Monday, March 6, 2023

Lovebirds quilt block 2.3 - house

Spring has sprung here in North Carolina.... 

and I finally started the Lovebirds Quilt for Tommy and Camille, who will be getting married in May (!).   The quilt is not "due" until Christmas;).  

The blocks are going to be very improv, in the style of folky Jan Patek quilts. 

I have made a basic sketch of the quilt, and divided it into five main sections, although I'm not making the blocks "in order."   Sections 1, 2, and 3 have 3-6 blocks each; section 4 is a side border with three blocks, and section 5 is tentatively a top border of leaves and flowers.

The overall vibe will be:

    primitive pictorial appliqué  (Camille and Tommy asked for certain motifs, totally cute) 

    random, asymmetrical layout 

    all the colors - with plenty of dark blue, green, lavender/pink, and pops of brights.

I started with the House block - the biggest block and closest to the "center" of the quilt.  

Last week I spent three days and two nights at Kaela's, to help their Au Pair, Ina,  with the babies and Charlotte while Kaela and Joe were out of town.   It was both great fun and super hard, all at the same time.  ;).   

Back on the home front,  I am finding such pleasure in spending time in the sewing room.   I listen to music, podcasts, or books, losing track of time as I putter or sew. 

Books I have read (or listened to) in recent weeks:  

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng - highly recommend it.  It is dystopian, so moving, thought provoking, really hard to put down.  

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.  An enjoyable listen, several narrators.  

Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg - an oldie but goodie from 1995.  Really struck me this time, the lack of cell phones back then.  We actually paid attention to the people right in front of us - just something that occurred to me over and over as I re-read this thoughtful novel.  

I hope if you are reading this, your week is off to a beautiful start!  


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Quiltmania mystery quilt - a start

I have jumped into Quiltmania magazine's 2023 mystery quilt!  It is called Mathilde and designed by Susan Smith (I love her quilts).  There will be six installments over this year. 

Part one - in the 2023 Jan/Feb issue - a bunch of 4-inch sawtooth stars, and four of these cute appliqué blocks.  I'm about halfway done. 

I am using a piece of Japanese fabric for the stars and hopefully for other elements of the quilt too.  

Have you made Mystery Quilts?  It takes a leap of faith.  

We went over to Kaela's for the Super Bowl.  Charlotte and I made Rice Krispie Treats.  Most of the marshmallows made it into the pot;).  

We also visited David's brother and sister in law Jon and Dottie in their beautiful new home in the North Carolina countryside.  Dottie and I have shared a love of quilting for many years.  We pin basted two of her quilts, including her Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.   We contemplated whether either one of us would ever make another EPP hexie quilt.  The jury is still out on that one. 

I am listening to the second Thursday Murder Club installment, The Man Who Died Twice.  It is SO good, if you like cosy mysteries.  Beautifully read by Lesley Manville.  



Monday, February 6, 2023

Simple finish for the Tenugui Quilt... and Boston ladies visit NC

The Tenugui Quilt is finished, with a bubblegum pink binding, which I think is fun and works well with the pops of red in the quilt.   The backing is over 20 years old;).  I just had a lot of it and never could get rid of it! 

I made quick work of this quilt.  I just wanted to get it done, and I'm pretty happy with it.  I stitched in the ditch, and quilted a square in the middle of each star block, and just anything in the plain tenugui blocks. 

The true blues photograph well in the shade. 

Memories of Japan, again, in a very usable utilitarian quilt.  It was this time last year that I started our transition to North Carolina.  I guess after a year it's time to accept that we live here, lol.  A "55 degrees and sunny" day like today helps a lot! 

I think I will keep this quilt in the sewing/guest room upstairs for now. 

It can travel between that room and "the dorm":

Last weekend, I had a "Boston ladies" visit from three dear old friends, who came here from far and wide to  hold babies, and stay up into the wee hours talking.  So much catching up, all the emotions,  such a gift to have each one of them here.

Left to right, Natasha (Texas), Emily (Massachusetts), Alyson (Utah) and yours truly (ok ok, North Carolina it is!).    

I started tacking back the pink binding while they were here so the quilt will also remind me of that special weekend.  

We all share some sort of Japan connection.  Natasha, Alyson and I had lived there years apart from each other; and Emily just welcomed her daughter home from missionary service there.  It's just such a small world.