Monday, March 14, 2016

Back home again

Well, I've been gone for 6 weeks, traveling and lazing along the Gulf of Mexico coast.  Don doesn't do winter very well and it's for his sake that I leave my home and journey south. He loves the warm and being able to go outside to play golf. Me?  I can take it or leave it. I grew up in Minnesota and spent much of my adult life in the northern half of the state where winter is something to be embraced and not whined about.  I was quite happy to be back in my own home where we were surprised to find warm temps (70 degrees F) and virtually no snow.  This sojourn to Southern Alabama makes for a very short winter. Indeed!

So, what did I accomplish in the way of quilting while I was gone?  First off, 2 fantastic days of class with Bonnie Hunter, making Jared Takes a Wife and Roll Roll Cotton Boll, two quilts I'd already make up on my own. It's so interesting to use different fabrics and colors and see how the quilt changes!  I managed to make all the turquoise pieced blocks for Roll Roll and have yet to make up the string pieced blocks in neutral.  When this one is finished, it'll be donated to my guild's charity project for this year. We're making quilts and pillow cases for the local children living in foster care.

I also was able to make up all the blocks for the Jared quilt, using my deep purples, plums, and merlots with gold fabrics.  I like this so much better than the one I made before which was every color under the sun!  Way too disorganized for my taste.  I was able to assemble most of the quilt before I ran out of sashing fabric.  I remember that I'd bought the fabric at the Busy Bobbin in Rice Lake, WI so will drive up there tomorrow to see if they have half a yard left for me.  Wish me luck!  If not, I'll have to take it apart and use something else for sashing. (Big sigh)

While I was on the Gulf Coast, I found this pretty fabric of green vines with pink flowers.

 I made it up into a table runner which is for sale in my Etsy store, Jolly Ruby.  I think it's just the right touch for a home in spring time.  And I have enough of the flower fabric to make a dress for an American Girls doll. I think a pink sash would look very good with it. 

I also spent a few hours embroidering a design by Crabapple Hill Studio and made  up a table runner for Easter. It also is for sale in Jolly Ruby.

This is the finished quilt on my dining table. I did the embroidery while I was gone and quilted it up after I got home where I have all my quilting supplies.  I did a simple cross hatch as background in the two end panels where the embroidery is, and I did 4 little nests with eggs in them in the center panel.  

Here's a close up of the embroidery--you can just make out the silver accent on the ribbon and the eggs.  I did this with Cosmo floss and I really like working with the glistening thread.  I hope to find another design where I can use it--or I can make another Easter basket and turn it into a decorative pillow.  Who knows?

I also worked on making up this flowery quilt for myself. I'd bought the fabric a couple of years ago but kept putting off working on it. It's a printed panel of these stylized flowers. I cut them out into approximately 6" squares and made coordinating flying geese units to make the star points. These blocks come out to about 12". I have coordinating border prints of butterflies, dragonflies and bumblebees along with more flowers to use for sashing and the final border. I got a lot done, but there's more to do here at home.  When I find time!

I also finished the top of a throw sized quilt that my daughter Jo had asked me to do as a wedding gift for her friends.  I'd begun making four-patches out of scraps of browns and blacks that I already had and I had the perfect creamy colored fabric to go with them, so I was able to assemble the top while I was gone. I'd brought along extra brown fabrics and used them to make a piano key border for it. Now I need to get it quilted up so it's ready to be given to the couple at their wedding.  Hope they like it--Jo says she thinks they will! I like how I was able to use up so much brown fabric, including the fishing lure design.  I hope they get a laugh out of it!

I also need to work on quilting up the Farmhouse Window Sills quilt if I'm going to get it done in time to enter it in the show next month. I think I'm going to do a little more embroidery on it, outside of the embroidered blocks.  Maybe in the turquoise inner border (not the flanges around the blocks)--some lazy daisy flowers and leaves, I'm thinking. I'll try it out and see if I like it.

On the way home from Alabama, we stopped in Paducah to see the National Quilt Museum  Oh My! What a treat that was!  I'd never been there and was surprised that Don wanted to see the quilts with me.  He absolutely loved it!  And I got lots of ideas on how to make my quilts better than they are now. I was especially thrilled to see some quilts made by some recognized quilters whose blogs I follow.  If you haven't been there yet, please try to make it.  You'll not regret it, I guarantee it!   

Whew!  This is a long post, but it's been a long time since I posted anything.  Too busy on the beach and cooking up Gulf shrimp, I guess!  Anyway, I'm back home and settled into a routine again.  Got to go and get my hair cut right now, so that's it for today!  

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