Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finished: Le Soleil d'Hiver

 It's finished, including binding.
My original plan was to quilt a curvy feather that included not only the blue solid but also the two adjacent borders.  But when I tried that, it was immediately clear that the feather wouldn't even be recognized if it extended into those borders, so I ripped it out and placed them just in the blue.
 It was clear that the narrow borders of the blue china were so busy that no quilting would show up, so I just quilted a kind of pussy-willow design in those borders.  (Do people still grow pussy willows?  I loved them when I was growing up.  And if they still grow them, have they renamed them something else?)
Here's another quick look at the seashell quilting....
 and at the ribbons & feathers on a Michael Miller Fairy Frost star.
 In order to see the details, you may have to right click on the next triangle and open it in a new tab.
I used a sunshine yellow on most of the quilt, but a blue for the feather in the blue border.  I used white thread in the bobbin, and it turned out pretty well, that is, very little show-through of the top thread on the back. Then I cut the binding from the same blue as the border.
Finished just in time for another winter storm to move in.  I wanted to take it to church to give my friend this morning, but I hadn't finished tacking down some of the binding on the back.  (Have another idea for binding on the next one.)
Whoop! Whoop!  Sarah's challenge is helping me stay focused on finishing a little bit each week rather than being frustrated that I don't get more done. I'm also linking up with Karen at Sew Many Ways. (Or I will, if I can get Mr. Linky to cooperate!)
Happy quilting......May you find a lot of sunshine in this long, long winter.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Whoop, Whoop! For My Friends......

I've accomplished very little, I thought....
I started these socks--got only this far....

 And they were going to be much too big so I ripped them out and will have to start over.
However, tomorrow is quilt dedication Sunday at church, so when the Victory Quilters met today, we spread out the quilts for tomorrow's dedication.
 We ran out of room at the front of the church and ended up spreading them on rows of chairs at the side of the sanctuary.
 On the sound control booth at the back of the sanctuary....

 And on the back of the last rows of chairs.  People will have to move forward a little tomorrow morning.

 This quilt was made by Judy in wonderful seashore theme fabrics and was one of my very favorites; it's one that needs to be seen in person--the colors are so subtle that I'm betting the fabrics sold better in quilt shops than on-line!

Judy and I both counted; there are fifty quilts.  [Three more quilts came in Sunday morning, so 53 were dedicated.] Spread out as they are, there will be plenty of room for people to spread out and lay hands on them as we pray for healing for the recipients.

Our quilt ministry began to make prayer quilts for people with cancer.  It has expanded to include church members and people we know who are facing other serious health challenges too.

So many beautiful quilts, so many hours of prayers, and much anticipated healing.

Clarification: Almost all these quilts have been made by four of us.  Occasionally someone takes a quilt kit, assembles it, and gives it back to us.  Two or three other ladies take them and sew down the backside of the binding. Because they are not distributed until they are blessed in a church service, and because we don't hold a blessing service until the stack of bless quilts is getting low or until we are running low in an area of potential need (this time we were running out of quilts for children, and we rarely have children with a need), we do not have a quilt blessing every month.  We just keep making quilts and praying and are always surprised to see so many quilts when we do the dedication service.  I think we each make more than we realize we make--so the dedication service is an important opportunity to see the new group.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Le Soleil d'Hiver - Report 5

A lot more quilting has been done--although there is still lots more to be done. I do find it amazing that although my feet are very busy treadling, it's so easy to forget that my feet and legs are almost as busy as my hands and eyes.
 I love the way the yellow Michael Miller Fairy Frost looks when quilted and when it is photographed.

 Another thing I love about these Lake House fabrics is that they look as if they've been painted with delicate lines of pearls--how perfect for a Chinese inspired fabric!
 This is what I came up with for quilting the long printed panels.  I was thinking feathers, but completed it's more like a blend of feathers and seashells.
Below are photos of several sections of the back of the quilt since sometimes that's where the quilting shows up best. The first photo is of feather/seashells on the back of the panels.
 Although I used very fine thread for the stabilization, for the quilting I'm using Fil-Tec Glide, a sunny gold on top and a pearly white in the bobbin.
 And I do love this class 15 treadle and its lovely high capacity bobbins.

I'm guessing that if I were still hand quilting, I'd be lucky to have finished one of the star blocks in a day of quilting.  These are taking about 20 minutes each--and all 15 are done.
We were fortunate to have sunshine today, but since my sewing studio catches only morning sun, I can say with certainty that this quilt does produce the feeling of the winter sun.  I'm thinking that even in warmer weather the balance of the blues and yellows will echo the sensation of cooler sunny days.

And to think that 10 days or so I had no idea this quilt would look like this......

If you came to this post from another website or another blog, you might want to click on the header at the top of the blog to read other posts about progress on this quilt.
And remember that you can see more details if you right click on any photo and open it in a larger view in another tab or another window.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Soleil d'Hiver Update

That's it....just three blocks....well, all the stabilizing stitching is done.
Still haven't made a decision about how to stitch the setting triangles.
The blues and yellows are so cheerful.--As was the sunshine over much of New Mexico this great contrast to the intense winter weather earlier this week....But it isn't that far in the distant past--it was 5 degrees this a.m.--at least that was above zero!

Click the little blue "Whoop! Whoop!" button to the right of my blog to go visit some of the other projects that have progressed this week--or to post your own progress.

If you followed a link to this post and want to see more of this quilt, just click the main title to the blog to see more posts and progress reports on the development of this quilt.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tiny Update - Soleil d'Hiver

Maybe this should be called Update 1.5.

Still trying to find time to finish the basting.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Update #1 - Le Soleil d'Hiver

Struggled most of the day yesterday getting the really simple border and backing done.

Instead of the medium blue, I wanted to use a rich Kona blue--but I've either misplaced it or used it for something else.

For the backing I used a stripe that looks a lot like a French ticking, only it's closer to broadcloth weight. I liked the idea of using that for a quilt with a French name.

I still had to add some yellow and blue patches to widen it. That yellow "bump" above is a little appliqued sunshine heart.

Then I couldn't find the batting I wanted to use. So I pulled out another piece (same brand, but I'd used part of it), tossed it into the dryer to flatten. Left it stretched over the sofa all night. Now it's almost 3:00 p.m. and I need to get it layered and basted so I can stabilize it and start quilting, the fun part.I do love the borders on this quilt--they have a kind of primitive/spontaneous look. I was remembering an antique red and white quilt that I haven't seem for years. This is the second time I've attempted this and now realize that the antique quilt must have had five borders instead of three--so I'll try that another time.

Sweet Teen is heading out to a Super Bowl party with the extended family of one of her friends in a little while. My plan is to quilt and try to avoid thoughts of early rising and long commutes to school tomorrow. (She has two more days off since her school had already scheduled a professional development day and a day for parent conferences.)

If you're not into football and would like to watch a movie, may I suggest "Second Hand Lions" (2003).  My daughter pulled out the DVD this weekend, and I realized that it is one of my favorite movies.  Only thing it lacked was a treadle sewing machine to hem up the old guys' overalls.

I'm telling myself to just do what I have to do--because I am so very grateful for the days I had to be good to myself and for my home-made quilting retreat.

Stay warm, dry, and safe, friends.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Work in Progress...Le Soleil d'Hiver

 Overdue birthday gift...I've been working on it during our long week of snow, intense cold, and school cancellations (today it's because of the Governor's declaration of the State of Emergency for New Mexico).  I was stumped on this for weeks, then months....
This isn't at all what I had expected.  The stars are from my original plan--along with a few more created this week.  The Lakehouse Fabrics have been in my stash for a long time--mostly because once they arrived I was suddenly stumped about how I would use them.
Now they've all come together in this one project, and I'm trying really, really hard not to get stumped on the rest of it because I'd like to start quilting it tonight or tomorrow.

That bright window at the top of the first photo is the window in the north door covered with a portico--yes, the reflection of the sunlight off the snow is intense.  But how nice to have sun--and a temperature that is up to +23.  Hooray! No frozen pipes here last night.  And a knock on the door from city workers just going around the neighborhoods checking to see that everyone has heat and water and is warm.  That's never happened here before, but I do love living in a small town that would do that!

Stay warm, friends.......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cold Enough Fer Ya?

Where I grew up, that's how the old guys used to greet each other in weather like this.  My answer today would be that we've gone far beyond what's cold enough for me!  Knowing I didn't have school today, I slept later, and it was still -23 when I got up!
Although I left a lamp with an incandescent bulb burning to heat the space under our kitchen sink, the lines still froze--but we had them thawed before noon.  Needless to say, I now know that at these low temps, I'll need to leave the water drizzling.  Last night's temps beat the previous record for this date by nearly 20 degrees.
The official low temperature for Moriarty was 34 below zero.
Many parts of the state are suffering from lack of natural gas due to low pressure caused by Texas's rolling electrical outages.  Governor Susanna Martinez has declared a state of emergency.
Both Sweet Teen's school district and the one where I teach are closed for Friday, February 4. Shelters are being set up in areas supplied by the New Mexico Gas Company, but people are being told those are only for warming up, not for spending the night.
Here's what was under the snow ball in the last post.....
 Despite the fact that it was supposed to get up to +20 today, when it was only +9 about 2:30 we decided we needed to do some excavation.

We made a very slow drive to the post office and to get drinking water. Beneath the snow is a thick sheet of ice--and our trip was much more fortunate than those of a lot of previous drivers.  Of course, I've lived long enough to value survival more than speed!

Apparently today's cancellation for my school district was motivated as much by the fact that they couldn't get the buses' diesel engines to start as it was by concern for students' safety.  Albuquerque Public School had announced a two-hour delay but had to cancel because they couldn't get their bus fleet started either!

We'll see what tomorrow brings.  With today's predicted high of 21 turning out to be only 9, I'm guessing tonight's lows will be much lower too. Both our local electric cooperative and our gas company have said they are not expecting any outages although low temperatures led to some power lines snapping in the communities south of us.

I hope everyone else experiencing similar weather is able to stay home and rejoice in quiltmaking or some other hobby.
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