Friday, May 21, 2010
Sharing more quilts from the star block exchange reveal.
Again, these are the results of a 2009 group challenge, among those of us who usually attend this particular retreat at Jones Mansion, to do something with the Variable Star block. I found out last weekend that the quilt was supposed to "suit the personality of the maker" but I never knew that as I was making and RE-making my own quilt. Was my quilt *ME*? I guess maybe it was.
I have a sinking feeling that I don't have photos of all the quilts, but I have to go with what I have.
From my friend Renee, the lover of tiny blocks and tinier triangles:
That one deserves a closer look:
Aren't they all fun? Yay to my quilting peeps.
The reveal was at the Saturday afternoon tea, traditional at this retreat. This "tea" included the fancy cocktails for which one participant is justly famous--on this occasion Spiced Pear Bellinis and Lemon-Thyme Cocktails--as well as a table full of beautifully presented hors d'oeuvres, courtesy of Lori, the proprietor of Jones Mansion..
Most meals chez Threadlines are definitely not like this, but it's sure fun to enjoy a such a spread occasionally.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I've been working on this quilt since last fall. I've shown the blocks and other bits and pieces, and I whined here when the quilt didn't develop the way I expected and went off in its own direction. But I didn't show the whole thing because it was part of a group challenge. Everyone else in the challenge had been pretty secretive about what they were doing. Me, my life is pretty much an open book.
The challenge had been issued at our Jones Mansion retreat last year--everyone was to do something with the Variable Star block, and have the quilt completed by this May's retreat. I loved it--a chance to work in a traditional vein, which is all I've wanted to do in the last year anyway.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with this quilt.
I'm a sucker for the busy, putzy piecing--this is my favorite kind of quilt. I complained a lot about making those hundreds of half square triangles, but once they're done, I love the busy-ness they impart to the whole thing. And I still have about half of those HSTs left--watch for their appearance in another quilt before too long.
Discovering that the toile that was to be a major element of this quilt didn't work with it AT ALL was a setback, but once I found the brown stripe fabric, things jelled very nicely.
The border was not difficult, once I got the measurements worked out. I love my Electric Quilt--it figures such things for me, and I paper-pieced the border blocks it generated. Paper piecing IS a grind though. But one must keep one's eyes on the prize. :-)
The quilt worked out to be roughly 67 inches by 72 inches. It's an odd size--too small to be a bed quilt and too big for any of my wall quilt hangers. For now, it's slung over a balcony railing here, making me happy when I see it. But I think a bigger wall hanger is in my future.
I have lots more to show and that will come next time--other challenge quilts, retreat shots, and new projects.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Lone Star weekend in Wisconsin!
Olive and Me Retreat in Palmyra, WI, held a mini retreat/class last weekend. There were five of us on board. The project, taught by Cheryl Gerbing of Waukesha, was a 72" Lone Star, supposedly doable in one weekend.
It was a congenial group, with lots of variety in stars being made.
I haven't shared here the amount of pre-class fabric dithering and waffling that went on in my head. Use your imagination... My friends were thoroughly sick of me. Should I try out the stack of Amy Butler and such-like prints I had bought at Yellow Bird? What about my African fabrics? Or should I go antique-y? The final decision involved three shopping trips to far-flung places in my state and quite a bit of money spent.
No, I never learn.
Antique-y won out. Christmas-y antique-y.
And after much dithering about the size star I wanted, I decided to go with the 72" version, which called for three inch cut strips. My thinking is that a bed-sized Christmas quilt would be fun. And of course, red, green, and gold are seen in lots of old quilts. This doesn't have to be just for the holidays.
As promised, the pieced diamonds for the star are finished, but not assembled into the star.
I'm having a problem with the gigantic setting squares and triangles--it's very hard for me to leave 22 inches square of unpieced real estate on any quilt. This quilt would have four unpieced squares of that size as setting squares. Plus the setting triangles, which also look HUGE to me.
What to do? I'm considering my options right now. I'm liking the idea of New York Beauty blocks quite a bit and have been playing in EQ. I've also been consulting some of my quilt history books, looking for something that's authentic but not too much work.