Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ella's quilt

Brian's colleagues are having babies right and left! Having made a minkee blanket for one, I am in a position to have to make them for everyone. I really don't mind (I like the people), but I am making very easy blankets. This quilt is from a cheater panel, Baby Genius by Benartex. Babies love these figures, and I didn't have to piece them! I just put on borders, backing, and quilted along the squares, then bound it.

Here's the backing -- it's the same fabric that you see in the bottom middle square of the quilt top. Wild!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

...and more blocks!

Remember all those batik-look flannels I cut up? I've started stitching them into blocks.

I have been overwhelmed with Linus stuff, so my sewing space is a mess, which means I'm less inclined to work on a project. And then I got this virus followed by a cough so bad I cracked my rib coughing, so I haven't felt much like doing anything. But yesterday I was feeling better and really wanted to get into my projects. So the two blocks I just posted and these were easy to make without setting up a lot of stuff. Now I'm inspired to clean up the space (shouldn't really take too long) and get back to it!

I do love these flannels, and after I had cut them all up, I found I was regretting not making off-kilter squares, like Jan Mullen does. It would have been great, but now that I've started putting these blocks together, I'm happy with them.


A couple months ago I found an Oriental Lanterns quilt on the quilting site. I love Asian prints and since this pattern calls for a large number of those fabrics, I thought it would make a good swap pattern for the guild. It's easy to make. Dorothy, the swap and lotto chair, was very willing to use the pattern but wanted to try it as a block lotto first to see if there might be enough interest in a swap.
I don't know whether enough people will be interested, or whether those interested will have any Asian prints. There are more midwestern traditionalists in the guild than there are people who like modern designs, or quilts with a more international flair. We'll see if anyone responds. Wish me luck! It was nice of Dorothy to give it a try.

I also made this very traditional block. Every year the guild holds a retreat at the same place near Princeton, Illinois. The center needs to raise money for refurbishing, and so the guild decided to make a raffle quilt to help them. I took home a packet and made this block for the quilt.

I'm really glad they provided all the fabrics, because my scraps don't look like this! That's the problem with swaps and such -- it's really hard to end up with a coordinated look since no one has control over the fabrics other people choose. You can specify color or style, but it's never enough!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Una borsa fiorentina

Val bought some very spiffy shoes during her Italian sojourn, and the clerk put them into a possibly even spiffier sack:

If I recall the story correctly, Val was given a choice of a sack or a box, and the choice was made the very instant she saw the sack. She does have good taste. Anyhow, as I was cleaning up the satchel pile in the mudroom today, I saw the sack (now placed in Val's closet) and was struck by what a great quilt it would make.

And the design on the reverse would make a matching pillow, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Chicago Quilt Show 2007 - part 2

This quilt was amazing. When you see it in person, it feels like the bird will swoop out of the quilt! Again, I like quilts that ARE quilts -- the dynamic background is a vibrant log cabin variation, and the whole quilt is pieced. Just love it.

This quilt was arresting -- partly for the color, partly for the immediately recognizable Monet look. I'm not completely sure what I think, but it's definitely intriguing.

This quilt is so different from the others, but I really liked it. The colors are great. The layout of the design is so interesting, and the simplicity is wonderful. It's both lively and calming. The background fabric is perfect.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chicago Quilt Show 2007 - part 1

Yesterday I took the guild bus up to the Chicago Quilt Show. Wow! Such fun -- vendors galore and absolutely amazing quilts. I loved it!

There were some very clear "No Photos" signs on some of the exhibits, but others seemed to allow photos. People were taking them everywhere, even in the no photo area (shame on them). Sometimes I wasn't certain whether or not I could take a photo, so I didn't, and now I'm thinking I probably could have. Ah, well, I got photos of a few great quilts which I will share with you. I also photographed the sign with the title and quilter's note.

I really liked Brenda Smith's Wildfire! quilt. It works for me in lots of ways. First, the overall look and color grabbed my attention, and it was very "quilty" -- put together out of colored squares. I loved the straight lines of the trunks and the contrast of the leafy trees. Her color use, from the cool blues to hot yellows and reds, really spoke of the fire's effect. Hope you can get all that from the photo!

Helen Knott's Low Tide really took me in. When you see it, you feel drawn back into the mist. I felt like I could look at the quilt for a long time and not tire of it. I love the inner border frame, how it frames and yet does not limit the design. Do click on the photo to see the quilt in more detail.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A springtime visit to California

We went to California to have Passover with the kids, but it was also Merry Christmas -- Jocelyn finished my second sock! Hoorah! They are so comfy on my feet.

The Seder had almost 30 people, but fortunately the co-op had lots of dishes and tableware (and tables -- we had three!). Grandma Frances provided the flowers on the big table ...
...and the two little tables each had one of the quilted Passover tablerunners.

The food was fabulous (and why not, with such great chefs?). This photo of lighter-than-air matzah balls made by Val gives just a hint of how delicious the feast was.

Brian and I got to see lots of family -- our two beautiful daughters...

my mother...

my niece Andrea and her amazing son, Nathan...

and her cute-as-a-button daughter, Hannah. We also saw my brother Ray and his wife, Chris, but alas missed Laurel and her family. Next time!