Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to Christmas

The last border went on this quilt a couple of days ago.  I finally took a photo this morning - the light again does not do justice to the fabrics -

Now I'm working on whether to fill the white space with quilting, or to add some appliqued poinsettia blossoms.  I printed three in draft mode on paper and pinned  them on the quilt on the design wall for scale -

They would be connected in the quilting with a swag, but I think they'd need to be bigger to look like they belong.  There would be a dozen of them.

 Hmmm!  At least, in my second photo since I was closer the flash did a better job and shows the fabric colors a little truer to reality.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fabrics update

Yesterday, Norris and I went to Waynesville to shop for a new table for the screened porch. The route goes directly by the quilt shop there where I found these for Dana's Grandmother's Choice quilt -

I'm especially happy to have found the bold large leaf lower right - where the yellow just jumps off  the dark dark green.  The stripe I have arranged at the top is another special find.  They only had one fat quarter of it left so it's a good thing we stopped there yesterday. That fabric adds black to the mix, but the green and yellow stripes will be striking when fussy cut and arranged in a block.  I wouldn't have said "I need lemons" for this quilt - but when that print on the left just below is cut up, you will notice small leaves and blocks of the brilliant golden yellow.

My friend Sherrye posted photos of some fabrics she has that will be perfect additions.  Her fabrics have a lot of personality.  It's so nice when quilters offer to share their prized possessions.  There are a few more prints I've seen on-line I may "need" to get - indeed, Dorry found one yesterday.   But I have enough now to get started - the series starts in just a week!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Next Big Project

Barbara Brackman, who authored the Civil War Block of the Week series I followed last year, is starting a new block of the week, this one following the struggle for women's right to vote in 1913.  She's calling it "Grandmother's Choice."  I knew immediately I wanted to make this quilt and turn it into a family heirloom.  My maternal grandmother was married in 1913 and she was an excellent needleworker, so I want to dedicate it to her.

The series will begin on the first of September, but my first issue was to decide who in the family should get the quilt.  I had not made a quilt for anyone in my brother Carl's family and so I thought one of them should be the recipient.  Because the quilt will have this historic context, I immediately thought of my niece, Dana, because she majored in U.S. History, and she agreed - commenting the project sounded intriguing. 

I emailed her to ask what colors she might like her quilt made from.  She studied the suggestions Barbara Brackman had made on her blog and chose the Green and Gold color scheme that was used by the women of Australia.  Green and Gold appealed to Dana because they are the colors of  William and Mary, where she earned her degree.

I checked the William and Mary website to be sure my green and gold fabrics would remind Dana of her Alma Mater - and to pick up other cues that can tie her to her great grandmother, Faye. Well, the colors alone make a good start because my grandmother's living room in the house I remember was green and gold. The gold is a bright yellow gold, and the green is a dark hunter. I have pulled fabrics that I believe will fit and took a photo yesterday.

There's quite a range of greens and golds, with a lot of off-whites and goldish light tans, in all kinds of prints and handdyes and even a few solids.  The group of greens fanned out in the middle are a hand-dyed gradient collection I have had for some years.  The darkest are the basic W&M hunter green.  I may not use a few of the prints I chose that don't blend.  But sometimes a not-quite-right color is a good choice - it can create a spark of interest.

Even though I have many fabrics here, I will have to buy more.  I would like some prints that mix the green and yellow without adding any other colors, so I'll have to be on the lookout. I think I should be able to find florals or leaf prints to suit.  But sometimes, Ms. Brackman has such a compelling story behind a block, you almost have to use a special-themed print to do it justice.  Some people printed illustrations on fabric for those - there might be a few photographs in the family collection that will have to be included in Dana's Grandmother's Choice.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The edges of Christmas

No longer Christmas in July, I'm still working on the quilt.  There is a lot of piecing for the main border.  I slapped the quilt on the design wall so the effect is visible on the left side - but it's not all straight and smooth.

Some of the nine-patches are set with their triangles, but in the photo, many are just laid out in position ready for piecing. The little red and green squares are in sets of four red and five green, waiting for their turn.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

a brighter look

I finished the four central setting blocks for this Christmas quilt.  I took the picture just now and it was a little dark, like the last one I posted.  So I brightened it up to show the fabrics a little closer to reality.

I've pieced the diagonal rows.  For the photo, I overlapped the seam allowances (where I will sew the rows together) in order to show the circle created by the Glorified Nine Patch blocks. Sewing these curves in a nine inch block was nice and easy.

I thought I knew what I was going to do in the setting triangles.  But I'm re-thinking my design.  I had not originally planned on open spaces for fancy quilting.  But maybe I really want fancy quilting after all.