A Shady Path

Endeavourers is a quarterly challenge to design and make a fabric wallhanging. The August 1 theme was A Walk in the Park.

As usual, I am down to the finish line with this challenge. I begin by collecting images on Pinterest of what I had in mind. I spent many years in the San Francisco area and loved nothing better than walking through the redwood forests. So after discarding the idea of a flower garden, I decided to try a walk through the redwoods. There were many excellent photographs and I loved the ones with the sunshine backlighting the trees. I narrowed known my choices to two or three and finally settled on just one picture. That was as far as I got a week or so ago. I gathered a lot of batiks and decided to work with them.

Three days ago I came upon a beautiful printed forest in my stash. It was not redwood trees, but was really alive with color. I don’t know where it came from, but I know it is a Northcott fabric.

For batting I found instead a double sided fusible foam stabilizer. It is In-R-Form Plus by Bosal. One quarter of it was 8-1/2 x 11 inches, so I was ready to go. This type of fusing was new to me so that was a challenge. I was able to fold over the front fabric to the back and fuse it therec as well, not needing any binding. For additional texture I used glue basting to attach the path and its borders.

About six weeks ago I bought a new Pfaff machine and am thrilled with it. However learning all the bells and whistles means I am constantly referring back to the manual. After an aborted attempt at trying some free motion quilting, I gave that up. I chose a varigated olive green thread which blends in very well.

On the backside I fused a piece of peach colored batik and my bobbin thread is my usual beige. The quilting shows up better there.

I managed to get to get my finished project photographed before sunset.

The other challenge I set for myself was to get good areas of contrast with these subdued prints. One was the addition of a scrap of batik with black branches. The other one is the light colored edging along the path and the bit of orange highlight on the path itself.

Once again this Endeavourers challenge has really broadened my quilting experience.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

A Scare and a Finish

We hear stories about being trapped in an elevator. That happened to me this week. I live on the second floor in a senior apartment complex. The other day about 6 o’clock I decided to go downstairs to get the mail. I was alone and I had my cell phone with me as usual. I got in the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor. Suddenly the buttons did not work. I tried pressing the buttons for everything but no luck. I tried my cell phone, but it was not working either. 🙀

I’m usually levelheaded during a crisis. The only choice I had was to press the emergency button in the elevator. An operator answered who had a foreign accent and was hard to understand. I explained that I was stuck. She said to try this button or that button, but none of them worked. She told me to call the manager. I told her there is none around our building at night. I hung up and tried again after a minute.

On my second try I spoke to a different operator, who understood my situation and said she would call 911 for me. Again I tried my cell phone and still no response. After a short wait the door opened of its own accord and I was on the first floor, not stuck between floors. When I got off the elevator the firemen were just coming into the building. I told them I was the person who had been stuck on it but now was so relieved to be out. 😹

I was afraid to try the elevator again to get back upstairs, so I asked one of the firemen to try it out first. He went up to the second floor and came down without incident. So I went up with him and he waited until I found a neighbor nearby who could phone my family for me, because my cell phone was still not working. My son-in-law came over soon after and when he tried my phone it worked. What had I been doing wrong? I had no idea.

The next day I was talking to some friends who told me that the entire cell phone circuit had been down during the time when I had been in the elevator. It just was an unfortunate coincidence. 😼

As for my quilting, I didn’t get much done because I had to wind some bobbins. Did I mention that my hands get shaky when I’m anxious and trying harder? I finally finished my last pink RSC19 project using batiks with black sashing.

When I laid out my monthly blocks so far, I really like the idea of mixing them up instead of keeping them in rainbow row order.

I’m going to continue with the remaining colors, but not brown. I want just a lively rainbow effect.

I’m very thankful that this week is over and also that the high heat we had is past and it is now in the low 80’s. I have a final challenge project which I will be working on this week for the Endeavourers, a walk in the park.

I will be looking forward to all of your stories this week.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Scraps to Strips

Believe it or not, today was the first time I’ve tried to corral all of my scraps in one spot. I have been storing them in various small containers, supposedly sorted by color, size, pattern or whatever. Every time I need some I have to hunt for the ones I want, usually by color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There had to be a better way.

So I dumped all of them into one large box.

By the time I took this photo I had already removed quite a few of the warm tone scraps to stitch together.

The majority of my scraps come from either 2 1/2 inch strips or charm squares. So the easiest thing to do was to stitch them in pairs. Many of them were roughly cut and sort of wonky.

Beginning with the warm tone pieces, I turned out quite a few 2 1/2 x 5″ pairs. What I had in mind was a stack of coins, but with no definite size in mind. Lastly I stitched two pairs together for stacks of four. It felt good to be putting these in some order after all this time.

looking at them now, it doesn’t look like I’ve accomplished very much, certainly not enough to make any kind of addition to a quilt. So I guess I’ll continue working on them.

We’ve had terribly hot weather lately, today being up to 98° and feeling more like 110°. Good time to stay indoors and work on my pink scraps some more. I hope the rest of you are doing well this week, keeping cool.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Pink Isn’t Easy

Have you ever noticed that some colors are easier to work into quilt blocks than others? For instance, red is hard to work with because if you try to add lighter shades they end up being pink and, vice versa, as they get dark they become maroon or brownish red. No wonder red and white quilts have been so popular over the years.

I’ve always considered pink to be an easy color to work with. However, when sorting through my scraps I noticed that it’s hard to find enough prints that do not blend into each other.

With my first block, for a 10-inch finished strip set made only with my dwindling supply of 2-1/2-inch strips, I had to use a variety contrasting prints in order to get good separation of the strips.

For my scrappy improv block it was easier because I had more scraps to choose from. But once again I had to rely on a variety of prints rather than a color range.

Thanks to a few Kaffe Fassett scraps, which gave some size variation, I am happy with the way this turned out.

I am also able to check a gray scale view see the actual values of the blocks. If you are not sure about your choices, see if you can do the gray scale on your blocks.

So the lesson I learned with pink was that there are a number of types of contrast we can use to give life to our quilts. Do you recall the quilt fabrics we had back in the 1980s? Mine seem to have been mostly little floral prints. Today we are so fortunate to have such a vast variety of fabric choices.

The more I learn about color, the more I realize the importance of contrast. It really does make a difference in the success of my quilting work.

This is the last moderately cool day we are going to be having for at least a week, with temperatures predicted in the 90s. I hope I can make good use of my indoor time working on my quilting.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

The Second Time Around

When I was trying to think of what to make in pink for this month, I realized I had been looking at something for years without noticing it.

In the 1980s I was experimenting with a lot of different quilting projects. One of the things I tried was paper piecing, making tumbling blocks. At the time I made several of them in muted tones and didn’t know what to do with them. I happened to come across a striped fabric containing the same range of colors. This was just the size for a wall hanging. So I scattered the blocks on the striped background and stitched them down. Then I machine quilted it.

Stitching the shadow lines of the blocks first was very effective, then stitching the stripes themselves.

It just so happened that I made this at the time my daughter was leaving to go to college, so I named the quilt “My Baby’s Gone and Left Me”.

For the last seven years this has been hanging in my bathroom where I can see it every day. The bathroom colors are coordinated with it.

This summer is the second time around for this theme because her daughter is going off to college in the fall. I’m happy that she is going to be attending the University of Wisconsin here in Madison, living on campus, not gone hundreds of miles away.

So this proud grandma is delighted that I will be seeing my granddaughter several times during the year while she is close to home.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Beautiful in Blue

There is nothing I would rather do than brag about my granddaughter. She graduated from high school and I am so proud of her achievements in academics as well as leadership. Sarah will be attending the University of Wisconsin, majoring in biochemistry and computer science.

She and her mother made her prom dress of beautiful blue satin. They even made a blue bow tie for Tony, her date.

Notice the physics textbook she is using as a weight to hold down the fabric!

Her lovely corsage was perfect for the gown.

The weather that evening was beautiful when they went for photos in the park.

They could not resist having some fun at the playground.

Finally they posed with their friends before taking off for a wonderful evening.

Photos tell a story better than words and Sarah’s graduation is something I will hold in my heart forever.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

A Mystery Quilt

Well, it is actually a top, but definitely a mystery to me. I have no idea where or when I got it. I just found it in the back of a closet shelf yesterday.

It is about 70 x 70 inches, made entirely of solids except for some black squares with a tiny linear print.

The fabric itself is not the usual quilter cotton. It has a sheen to it on the top surface only, as if it is glazed. On magnification, it has a herringbone weave, which makes a one-way pattern.

The 4-patch squares are 2 inches unfinished. It is machine stitched. This closeup includes a raw edge.

I love the diagonal pattern of the half square triangles and the soft colors overall.

If any of you can give me any help with the mystery, please do so. Could it be Amish?

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/