Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Busy, Busy Design Wall!

Cutesy Pie: Quilt No. 5

I'm wondering if this post should have a subtitle of, "How Quilters Survive Winter" Do you have time for a brief catch up? I need a cup of coffee, and a little break from these past busy days. I can't believe it's Wednesday already, and more snow is on its way. We are winter weary here in Ohio. Not just from snow, but from flu, colds, and all the miscellaneous viruses we've been fighting. Sewing group was cancelled again for the month because many are recovering, but I still did a good clean up and reorganization in the studio. The tables even got washed down and disinfected. 

For a lovely distraction from grey days, I visited a quilt exhibit titled "Lincoln in Quilts: Log Cabins, Flags & Roses" at the Indiana State Museum last weekend. It was simple and stunning! I will show you more pictures after the exhibit closes, but one cannot wait.

Elizabeth Keckley Mosaic Quilt

The exhibit will be open through Feb. 19, 2018, and includes this quilt attributed to Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley was Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker, confidant, and an ex-slave. If you have the opportunity, this is a striking exhibit worth your time to visit. It's a wider collection compared to what we imagine with Civil War Era quilts, and included crazy quilts, improv, hexies, flags, and utilitarian textiles. 

I can't explain the difference in seeing quilts in person vs. a photograph, but it is emotionally powerful. The silk in the Keckley quilt is very fragile, and shows areas of significant aging. I loved seeing what batting from that era looked like peeking from beneath the top. The composition and needlework is exquisite. As a quilt maker, you see and value different things. Your heart takes in as much as your eyes. Do take the chance to visit quilt installations in person, and see for yourself.

Winter Light

I'm put out trying to photograph and correct lighting in the winter months. My next try is adding a design wall to another area of the studio. Even with the yellow overcast above you can see it's the same fabric I've been working with. I finished off some wonderful stars, but thought they needed a bow to wrap them up. I played with a 9 patch to create the idea of a bow, but then decided to free hand piece a modification.

I tell myself it gets better the farther away one gets, and even debated changing it out altogether, but this is a baby quilt! Small quilts are the ideal place to try new things, and so I left it. Trust me. A baby will not care that the quilt is not perfect when they drool on it.

FYI: I am almost completely out of this fabric now. Aren't you glad?

 Seen from Across the Studio

My cutting and ironing table is so empty after the clean up it feels naked. I work well in a mess, I admit. On with this project, creating the sashing strips, and deciding on setting triangles.

This pale blue, irregular spot/dot was in my stash, and there just may be enough to do 8 setting triangles and 4 corners. I'll finish the little 9 patches I need, and get the strips sewn together before I figure the measurements I'll need. If this doesn't work, I'll find something else. This is a scrappy quilt so there is no one right fabric.


I can't keep up with the dog hair this winter so Lucy got an early spring haircut. One hour later, I was thrilled to find under all that long, long hair there was a skinny dog! Yes, this is slim and trim for this Aussie.

Penny's Charity Quilt

It's snowed 2 inches since I've begun writing this morning. In the meantime, in the southern hemisphere, on the east coast of South America, they are having a warm summer in Uruguay. And a good friend of mine, Penny, is probably wondering how many more spinning stars she needs for her current quilt. We met nearly a year ago through the comments page here on Pink Doxies, and our friendship keeps growing. Whatsapp makes it free and easy to chat and share photos of our lives, and also our love of quilting. 

Penny shared how their small Mennonite colony also makes charity quilts there, but quilting fabric is not readily available. She has created this beautiful quilt entirely from knit scraps shared with her by a local friend. She cut circles and hearts and sewed them to a knit background. The backing is also knit. Not only do I think she is daring and creative to make do with what she has available, I think she has a loving heart to share with someone in need. 

Good thoughts like this warm my heart. Thank you, Penny.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~


Rebecca Grace said...

That Keckley mosaic quilt is stunning! It makes me want to know more about the woman who made it. Now THERE'S a historical novel waiting to be written!

As for your Cutie-Pie -- I knew that was a bow and was smitten by its cuteness even before I read that you meant for it to look like a bow. I think it's darling, and I like those fabrics so I think we all need to have a moment of silence to mourn the fact that it's all gone now.

Enjoy the loveliness of your snow. I know you're over it already, but I would gladly trade my cold, rainy, muddy Wednesday for your blanket of fresh, white snow. I miss the way the light reflects off the snow.

Oh, and there is a quick fix for that yellow cast in PhotoShop. It's under the Enhance tab, Remove Color Cast. Then an eyedropper tool comes up and you just click on something that is supposed to be white, gray, or black, and it adjusts the whole photo automatically. I don't have the full version of PhotoShop, either (at least I don't think I do??) There may be a similar tool in other software as well.

Jayne said...

Photos of quilts are never really easy! Especially in the winter. I try outside, but my timing is usually wrong and I get a blue background. Winter...I'm over it and ready for some heat! You can tell I'm getting up there in age...I want to migrate south!

All your quilts are beautiful and I especially love the scrappy one with the stars. I do love a full design wall!

Quilting Babcia said...

I rather love that fabric, so it would be a sad day in my studio if it were to be finally gone! The bow and that border really take that little quilt beyond the ordinary and make it one of a kind special. Your friend Penny's quilt is lovely! A quilter just has to make quilts, and will find opportunity in any fabric available to her. Kudos to her!

saroy said...

I thought "hey that looks like a bow! neat!" before you even mentioned it so I think you were successful. :)

9658 Textiles said...

Hahaha, Lucy doesn't look super pleased about having her new haircut photographed. I strongly believe the necessity is the mother of invention and that hearts quilt is beautiful!

Barb Neiwert said...

I love your baby quilt, especially the bow! Perfect! And your puppy is great with his new haircut! Our dog used to look the same way once she was shaved down - 15 pounds lighter! Now why doesn't that happen when I get a haircut???

Christine Slaughter said...

I have such a desire to see the exhibit, and especially the Keckley quilt up close, after reading your post!

I'm so sorry for the dreary winter days getting long. I am always in my own little world and forget that while my days are usually blue skies and sunny during the winter months, it's not like that everywhere else. I hope spring arrives quickly for you!

Lynette said...

Super cute baby quilt - No, I'm not sick of the fabric. :) LOVE that spotted light blue with your blocks, sure hope there's enough for the settings. I'm starting to get a real taste for non-quilter's-cotton materials going into quilts. Her quilt is pretty.

Kate said...

Lots of brights up on your design wall. That's the best way to keep the winter away, sew fun fabrics.

Lisa J. said...

I've been struggling with winter lighting as well. I am so glad that you used up all the fabric. Not because I don't like it, but because I know you a tired of it. Sick now myself and hoping it doesn't last long.

Sandy Panagos said...

I love that shade of green with the pinks! And what you did with the center fabric really does look like a bow. Hope you have enough of what you like for the setting triangles. It's a darling quilt.

audrey said...

It's a great series and how genius of you to make them all baby quilts! Super fast finish and then bam, it's all behind you! Love that free looking bow tie in the center of this last little quilt. I think it's more striking for being the only one instead of one of many.:)

Angie in SoCal said...

What a fabulous quilt that Keckly is. Penny has a heart of Gold. Stay warm. I hear big storms heading for the MidWest.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

I think the bow is a real hit and all your quilting looks splendid to me. You have a real knack for putting fabrics and colours together.