Friday, July 23, 2010

grandmother's wildflowers

The baby hexies are finished! I know I said I would post this well over a month ago. Lets just say I severely underestimated the time it would take, and the time I would have available, to finish it.
"Grandmother's Wildflowers" is a take on the traditional grandmother's flower garden quilt pattern. While the technique and all the handwork I did was traditional, the open spaces aren't. I was inspired by a quilt in "Pretty Little Quilts" that had individual hexagons missing allowing the wall to show through.
I have one of my fellow quilting friends here in town to thank for the arrangement. I played back and forth with several ideas, even several different layouts, when Kathy sat down and began moving them in more of a color order arrangement. Bingo! A few minutes later I had them grouped the way I liked. I debated a bit about whether I should add a few more, but decided I'd stick with what I had.
All of these hexies are vintage fabrics that were precut and strung by an anonymous quilter years ago. Like the rest of us, she seems to have had a few UFO's in her stash. I bought them at the garage sale and can now consider them vintage project number 2 that's been completed from that huge find. (The first was the string quilt blocks.)
Every stitch in this mini quilt was done by hand - from basting the hexagons over paper, to the stitches joining the backing to the top. The back is a vintage feedsack. I would not use a feedsack again for a project of this type. The weave is too loose and I had to put in twice as many stitches to secure every loose thread in the weave as I finished the project. The quilt is tied in the center of each hexagon with matching embroidery floss.
And here's a quick shot of my next vintage UFO. More handwork, so it'll be a long time before I can post a finished quilt for this one. I have twelve of these dresden plates to applique to blocks. The long drive to New Hampshire a few weeks ago took care of 3 of them.
Step by step...

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

thrifty thursday

Take a deep breath, Carol. One of your favorites:
faux bois
Wish I could say I found the planter super cheap at a thrift store. It came from a great vintage finds store nearby and while it wasn't thrift store priced, it was good enough for me.
My african violet now has a new home.

I wish it looked a little better, this plant has bloomed nonstop since I put it in this window 7 years ago, but I think it's adjusting to its new home.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

big star, little star

I'm officially caught up with the bee again.
Jessica asked for maverick stars - the wonkier the better.
I went with the largest size(12.5) above - and below, the tiniest size she requested (3.5").
I liked the idea of a miniature version of the first one I made. It might make for a fun I Spy game when the quilt is complete - finding the mini me star.

Just to give you an idea of the size difference between them:

As much as I like tiny projects, making sure I didn't cut off those star points and still had enough fabric showing wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I love how cute it is though.
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back with blue

Long absence, short explanation: summer, busy, storms, power outage, vacation, insomnia, tired.
I do have things to show you though:
Two blocks for Common Threads- Above is Amanda's. Hers was a geometric challenge for me. Took a little sketching first, but I wanted to get those cross blocks to "overlap" in the background. It required more piecing than making two mini blocks and just sewing them together.
Below is Jess's. Hers was done in a manner I've finally grown confident in using - improvisational piecing, I think it's called. I took a quick look at her inspiration photo and just started cutting and sewing. No sketching, no measuring until I was close to the size she requested. The inset pieces of solids are the direct influence of my common threads cohorts. Same goes for the "off" angles and general wonkiness of it all.

I'm off to pack my bag for quilting group today.
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