last year, Alice and Ann made the raffle quilt for the local Folk Heritage Committee and Shindig on the Green. The Shindig is an Asheville tradition since 1967. Every Saturday night in the summer, "along about sundown," local bluegrass and old-time musicians along with traditional clogging groups perform in free outdoor concerts. The Folk Heritage Committee also puts on the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, an indoor concert with some of our favorite local acts, which dates back to 1928.

I was very honored that Alice and Ann asked me to help with the fundraiser quilt this year. We have since met several times to come up with a concept, discuss designs, and cut out the fabrics they purchased. Alice and Ann did a wonderful job precisely piecing the stars and setting blocks, and put the center of the quilt together. I have just finished putting on the two borders (the pieced blue and yellow inner border, and the solid blue outer one) and am getting ready to start quilting this queen sized quilt.

We hope the traditional stars, bright colors, and queen size of our quilt will help the committee sell more raffle tickets than ever. Now I have to decide on my quilting plan and get on it!