Sunday, April 26, 2009

Froggie! Froggie! Ooooops!

This is the top I pieced over a week ago when our group of Victory Quilters met. (If you wish, you may click the photo for a larger copy in order to view the frogs.)

The "oops" is the "pond" in the center. The pond is there because when I was splitting the nine-patches, the ruler, cutter, or both slipped, resulting in a butchered block. I saved those pieces to use in the corners of the border, but I had to insert a pond to replace the butchered block.

Borders have been added and the quilt has been quilted, but it still needs binding. I'll post an updated picture when it is finished.

What would you put in the pond?

More Split Nine-Patch Windmills

These photos offer views of our church's altar rails this week at the dedication of 21 prayer quilts for people challenged by cancer and other serious health issues. Prayer quilts have been flying out of the church office in support of family, colleagues, and friends of members of our congregation.

A dozen of those 21 quilts were created from a variety of designs, but nine were the Split Nine-Patch Windmill pattern that we developed when we realized how fast the quilts were flying away and knew we had to come up with something that would give us a variety of quilts but which could also be pieced and quilted fairly quickly. (By "quickly", I'm referring to the fact that most probably took twenty to fifty hours to sew from start to finish. Only four of us pieced or quilted these quilts, although many more were involved in bindings and prayer.) Shown below are the nine Split Nine-Patch Windmills that were dedicated this week.

It would be lovely if, during the next month, everyone who needs one gets one and we still have some left over. March and April were pretty challenging for many of our members, friends, and colleagues.

Spring! Spring! Spring!

I love this picture because it makes my house look lavender--a color I would never, never paint it--at least, not on the exterior!

At last! The narcissi are in bloom! It is the end of April!
Due to some unseasonably warm weather at the end of February and for a few days in March, my neighbor's daffodils bloomed and were beaten to shreds by the wind. We have been enjoying several early tulips that she planted. We waited and waited and waited for these flowers. They too may well be beaten to shreads by the wind, but today they are just beautiful!

And, promising to bloom soon, are some of the tulips we planted. See this tiny bud hiding in the leaves?
We are thrilled!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Daisy Windmills

See that teeny-tiny little striped fence between the outer border and the pieced quiltop? That is from a little strip of striped fabric my friend Harriet gave me about twenty years ago. I've treasured that fabric all these years, but it was so tiny I could not decide how to use it. I'm glad I had the sense to save it, because it made the perfect tiny border around the center of this quilt!
This is another Victory Quilt--and yet another Split 9-patch Windmill. These all turn out sooooo different, and they are so fast to cut and piece. Truthfully, this one wasn't that fast to cut and piece because Alex chose the daisies and the lavender stripe from my friend Ruth's stash a couple of months ago. She said she'd piece a quilt top. She didn't; but I was in dire need of some springy something or other, so I cut and pieced it. I had to cut each square separately because the fabric was bits and pieces of left-overs, so although it was a bit slower than usual, it was a delightfully sunny quilt to make, especially during our last couple of weather days.

That's the front and the back. Mary C. took the quilt to sew down the backside of the binding.

The last two photos are a couple of detail shots. I used violet metallic thread to quilt the smaller windmill blades in the second picture, but that doesn't show up all that well in the photo. I hope the recipient will find great comfort and reassurance in this quilt.

Weather vs Climate & My Easter Girl

Yesterday we had weather. We most often have climate, but yesterday we had weather of many different sorts. We began the day with rain, sleet, and snow, and they kind of did a dance with many repetitions.
Then we had thunder and lightning and rain followed by thunder and lightning and snow, and to liven things up a bit, that was followed by about two inches of hail and more rain and snow.

All that with intermittent sunshine--so we can keep our record as a place where the sun shines nearly every day of the year, even if just for a few minutes!

The mountains were almost incredibly beautiful when we went to church today, with snow clinging to all the trees, especially the pines, and more snow coming down. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of that!
By the time we got home shortly after noon today, the winds were roaring through. Most of the tumbleweeds were small ones, which makes me wonder if they were once big ones but had been downsized by long-distance tumbles.
At this moment, things are fairly quiet.

Of course, one of the prettiest sights of the day was my daughter. When we purchased her clothes, I didn't realize that they pretty much match the color of our livingroom walls! ('Tis true, I also forgot to have someone at church take our picture together!)
It's been nearly ten years since I've seen the department stores filled with such ugly, ugly clothes that you know they must have sent their buyers to "ugly school" before they let them go order merchandise. We found her beautiful clothes at the Asian store.
We are so grateful that there is no school tomorrow and that the only things we have on our agendas are working on quilts, a flute lesson, and tea with a friend!
We hope all our loved ones have had a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Favorite Quilt

This is one of my all-time favorite quilts. I made it for one of my friends, whose husband went to be with the Lord on Easter weekend two years ago. I forgot to take pictures of it, and this week she took pictures of it and printed them out for me. I asked her to e-mail them to me, and she saved them in a Snapfish album. Since I'm on dial-up, it took 20 minutes to download this one photo, so I'll have to wait until she can e-mail them to me so I can post more. However, you can click on the photo for a larger view with more details of the quilting. This quilt was made from an enlargement of a large block designed by Judy Martin several years ago. Just touching it and looking at it made me happy, so I was hoping it would be a comfort to her as she worked through her grief.

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Victory Quilts

To the left is the International Harvester Quilt--really old International Harvesting equipment, as in horse-drawn and early gas engine tractors.

The detail below shows the quilting in the windmills. The colors shown in the entire quilt are much less green than in the detail photo.

Once again, I needed a strategy to widen a width of fabric and used pieced blocks and strips because I had enough length, just not enough width.
Tomi volunteered to finish the backside of the binding. Thanks, Tomi.

These are final photos of the cowboy quilt I showed last week. I used the same fabric for binding that I had used for the "fences." The fabric used for the backing was a wonderful old polished-cotton shirting print (only 36 inches wide), so once again I pieced blocks to make the backing wider.
I'm grateful to Cathy for taking this quilt to sew down the binding, so that I can get on to making more quilts. Thanks, Cathy.
It's hard to believe that just six weeks ago we had a huge supply of quilts. I'm wondering if other quilt ministries have found the last few weeks to be difficult for a great many of the recipients.
I've cut out a "toad" quilt and a couple of "flowerdee" quilts (as they say in the Appalachians) and would love to find some more farm fabrics--that match some of the tractors and farm equipment I grew up with--but I don't think anyone has licensed J. I. Case or Allis-Chalmers designs for fabric. With so much of our nation's agriculture industry being consumed by huge farms that put the little guys out of business, those would be pretty nostalgic too.
Another of my colleagues told me today that her mom is having cancer surgery next week. Lots of people need our support and prayers.

The Fishing Quilt

Here's the bottom of the fishing quilt.--I thought I had gotten the whole thing, but the bottom will have to do.
This is a detail of the one of the windmills and a detail of the feathered border--I used a variety of variegated threads for the the body of the quilt and a holographic silver for the borders.
The back of the quilt shows how I used blocks and strips to widen and lengthen one width of fabric to make it big enough for the back.
The next photo is a detail of the back of the quilt showing the quilting designs. I used Bottom Line thread in the bottom so there is no pretty or shiny stuff, but you can see the quilting lines. And, if you'd like to see any of these detail even more clearly, you can right-click on any photo in this blog, open in a new tab, and see a much bigger photo.
Mary took this quilt to sew the binding onto the back. She also did all the holding for the photographs.
I was shocked that we have only a handful of quilts left despite having dedicated a couple dozen a couple of weeks ago.
A young woman asked for a quilt for the wife of her husbands co-worker. His wife has just entered hospice. I mentioned to her that while we had begun making quilts and prayed for the person receiving it, we never realized that sometimes the quilts are handed on to others who also experience some form of healing.
She replied, "Yes, I understand. I was given a quilt last year when they told me that within a year I would be almost totally paralyzed. As you can see, I'm not."
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